DETROIT METRO AREA (WXYZ) - The numbers are overwhelming. Experimentation with the Human Growth Hormone by teens in America has more than doubled in a year.
A new survey involving thousands of high school students says that 11% of kids reported using HGH at least once in 2013. According to the survey – that’s up from 5% in 2012.
That is an increase of 120%.
Dr. Marcus McGraw, pediatrician at St. John Hospital, told 7 Action News that there are some questions he has about the survey.
“I think the biggest trouble with that particular study is we don’t know if those kids were taking true HGH,” said Dr. McGraw. “They asked them 'Have they ever tried something' and they just might think they are taking HGH. A lot of these supplements will just say it on their label.”
Dr. McGraw warns kids and their parents to be careful of products sold online and in nutrition stores advertising they contain HGH as well.
If a teen believes what they are consuming is actually a steroid, what a lot of them are not aware of is all of the long term side effects steroids can have on your body.
“Actual growth hormone or steroids can have significant consequences to growth,” said Dr. McGraw. "Significant consequences to even appearances with hair loss, with their sexual development.”
Kids could experience more severe long term side effects - including kidney problems or even death.
According to Dr. McGraw, it can be hard to say how much HGH teens is using - especially when they are going online to get it.
Dr. McGraw says they could be taking several different products making it even more dangerous.
For parents, the scariest part could be not knowing your kids are using steroids. Dr. McGraw says your teens might not be telling you what they are taking.
“I think, a lot of times, what will happen is one of their friends will take something and genetically they may be more blessed with the certain body types and when they see their friend taking something and assuming that is the product doing the work they’re going to want to try it too,” said Dr. McGraw. “When they are involved in athletics and someone might be a better athlete than they are and so they are going to want to try to compete.”