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HGH and Diabetes:The Effect of HGH on Diabetics

Written by Author - Authors Medical experts of the National HRT Clinic - April 25, 2016

HGH Therapy for Diabetes

The correlation between HGH and diabetes often seems confusing to many individuals. Growth hormone concentrations in men and women diagnosed with diabetes can be up to 2 to 3 times higher than in similar adults without diabetes although other diabetics could be diagnosed as GH deficient. It might help to start with some basics about this subject.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical condition that causes high blood sugar levels for one of two reasons:

  1. The body cannot produce enough insulin
  2. The cells in the body have become resistant to insulin’s effects

Human growth hormone is produced and secreted by the pituitary gland, and one of its functions is to stimulate the liver in its production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is not the same thing as insulin. Its role is to help mitigate the functions of HGH, and high levels of IGF-1 can decrease the cellular uptake of insulin, as well as the liver’s metabolism of glucose.

In times of excessive IGF-1, production of HGH can decrease which will then lower IGF-1 production. While insulin, which is produced in the pancreas, is the primary regulator of blood glucose levels, both HGH and IGF-1 play an integral role in this process.

If it seems as though using HGH for diabetes would be counterproductive, this is one of those metabolic processes that is not as easy to understand. Extensive research has been done on this subject but is sometimes contradictory. It has been reported that low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a symptom of growth hormone deficiency in adults, but other sources report that diabetes is a side effect of HGH therapy. Some people who receive HGH injections experience increased insulin sensitivity resulting in hypoglycemia.

HGH Deficiency, Increased Abdominal Fat Mass, and Diabetes

Growth hormone deficiency occurring in adults has been linked to a reduction in lean muscle body mass and an increase in abdominal fat mass. Belly fat is the most dangerous fat in the body and may contribute to the development of insulin sensitivity. Can a decrease in HGH cause diabetes if growth hormone decline leads to increased fat and insulin sensitivity? That is a subject that is still being researched and could provide many answers for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The similarities in metabolic syndrome and GH deficiency symptoms suggest that growth hormone decline may play a role in the development of metabolic syndrome. HGH therapy administered to obese men led to a reduction in abdominal fat and insulin insensitivity. While there is no direct HGH cure, diabetes concerns can possibly be addressed with HGH therapy.

We know that HGH is the stimulator of IGF-1 production, and that insulin-like growth factor 1 then goes on to mediate the effects of human growth hormone in the body. IGF-1 is similar in some ways to insulin, in both structure and function as it can rapidly reduce blood glucose levels.

Benefits of HGH Therapy for Diabetes

There are benefits of HGH therapy for individuals with both GH deficiency and diabetes.

The various ways that HGH helps diabetes are outlined below:

  • Type 1 Diabetes

People with a deficiency in HGH and type 1 diabetes have traditionally lower rates of retinopathy. That does not, however, mean that HGH therapy should not be considered as a viable option for treating growth hormone deficiency as its use has not led to an increase in retinopathy developments in people with GH deficiency.

Additionally, insulin does play a supporting role in controlling the production of IGF-1 by the liver. This affects the connection between HGH and diabetes type 1 because people with this type of diabetes have a reduced amount of insulin that is reaching the liver. This lowers the blood level of IGF-1, decreasing the effects of HGH and increasing the symptoms associated with growth hormone deficiency in adults.

Although it might seem that IGF-1 therapy would be of benefit to individuals with Type 1 diabetes, the side effects have been too severe to consider this as a viable treatment option. Increasing HGH levels with the corresponding treatment can safely raise IGF-1 levels without the same side effects risk.

  • Type 2 Diabetes

One issue of importance is metabolic syndrome – a combination of abdominal obesity, insulin insensitivity, high blood pressure, and glucose intolerance – the precursors of type 2 diabetes. HGH and diabetes type 2 were studied in a 2006 report that found that obese patients benefitted by seeing decreased visceral fat that could result in better insulin resistance, atherosclerotic risk factors, and dyslipidaemia (lipoprotein metabolism). LDL and total cholesterol and triglyceride levels also decreased.

One of the best features of the 2006 study was that any side effects that showed up in the second week of treatment subsided on their own, with edema being the chief complaint. Although a result of HGH treatment resulted in a very small increase in insulin levels at week 4 of the therapy, by the eighth week the insulin levels had decreased, with a significant decline coming by week twelve.

Finally, lean body mass increases at the same time that body fat mass decreases, improving overall insulin resistance in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.

How to Get HGH Therapy for Diabetes

If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, and would like to learn if you are also growth hormone deficient, you can contact a hormone replacement therapy specialist, such as the ones here at National HRT for blood testing. Blood analysis is the only method of diagnosing GH decline.

In order to receive HGH injections, diabetes symptoms must be closely watched to ensure that there are no adverse effects that are experienced as a result of this treatment. Careful monitoring will be performed to ensure that only the finest benefits are achieved.

If your own doctor is not well versed in treating growth hormone deficiency, it is best to turn to an expert in this field to bring balance back to the body. The connection between HGH injections and diabetes control is continually being researched and examined, and the results are promising.

Contact National HRT to learn more, and to speak with a specialist in the field of hormone replacement therapy to find out if treatment with HGH can have positive benefits in the management of your diabetes.

Medically reviewed by   Reviewers National HRT Staff - Updated on July 18, 2019

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.


  1. Effects of growth hormone on glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in human Shin-Hye Kim, MD, Ph.D. and Mi-Jung Park, MD, Ph.D. Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Sep; 22(3): 145–152. Published online 2017 Sep 28.
  2. Recombinant human growth hormone in the treatment of diabetes: report of three cases and review of relative literature Dandan Wang, Naicheng Zhao, and Ziyang Zhu J Clin Exp Med. 2015; 8(5): 8243 8248.Published online 2015 May 15.
  3. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF01241026.pdf