What Are HGH Side Effects?


HGH, or human growth hormone, is a chemical produced by the pituitary gland that is needed for the body to grow and mature. If too little HGH is produced during the formative years, the result can be dwarfism or other conditions. People can also experience thinning of the skin, fat increase and a decrease in muscle mass. With too much HGH, gigantism or acromegaly (enlargement of the hands, feet and face) can result. Synthetic HGH is sometimes prescribed to help treat conditions that result in not enough of HGH production in the body. However, there are side effects that should be considered.

Common Side Effects

Two of the most common HGH side effects include joint pain and water retention. These side effects, however, can lessen in severity by reducing the human growth hormone dosage. Studies are done to determine the side effects of HGH for children, adults and persons of advanced age. Adults and children who have a human growth hormone deficiency and are treated with an HGH prescription usually do not suffer major HGH side effects.

Abdominal Distention

HGH can cause the stomach to have a distended appearance. This is most likely to occur if HGH is taken for the purpose of bodybuilding. However, abdominal distension is uncommon if taken as prescribed.


Acromeglia is a condition resulting in abnormal growth of bone. Acromeglia is not specifically caused by human growth hormone. However, HGH can accelerate the development of acromeglia in some people, especially for those more inclined to develop the disease.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve in the wrist gets pinched, which can lead to pain, tingling, weakness and the inability to fully grasp objects in the affected hand. If human growth hormone is not taken as directed, carpal tunnel syndrome can occur as an HGH side effect.


The opposite of diabetes is called hypoglycemia. With diabetes, there is not enough insulin for the body, which then causes dangerous and high glucose levels. With hypoglycemia, however, there is a high amount of insulin and not enough glucose. Those taking human growth hormone can suffer from hypoglycemia due to the fact that the amount of insulin in the body goes up as a side effect of the HGH.

Side Effects in Healthy People

For healthy adults who take human growth hormone, adverse side effects can occur. One of those potential HGH side effects is joint pain that is similar to arthritis and can develop when the joints retain water. Also, a person can experience muscle pain. For healthy men who take HGH, gynecomastia can occur, which is an increase in breast tissue growth. Another possible HGH side effect in healthy adults is swelling of the arms and legs due to water retention.

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