Thursday, May 31, 2012

Somatopause and Aging

By Christopher Thomas

A decline in HGH levels 

Human growth hormone (HGH) is a key regulator of growth in our bodies, acting to build and maintain structures and tissues from our toes to our hair. As we age, not only do our reproductive functions decline, but growth also slows and eventually stops. The decline in growth hormone as we age is known as the somatopause.

Potential signs and symptoms of low HGH levels
  • Reduced vitality
  • Fatigue, lethargy, loss of stamina, strength or muscle bulk
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Mood changes, emotional liability, anxiety and depression
  • Poor capacity to cope with stress
  • Poor libido and sexual performance
  • Sagging skin
  • Cool dry extremities
  • Sparseness of body hair
  • Reduced bone density (osteoporosis)
  • Weight gain (especially increased fat mass)

Benefits and risks of supplementing with HGH:

Potential Benefits
  • Performance enhancement – Improved resilience, mood, sleep, memories and body composition as well as our cognitive, cardiac and physical performance.
  • Lower rate of bone loss and improved muscle strength – Growth hormone is important for bone growth and turnover. For those with thin bones and low HGH levels, supplements can improve bone density and reduce the risk of fracture.
  • Improved mood and ability to cope with stress – Growth hormone regulates the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic tone in our bodies. Reduced levels of HGH are associated with increased sympathetic nervous system activity, which in turn is linked with stress, depression and anxiety. Restoring human growth hormone levels has been shown to have a calming effect, engendering an improved sense of well being and reduced mental stress.
  • Small reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes – Heart disease and stroke are more common in those with low levels of HGH. Restoration of our healthy levels helps us to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, inflammation and tendencies to suffer from clotting, while improving other parameters such as our body (fat) composition and vascular function. Replacement of HGH may also reverse early changes in our arteries that lead to strokes.
  • Small reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia
Potential Risks
  • Dose-related side effects are usually mild, but may include fluid retention, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and dysregulation of sugar levels. These side-effects are minimized if dosing starts at low levels.
  • Standard doses of HGH are not linked with any increase in cancer risk – Nonetheless, HGH should not be taken without appropriate cancer screenings prior to starting treatment, nor is it suitable for those with a history or high risk of cancers (for instance, having a strong family history of cancers and/or being a smoker).

Options to combat the somatopause
  • Increase physical activity – join your local gym – the increase in HGH is greatest with anaerobic exercise, like weights or resistance training
  • Build stress resilience
  • Get quality sleep
  • Be aware of your symptoms  – do you have a troubling and persistent loss of stamina, strength or muscle bulk, fatigue, lethargy, low mood, poor memory, weight gain and reduced libido?
  • Make an appointment to see your doctor and get tested for low HGH levels if symptoms impact on your life

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

To read more from Christopher Thomas please click here
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