Can Growth Hormone Treatment Help Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are conditions that have many symptoms and deficiencies in common. In particular, patients who suffer from FM and/or CFS are deficient in growth hormones (GH).
Due to this deficiency fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients are unable to build up a normal growth hormone response to exercise as compared to healthy individuals. Unfortunately, most tests lack the sensitivity and accuracy to diagnose this deficiency or they are expensive, and carry significant risk to the patient.
Fibromyalgia is primarily caused by a dysfunction of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus which results in low growth hormone secretion. Therefore, studies found that daily GH therapy treatment significantly improved symptoms associated with FM, increasing a sense of well-being and a person’s ability to sustain physical activity without muscle pain.
Growth Hormone (GH) or Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and cell regeneration. 80 percent of our GH is secreted during the stage 4 or REM sleep cycle. Since fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients suffer from abnormal sleep patterns these conditions create a deficiency in growth hormone. Due to the fact that there is a deficiency of growth hormone patients are unable to build up a normal growth hormone response to exercise causing low energy, muscle weakness, and weakened cognitive ability.
Fibromyalgia is directly related to a pituitary dysfunction. The pituitary’s primary job is to control the activity of our hormone-secreting glands. When it is not functioning properly the regulation of hormones is directly affected.
FM patients were treated with a daily GH therapy treatment for nine months. The results produced an increased sense of well-being, the ability to sustain higher levels of without muscle pain, and a significant reduction in the number of tender points. It should be noted however, that in there was a lag time of six months before symptoms improved in one study, but typical beneficial effects should be expected approximately two to three months after beginning treatment.
Standard testing for low growth hormone is done by growth hormone stimulation testing or insulin tolerance testing (ITT) yet they are both found to lack to sensitivity and sophistication to accurately diagnose low GH. They are also expensive and carry significant risk to the patient. The side effects of such testing included the inability to carry on normal activities for the rest of the day after the test, and essentially the results were no better than flipping a coin.
Overall, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients are shown to have a relative deficiency of growth hormone. Studies have found that supplementation of such deficiency has produced results of significant symptomatic improvement and has highly increased the quality of life for those individuals.