Researchers are increasingly excited about a somewhat obscure hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) for women. In recent years, thousands of studies have been published on the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for women, but it seems the research community is only now catching up to the profound benefits of maintaining healthy IGF-1 levels.
IGF-1 is the end product of human growth hormone (HGH) synthesis and conversion. In a healthy young woman, the pituitary gland releases regular surges of HGH throughout the day. Depending on her age, HGH is crucial to a host of functions, including bone and muscle growth. Typically, levels of HGH rise and fall rapidly, depending on when the last release of HGH occurred.
Aside from its physiological effects, HGH is also converted in the liver to IGF-1. IGF-1 is a hormone that is very similar to the molecular structure of insulin. IGF-1 plays a major role in cellular division, growth of muscles, organs and bones, nerve regeneration, fat reduction, blood sugar metabolism, and it helps increase the number and size of cells in the body.
IGF-1 deficiency occurs when your body is not producing sufficient amounts of IGF-1 or it is not utilized well by the body due to pituitary tumors, medications, radiation, surgery, and other medical conditions. The symptoms are usually subtle. IGF-1 deficiency is linked to depression and low mood, lack of sexual desire, and a host of unwanted symptoms that are easily mistaken for other conditions, including thyroid disorders, psychiatric problems, or as side effects of medications. To further complicate matters, IGF-1 deficiency in women can sometimes be masked by the normal fluctuations that occur during a menstrual cycle.
The best way to detect and treat IGF-1 deficiency is through detailed blood work performed by a qualified physician. Depending on the results of your blood work, IGF-1 might be added to your overall hormone balancing program.
Although IGF-1 and synthetic IGF-1 analogues are commonly used by athletes looking to increase muscle mass, the hormone has a host of positive benefits that extend far beyond its effect on muscles.
HGH replacement therapy should be considered in women with a deficiency in either growth hormone or IGF-1. Clinical experience has shown that women with healthy HGH and IGF-1 levels include:
Genemedics Health Institute offers state-of-the-art patient assessment and lab testing to determine the status of all your hormone levels. Our expert bioidentical hormone replacement therapy doctor will conduct accurate medical evaluation to determine the cause of HGH or IGF-1 deficiency, and to develop a care plan that is tailored to each patient needs.
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