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The HCG Diet is Dangerous For the Heart

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The HCGdiet is Dangerous For the Heart via pixabay

Quick and easy weight loss…think again! When it comes to weight loss, there is no such thing as quick, safe and easy--otherwise all of us would never have to diet or go to the gym. The HCGdiet is one of the fad diets like the Atkins or the tapeworm diet.

The following is some basic information about the HCG diet and its potential problems:

The basics of the diet : People on this diet typically do a daily injection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), a pregnancy hormone, combined with a fat-free, 500 calorie per day diet. It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for weight loss. There is no reliable evidence of weight loss, fat redistribution, decreased appetite, or improved mood. Possible side effects include ovarian hyperstimulation, swelling, ovarian cyst rupture, multiple births, headache, irritability, depression, fatigue, restlessness, clots in the arteries, and allergic reactions. Individuals with heart disease, kidney disease, seizure disorders, migraines and asthma should be warned about taking this, as it may worsen their condition.

The problems: Proponents of this diet say that this pregnancy hormone and fertility drug redistributes fat, decreases hunger and improves mood in women. This has not been proven. The probable weight loss is due to the low-fat, low calorie diet. There are concerns about possible loss of protein from vital organs and nutritional deficiencies. The starvation which occurs can decrease minerals and cause an electrolyte imbalance. These electrolytes are needed for proper heart function. Heart disease may worsen or a heart attack may occur.

Think about it: On this diet, you will pay money to suffer on the 500 calories a day for about a month, you will probably be moody, you may damage your body, you may gain the weight back and you definitely will make someone else rich.

Try instead : Mediterranean diet

Add a Comment66 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I am a real person who tried the HCG Diet. The HCG injection were prescribed by a real doctor that actually delivered my children a few years ago. I followed the injections as ordered and the diet (500 calories) as prescribed. I drank plenty of water. After about 10 or 11 days I awoke one morning with my heart racing and irregular. I went to my hospital ER and was found to be in an irregular rhythm called atrial flutter with a rapid ventricular response. My heart rate was jumping from 150 to 300. I had NEVER had any heart issues in the past. My potassium was too low from such a strict intake and a fast loss of weight and fluid. This was not resolved until my potassium was replaced with medication and I underwent an ablation 2 days later. The real cardiologist asked me why I would take something just wasn't FDA approved. That's a good question! Why did I and why did my real doctor prescribe it? Maybe it's the enrollment fee and other fees that they make while the patient is being a guinea pig on this diet. The diet is the only thing to which my cardiologist can attribute my medical. condition. Since then I, of course, stopped the diet and will not be using it ever again. Sure, you can mimic a lot of hormones that the human body makes, but the body does not need more than it makes and you definitely don't need a pregnancy hormone when you're not pregnant. Let's us use our brain...not FDA approved, no real reporting processes are required or in place, so no organized information about all of the cases where people get sick, and yes, some die! Don't do it!!

April 28, 2015 - 2:42pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

My heart was racing too. The doctors did a blood work up and it was obvious that it had depleted so many critical nutrients in my body. I am seen for regular check ups and there was no doubt the diet caused this. Has anybody sued because of the what this has done to them?

August 29, 2015 - 4:12pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

So if you had an ablation, how can they attribute the diet to your condition? I understand your potassium dropped, and low potassium can contribute to an arrhythmia. But if that were your only issue, what is there to ablate? They did an ablation, so you had an underlying problem. You likely would have gone into atrial fibrillation at some point anyway.

August 29, 2015 - 12:50pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for posting this. Your story sounds like mine. My doctor wanted to know why I would do such a dangerous diet. Stupidity was the best answer I could give him. This is a starvation diet. When you starve yourself, you lose weight but you also can have terrible side effects too. I am really tired of reading about all the people who sell this diet and continuously say how safe it is. It is not. I have the doctor's bills to prove it.

May 4, 2015 - 3:48pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am a real person and I can say that this diet changed my life immensely to the good. I did follow an intense supplement regime as well.

I felt so good during the diet and did not suffer while sticking to the 500 calories.

I followed it a second time; did not follow the supplement guidelines and I am having an irregular heartbeat.

Shoes how important the supplements are.

