According to an estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100 million Americans are diabetic or prediabetic. The condition is characterized by issues with insulin, a hormone the body naturally produces to regular blood sugar (glucose) levels. If you have diabetes, you have an issue with blood sugar regulation for one of two reasons, either your body is unable to produce enough insulin, or your cells have become resistant to the effects of insulin.
What’s the Connection with HGH?
Produced by the pituitary gland, human growth hormone (HGH) is a hormone that plays a role in body composition and sugar and fat metabolism. HGH and diabetes are connected in the sense that insulin and HGH are both hormones that help with blood sugar regulation. However, HGH is not the same as insulin. While insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, is a fairly well-understood hormone, the possible long-term effects of abnormal HGH levels in adults with diabetes aren’t fully known.
How Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Affect Women with Diabetes?
In females with diabetes, changes that accompany menopause sometimes make it more difficult to effectively control blood sugar levels. There’s research suggesting hormone replacement therapy may offset these changes. In one study involving more than 15,000 women with diabetes, levels of HbA1c (a glycated hemoglobin that joins with glucose in the body) were lower in subjects currently using HRT. However, HRT has not been independently associated with decreased HbA1c levels or improved blood sugar control.
Is Low Testosterone In Men Related to Diabetes in a Similar Way?
While men with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have lower testosterone levels than non-diabetic men, lifestyle factors also contribute to this problem. A 2010 study found a link between testosterone levels in males with type 2 diabetes and body mass index (BMI), suggesting obesity may be another contributing factor to reduced testosterone levels. Excess weight in itself is already a well-known risk factor for diabetes. A 2013 study involving more than 300 non-obese and obese men suggests low testosterone levels may predict whether or not a man is likely to develop insulin resistance or diabetes later in life.
Is Combination Diabetes-HGH Treatment Effective?
Both men and women can benefit from hormone therapy. But as far as a HGH and diabetes treatment combination goes, discontinuing treatment typically results in blood sugar levels returning to normal – but only in patients who did not previously have diabetes. There have not been any long-term studies to positively draw conclusions on combining hormone replacement therapy with diabetes treatment. There’s also conflicting evidence as to whether or not low blood sugar is a symptom of adult growth hormone deficiency, or if diabetes is a side effect of hormone replacement therapy.
Finally, it should be pointed out that hormone replacement therapy and HGH aren’t exactly the same thing. HGH is, however, a part of a hormone replacement therapy. A good starting point if you are diabetic and wondering if treatments involving either female or male hormones may be beneficial is to have a discussion with your doctor. Treatments of this nature typically involve a prescription and follow-up blood tests to check hormone and blood sugar levels.
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