If you’re considering the HCG diet or using the hormone treatment for one of its many other purposes, it’s only natural that you may have some questions. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about this topic:
What exactly is ‘HCG’?
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or “HCG” is a naturally occuring hormone that is most commonly found in the placenta of pregnant woman, controlling metabolic function during pregnancy. Many people may recognize it as “the pregnancy hormone”, as this is what at home pregnancy tests look for in order to recognize pregnancy. Nevertheless, HCG is also used for a variety of other purposes, including weight loss.
Is HCG FDA Approved?
HCG is FDA approved for fertility treatments, but it is so far not FDA approved for weight loss purposes. That said, many people have claimed to see significant weight loss results with the use of HCG over the past 75 years. There are also numerous medical professionals who believe that HCG should be FDA approved for purposes beyond fertility treatment, and many do prescribed it for other uses.
Is HCG considered safe?
Some are concerned about the safety of HCG treatments because the hormone has not been FDA approved for the treatment of weight loss. However, there has been very little research done on the matter, and more is needed to conclude its full safety. Everyone who takes HCG for weight loss does so at their own risk. Nevertheless, the good news is that many medical professionals regard it as safe, especially when taken in the low, regular quantities commonly seen in most HCG Diet treatments.
What is the ‘HCG Diet’?
Weight loss is most likely to occur with HCG treatment when a strict diet is followed. This diet consists of HCG injections (or sometimes tablets) taken on a regular schedule, combined with an extreme low-calorie, toxin-free diet. Some medical professionals will administer HCG injections right there in their office, while others will send patients home with them to administer themselves.
Foods that can be eaten with the HCG diet vary greatly, but in general, breakfast is kept very minimal and may only consist of coffee or tea without sugar. Lunch and dinner involve small servings of vegetables and healthy proteins. It is also very important that patients following the HCG diet drink at least 64 ounces of water a day (non tap water, to ensure there are no toxins entering the body).
What if I just follow the dietary restrictions without receiving HCG treatment?
It is very possible that weight loss can still be achieved if an extreme low-calorie diet is followed alone, without HCG treatments. However, there is some cause for concern here, as the reason an HCG diet can be so effective is because the hormone essentially takes the place of the energy that is normally attained from food. It can actually be dangerous to follow such a low-calorie diet without HCG, because energy levels may be depleted, and there may be further metabolic issues as a result.
Additionally, those who receive HCG injections or take HCG tablets are more likely to see long-term, significant weight loss. This is not only because HCG helps to jumpstart their metabolism, but using it also enables a patient to follow the low-calorie diet for longer than someone who is not taking HCG.
As with all diets, it is always wise to consult with your doctor before engaging in any new treatment or low-calorie meal plan.
Are there any potential side effects from following the HCG Diet?
Those who are pregnant or still nursing should not follow the HCG diet, and it is also important for those with a history of heart problems or metabolic issues to consult with a medical professional prior to starting an HCG diet.
As with all medical treatments and diets, there are some potential side effects that may result. Although relatively rare, these include nausea, fatigue, acne, sudden mood swings or other changes in general mood, hair loss and hair dryness. In even rarer cases, some people have reported a rash that shows up on their body soon after starting their HCG Diet. Side effects can vary by gender as well, with some men having reported an enlargement of the breast area thanks to increased female hormone (estrogen) levels. The prostate may also enlarge, and the amount of HCG being taken may be reduced as a result.
Meanwhile, some women having reported (irregular) changes in their menstrual cycle after starting their HCG treatment. However, this issue usually resolves itself once the treatment is concluded.