Endocrinology quiz | Geeky Medics
Ever since the mid s, doctors have been harnessing the power of human growth hormones to improve the lives of children with growth-stunting diseases such as chronic renal failure and Turner syndrome.
In recent years, the hormone has attracted a whole new group of customers, including athletes looking for a competitive edge and older people looking for a fountain of youth. How much do you know about human growth hormones?
Take this short quiz to find out. A doctor cannot prescribe growth hormones to a short child unless the child has a clearly defined medical condition. Human growth hormone that is produced naturally in the body is essential for good health even after a person has passed puberty.
Some people abuse growth hormones by taking them without a prescription. Which of the following is NOT a common side effect of long-term human growth hormone abuse? Supplements containing the amino acid arginine will greatly enhance natural production of human growth hormone.
Injections of human growth hormone can help middle-aged and elderly people "turn back the clock. People who received human growth hormone treatment before may be at risk for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
In July , the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of human growth hormone for unusually short children even if their height can't be explained by a medical condition. Since short stature is not a medical disorder, however, this treatment remains controversial. Even if a short child is treated with growth hormone, it is not clear that he will be taller as an adult than he would have been without treatment.
A shortfall of growth hormone -- caused by illness or injury to the pituitary gland -- can be debilitating to adults. The heart becomes weak, cholesterol and blood pressure rise, and energy disappears. There are also many psychological consequences: Fortunately, careful medical treatment with growth hormones can relieve these symptoms and greatly improve a person's quality of life. Injecting human growth hormone to improve athletic performance is an act of blind faith.
Very few studies have ever tested the effects of the hormone on athletes, and the results so far don't look promising. In one study, 16 men started a weight training program while taking either human growth hormone or a placebo a dummy injection.
The men taking the hormone gained weight faster possibly because of water retention , but they didn't become stronger or more muscular than the other men. Taking growth hormone without a prescription can open the door to a wide range of complications. In addition to transient type 2 diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, and hypertension, people who abuse the hormone are vulnerable to heart disease and cancer of the digestive tract.
Mood swings are a common side effect of anabolic steroids, not human growth hormone. Some athletes are willing to give it a try, but there's little hard evidence that arginine supplements boost levels of human growth hormone. In one human study, researchers found that arginine supplements did indeed boost growth hormones significantly. However, the study was very small, with just eight subjects. Doctors can enhance production of growth hormones with injections of the amino acid, but according to a recent report in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, injections are times more potent than supplements.
Small studies in the early s raised hope that human growth hormone could be a "Fountain of Youth. Studies show that injection of the hormone can make elderly people leaner, but the shots haven't been shown to improve physical or mental functioning in any way. At this time, the benefits don't seem to outweigh the risks.
The risk is small, but some experts take it seriously. So far, all of the patients who caught CJD from hormone treatments received their treatments before In that year, researchers developed a new purifying process that may have erased the risk.
Synthetic human growth hormone, first available in , definitely carries no risk of CJD. At this time, nobody who has ever received natural human growth hormone can donate blood or organs. For more information on CJD and human growth hormone, see http: Does exogenous growth hormone improve athletic performance? Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Collier S, et al. Growth hormone responses to varying doses of oral arginine.
What competitive advantages can athletes gain by abusing human growth hormone? There are no proven benefits 4. A transient form of Type 2 diabetes b.
Carpal tunnel syndrome c. Wild mood swings d. True False Your Results 1. The correct answer is: True A shortfall of growth hormone -- caused by illness or injury to the pituitary gland -- can be debilitating to adults. There are no proven benefits Injecting human growth hormone to improve athletic performance is an act of blind faith. Wild mood swings Taking growth hormone without a prescription can open the door to a wide range of complications.
False Some athletes are willing to give it a try, but there's little hard evidence that arginine supplements boost levels of human growth hormone. False Small studies in the early s raised hope that human growth hormone could be a "Fountain of Youth. True The risk is small, but some experts take it seriously. Adult growth hormone deficiency. What athletes are using -- and why Colorado State University. Growth hormone and aging.
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