Human development and functionality often relies on hormones, or chemical messengers produced by the body. Physicians may recommend hormone-based treatments for some medical conditions, and these treatments often include hormone injections. Proponents of such treatments advocate their proven effectiveness in abnormalities ranging from growth deficiency to infertility. A strengthened immune system and fast results are other proposed benefits. Critics of hormone shots contend that the treatments are too costly, may hinder natural hormone production, and may possess damaging side effects.
Hormones are created and distributed by glands within the body. They mainly function in human development. For example, the human growth hormone (GH) in children helps individuals grow in height during adolescence. When these hormone levels are altered, maturation and normal development are adversely impacted.
Perhaps the greatest argument for hormone injections is the treatment's proven effectiveness. For example, GH hormones have an established track record in bolstering bone and muscle growth. Similarly, fertility hormones like lutenizing hormones and follicle-stimulating hormones assist reproductive capability. Another major positive of most injections is increased energy. Many hormones also have a demonstrated capability for sharper thinking capabilities, treating skin blemishes, and slowing the aging process.
Immune system strengthening is arguably the healthiest benefit of hormone therapy, since many hormones like prolactin help maintain the body's natural disease-fighting system. Individuals’ hormone levels weaken as they grow older, and as a consequence the immune system is also weakened. In addition, injections may trim body fat by as much as 15 percent, making for an overall healthier body. Increasing numbers of physicians even use hormone therapies for post-cancer treatments to assist in preventing recurrence.
For individuals who desire swift results, hormone injections could be of great use as well. Any injected medication will typically produce fast effects because entrance into the blood stream is direct. As such, the hormones reach their destinations quicker.
Although hormone injections offer many pros, one should seriously consider the cons before committing to treatments. For one, hormone injections could actually prove detrimental to the very body functions they allegedly improve. Artificial hormones may hinder the production of natural hormones, rendering the body dependent upon the injections. This is known as hormone addiction. Glands could be marked as useless by the body. While short-term benefits may be apparent, long-term effects of hormone injections require further study.
Cost presents another hindrance to hormone therapy for many individuals. Treatments are administered by a specialist via prescription, and several visits must be scheduled for a full treatment regimen. Each individual session may be quite costly, and treatments may or may not be covered by insurance.
Many patients consider side effects a major drawback of any medical intervention, and hormone injections are no exception. Typical side effects include nausea or vomiting. Effects can become more serious in some cases: bone-related problems such as arthritis and deformities can occur, as can high blood pressure and moodiness. Some researchers even suggest a link between hormone shots and onset of diabetes or cancer. These consequences may be due to the injections’ capacity for changing body metabolism, thickening bones, and causing the body to hold fluids.
Alternatives to hormone injections include oral hormone supplements or hormone releasers. These treatments could eliminate some significant drawbacks of injections. For example, medications taken in pill form may be less expensive and necessitate fewer doctors’ visits. In addition, rather than providing the body with synthesized hormones, releasers work to stimulate the body’s own hormone production.