Growth hormone use and abuse

Published on 02/03/2015 by admin

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CHAPTER 26

Growth hormone use and abuse

Growth hormone plays an essential role in human growth and development; deficiency results in short stature and other defects, whereas high levels can cause excessive growth and acromegaly. In addition to recognized medical indications for replacement, growth hormone has come to public attention because of its use by athletes to enhance performance (doping). This chapter covers the latest evidence about growth hormone physiology, therapeutic use, abuse, and detection.

1. What is growth hormone?

2. How does GH secretion occur?

3. How is the release of GH regulated?

4. List the actions of GH.

As its name implies, GH stimulates both linear growth and growth of internal organs (Table 26-1).

TABLE 26-1.

ACTIONS OF GROWTH HORMONE AT SPECIFIC SITES

TARGET SYSTEM ACTIONS
Liver and muscle Increases nitrogen retention, amino acid uptake, and protein synthesis
Cardiovascular Increases cardiac muscle mass and cardiac output at rest and during maximal exercise
Hematologic Increases plasma volume and red cell mass
Skeletal tissue Increases bone mineral density and bone turnover
Connective tissue Increases collagen turnover at nonskeletal sites, including tendons
Metabolism Increases rates of sweating and thermal dispersion during exercise
Endocrine:  
Acute Increases the uptake and utilization of glucose by muscle; antagonizes the lipolytic effect of catecholamines on adipose tissue
Chronic Reduces glucose utilization, enhances lipolysis, and increases lean body mass

5. Does GH exert all of its effects directly?

6. What causes excessive GH secretion, and what are the consequences?

7. What conditions are associated with GH deficiency?

8. What are some common signs and symptoms of GH deficiency?

9. Where do we get the GH used therapeutically?

10. Besides availability, what problem was associated with GH derived from human cadavers?

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