"With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone" is a quote famously penned by Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. And while it may have been written, ostensibly, for theatrical appeal, there is an element of truth in those words penned by the renowned poet and playwright. As we get older, most of us will probably become wiser. For others, however, the passing of time only means becoming more susceptible to health problems, some of which can arise as early as middle age. To put this into context, we need only look to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to scientists and researchers involved in the study, heart disease and stroke deaths are alarmingly common among middle-aged adults. In explaining the extent to which this is the case, the study noted that heart disease and stroke were responsible for an estimated 775,000 hospitalizations and some 75,000 deaths in 2016. And these numbers represent individuals who were between the ages of 35 and 64. Of course, cardiovascular problems are not the only health issues that older adults are likely to face. A separate study revealed that adults between the ages of 45 and 64 are at high risk of developing the following:
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hypertension and high cholesterol
- Mental health disorders
Aging and the Human Body
Although many things can cause our health to decline as we get older, the development of a hormone imbalance is usually the cause for most men and women. And this is especially true when it comes to low human growth hormone (HGH) levels. For example, it is not uncommon for an HGH deficiency to trigger anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Additionally, being deficient in growth hormones can cause a dangerous spike in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood, a condition that often precipitates high cholesterol. And if not brought under control, high cholesterol can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular-related health problems. To fully understand why low human growth hormone levels cause these health problems in middle-aged adults, it helps to know more about how they work in the body.
The long and short of it is that the pituitary gland, which is one of eight hormone-secreting glands in the endocrine system, secretes human growth hormones that communicate with cells throughout the body, allowing it to function optimally. However, around age 30, the pituitary gland gradually starts to secrete fewer of these hormones. And by age 40, most men and women end up developing a growth hormone deficiency that leads to the development of numerous unpleasant symptoms as well as chronic health problems.
Understanding the Relationship Between Low Growth Hormone Levels and High Cortisol Levels
Something else worth pointing out when it comes to human growth hormones is that they work hand-in-hand with cortisol. And this is important to note since high levels of cortisol, which is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in the endocrine system, can trigger weight gain and skin problems, both of which can cause us to look older than our chronological age. HGH clinicLinks to an external site. reports, that it is also worth noting that the combination of stress, which many middle-aged adults, to some extent, have in their lives, and low growth hormone (GH) levels can further spike cortisol production. And the higher one's cortisol levels are, the more likely they are to develop the following additional health problems:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Chronic fatigue
- Impaired brain function
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Cushing's syndrome
Testing for an HGH deficiency
Because many of the symptoms commonly associated with low GH levels can also point to an underlying health problem, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist. To determine whether or not an individual has a growth hormone deficiency, these physicians will perform the following diagnostic tests:
Blood tests – These tests aid in measuring the levels of all hormones secreted by the pituitary gland in an individual's bloodstream. And this includes growth hormone as well as adrenocorticotropic and luteinizing hormone levels. If any of these hormone levels are too low, it can trigger many of the symptoms synonymous with low GH levels and even some chronic diseases.
MRIs – Also known as magnetic resonance imaging, an MRI is sometimes used to gauge how well both the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus are functioning. And this is important since a problem with either of the two could lead to a slow down in HGH production and, ultimately, a growth hormone deficiency.
Healthy Habits That Will Prevent Early Signs of Aging While helping to Boost Low Hgh Levels
If an endocrinologist determines that an individual has a GH deficiency, he or she will likely recommend making a few lifestyle changes that can boost low HGH levels naturally, including
Stress and emotions – Effectively coping with stress, either through exercise or meditation, for example, can go a long way toward boosting low GH levels and lowering high cortisol levels. And reducing cortisol levels, according to some studies, can lead to a better overall mood, healthier-looking skin. Lower cortisol levels also make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. As far as emotions are concerned, many of the same studies found that changing how we respond emotionally to the stressors in our lives can have similar positive benefits.
Diet - According to a study published by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, consuming more melatonin-rich foods, such as eggs, milk, fish, and raspberries, can significantly increase HGH production while individuals are sleeping. To further illustrate this point, researchers involved in the study revealed that consuming just 5.0 mg of melatonin 30 minutes before bed can boost HGH levels by as much as 157 percent while sleeping.
Exercise – Along with easing stress, regular exercise has been shown to boost low GH levels by triggering what is known as an exercise-induced growth hormone response (EIGR). This physiological response allows the pituitary gland to secrete more human growth hormones while we sleep. What's more, exercise helps reduce stress, which, in turn, lowers high cortisol levels that would otherwise give way to a myriad of unpleasant symptoms, not to mention chronic health problems. And it does not end there as exercising also helps to lower high cholesterol brought on by a GH deficiency, which means that the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke will decline as well.
In summary, low human growth hormone levels that stem from aging can cause numerous physical, psychological, and emotional problems. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to resolve low GH levels and other hormone imbalances naturally. And if all else fails, you should know that there are many GH replacement medications, which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that can also help in this regard.