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Hcg Diet Side Effects

Hcg Diet Side Effects

What Is HCG?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a natural hormone that doctors prescribe as an injectable drug with the brand names Pregnyl and Novarel, and in a related form called Ovidrel.

HCG improves fertility by increasing sperm production in men and encouraging egg release in women.

It also helps treat sex hormone-linked conditions, such as undescended testes in young men and undeveloped sexual traits in girls.

Depending on its use, HCG is considered to be either an endocrine drug or a fertility drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved HCG in 1974.

HCG Side Effects

  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, lowers legs, or hands
  • Appearance of female breasts in men
  • Pain in the area where you received the injection
  • Entering puberty sooner than normal
  • Painful rupture or swelling of the ovaries
  • Allergic reactions, including life-threatening ones
  • Blood clots
  • Multiple pregnancies (conceiving twins or triplets)

What to Do if You Have Had Side Effects From the hCG Diet

If you have had side effects, please contact the FDA. Harmful effects should be reported online to FDA's MedWatch program or by phone at 800-FDA-1088 (800-332-1088) and to the consumer's health care professional.

To report your side effects, either call the number above or leave a report with the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting for dietary supplements.

With any product, if you believe that there have been false claims made in the advertising or sale of that product, it is recommended that you contact the FTC Complaint Assistant and file a report.

Prescription HCG

Not only are you at risk for the ordinary side effects caused by the hormone when on an HCG diet, but you’re also at risk for side effects from the diet. An HCG protocol involves taking in only 500 to 550 calories a day for anywhere from three to seven weeks. The National Institutes of Health recommends that healthy adults should consume more than twice that amount just for ordinary functioning. Eating fewer than 800 calories a day qualifies as a very-low-calorie diet; you should follow such a diet only under medical supervision. Because of the possible cardiovascular side effects, Dr. Scott M. Blyer, a cosmetic surgeon in New York City who counsels patients on HCG diets, requires new clients to undergo an EKG screening to determine that their hearts are strong enough to endure the protocol.

Safety and Side Effects

HCG has not been approved as a weight loss drug by the FDA.

On the contrary, government agencies have questioned the safety of HCG products, as the ingredients are unregulated and unknown.

There are also a number of side effects associated with the HCG diet, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Fatigue

These may be largely due to its starvation-level calorie intake, which is almost guaranteed to make people feel miserable.

In one case, a 64-year-old woman was on the HCG diet when blood clots developed in her leg and lungs. It was determined that the clots were likely caused by the diet