By Dr. Donald Baxter
Frequently Asked Question: What is Sermorelin?
Sermorelin: The facts you need to know
A: Sermorelin is a genetically engineered bio-identical hormone that is in an analog of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) designed to stimulate the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) from the pituitary gland, which is located next to the hypothalamus.
The goal is to release the body's own growth hormone naturally and safely, thus delivering all of the benefits of Human Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy without an excessive release of HGH, and therefore too much IGF-1.
Sermorelin was created as a treatment for children with HGH Deficiency, but HGH, in its pure form, was found to be more effective than sermorelin for this purpose. Therefore, sermorelin is no longer used as a pediatric HGH Deficiency treatment.
Sermorelin has not been proven to boost HGH levels needed to stimulate growth in children. However, it has been shown to stimulate the production of HGH to healthy levels for young adults, which means that it can deliver results to patients that are lacking in average HGH levels.
Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH) is a peptide that contains the first 29 amino acids in the identical pattern of our own HGH. These 29 amino acids are the active amino acids of GHRH.
It is GHRH that stimulates the pituitary glands to release GH. As we age, the hormones produced by the anterior pituitary are exhausted. It has been shown that GHRH can restore the GH-RNA to a level that aging people enjoyed in their youth. This also causes an elevation of levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 plays a vital role in cell repair in the brain, heart, and muscles.
Q: What is the difference between HGH and Sermorelin?
A: There's no questioning the fact that HGH works...because it does, period. Although HGH has fallen under considerable controversy when used by athletes as a performance enhancement drug (with severe sanctions and penalties for its use), HGH has several valid and appropriate medical applications.
Human growth hormone is necessary for promoting growth, regeneration, and repair in our bodies, and HGH therapy can work wonders for those who have low levels of this hormone. However, HGH replacement therapy is quite expensive, and as a result, it is unavailable for many people.
As a direct consequence of the hefty price tag of HGH replacement therapy, many people turn to secretagogues, a fancy word for a compound used to release HGH. Secretagogue therapy is based on medical research proving that aging pituitary cells, if adequately stimulated, can continue to secrete HGH at the same levels as the hormone is secreted in younger people.
Researchers believe that natural secretagogues may have the ability to more closely copy the body's youthful HGH secretions better than any other existing therapy.
So, rather than injecting HGH, you inject sermorelin, which causes your body to secrete more of its own HGH.
Sermorelin has an ongoing effect in which optimal HGH levels can be sustained long after the last injection. Just like synthetic HGH, Sermorelin initially must be injected every day.
However, don't despair...there is good news. Unlike synthetic HGH, once optimal HGH levels are achieved with sermorelin, injection frequencies can be dramatically decreased, or even stopped altogether.
At that point, patients are switched to a maintenance dosage, which eliminates the need for ongoing daily injections and reduces the total cost of the therapy.
Q: I've heard HGH is very high priced. Is sermorelin less expensive?
A: Because human growth hormone therapy is so costly, many people turn to secretagogues. This safe, affordable alternative to expensive HGH has helped people look and feel younger by stimulating the pituitary gland to kick-start the body's own HGH stores, releasing the body's own natural hormone into the system.
While HGH therapy causes the body to shut down its ability to manufacture HGH, Sermorelin anti-aging therapy relies on the body's natural HGH, signaling the release of HGH into the system in amounts that are natural and normal.
The thing to remember is this: at a fraction of the cost of HGH therapy, Sermorelin is priced to fit comfortably into almost any budget.
Q: HGH is available only by a doctor's prescription. Do I need a prescription to purchase sermorelin?
A: As discussed earlier, sermorelin is a pharmaceutical product requiring a prescription and must be purchased from a pharmacy. There are online portals that can connect you with a physician who specializes in prescribing HGH therapy via phone/internet chat.
You can then purchase and be sent the sermorelin via the mail. This is all done in one easy order that includes the consultation with the prescribing doctor (via phone or internet chat), your HGH replacement therapy, and ongoing support.
Q: Is sermorelin the answer to aging?
A: Aging is inevitable, but you can battle it by slowing it down, and in some cases, almost slow it down to a crawl! With sermorelin, it is possible to reverse the biological signs and physical symptoms of aging.
The evolution of aging as we once knew it is rapidly becoming a thing of the past...and sermorelin can help you stay around to benefit from the gigantic breakthroughs that are just on the horizon.
Q: Does sermorelin have side effects?
A: Sermorelin has fewer side effects than many other prescription drugs or anti-aging hormones.
Many patients develop anti-GRF antibodies during sermorelin treatment. The significance of these antibodies is not apparent, and often a positive test at one growth assessment will become negative by the next evaluation.
The presence of antibodies does not appear to affect growth or seems to be a precursor to adverse reactions. No generalized allergic reactions to Sermorelin have been reported.
The most common side effect (occurring in about one patient in 6) is an adverse local injection reaction characterized by pain, swelling, or redness. Of the 350 patients exposed to Sermorelin in clinical trials, three discontinued therapy due to injection reactions.
Other treatment-related adverse events had individual occurrence rates of less than 1% and included: a headache, flushing, dysphagia, dizziness, hyperactivity, lethargy, and urticaria.
When administered intravenously for diagnostic use, the following adverse reactions have been noted: flushing of the face, injection site pain, redness and swelling, nausea, headache, vomiting, dysgeusia, pallor, and tightness in the chest.
