Blood Tests To Measure HGH and IGF-1
By Lisa Wells, RN
The blood test that is usually done in adults for measuring human growth hormone in the body is the IGF-1 test. In children some doctors will do an HGH stimulation test, which is an involved test where they attempt to stimulate the pituitary gland. The stimulation test is usually done in a hospital setting since there are risks involved.
Below you will find questions we received in our old forums relating to the tests that should be done to accurately measure human growth hormone in the body, along with my replies to the questions.
Question: Hi, I have done a blood test and the growth hormone result was <1 while the reference range is ( 1-13 mU/L). This means that I have low growth hormone. I'm an 18 year old male and in terms of height, my siblings are quite significantly taller than me. Two of my siblings reach a height of around 179 cm while I am only about 170 cm. Could my relatively short stature be caused by my low level of growth hormone? What treatment would you recommend best considering the safety and health issues?
Answer: Thank you for visiting our forums. Did your doctor do a growth hormone stimulation test? The stimulation test measures the pituitary gland's ability to release HGH when stimulated.
Do you know whether you were given IV arginine or insulin during the stimulation test?
Follow-up question: Hi, thanks for your reply. What I did was only a blood test. I did not receive anything else as far as I know. I am now referred to an endocrinologist. Is this the correct procedure?
Follow-up answer: So it sounds like your doctor mistakenly ordered a random blood draw to measure HGH. If you just went in and had your blood drawn and they checked your growth hormone level it won't be accurate.
The reason is because once released by the pituitary gland HGH is only in the bloodstream for a couple of minutes. It is quickly taken in by the liver and converted into growth factors. So it doesn't remain in the bloodstream long enough for any random blood test to be accurate, unless just by chance they happened to draw your blood within a couple of minutes after your pituitary gland had released HGH, and since it releases it in short spurts throughout the day only as needed that is unlikely.
In order to get an accurate growth hormone blood reading the doctor has to either inject arginine or insulin via IV in order to try to stimulate the pituitary gland to release HGH. Then they have to draw the blood promptly and this process continues every few minutes over a period of time.
The only random blood test that may be used to measure HGH in the body is called an IGF-1 blood test, but from what you said your results were I don't think that is the test they did.
Anyway, the reason I asked is because if you were given arginine during the stimulation test and your results were still low then you would probably not want to choose any of the so-called HGH pill products, since arginine is usually their main ingredient, and they may also contain other amino acids and herbs.
Our products are homeopathic sprays that contain human growth hormone in homeopathic form. Besides containing homeopathic HGH our HGH Plus IGF-1 & IGF-2 product also contains IGF-1 and several other growth factors including a bone growth factor from the source velvet deer antler. Our product should also help the pituitary gland to increase its own release of HGH if needed.
When you see the endocrinologist he might do an appropriate HGH stimulation test. If the results are significantly low he may recommend the injections, but if the results are within normal range, even at the low end of normal, he will probably not prescribe the injections since they may cause side effects as well as problems such as shutting down your own production of growth hormone.
If he does not think you need the injections you might wish to tell him about our product, which I believe to be a very good and safe alternative.
We have other teenagers who take our product under their doctor's care because they want to get the most growth out of the time they have left in their growth and development stage.
Please see our page called HGH and Increasing Height.
There I have answered many questions regarding someone in your age group using HGH to increase their height. However, if you cannot find the information you seek please let me know.
Follow-up question: Thanks again for the reply. I've gone to an endocrinologist this time. It turned out that he asked me to take another blood test again. But this time I should jog around first for 15 minutes before the test, to stimulate the production of HGH. Is this also an accurate way of testing growth hormone? May I know whether your products have any side effects? If I take your products at my age would I still have a good chance to gain height?
Follow-up answer: Wow, he had you jog around for 15 minutes and then sent you to have your blood drawn to check your growth hormone level?
Well, I guess different doctors have different ways of doing things so I will just say that he probably doesn't want to do an actual HGH stimulation test with insulin or arginine because some doctors, including many anti-aging doctors, do not consider these tests to be accurate, and more importantly the stimulation tests are very risky.
There have been reports of serious side effects including death after growth hormone stimulation tests in adults and so unless he has a good reason to suspect growth hormone deficiency he probably doesn't want to do them, and I don't blame him.
Of course I do not know your doctor so I cannot know for sure what his position is.
As previously stated we in anti-aging medicine consider the IGF-1 level to be a much better indicator of growth hormone levels in the body, and the IGF-1 blood test can be done randomly without any stimulation needed. Another name for the IGF-1 test is "Somatomedin C".
If interested: Normal IGF-1 Levels.
Concerning your question about increasing height, it will depend on whether your bones have fused. This can also be checked by your doctor.
Regarding any possible HGH side effects when taking our product please click the link.
What is the Normal IGF-1 Level?
Question: Hello, I would like to know what is a normal IGF- 1 level for someone around 30 years old? How can I get my IGF-1 level checked? Also, is there any problem with taking your HGH spray and also using a powdered amino acid formula. Could this boost the results?
