Human growth hormone side effects can include pain in the joints and muscles and swelling of the legs and arms. More severe side effects could include elevated insulin and glucose levels and heart disorders. Human growth hormone side effects that are associated with long-term use can be very serious and in some cases life-threatening. Those side effects include malfunction of the pituitary gland and unnatural bone growth.
Studies to determine the safety of human growth hormone as it relates to diabetes are considered unclear. Reports from generally respected sources have come to conclusions that seem contradictory. In some users, human growth hormone seemed to raise risks for developing diabetes, while in others it appeared to lower the risk. Most researchers believe the divergent results could have failed to take into account an individual’s propensity for developing diabetes.
For the most part, human growth hormone side effects have been well documented and are generally well understood. The more serious problems seem to apply to people who take the drug for recreational purposes, but who do not have a true deficiency of the hormone within their bodies. This includes some body builders and athletes who believe that injections of the hormone will increase their agility, strength, and muscle mass.
In those who take human growth hormone, but do not actually need it, the hormone can sometimes cause the pituitary gland to shut down. The pituitary gland is a gland in the body that naturally produces the hormone, and it produces it on an "as needed" basis. If too much of the hormone is already in the body, the pituitary gland will stop producing the hormone. When this happens, it may take a great deal of hormone therapy to prompt the pituitary gland to restart production.
Other adverse effects of abusing human growth hormone include deformities in bone growth. Knots of bony tissue and cartilage could form on any bones in the body, but are most often seen on the head and face. In men, human growth hormone side effects could include growing large breasts and problems with erectile dysfunction.
Some people believe that human growth hormone side effects are worth the risk, because they believe that the hormone can help fight some of the ravages of aging. Studies seem to suggest that to a certain degree that may be true. Human growth hormone can sometimes improve muscle mass and reduce fat. It may also improve energy and endurance. The downside seems to be that the amount of hormone that needs to be taken to achieve those benefits can pose some real and irreversible side effects.