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Medical And Personal Studies On The Effects Of Discontinuation Of Growth Hormone.

As a child who was GH deficiant I wanted to test myself to see if there would be any long term effects after ending the GH therapy. Check out my results right here.

It's been a few years since I've put out an article, but I've been very busy with other things, which always happens in life. As I was doing a paper for my Exercise Science class, I thought about and how I used to write articles. I was also one of the first moderators on the boards back in the day when was fairly new and there were only a few writers.

The site has exploded with tons of info as well as more writers. Well I thought about something I could contribute that is fairly unique. I remember always talking about Growth Hormone and how I used to take it. Well, I've come up with a very interesting personal paper on the subject which involves personal studies over time.

Now that I have a few more done on myself, I would like to give and its members the opportunity to have a look at my findings and studies on the subject. It's not very often you come across someone who has taken the GH therapy as well as done studies on themselves.

I hope this paper is very useful and gives people an idea about this subject. A lot of time and research went into this paper, and I hope you all enjoy it. If you would like to contact me, please feel free to do so at Enjoy the paper.

Medical And Personal Studies On The Effects Of Discontinuation Of Growth Hormone (GH) Treatment On Partial Growth Hormone Deficient (GHD) Patients On Body Composition, Lipid Profiles, Metabolism, And Heart Function

By David Shippy


  • Being a Growth Hormone Deficient (GHD) patient myself as a child, brings up concerns as to what the long-term effects are on my body, without having any follow up since 1996 which was the 3rd and last year of therapy. This is why some personal studies are done on myself. The pupose of this is to monitor long-term effects.

    Growth Hormone Deficiency
    Growth hormone deficiency is the medical condition of inadequate production of growth hormone (GH) and its effects on children and adults. Growth hormone, also called somatropin, is a polypeptide hormone which stimulates growth and cell reproduction. See separate articles on GH physiology and GH treatment.

    Deficiency of GH produces significantly different problems at various ages. In newborn infants the primary manifestations may be hypoglycemia or micropenis. In later infancy and childhood, growth failure may be major effect. Adults with growth hormone deficiency may have diminished lean body mass and poor bone density.

    GH deficiency can be congenital or acquired in childhood or adult life. It can be partial or complete. It is usually permanent, but sometimes transient. It may be an isolated deficiency or occur in association with deficiencies of other pituitary hormones.

    GH deficiency is treated by growth hormone replacement.

  • Even though studies show reversed effects on body composition, and lipid profiles after discontinuation of (GH), levels aren't necessarily bad1.

  • Some (GH) studies done are at low-doses which are way below the 1.9mg/day for 36 months done for my therapy. One low-dose study was a study done on cardiovascular function. This brings up the question of what the effects are of a treatment such as mine on cardiovascular function4,5?

Personal Study

  • Studies on myself throughout a few years, show values of certain tests to study the long-term effects of (GH) treatment on a personal level. Tests done are lipid profile tests, thyroid tests, V02 tests, DXA & Electrical Bioempedance Analysis (BIA) test for body composition, etc. The results for the tests above are as follows:

    Lipid Profile & TSH Test

    • Lipid profile test was done at WSU in January 2002 at the age of 22. Total cholesterol levels were 149 mg/dL and LDL levels were 82 mg/dL. Ranges for these levels from the AHA are 200-240 mg/dL for total cholesterol, and 100-190 mg/dL for LDL levels.

    • Total cholesterol (TC) in one medical study showed a significant linear increase from 156 mg/dl immediately after (GH) discontinuation to 169 mg/dl 6 months after discontinuation of (GH), whereas high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC) showed no change during the study1.

    • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test was done at WSU in August 2001 and at the Wichita Clinic of Endocrinology in January of 2002. Results were 0.50 mU/L. Levels are borderline for hyperthyroidism.
    • VO2 Max test was performed at WSU on June of 2005. Resting VO2 was 35.3 ml/kg, predicted VO2 was 46.0 ml/kg, and actual was 56.4 ml/kg. This is 122.7% of the predicted value. According to the Cooper VO2 table6, >52.4 is considered superior for males ages 20-29.

Cooper Test

In this test the subject's distance is recorded over the course of 12 minutes of running or walking.

For an evaluation of the athlete's performance select the age group and gender, enter the total distance covered in meters and then select the 'Calculate' button.


