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5 Side Effects of HGH

By  caitlin November 1, 2012 72 Reviews

Human Growth Hormone, or HGH, has been a buzzword in the health world for several decades now.

HGH benefits were first documented in a 1990 University of Wisconsin study [1]. A group of 60-year-old men received HGH injections daily over a period of six months. At the end of the study, nearly all of the men had denser bones, larger muscles, and less fat. It was estimated that these HGH effects set the men’s biological clocks back by an average of 10 to 20 years.

Fast-forward more than two decades later. Both HGH injections and HGH-releasing supplements are now widely available. However, many people choose to turn away from the safety of natural HGH supplements for the immediate effects of HGH injections. Unfortunately, the legal status of HGH injections is questionable. There’s also the matter of side effects.

When you raise HGH levels in the wrong way, it can be dangerous. Here’s a look at five of the most common negative side effects of irresponsible HGH use through injections.

1. Joint and Muscle Pain

One of the most common side effects you’ll experience is pain in your joints and muscles. Remember growing pains? It’s kind of the same principle. These pains occur most often at the fronts of your thighs, in the calves, or behind the knees. This is due to the rapid muscle growth taking place in your body.

These effects were observed in a 2003 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine [2]. The researchers involved believe the discomfort and pain the subjects experienced were a result of muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue occurs when muscle grows in size but not strength—exactly what happens when you increase HGH levels without working out.

Joint pain is also possible due to water retention caused by HGH. This leads to increased pressure on nerves, ligaments, and joints throughout the body. Affected joints often swell and appear red. These effects usually disappear when the dosage is reduced, however.

2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Another possible HGH side effect is a condition commonly experienced by office workers. You may have heard a co-worker complain about carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that occurs when a nerve in the wrist is pinched.

Carpal tunnel isn’t serious, but it does result in pain, numbness, and tingling sensations along the arm and hand.

High HGH levels exacerbate carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. With new and rebuilt tissue, nerves in the wrist get pinched. Slight increases in bone mass in the forearm and wrist only make things worse.

HGH is more likely to trigger carpal tunnel if you’re over the age of 50 or already suffering from arthritis. Some of these effects may be prevented by a multivitamin, however.

3. Arthralgias

Arthralgias is a mild form of arthritis that can be triggered by too much HGH. Like carpal tunnel syndrome, increased bone growth and pinched nerves are the primary forces behind this side effect.

As HGH stimulates bones to grow thicker and stronger, nerves and skin are stretched. This causes discomfort and pain.

Arthralgias is a relatively common HGH side effect. As many as 46 percent of people who take HGH develop arthralgias, according to Dr. Terry Cass [3]. Luckily, arthralgias isn’t a permanent condition and most cases disappear within a few weeks after a person stops taking HGH.

4. Thyroid Damage

HGH is sometimes used to correct low thyroid activity, but in people who have a healthy functioning thyroid, it can cause damage.

When the thyroid is pushed into overdrive, you can develop hyperthyroidism. With an overactive thyroid gland, you may experience weakness, fatigue, a greater appetite, diarrhea, nausea, and hair loss. None of these symptoms are results you want from HGH. In fact, some are the direct opposite of what you hope to gain.

If left untreated, an overactive thyroid gland can eventually cause infertility in men. This makes it one of the more dangerous and long-lasting side effects of HGH.

5. Heart Enlargement

When the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes in one day, it was a good thing. For you, it’s definitely not.

When used long-term, HGH can cause an enlarged heart because it triggers the growth of all internal organs except the brain. An enlarged heart can be dangerous because it limits pumping ability and stretches ventricles.

Heart enlargement is especially hazardous because it is very difficult to treat and almost impossible to reverse.

Symptoms include leg swelling, shortness of breath, weight gain, and heart palpitations.

What’s the Alternative?

Higher HGH levels are beneficial not only in bodybuilding, but in other areas as well. You shouldn’t let adverse side effects deter you from harnessing the benefits—you just need a safe way to increase HGH.

More and more HGH users turn to HGH supplements to fulfill this need. These supplements contain ingredients that naturally increase HGH in the brain. This prevents too much HGH from entering your system while still giving you the benefits of higher HGH levels. With HGH releasing supplements, you won’t have to worry about any of the above-mentioned side effects.

If you’re looking for a safe way to increase your growth hormone, this is definitely the way to go. Just remember to keep up on your physical activity so you can get the most out of your muscle and tissue growth and reduce the risk of the possible side effects.


[1] Rudman, Daniel. 1990. Effects of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old. New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 323, Issue 1.

[2] Vance, Mary Lee. 2003. Can growth hormone prevent aging? New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 348, Issue 9.

[3] Cass, Terry. 2002. Growth hormone and sex steroid administration in healthy-aged women and men. Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 288, Issue 18.

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