HCG Diet Risks to Your Health

For months now dieters across the country have been raving about the HCG Diet. What is it? Does it really work? Most of all, what are the risks? Is the HCG diet harmful to your health?

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. This is a hormone naturally produced by the placenta in pregnant women and almost completely controls the metabolic function through the hypothalamus throughout the pregnancy. The HCG diet combines extreme calorie restriction along with this hormone. HCG is prescribed by a doctor as a daily injection. Although, some dieters have also taken HCG as drops ingested three times a day. HCG drops only contain traces of the hormone and are not approved by the FDA.

HCG dieters have reported losing 1-2 lbs a day. Why are they losing so much weight? This diet requires that you eat only 500 calories a day. If you are not eating then of course you are going to lose weight. However, research has shown that these type of “crash diets” result in weight gain once the diet ends.

In order to stay healthy we need to fuel our bodies with enough vitamins and nutrients. Starving yourself is not good and scientists have proven this as well. The Centers for Disease Control has investigated over a dozen deaths linked to low calorie diets since the 1970’s.

Other health risks from the HCG diet include, increased risks of blood clots, headaches, depression, missed periods, water retention, swelling and nausea.

Research on this diet concluded that the HCG hormone does not improve weight loss. In a recent study some patients were given the HCG hormone and others were given a placebo. The weight loss was the same for both groups.

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The HCG diet is just another one of those fad crash diets. It may not work for you and should only be used under the direction of a physician for the severely obese. If you are thinking about going on this diet do your homework first and discuss it with your doctor. Don’t fall for every fad diet out there. You might be disappointed in the end.

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  • Jo&apos;s Health Corner , March 2, 2011

    Thanks for writing about this very important topic. Every so often I run into people who have tried this diet. People don't realize the long term side effects from the extremely low calorie intake along with the HCG.

  • Cascia , March 2, 2011

    Losing weight fast thanks for your comment however, in my opinion this is a very dangerous diet. Only the severely obese should go on a diet like this under the direction of a doctor.

  • Lucy postpartumillness.com , March 3, 2011

    My friend just did this diet. Getting the HCG shots is what makes you not hungry. To my surprise she would only eat a few things a day and not be starving.

    In the end though the diet doesnt instill discipline. She has not gained all the weight back yet. She lost 20lbs within 3 weeks but she jumped right back into her old routine when it was done.

    I have to at lease say that the doctors that did this procedure on her did want her to follow the South Beach Diet when she was done but my friend chose not to. Some of her health issues did seem to disappear after doing the diet too but have come back a few months later as her old eating habits remained the same.

  • Cascia , March 3, 2011

    Lucy, people that support this diet claim that the HCG shots reduce your appetite but in reality they don't do anything to make you less hungry. In a recent study researchers gave dieters a placebo and other dieters got the real HCG shot. Both groups had similar weight loss. You lose weight on this diet because you are eating less calories. Also, everyone's body works differently. Some people claim that the shot makes them less hungry while others who have taken this shot have said that it doesn't affect their appetite at all.

    I believe that this diet is very dangerous and you should be extremely careful before trying this. Discuss it with your doctor first. Personally, I would stay far away from this diet.

  • Heather , March 4, 2011

    Thanks for this informative article!


  • Cascia , March 9, 2011

    Karen McLamb said…
    March 6, 2011 10:31 AM

    Very nice post. I think that anything that makes you lose weight fast is not good for your health. The way to go is slow and steady and not diet but change your eating habits. Thanks for bringing this to the forefront.

    Thanks for your comment, Karen. However, because your comment contains a SPAM link I had to delete it.

  • Greta Boris , November 1, 2012

    I have counselled several clients who have gone on the HCG diet lost weight and then gained it all back plus extra. It's a band-aid not a permanent solution and a harmful one at that.

    Thanks for the great information!

  • Cascia Talbert , November 1, 2012

    Thanks for visiting, Greta. This fad diet is very dangerous and I do not recommend that anyone try it.

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