You may know that human growth hormone (HGH) is responsible for helping children grow taller and develop larger bones and muscles, but this hormone is important through adulthood as well. Many women assume they don’t need to worry about growth hormone levels, especially considering HGH is mostly in the news when it’s abused by athletes. The truth is women need growth hormone just as much as men to maintain a healthy metabolism, build lean muscle, and burn fat.
Many women begin losing muscle and gaining fat during menopause when estrogen levels begin to decline. These changes are often associated with estrogen, but low growth hormone also plays a role. The decline in HGH also starts much sooner: women usually experience declining growth hormone levels beginning in their early 20s.
You may even be ignoring many symptoms that you have low growth hormone, writing off stubborn weight gain, fatigue, and lost muscle tone as a part of getting older or trying to keep up with the kids. Here are common symptoms of low HGH in women and what you can do.
Symptoms of Low HGH
- Loss of muscle tone
- Saggy, dry skin
- Thinning hair
- Trouble building or maintaining muscle
- Fat gain around the abdomen
- General stubborn weight gain
- Lost bone density
- Difficulty staying awake
Tips to Boost Growth Hormone Levels
The good news is there are steps you can take to help your body produce more growth hormone. Here are some steps to take right away:
- Turn to strength training. One study found that women who started a moderate to heavy strength training regimen produced more growth hormone. .Try working with a trainer at the gym to help improve muscle tone and stimulate your metabolism.
- Get more sleep at night. Cut caffeine and sugary drinks before bed and get to sleep early. Your body produces most of its growth hormone while you sleep, so aim for 7-9 hours a night. You can also take melatonin, a sleep aid, before bed. Melatonin is a safe supplement that can increase HGH levels by more than 150%, according to one study.
- Take amino acid supplements. Research has found that L-leucine, L-lysine, L-arginine, and L-ornithine all contribute to more efficient growth hormone production. Combine these supplements with exercise and quality sleep for the best effect.
If you suspect you have low growth hormone levels, it’s important to talk to your doctor. A simple blood test can check your hormone levels. If you have a growth hormone deficiency, your doctor may recommend HGH injections. If your levels are borderline or your pituitary gland is simply not producing high enough levels of growth hormone, the above tips may be enough on their own.
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