September 30, 2015 - 12:32pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I'm sorry you had an adverse reaction, but whether you believe it or not, you are an exception to the rule. Thousands have reaped the rewards from this protocol and I'm personally very grateful for having lost my weight through the HcG protocol. As far as I'm concerned it saved my life. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree about what is safe and what isn't. My doctor/your doctor, my experience/your experience. Btw, did you say something about FDA approval? Oh yeah... right... I trust the FDA. The same gov. org. that approves pharmaceutical drugs... drugs that kill thousands of innocent and trusting people every year. No thanks.


Dr. Sanjeev Patel a cardiologist who appeared on the Dr. Oz show said, he himself was an HcG patient and was successful. He further stated that: When he weighed the risks of being obese against the low dose of HcG, he maintained that it was well worth it. Regarding 500 calories -- lets not forget he stated, fasting has been, and still is, a large part of many cultures for centuries. In those cultures fasting is considered a courageous health and/or spiritual choice.

So there you have it... apparently not all cardiologists look to the FDA for approval.

April 28, 2015 - 10:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

I don't believe those people who have suffered terrible adverse reactions, including death were taking real compounded Rx Hcg shots, nor do I believe they were supervised by a real physician. I would never buy drops, lotions, potions, or so-called homeopathic remedies over the internet. Common sense begs the question: How do you know what's in it?

I went to an M.D. who prescribed, supervised and administered the HcG shots and diet. I did two rounds of this protocol and went from 168 lbs and a size 14 to 126 lbs and currently a size 4/6. For me, It was emotionally harder to follow (because I was used to OVER EATING) than it was physically. When I was on the protocol, I was NOT hungry even though I adhered to the 500 cals. a day because I used real HcG properly and had support from my physician.

My doctor has been using this protocol for 7 years and NONE of her patients have died or ended up in the hospital w heart problems because of it. Truth is: I was headed for the hospital if I didn't lose weight soon... My breathing was labored, I had a huge belly, my hormones were unbalanced, I didn't sleep well, my joints hurt, my heart raced, my lipids sucked -- and all of which reversed after using this protocol. Yes, ALL of it!

If real HcG were a problem as described by some of you, it would be banned even as a secondary use for diet. It may not have been approved by the FDA (like I trust them anyway... think Vioxx) but they have had no detrimental reports on the supervised Rx HcG or they would have banned it completely and for good. Btw, has anyone ever asked themselves why a pregnant woman can produce 100 X as much HcG naturally and it doesn't kill her? Comparatively, the amount administered for the diet is minimal, yet it works if done properly.

I believe the controversy re. the HcG protocol exists mainly because people are (forgive me) gullible. In an attempt to save money (instead of finding a qualified physician) desperate people self-medicate and buy cheap, untested so-called HcG drops, potions, fraudulent homeopathic junk online. They believe all the full-page online success ads and bogus testimonies as if they were fact.

Fact is... NO ONE has ever died from a medically supervised HcG protocol. People want to place blame somewhere, but they don't look at the facts.

April 26, 2015 - 12:12pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you! I'm starting again tomorrow with a doctor that's a naturopath. I've tried it before & it works. I am far more unhealthy at this weight & my joints hurt, fat around the heart is dangerous. I have emphysema & HCG seems to help me! I too use a dedicated thyroid pill/s being hypothyroid. Skinny as a kid & young adult. Now I'm over 60 lbs overweight. Thank you again for your comments, you've given me the confidence to try again! I appreciate your input very much!

July 1, 2015 - 8:15pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I know you believe in hcg. But my roommate DID die while in this diet, being supervised by a REAL physician. When we were doing CPR on her and the police were looking through her phone we saw her two missed phone calls from her doctor because she missed her appointment. She missed it, because she had already died. The problem I have with the diet is the calorie restriction. Her heart couldn't take it anymore, it had to do too much work and wasn't getting what it needed, so it just stopped beating. Yes you lose weight on it, but of course you lose weight when you starve yourself. This is basically just encouraging anorexia. And then when you eat again you gain it back! This is not the way to do it. It is dangerous. You can say all you want no one died in this diet, but I was the one there who found her, and yes, yes people have died.

April 28, 2015 - 12:23pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

This is so scary. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. I think you are right; anorexia is dangerous. This diet is a form of anorexia.

May 4, 2015 - 3:51pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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