Human Growth Hormone
Human Growth Hormone has been used by many athletes to boost their performance. Find out more about HGH and its side effects right here.
Human Growth Hormone - What Is It?
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a powerful hormone that naturally exists in our bodies. It is produced by a gland in the brain and helps start the growth of muscles, cartilage and bones. Growth hormone is produced throughout a person's lifetime but is produced more often when you're a kid and your body is growing. While human growth hormone occurs naturally in the body, it can also be produced in a lab and is sometimes prescribed by doctors to children who have growth problems.
Human Growth Hormone - Professional Sports
The use of HGH is banned by the International Olympic Comittee, Major League Baseball and other pro sports leagues - but many athletes still use it to increase performance. Human growth hormone is injected by athletes in order to increase muscle size. HGH helps tired muscles recover quicker, which allows athletes to train harder and more often. By building up muscle quicker, athletes can have an unfair advantage over other players. In 2006, pitcher Jason Grimsley admitted using human growth hormone and said dozens of other baseball players have used it as well. Since HGH already occurs naturally in humans, it is hard for a blood test to determine if the hormone in the body is natural or has been injected.
Human Growth Hormone - Side Effects
If your body has too much HGH in it, you can develop a disease called acromegaly, which causes the hands and face to grow freakishly big. The jaw becomes larger and your face becomes rough and oily. Organs like the heart, kidney and liver will also start to grow too much, which can cause heart disease, diabetes and other nasty ailments. Using HGH can also increase the risk of cancer because of the unnatural growth of cells. Some doctors say the apparent increase in the size of Barry Bonds' head over the past few seasons is a sign that he has injected HGH to improve athletic performance. While human growth hormone may help some athletes, using HGH is also cheating and its dangerous side effects can be especially damaging to kids and teens, whose bodies are already going through major changes during puberty.