IGF-1 Side Effects & Is it Worth The Risk's?

What is IGF and its Side Effects?

Before using IGF-1, it is important to understand the possible side effects which may result from use. As you are administering an artificial hormone into the body, there are possible risks and complications that users should be aware of prior to use. Below we will further discuss potential side effects, especially with improper use and administration. 

IGF-1 is popular, but seems to be just as controversial because of potential side effects which are noted by many of its users. Some of the noted benefits are increased muscle development slow, over time) and reduced recovery times. It has even been linked to helping aid in the healing/recovery process in tendon damage. 

It is believed to help make athletes faster, stronger, and help them recover in less time. Ultimately this allows them to workout more frequently, producing greater results over time. Boost muscle growth, reduce fatigue, and even possibly help in reducing fat cells. Sure, these are all great benefs, but at what cost do these benefits come? Despite the many benefits of using IGF-1, there are nearly as many noted side effects for the use of this hormone as well. 

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Possible short-term side effects of IGF-1 

Hypoglycemia is one of the most highly noted short term side effects by users of IGF-1. This is basically categorized as unusually low blood sugar levels. What causes this? It is believed that the fact that IGF-1 attaches to two prominent cell receptors in the body, the IGF-1 and the insulin receptor. Upon binding to the insulin receptor, it causes lower potency levels in the insulin department. 

Possible long-term side effects of IGF-1 

Again, there are a number of reported side effects with using IGF-1 injections as a means to improve physical performance as an athlete. Most of the reported side effects are longer term. It is mainly noted that the long term side effects linked to IGF-1 are similar to those which are often associated with the use of anabolic steroids. Among these are: 

  • Swelling
  • Edema
  • Soft-tissue damage
  • Hyperandrogenism

Although these side effects are not reported in all users, they are commonly linked to the use of IGF-1. Due to the fact that you are injecting an artificial hormone into the body, possible complications may arise. These are typically linked to cases of over-dosage. So, as long as it is properly administered, and proper dosage is followed, this will help limit the potentially dangerous side effects which are reported in some users of IGF-1. 

Bone Formation / Deformation

Since IGF-1 is typically linked to uses by athletes, to help improve in muscle development and growth, a number of side effects tend to be experienced by these individuals. Too much use can result in bone growth (deformation), as well as changes in physical appearance. Abnormal face, feet, and hand-growth may occur in certain athletes who are abusing the IGF-1 hormone. 

Cardiomyopathy is another side effect, which is one of the more dangerous effects, typically noted in athletes who are injecting IGF-1. This disease both weakens and enlarges the heart over time. This can result in cardiomyocite derangement. It can further lead to heart abnormalities. Cardiac rhythm and enlarged heart valves, are commonly linked to increased (or too much) HG or IGF-1 injection use in athletes. 

Linked to cancer development

This is an issue which should be noted by those who have family members or a history of cancer in their family. Higher serum levels of IGF-1 have been linked to individuals who suffer from cancer, and were routine users of IGF-1 hormone. Although it is not prominent, and is not an extremely high number of users who suffer from this problem after using IGF-1, it is something worth noting for those who are considering using the hormone for muscle growth and development. 


Due to the lower insulin levels which IGF-1 are attributed for, it is possible that lack of energy and fatigue may occur. This is especially true in the mornings, or pre-injection of the IGF-1 hormone. Although the goal is to help you increase energy levels and recovery times, when insulin levels are so depleted, it is possible that one might not feel as energized, or might be fatigued if they are not using the IGF-1 hormone routinely. So it might have a counter-effect, if the administration of IGF-1 is not consistent, and is not being used as prescribed. 

Damage to liver and kidneys

As is the case with HGH and with anabolic steroid use, using IGF-1 may also contribute to problems with the kidney, livers, as well as other internal organs. They can damage these organs, and can possibly limit the body from producing its own hormones naturally. Genetic predisposition is going to further aggravate these issues, so it is important to note this if you are planning on using the hormone to help in performance at the gym. 

Masculanization is also an issue which one should be familiar with if you are planning on using IGF-1 hormone. This is basically the growth of facial hair, deepening of the voice, and possibly growth of the male breast tissue bone. Although this is not going to occur with every user, it is a potential side effect of injecting an artificial hormone in the system, which the body does not naturally produce on its own. 

As is the case with using any artificial injection, or hormone, in order to help increase athletic performance, one must familiarize themselves with the potential side effects. These are a few of the many which one might experience, if they are administering IGF-1 injections, especially if they are not using the proper dosage, or are not following a professionals advice in using the hormone. 

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It is also important to note that the side effects listed are not all inclusive, nor are they going to occur with every user who is administering IGF-1 injections. It is important to discuss use with your doctor, to know about the potential risks and side effects, and to educate yourself about proper and safe use of IGF-1. 

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