HCG – What's the harm?


It Produces Weight Loss!

By Michelle M Pearson

This article is the third in a series on the hot topic: Dieting and HCG.

Most comments and emails thus far have been "thank you so much!" But several were inquiries for more information on the natural side effects of the drug HCG. Here's what you said you want to know about HCG:

"… We know folks who have lost significant amounts of weight on this diet…. would you go into more detail about this diet and why it's now illegal?  What is it all about and what are the long term affects from the HCG diet?"

Question #1: What is HCG?

HCG (correctly identified as "hCG" or human chorionic gonadotropin) is a naturally-occurring hormone in both male and females, predominately occurring in females who are pregnant.

HCG is legally prescribed to treat infertility in women by triggering ovulation. It also is prescribed to treat male infertility by triggering testosterone production.

Fuel for Thought: So what happens when you inject it for weight loss repeatedly?  

The FDA article defining it as illegal for use as a weight loss drug can be found here.

Question #2: Doesn't the dramatic weight loss of individuals using it prove that HCG works?

First of all, anytime you have a person who consumes an unrestricted diet, who then alters their eating patterns to consume a calorie-restricted diet, you will see weight loss.

There is no clinical research to indicate that ingesting HCG orally increases your blood level of it. Taken orally, it will process through the digestive tract and be broken down before entering the blood stream, rendering it virtually useless. Naturally occurring HCG produced by the body does not first travel through the digestive system.

Taken by injection, it would avoid the above conditions, however, again, as far back as 1976, research has shown no clinical indication that hCG increases metabolism. Think about it, if this hormone which is present at peak levels during pregnancy actually increased the metabolic burn rate, pregnant women would lose weight, not gain.

The injectibles dose is not without any effect, however. While it does not stimulate the proper hormone balance to produce a more active metabolism, it does fool and confuse the body, which is never a good idea. Elevated amounts of HCG are a normal part of the body's physiological expression in the case of pregnancy, but increases in the levels of this hormone may also be markers indicating the presence malignancies.

Here are the reasons people do lose weight on a typical HCG regime diet:

1)     Very-low-calorie diet – HCG diet plans typically include a caloric intake of less than 1200 calories, and as low as 500 calories on many days. That target is less than what is medically termed a VLCD. And, unlike medically supervised VLCD's for grossly obese patients, most HCG participants are not actually closely supervised by a physician, even those who are prescribed injectibles.

While it is common to see teaching with HCG programs recommend you switch to all organic foods, the actual selection of the foods is left to the participant, greatly compromising the likelihood of consumption of proper levels of important nutrients.

Below are the medically accepted guidelines for a VLCD:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Very low calorie diet (VLCD) is a diet with very or extremely low daily food energy consumption. It is defined as a diet of 800 kilocalories (3,300 kJ) per day or less.

{Traditional} VLCDs are formulated, nutritionally complete, liquid meals containing 800 kilocalories or less per day. VLCDs also contain the recommended daily requirements for vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fatty acids and protein. {The HCG diets do not.}

The VLCD is prescribed on a case to case basis for rapid weight loss (about 1.5 to 2.5 kilograms or 3 to 5 pounds per week) in patients with Body Mass Index of 30 and above.

A VLCD is typically undertaken by an obese patient who wishes to lose a lot of weight quickly, as the risk to health that obesity presents is considered much greater than any risks of the diet itself, so long as it is undertaken with medical supervision.   (End of excerpt from Wikipedia)

2)     The drastic weight loss achieved in HCG diets is primarily water, muscle and bone mass – the heaviest and healthiest components of the body! Diets, in general, acidify the environment; the combination of the hormonal skewing combined with the VLCD causes acute crises in the body resulting in accelerated bone loss and muscle wasting.

Essentially, you become what we have termed a "skinny-fat-person". You end up fatter, percentage wise, but you are a smaller size and weigh less than when you started – good for the ego and vanity, very bad for your health.

And, because you are more acidic, the state of the body at death, you have created a ripe environment for cancer and inflammatory processes to proliferate. Because these things grow and show later, they are often not correlated back to the dieting process.

3)     Other lifestyle changes – As noted above, any time someone makes a change in their eating intake from unrestricted to severely restricted, there will be weight loss.

Those who truly did make lifestyle changes in switching to the organic foods and are abstaining from "junk" foods, sodas, etc. would have greatly increased their health index without ever using the HCG. (And, then they would not have exposed themselves to the disease risks listed below.)

Question #3: What are the adverse side effects?