Answer: Thank you for your interest in our product. The complete list of "normal for age" IGF-1 levels is found at the link in the post above.
For ages 25 - 39 years the normal IGF-1 level is 114-492.
All you need to do is see your doctor and request an IGF-1 blood test.
Regarding your other question, our homeopathic human growth hormone sprays may be taken with amino acids. In fact, since the body must have the proper building blocks to actually build the new cells that the growth factors of HGH ask it to build, taking a good balanced diet with enough protein (amino acids are the building blocks of protein) is a good idea, and should enhance the benefits.
Saliva Hormone Test Results - Should I take HGH?
Question: I am a 31 year old male that is about 20 lbs overweight (6'1" & 200 lbs) and have obtained HGH to start taking to get back into shape. Before doing so I wanted to get a saliva hormone test to see where I stand and not walk into the hgh blind. I plan on taking 3 iu a day mixed with exercise and healthy eating. I would appreciate if anyone can make sense of my test results and let me know if it would be a bad or good idea if I started with my hgh injections.
Estradiol - 4.1 (high end of range) Male endogenous range: 0.80 - 6.6 pg/mL
Testosterone - 180 (above range) Endogenous testosterone < 35 yrs: 43 - 150 pg/mL
DHEAS - 23 (above range) Endogenous DHEAS 25 - 34 years: 4.0 - 15 ng/mL
Cortisol AM - 5.0 (within range) Sampled within 1 hour of waking: 2.0 - 11 ng/mL
Cortisol Noon - 6.3 (high end of range) Sampled at noon: 1.0 - 7.0 ng/mL
Cortisol PM - 1.9 (within range) Sampled prior to evening meal: 0.50 - 3.5 ng/mL
Cortisol HS - 2.8 (above range) Sampled at bedtime: 0.20 - 1.3 ng/mL
Answer: Did you have your IGF-1 level checked? It is a random blood test that is used to measure HGH in the body. IGF-1 is the level you need to check in order to see if you need growth hormone. You should be able to get that test at the same place you used for your other blood tests. You can also buy an IGF-1 home kit at canaryclub.org and do the test yourself.
Are you taking testosterone or any precursors at this time? If so then it looks like because you are either taking or making too much testosterone your body is converting it into estrogen.
Are you taking DHEA? If so that will explain your high DHEA level. Also, the body can convert DHEA into testosterone.
Another reason why DHEA can be high is when a person is in the alarm phase of adrenal fatigue. The adrenal gland overcompensates, making more DHEA and cortisol in order to protect your body from stress. Your bedtime cortisol is high.
The bedtime cortisol level being high can also be caused by hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If you ate simple carbs 1-2 hours before you did the saliva test this could cause your cortisol to go up.
You may want to repeat the cortisol test and make sure you eat a balanced dinner and any snack before bedtime should contain protein and low simple carbs.
Back to HGH, when you have your IGF-1 level results I will be happy to give you my opinion as to whether you need therapy.
Follow-up question: Hi Lisa. Thanks for the reply! No I didn't do the blood test only the saliva test. I'll take your advice and get it done asap. As for the other stuff you mentioned, I'm not currently taking any testosterone, DHEA, or estrogen boosters. That was just my results from a typical day. I also wasn't eating a lot of carbs that day. Any pointers on supplements I can take to balance me out?
Follow-up answer: Do you eat much soy? Unless it is fermented, like in soy sauce or miso soup you should not eat soy, no soy milk or soy protein, but just try finding a protein bar or shake that doesn't contain soy isolate or soy lecithin, its almost impossible.
Besides increasing estrogen soy does many other terrible things to the body. If you don't already know just search for "dangers of soy" and you will be shocked.
Soy is now found in most frozen and canned foods and even most restaurants use soy in most things they cook. It seems that soy is everywhere, and not the fermented kind but the unfermented bad kind that is full of toxins and phytates.
As far as supplements to help decrease your estrogen level, calcium d-glucarate, DIM, chelated zinc, and magnesium aspartate are used.
BTW, high estrogen promotes increased fat, so when you get your estrogen down it should help you to lose weight easier.
Follow-up question: Nope, I don't eat any soy of any kind. haha! I'll certainly try one of those supplements though. Thanks again!
Follow-up answer: We have a page that lists the normal range of various hormones in the body based on age. Please keep in mind these levels are what modern mainstream medicine considers "normal for age" without any intervention.
We in anti-aging and functional medicine believe that each individual's normal hormone level should be the level at which that person's body functions optimally at.
You will find information about the normal levels of IGF-1 (to measure human growth hormone), DHEA, the estrogens (estradiol, estriol, estrone), progesterone, and testosterone in men and women on the page below.Normal Hormone Levels in Men and Women
PLEASE NOTE: The information provided here is not meant to be medical advice. Please consult your private healtcare provider.