HGH & FMS Experiment

Where Human Growth Hormone Meets Fibromyalgia

Original Post Date: 3/31/2003

Posted by Thumper on January 30, 2007

The Background Info

January 1997, while driving down Highway 2 in Grand Forks, ND, our truck hit a spot of black ice. After fish-tailing and completing a 360 degree spin, it headed to the side of the road, where the wheels caught on ice, and then flipped over. We landed upside down, the windshield mere centimeters from our noses, but we were able to get out through the passenger door, and we thought, unhurt.

My life thereafter was never the same. Pain settled in and became a part of who I am. Most of the details can be found here, if you’re interested. The long story short version: the accident was the trigger my body needed to show symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

I’ve tried various things to deal with the pain, mostly differing exercise routines and nutrition changes. I gave up practicing a martial art—something I loved—because I simply could no longer handle the problems of pain and a fairly difficult training routine. I could still handle weight training, yet made no gains in terms of lean muscle mass and strength. Aquatic exercise proved to be easiest and most enjoyable, but I made no progress with my overall endurance. Nor did I manage to lose body fat. Instead, over the years, no matter what I did or didn’t do, I gained a considerable amount of weight. A very unhealthy amount of weight.

Then Comes The Tumor…

Then, in May of 2002, I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. It was removed on June 26, 2002 at UCD Davis Medical Center in Sacramento by Dr. Joseph Watson (the dude rawks—he’s an incredibly talented neurosurgeon.) The tumor left me in early menopause (which will be corrected by replacing those hormones with birth control pills) and diabetes insipidus, which is managed with a daily dose of DDAVP.

…and then the Questions about HGH

In November 2002 I saw a new endocrinologist (new because we moved) who wanted to draw new labs, and along with that drew blood to check my levels of growth hormone; he was fairly sure it would be low. And he was right. Recently I saw yet another endocrinologist (the other one was deployed to We Don’t Know Where.) He repeated the labs, including growth hormone levels, which came back even lower than before.

So we (we being my husband, affectionately known as the Spouse Thingy) asked about it. Can it be replaced? Should it be replaced? Because of the expense of HGH replacement therapy, there was one more test he had to run, to justify putting me on it, if that’s what I wanted.

I decided to do a little research. Most interesting to me was a study on Fibromyalgia and Growth Hormone, that seemed to have incredible success. I found another study, which was virtually identical, but with a larger test group done over a longer period of time, and it backed up the results of the first: women given growth hormone experienced measurable relief from FMS symptoms.

This lead to many questions: was my lack of growth hormone from FMS or the tumor? No one will ever know for sure. Would replacing the hormone do me any good in terms of FMS? Could it help me gain lean muscle mass, thereby allowing me to lose body fat? Can it help me get my life back?

I did the additional testing, an insulin stress test (basically, injecting me with insulin to drive my blood sugar down; this puts the brain under stress, and when under stress it signals the release of growth hormone. If my pituitary were making any, this is when it would work), which came back as still abnormal. On a scale of 0-10, mine measured and “less than 0.1” throughout the test. This was enough to justify the expense of putting me on it.

So… starting tonight I begin taking Somatotropin. I’ll also take my measurements, and first thing tomorrow morning I’ll weigh myself, and start keeping a food and exercise diary.

Hopefully over the next few months there will be improvements in pain, fitness, and body fat. If not—it’s worth a try, no matter what.

If you follow along, there is a commenting system activated, so that you can leave your thoughts, and poke me along if it looks like I’m slacking off.


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