  • 1 in 4 individuals following a VLCD develop gallstones because of the more concentrated bile fluid and reduced flow.
  • Constipation causing hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and also affecting the hormones serotonin and melatonin, producing…
  • Sleeplessness and sleep disorders
  • Depression, anxiety, irritability
  • Immune system deficiency due to poor gut health (85% of the immune function is dependent upon a healthy gut.)  Therefore…
  • Increased susceptibility to colds, flu's, virus, strep, kidney and bladder infections
  • Increased inflammatory diseases, gout, joint pain, & arthritis because of low essential fatty acid intake and high uric acid production, also leading to…
  • Rick of auto-immune and heart disease
  • Headaches
  • Hormonal imbalances, night sweats, hot flashes
  • Excess testosterone production and reduce thyroid function
  • Blood clots
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS); symptoms of this include pelvic pain, swelling of the hands and legs, stomach pain, weight gain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, vomiting/nausea, and/or urinating less than normal.
  • Confusion, dizziness
  • Decreased memory and brain function – 500-calories per day is not enough fuel (glycogen and glucose) to support normal brain function.
  • Long-term – this combo of HCG and VLCD produces an even lower metabolic rate than before dieting. The body compensates for the fuel shortages by using stores of glycogen, muscle protein and some fat, which lowers your resting metabolism and produces the bone loss noted above.
  • And who knows what else… depending on the environment of the body in each individual as they begin the diet.  

Quite an extensive list, though nowhere near complete. But hopefully, this will answer the natural questions one might have as to risk factors and resulting complications.

What is most interesting to me is that with overwhelming evidence as to the potentially devastating side effects in the natural, some people still cannot be convinced not to sacrifice life for weight loss. Why is that?

People never think it will happen to them. For them, losing the weight is the ultimate measurement of whether it works or not. A common response is, "I lost 50 pounds and I look and feel great! I didn't have any side effects." So, what, it must not be true that there are any?

Breast cancer often takes 3-7 years to grow to the point you detect it. Alzheimer's takes a lifetime, albeit a short one. Blood clots can kill in minutes. The risk to the infant if you get pregnant while taking shots? Unbelievable. All to lose the weight that most people gain right back anyway. And the risk from the drug use (and the spiritual compromise and disobedience) doesn't go away when the weight returns!

Don't be rebellious or ignorant as others have been. I have responded to inquiries as thoroughly, as informative, and as passionately as I know how, and people have used it anyway. Listen! It is not harmless. At least three of these people are in great peril today because they ignored what I told them. And I can not tell you how many have gout! 

By lightly esteeming our counsel, they lightly esteemed God's provision in their lives. Remember, they came to us at his leading and asked. And ignored. And are suffering.

You do not have to believe what you read today. But that will not change what is true. You need to lay hold of this: Anytime we operate in disobedience to the Word of God, which is the will of God, and the precise pattern He gives, there will always be natural physical consequences. You just might not know what they are until it is too late to change them.

There is a way to health, to healing, to weight loss or gain, as needed. But let God decide the path, and, what size, shape, and weight you should be. You'll discover it as you yield to living life His Way!

If you work with the design of the body, it will work for you! We can help you learn just exactly how to do that.

Know someone who is struggling with some health problems?

Of course you do! Please share this with them.

Believe. Choose. Activate. Achieve. (Repeat.)

The Right Wellness Coaches Matter!Michelle Pearson is a dynamic wellness coach, speaker, author, and the Founder & President of Picture of Health Inc. On a personal health journey for the past 17 years, Michelle’s mission is to educate, activate, challenge and equip others to live a full, satisfying life through the use of state-of-the-art educational resources to produce significant and lasting health breakthroughs.

Picture of Health Inc

1212 Eugene St

Harrison AR 72601

(870) 204-6960


Did you learn anything? Leave me your comments and questions below!

Michelle Pearson
Catalyst for Change, Speaker, Author, Social Media Maven, Minister, Mountain Taker; Ambassador for Him, healing, high heels, & hiking boots. Preferably in pink.

Michelle's mission is to educate, activate, challenge and equip others to live a full, satisfying life, ever growing in the Kingdom of God.

Michelle is a mountain-taker in all expressions of her calling. Sometimes it is on literal mountains leading ladies on spiritual adventures in faith. Other days, it is consulting with Kingdom-minded businesses and ministries to develop professional website platforms and social media strategies. Still other times, you will find her training mountain-takers to possess their physical land - their health, spirit, soul, and body - teaching classes and doing wellness evaluations for churches and corporations large and small, as well as providing "secret service" concierge wellness services for other speakers and ministers.

Wherever the call of God takes her, she firmly believes it is time for Christian businesses, entrepreneurs, and ministry leaders to be diligent to ‘write the vision and post it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may be able to read it easily and quickly as they hasten by.’ And then ACT on the vision.

Read more About and Experience here: http://thepictureofhealth.com/michelle
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