• Growth hormone (also known as GH) is produced, stored, and secreted by the pituitary gland—a half-gram, pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain. In youth, the body produces sufficient growth hormone to meet the needs of the growing child. As an adult, growth hormone helps protect the integrity of our body and brain. But with age, the production can decline precipitously which can erode our health and vitality.

    Just like with testosterone, there can be a dramatic age-related decline in growth hormone. This decline of GH—also known as som autopause or adult-onset growth hormone deficiency—is characterized by loss of muscle and strength, weight gain, poor stamina, loss of skin elasticity, insomnia, and declining mental function. This has given rise to growth hormone replacement therapy to counteract many of the signs and symptoms of aging. By restoring growth hormone to more optimal levels, it can help produce a more youthful state of health and vitality as we age.

    What are the health benefits of growth hormone replacement therapy?

    Benefits that may be experienced with growth-hormone replacement therapy include:

    •    Increase in lean body masses through the development of new muscle cells
    •    Reduced body fat through lipolysis (fat burning)
    •    Increase in energy and vitality
    •    Increase in strength and endurance
    •    Acceleration in healing from wounds or surgery
    •    Strengthening of the pumping action of heart
    •    Improved cognitive abilities
    •    Enhanced immune function
    •    Improved sleep quality
    •    Improved bone density resulting from increased calcium retention

    What are the treatment options?

    There are two FDA-approved medications that are used to raise growth hormone in the body. The first medication is Recombinant Human Growth Hormone (also known as rhGH), which is produced synthetically by recombinant DNA technology. For several decades, rhGH has been successfully used to treat growth disorders in children, and by anti-aging doctors to reduce the signs of aging.

    Ironically, adults who take rhGH may actually decrease their lifespan which, of course, defeats the whole purpose of growth hormone replacement therapy. When taking synthetic growth hormone, you bypass the pituitary and go straight to the liver. This results in unnatural, non-pulsating (non-fluctuating), and prolonged surges of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (also known as IGF-1), which can remain elevated far above the physiological range for long periods of time. Persistently elevated IGF-1 can lead to cancer, heart enlargement, liver damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, joint pain, edema (fluid retention), and hypothyroidism. Furthermore, besides being very expensive, persistent use of rhGH can cause your pituitary to atrophy and reduce or eliminate the ability to make its own growth hormone. Fortunately, there is a less expensive and much safer option. It is called Sermorelin.

    What is Sermorelin?

    Sermorelin—also known as Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone or GHRH¬—is an FDA-approved medication that works by stimulating the pituitary to produce more of its own growth hormone. Sermorelin duplicates the benefits of rhGH without the attendant side effects. Sermorelin causes the body to produce and secrete its own growth hormone, thus maintaining the function and integrity of the pituitary gland. Unlike rhGH, with Sermorelin, the possibility of unnatural, non-pulsating, prolonged surges of IGF-1 are eliminated. This is because Sermorelin maintains the natural pulsatile release pattern of GH from the pituitary, and thus the natural pulsatile (fluctuating) releasing pattern of IGF-1 from the liver. Further, because rHGH augments the natural growth hormone produced by the pituitary, this can cause excessively high levels of growth hormone. With Sermorelin, the increase in growth hormone comes from the stimulation of the pituitary, which will not allow the production of more growth hormone than can be safely processed by the body.

    Note: We use a form of Sermorelin that is combined with Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (also known GHRP-2) and Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 6 (also known GHRP-6). This synergistic combination produces much better results than plain Sermorelin.

    How is Sermorelin administered?

    Sermorelin is self-administered as a subcutaneous microinjection using a painless auto-injector. It is taken 6 days per week just before bedtime. Growth hormone is primary released during sleep and is most beneficial to the body’s recovery and repair process during this time. Because Sermorelin helps promote sleep, it can make you tired if taken during the day.

    What side effects are associated with Sermorelin?

    The most comment side effects are temporary swelling and redness at the injection site. This occurs in about one in six patients. Flushing of the face, nausea, or headaches occur rarely.

    How long does Sermorelin take to work?

    Patients usually report improved sleep within 4-6 weeks. For most patients, full effects are noticed within 6 months. Improvement in skin tone can take up to a year.

    What lab work is ordered?

    We check IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1), IGFBP-3 (Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3), and HGH (Human Growth hormone) before treatment, 3 months after treatment, then every 6 months.

    Do I need to take Sermorelin forever to keep seeing results?

    After about a year, unlike rhGH, Sermorelin can have a sustained effect in which optimal levels of growth hormone can be maintained with less frequent injections. Some patients can stop Sermorelin altogether and still experience the benefits.