Harvard Health Letter

By the way, doctor: HGH after surgery

Q. I heard that human growth hormone can help people after surgery. Is that true?

A. The human growth hormone (HGH) that athletes take because they believe it helps them recover from injuries has been used successfully in burn patients for a number of years. The healing process from a severe burn can sometimes put the body into a hypermetabolic state that ends up tearing down muscle and other tissue. In those circumstances, injections of HGH can reverse the destructive (catabolic) processes and promote constructive (anabolic) ones.

HGH is also used to help people with short bowel syndrome, a group of digestive and related problems that afflict people who have had most of the small intestine removed.

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