Although it is primarily responsible for helping children to grow, human growth hormone, or HGH, is still one of the most important hormones to adults.
Human growth hormone or HGH is a vitally important hormone. It is produced and secreted by the pituitary gland. As the name implies, HGH is vital for all of the processes that allow children to grow into healthy, strong adults of full stature.
But, even as adults, HGH continues to play a critical role in health and fitness. It is responsible for bone and muscle growth and strength, and for keeping your immune system strong; HGH even plays a role in sexual health.
However, as important as it is, your levels of HGH drop as you get older, and this steady decline can lead to age-related growth hormone deficiency.
Age-related or “adult-onset” growth hormone deficiency is treated with prescription growth hormone injections. As with any ongoing therapy, there is a right way and a “wrong way” to stop taking growth hormone.
What Can Change in the Body When You Quit Taking HGH?
HGH therapy can have many benefits for adults who have been diagnosed with age-related growth hormone deficiency. However, it is not prescribed “indefinitely.”
There will come a time when you will have to stop your taking your HGH. There can be several reasons to stop growth hormone therapy, such as:
- You are experiencing side effects
- You are not getting the results you wanted
- You have completed your prescribed program of HGH therapy
Regardless of your reason for wanting to stop taking HGH, you should never do so without consulting with your doctor. If you wish to stop because you are unhappy with your results or you are experiencing side effects, your doctor can probably resolve the issues by adjusting your dosage or brand of HGH injections. If it is time to stop taking your HGH because you have reached the end of your program, it is equally important to consult with your doctor to be given techniques and advice that can help you maintain the results you have achieved from your growth hormone therapy.
The key takeaway from this page is that deciding on when and how to stop your HGH must be a decision you and your doctor reach together.
That’s because when you have been taking HGH injections for a while, your body will have gotten quite used to getting its weekly “boost” of HGH. If you simply stop your growth hormone injections cold turkey, the shock of the sudden deprivation of HGH will likely cause your energy levels and libido to drop. You’ll likely feel irritable and maybe even depressed or anxious, and a wealth of other changes in your body.
Exactly what happens when you stop growth hormone therapy varies from patient to patient. The factors that can impact your individual positive or negative experiences upon terminating HGH injections include:
- Your particular dosage and symptoms prior to your prescription for HGH.
- How long you have been on growth hormone therapy, and if it was your first treatment or subsequent treatment.
- How serious your growth hormone deficiency was prior to beginning treatment.
If you do not follow the advice that you have been given to help maintain the results you have achieved over the course of your growth hormone therapy program, in the worst-case scenario, you will begin to experience the many symptoms you had before you started treatment.
That may include:
- Joint pains
- Brain fog
- Hair loss or thinning
- Sagging, dry skin
- Muscle loss
- Mood swings
- Low sex drive
- Weight gain
- Frequent illness
What Can Happen to Your Body if You Quit HGH “Cold Turkey?”
If you are on a legitimate prescription growth hormone therapy program, never, ever quit taking your HGH “cold turkey” without telling your doctor. Such an abrupt stop in taking HGH can have a negative impact on your:
- Cellular activity
- Skeletal system
- Nervous system
- Immune system
- Endocrine system
- Blood sugar levels and metabolism
One of the most common issues that occurs when you stop HGH is weight gain. This is largely due to the impact stopping HGH has on your metabolism and your body’s ability to burn fat.
A recent study found that children who were taking HGH for GHD caused by Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) saw dramatic increases in weight when they stopped. The Japanese researchers followed several PWS patients that began HGH replacement therapy at around 5 years of age and were taken off of growth hormone therapy at around 18 years of age. The researchers found that after a period of about six months after stopping growth hormone injections, the patient’s body mass index (BMI) increased by as much as nearly 40%.
The largest increases in fat was seen in the abdomen and internal organs, known as visceral adipose tissue, or VAT. “VAT accumulation is known to be more harmful and contribute more to obesity than fat that accumulates beneath the skin, or subcutaneous adipose tissue, or SAT,” said the researchers.
The researchers also found that cessation of growth hormone therapy led to an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol is a precursor to diabetes and obesity. Overall, the team concluded, “discontinuation of HGH therapy caused rapid increases in visceral adipose tissue and LDL cholesterol levels.”
How to Avoid Side Effects when Stopping Growth Hormone
When you have completed your program of growth hormone therapy, and it is time to stop taking your HGH injections, you will undoubtedly notice significant changes from when you started your HGH therapy. You will likely have more energy, be fitter and slimmer, and enjoy a more satisfying sex life.
If you want to maintain those positive results and avoid any of the unpleasant side effects that could occur when you stop taking HGH, some of the lifestyle changes you should make to avoid a significant drop in your HGH levels are:
- Getting regular exercise
- Getting enough sleep (7 – 9 hours)
- Eating a healthy and nutritious diet
- Reducing stress
- Reducing consumption of alcohol
After you stop HGH injections, you will likely also be put on a regimen of vitamins and nutritional supplements designed to stimulate your body to increase your natural production of HGH.