Because Sermorelin acts higher in the hormone cascade than HGH, the body has more mechanisms to control the function and release of Sermorelin, and thus limit the production of HGH if the hypothalamus receives an adequate signal.
When HGH is injected into the body, it is absorbed and put to use immediately, and there are few mechanisms in place to limit the activity of HGH in the bloodstream.
That’s not to say that Human Growth Hormone Therapy isn’t safe when used appropriately. It merely means that Sermorelin reduces the risk of side-effects associated with accidental overdose.
The takeaway here? When used as directed, sermorelin is safe, and side effects, while possible, are minimal, and very rarely serious.
Q: What are the main benefits of sermorelin compared with HGH?
A: There are many unique advantages and benefits of Sermorelin over Human Growth Hormone, due to how it is processed by the body:
- Sermorelin encourages more normalized patterns of Human Growth Hormone Release than Bio-Identical HGH, which is metabolized fully and all-at-once.
- Because sermorelin causes a more natural release of HGH, the body does not develop any tolerance to the hormone. This means that, unlike some drugs, you do not need to increase the dosage continually.
- Negative-feedback mechanisms prevent the body from producing an overdose of HGH, primarily through the release of somatostatin, a hormone that blocks the activation of GH-RH receptor sites on the pituitary. Sermorelin maintains the normal function of the hypophyseal portal system, which transports hormones from the Hypothalamus to the Pituitary. Sermorelin effectively preserves natural hormone balance, keeping the neuroendocrine system running in a more optimized pattern.
Q: What are the legal restrictions on HGH that make sermorelin more popular?
A: One problem regarding HGH Therapy is that it is highly restricted in how it can be used, far more than the vast majority of other prescription drugs. However, sermorelin can be prescribed by a licensed and board-certified physician at his or her discretion.
Because of the risks of prescribing such tightly controlled drugs, sermorelin is rapidly gaining in popularity because it delivers the same benefits as HGH for most patients, without the risk. Aside from that, Sermorelin is cheaper than HGH Therapy, meaning that patients prefer it for that reason as well.
Q: Will everyone who tries sermorelin therapy respond positively?
A: In a word, no. As with any drug, food, or supplement, there will always be people who don't respond as well as others.
But this is a tiny minority of sermorelin users. The vast number of those who try sermorelin have positive results.
Q: Are there things that I can do that will raise my growth hormone levels?
A: Yes! Here are a few things that will put you on the path of raising your growth hormone levels naturally:
- Sedentary lifestyle. Get off the couch! Resistance training, combined with cardio performed in a manner called High-Intensity Interval Training, can boost growth hormone levels.
- Lose weight. Obesity is public enemy number one when it comes to your growth hormone levels. Here's why. Losing weight will lower your insulin levels, and that, in turn, will allow your body to releases more fat since insulin is a storage hormone. If you are constantly bombarding your body with sugary garbage, it will blast sugars and glucose into your bloodstream quickly. This will cause your body to produce and release more insulin to move the glucose to the muscles or convert it to fat for possible later use... precisely what you don't want.
- Stop smoking. Smoking does nothing...absolutely nothing...to promote good health. And that includes growth hormone levels. Smoking will not affect the pituitary glands, which produce the hormones necessary for growth. However, it does result in an increase in carbon monoxide in the blood. This means that the blood has a lower concentration of oxygen and other nutrients needed to build and repair tissue, such as minerals and vitamins. What this then means is that when an area needs protein or other nutrients to grow, it will not be supplied with them as quickly or in such high quantities and quality. This may mean that that function of the body is not carried out at all, or just that it is not carried out well. At the same time, smoking may result in lower amounts of testosterone – the hormone involved in building muscle, growing hair, and burning fat. This hormone is also involved in growth as it is an anabolic hormone that tells the body when to make tissue. Therefore, STOP SMOKING...NOW!
- Start making more and better quality sleep a priority. This is a simple equation: the more we sleep, the more the pituitary gland releases growth hormone. Enough said.
- Lower your stress levels. Stress can be useful if only released in life-or-death emergencies, such as our distant caveman ancestors faced when running from a saber-toothed tiger or a cave bear. However, those situations were usually over quickly. Put simply, our bodies are not designed to deal with the continual cortisol bombardment caused by traffic jams, office politics, demanding spouses, etc. Therefore, we need to keep our stress levels under control with proper rest, nutrition, exercise, meditation, or any other way that works for you.
Q: I heard that sermorelin could be prescribed “off-label.” What does this mean?
A: As mentioned earlier, HGH Replacement Therapy is highly regulated, mainly as a consequence of HGH being abused by athletes as a performance-enhancing drug (PED). As a result, the FDA decided to restrict the uses for which HGH could be used.
HGH is only legally available for patients suffering from Childhood- or Adult-Onset HGH Deficiency, Idiopathic Short Stature in Children, and the treatment of AIDS-Related Cachexia. Also, the patient must fall within a particular range to be legally approved for treatment.
However, when it comes to Sermorelin, the physician has more freedom to prescribe the treatment to patients that he or she feels would benefit. That is not to say that Sermorelin can be prescribed explicitly for reasons related to performance enhancement.
However, if a doctor thinks that the patient can benefit from sermorelin therapy, they are free to prescribe the treatment.
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