HGH: Bioidentical Hormone Balancing in your medspa?

CNN.com has a story on Human Growth Hormone's rising use.

  • progesterone-mol.gifHuman growth hormone used since 1950s to help children with growth problems
  • 1990 study found HGH reduced fat, boosted lean muscle mass in men
  • HGH among the drugs found in Anna Nicole Smith's body after she died
  • HGH use for anti-aging is prohibited by law

From the story: "Growth hormone levels drop with age, and I'm just bringing them up to a normal physiologic level," explains Dr. Mark Gordon, a Los Angeles, California, physician who says he aims to give patients the hormone levels of a young adult. "In the course of that return, we see improvement in a whole array of medical conditions." He trained as an orthopedic surgeon but says he started practicing what he calls "interventional endocrinology" after seeing HGH injections speed recovery after orthopedic injuries.

...Despite the dire warnings, only a handful of doctors have gotten intro trouble for prescribing growth hormone. One of them, though, was Jackie Springer.

In 2004, the Kansas medical board stripped her of her license, saying she prescribed growth hormone, as well as various diet treatments, without performing diagnostic tests. Springer insists she did perform the tests.

After Springer lost her license, the Lothamers say they found another doctor to continue their treatment. "It's not for everybody, but we think it works, so we do it," says Ed Lothamer.

Perls isn't convinced. "When [clinicians] indicate they're not seeing any side effects, I simply do not trust them. They're running a business." He sighs deeply. "Everyone should stop, because there really is, I think, significant risk of big problems down the road."

I've been following the HGH debate for some time. There are certainly promoters and detractors. I'm wondering where the physician community here stands and if any of you are performing this treatment?