Normative Data For The Cooper Test
Age Excellent Above Average Average Below Average Poor
>2700m 2400-2700m 2200-2399m 2100-2199m <2100m
>2000m 1900-2000m 1600-1899m 1500-1599m <1500m
>2800m 2500-2800m 2300-2499m 2200-2299m <2200m
>2100m 2000-2100m 1700-1999m 1600-1699m <1600m
>3000m 2700-3000m 2500-2699m 2300-2499m <2300m
>2300m 2100-2300m 1800-2099m 1700-1799m <1700m
>2800m 2400-2800m 2200-2399m 1600-2199m <1600m
>2700m 2200-2700m 1800-2199m 1500-1799m <1500m

      According to a study, improvements in exercise capacity and cardiac function have been demonstrated among GH-deficient patients receiving treatment. Patients show increased oxygen uptake and power output during cycle ergometry associated with increased skeletal muscle mass and improved cardiac function4.

      An interesting fact to point out - the test was with low dose therapy, no higher than 0.72 mcg 3x/wk for 6 months for a 158 lb. person max. Tests show improvements disappear after 6 months of withdrawal. A question that comes up is this - What are long-term effects at doses comparable to my therapy of 1.9 mg/day and weight of 102 lbs?

    DXA & BIA Tests

    • A Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis at The Derby Recreation Center in October of 2001 shows that weight was 126 lbs., body fat was 9.9%, fat weight was 12.5 lbs., Lean weight was 113.5 lbs., body water was 67%, and BMI was 21.5 (normal).

      Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis
      Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) measures the impedance or opposition to the flow of an electric current through the body fluids contained mainly in the lean and fat tissue. Impedance is low in lean tissue, where intracellular fluid and electrolytes are primarily contained, but high in fat tissue. Impedance is thus proportional to body water volume (TBW).

    • A DXA test at the Human Performance Lab at WSU was done on February of 2005. Results show total body fat was 9.52%.

      What is DXA?
      Dual Energy X-ray Absortiometry, or DEXA scanning, is currently the most widely used method to measure bone mineral density. It is primarily used as a test for osteoperosis.

    • One study shows that two months after termination of GH therapy the percentage of body fat and fat mass increased from 7.4% to 9.4% and from 3.8 kg to 5.0 kg, respectively, and remained high thereafter. Lean body mass decreased gradually, but the change was not significant. Lean body mass: fat mass ratio decreased from 14.7 at termination of GH therapy to 10.9 at the end of study(1).


  • Even though discontinuation of (GH) therapy results in reversed effects, medical studies and personal studies show that certain tests are very normal, if not above normal. Cholesterol levels are very low, and according to my lipid profile, I have 1/2 the average risk for heart disease based on total cholesterol.

    V02 Max test shows that cardiovascular functions are very good, and according to the V02 test, and the Cooper chart, my V02 was superior, and this also being with very minimal cardiovascular exercise. Body fat percent showed a recent score of 9.52%. This is the norm for my bf% throughout the years. No dieting and minimal cardio. So the question lies in whether or not my (GH) therapy had a permanent effect on my body or not, or is it genetics.


  1. Kohno H, Ueyama N, Honda S. Unfavourable impact of growth hormone (GH) discontinuation on body composition and cholesterol profiles after the completion of height growth in GH-deficient young adults.Diabetes Obes Metab. 1999 Sep;1(5):293-6.

  2. Kuromaru R, Kohno H, Ueyama N, Hassan HM, Honda S, Hara T. Long-term prospective study of body composition and lipid profiles during and after growth hormone (GH) treatment in children with GH deficiency: gender-specific metabolic effects.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Nov;83(11):3890-6.

  3. Gerver WJ, De Bruin R, Delmarre v d Waal HA, Aldewereld B, Theunissen P, Westerterp KR. Effects of discontinuation of growth hormone treatment on body composition and metabolism. Horm Res. 2000;53(5):215-20.

  4. G Amato, C Carella, S Fazio, G La Montagna, A Cittadini, D Sabatini, C Marciano- Mone, L Sacca and A Bellastella. Body composition, bone metabolism, and heart structure and function in growth hormone (GH)-deficient adults before and after GH replacement therapy at low doses. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol 77, 1671-1676.

  5. Salomon F, Cuneo RC, Hesp R et al. The Effects of Treatment with Recombinant Human Growth Hormone on Body Composition and Metabolism in Adults with Growth Hormone Deficiency. New England Journal of Medicine 1989;321:1797-1803.

  6. Table Reference: The Physical Fitness Specialist Certification Manual, The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, Dallas TX, revised 1997 printed in Advance Fitness Assessment & Exercise Prescription, 3rd Edition, Vivian H. Heyward, 1998.p48<

  7. Cooper Test: [ online ]