Naturopathic Medicine The Holistic Healing Paradigm
Orthomolecular/Functional Medicine – (Hormones, Nutrition, Herbs, Homeopathy)
With the Goal of Restoring the Body’s God Given Pattern of Health Removing the Resistance to Cure w/ Proper Nutrition, Lifestyle, Relationships, & Body Mechanics
Using Lab Tests & Clinical Judgement to Diagnose Errors of Metabolism and Genetics
hGH Human Growth Hormone Therapy It has been called the Anti-Aging Hormone
hGH therapy does not halt aging or prevent death, but hGH deficiency produces the symptoms of aging, because tissues without stimulation by hGH will atrophy. Human Growth Hormone (hGH) is produced by the pituitary, under the influence of the hypothalamus. hGH stimulates the release of IGF1 from the liver, which then affects target organs and tissues throughout the body. Growth Hormone and IGF1 both affect receptor sites on the surface of cells which trigger various metabolic processes.
hGH secretion and levels naturally diminish with age, resulting in the attendant loss of youthful muscles, skin, joints, mental acuity, sexual desire and performance. hGH can be administered by injection, (secretagogue and precursors are administered orally). hGH is secreted in pulses by the pituitary and stays in the bloodstream for only a short time, and thus cannot be easily measured directly. Serum IGF1 levels are used as the surrogate laboratory markers of IGF1 therapy. Ideal levels are those of young adulthood.
hGH is not given by itself, and is usually the last of all the hormones to be supplemented as part of the suite of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Thyroid, DHEA, Testosterone, (Estradiol and Progesterone for women only), melatonin (for sleep), pregnenalone (for memory) are supplemented first. After these hormones have been brought up to the levels of young adulthood, then IGF1 is used as the market for determining the dose necessary to bring hGH up to that same level.
Some symptoms that may be related to hGH deficiency:
Go to lab for blood draw for the full suite of hormones: Thyroid (TSH, Free & Total T4, Free T3), DHEA-S, Free & Total Testosterone, Estradiol, Progesterone, IGF1, Chem Screen & CBC
After laboratory results return (1 week) return to clinic for consultation and prescription
Take prescription for 1 month, redraw blood
Return to clinic, evaluate labs, re-prescribe
Repeat until all hormones except IGF1 are up to young adult levels
Draw blood for serum IGF1 evaluation
Return to clinic for evaluation and prescription of hGH
Retesting of serum IGF1 every month until up to young adult levels
Take continuously, retest in 1 year after reaching young adult levels of IGF1
Alternate dosing regimen:
Take hGH for 5 days, and take two days off
Take continuously at this dosing regimen for 6 months
At the end of 6 months, discontinue treatment for one month
Resume original dosing regimen
Patients often report an improvement of symptoms for about 4 months, and then level off in their improvement for a period of time. After a period of a few months they may then notice additional symptom improvement.
Side Effects and precautions:
hGH activates the formation of blood glucose. If dosing above physiologic levels, hGH can raise blood sugar levels. Thus, patients with diabetes or metabolic syndrome should be careful taking hGH.
If taken above physiologic doses for long periods of times hGH can cause joint pain, because hGH stimulates the growth and strength of joint tissue. This is a good effect for those with weak bones and joints, but taken to excess it will cause problems.
The side effects of hGH are the effects of overdosing. Thus, the treatment goals should be to return the levels of hGH/IGF1 to normal, rather than to take a large amount to produce athletic prowess.
hGH therapy is only effective as long as it is being administered, and the benefits of therapy will slowly recede after stopping its use. Thus, hGH therapy is not a cure, only a symptomatic relief for some symptoms.