AMAZING FACTS ABOUT GROWTH HORMONE
Our physical and mental growth depends on several complex mechanisms in the body that are controlled by the brain itself. The physical growth of human body is controlled by pituitary gland through a hormone called growth hormone. In this article we will discuss some amazing facts about growth hormone.
SECRETED BY PITUITARY GLAND:
Pituitary gland is a pea size endocrine gland that weighs about 0.5 grams. It is also known as hypophysis. It has two parts: anterior and posterior. The physiological processes of human body such as growth, reproduction, lactation ad stress are controlled by anterior pituitary lobe.
The anterior pituitary hormones are regulated through feedback mechanisms (neuropeptides).
ABOUT GROWTH HORMOE:
Growth hormone is also termed as somatotropin hormone. It is polypeptide in nature. When hypothalamus releases ‘growth hormone releasing hormone’ GHRH, growth hormone is secreted from anterior pituitary lobe in a pulsatile manner. In contrast, when hypothalamus secretes growth hormone inhibitory hormone or somatostatin, secretion of growth hormone is inhibited from anterior pituitary lobe.
It is common knowledge that growth hormone secretion is the highest during night time. There is a decline in growth hormone release with increasing age. It allows bone growth, muscle growth, protein formation, cell proliferation and other vital processes responsible for proper growth. Recombinant DNA technology is a useful biotechnology technique to produce synthetic growth hormone.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Mechanism of growth hormone is very typical. It acts on target tissues and mediates its physiologic effects through somatomedins.
USES OF GROWTH HORMONES:
Growth hormone is really essential for normal body growth of a human being. It has several therapeutic effects in the human body. Its deficiency in children causes retarded growth or growth failure in children. Prader-Willi syndrome is also an important disorder caused by insufficient growth hormone release. Older individuals can administer growth hormone for anti-aging purpose as it is very beneficial for good circulation and nutrients usage. Athletes also administer growth hormone in order to enhance their performance during sports or physical activity. Growth hormone can be administered to children who show signs of stunted growth and have not yet reached puberty.
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF GROWTH HORMONE:
Growth hormone is injected intramuscularly. Therefore, pain sensation is experienced at the site of injection. Edema or swelling is also one of the most common adverse effects of growth hormone. Joint pain, muscle pain and headache is also experienced. There have been reports of flu-like symptoms after administration of synthetic hormone. There is also an associated increased risk of diabetes in individuals who take growth hormone.
GROWTH HORMONE IS CONTRAINDICATED IN SOME INDIVIDUALS:
People who have passed the age of puberty must not be prescribed growth hormone as their bones have reached their full growth and their epiphyses have closed already. People who are diabetic and have diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy must also be not prescribed growth hormone. Prader-Willi syndrome is a contraindication to growth hormone administration. Obese patients must not be administered growth hormone as it will cause further complications.