If you’ve been perusing the Internet for information about hormones that will help keep you young, read on for what women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm has to say on the subject.
Q: Is it true that human growth hormone can help me lose weight and reverse the effects of aging?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Human growth hormone is essential to growth and development. It is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and helps children grow taller and decrease infantile body fat. In adults, this is the hormone that stimulates metabolism. There is little evidence to suggest that synthetic human growth hormone – which may be prescribed by a doctor for muscle wasting and other legitimate health concerns – has any benefits for healthy adults.
Q: What are the risks of growth hormone use?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Short-term side effects include swelling of the hands and feet, muscle pain, and joint stiffness. Extended use can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and blood pressure problems. People who inject growth hormone derived from human cadavers put themselves at risk of developing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a life-threatening brain condition.
Q: DHEA is safe and can increase my energy, right?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands and is converted by the body into estrogen and testosterone. DHEA may be useful in treating adrenal insufficiency, lupus, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, infertility, complications with menopause, and obesity. DHEA may also help with weight loss but only under a doctor’s orders and in an appropriate dose. DHEA has been banned by the National Football League, the Olympics, Major League Baseball, and most other mainstream athletic organizations.
Q: How does DHEA affect women?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Women taking DHEA may experience an increase in testosterone which can cause irregular periods, increased facial hair, and acne.