HCG Weight Loss FAQs
1. Will I feel hungry while on HCG?
Not if you follow the recommendations of the 2-day loading of desirable foods, drinking plenty of water, and dividing your meals.
2. If I take the HCG but do not follow the 500 calorie diet, will I lose weight?
NO! You must adhere to the program.
3. Can I eat carbohydrates during the maintenance phase?
It is recommended to use carbohydrates sparingly and only at the end of the 4th week of the maintenance phase.
4. What is HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone)?
It is a hormone produced during pregnancy, made by the developing embryo after conception and later by the placenta. The HCG in the diet protocol is a natural variation of the HCG used in infertility treatments and is given in a much smaller dose.
5. Does that mean I will have a positive pregnancy test while on this medication?
No, the lab tests for the beta subunit of the hormone but you will be taking the alpha subunit. However a weak positive pregnancy test has been reported for some individuals who are using the shots.
6. Do I take my prescription medication while on this diet?
7. Do I take my own vitamins while on this supplement?
Our package is a comprehensive assortment of all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes necessary. If you are on shots, you will have the option to use your own supplements or those offered as part of our program.
8. Can I exercise during the HCG phase?
Yes, exercise is always good, but the amount and frequency will be determined by your provider and will be based on your individualized diet and lifestyle goals.
9. Can I take vitamin E, flaxseed oil or Omega 3 while on HCG?
10. Can I use HCG while breastfeeding?
We do not recommend it during the first year of breast feeding.
11. Can I have a massage during the HCG phase?
12. What if I get constipated while on HCG?
If needed, we can supply you with additional supplements for this concern; however, it should not occur with the proper intake of fluid.
13. What if I get diarrhea?
A very rare occurrence but again, supplements are available to assist with that.
14. How much weight will I lose?
Your weight loss will be dependent on your BMI and will be an average of 8-15% loss of your body weight in the first treatment cycle. That means if you are 200 pounds, you can lose as much as 30 pounds in your first month.
What are hormones and why do I need them?
A hormone is a substance secreted by a gland as a result of a message from the brain that causes an organ to produce a tissue response. Hormones are an essential part of the metabolic process of living. Hormones are important for the cells, organs, and metabolism. Our hormones decline through aging, menopause, disease, or trauma. When this happens, we begin an accelerated aging process. Loss of hormones is one of the major reasons for our deterioration as we age, both physically and mentally. Hormones are beneficial at any age, but the best long-term protective benefits are achieved if hormones are replaced when you begin to lose them, usually in our 40s. When hormones are at their optimal level, we will think, function and feel our best.
What hormones are typically prescribed?
Synthetic estrogen (e.g., Premarin) and progestins (e.g., Provera) are produced in a laboratory. They are chemically altered so that they can be patented by the pharmaceutical companies. They are not identical to human hormones. They are designed to try to elicit the same responses in your body as your natural hormones. Because synthetic hormones are not identical to human hormones, they may adversely stimulate cells and lead to side effects or even cancer. Premarin is an estrogen obtained from pregnant horses and is not human identical. Provera is a progestin, not progesterone. While their effects on the uterus may be similar to bio-identical hormones, they can also affect other organs adversely over time. Both Premarin and Provera have been implicated in causing problems in some women, including breast cancer. We do not have the enzymatic capability to metabolize these synthetic chemical structures.
How are bio-identical estrogen and progesterone produced?
Hormones that are identical to human hormones are found in yams and soy. We call these “natural” because they are natural to the body. The hormones are extracted from these vegetables and then processed by a specialty compounding pharmacy into a prescription dose and form. The body accepts and metabolizes these hormones as if it made them. The material to make the pellets comes from an FDA-approved facility and is then actually made into the pellet form in an accredited compounding lab. The material needed to formulate our creams is also from an FDA-approved facility and compounded in a pharmaceutically accredited compounding lab.
What are the problems with synthetic hormones?
When first developed, synthetic hormones were well received because they provided some of the symptomatic relief and benefits of hormone replacement, such as controlling the symptoms of menopause and fighting osteoporosis and heart disease. However, over the long-term, results have shown that synthetic hormones sometimes elicit a negative metabolic response. Some women cannot tolerate synthetic hormones, often suffering side effects such as bloating, bleeding, or mood swings. In some patients, synthetic estrogens and progestins contributed to the development of breast and uterine cancer.
Synthetic hormones are not a perfect match in the body. They produce abnormal metabolites that can cause side effects and increase the risk of cancer. A natural hormone is a perfect fit in the body; it is a biologically identical hormone replacement.
Why doesn’t my gynecologist prescribe bio-identical hormones?
Natural supplements such as vitamins and hormones are protected by Federal regulation and may not be patented. Major pharmaceutical manufacturers are interested only in patentable drugs that are exclusive and profitable. Much of what physicians know about drugs is learned from the drug companies who are promoting their own products. Therefore, many doctors are primarily taught only about synthetic products. Bio-identical hormones are not issued under specific brand names. Your physician must be self-educated and experienced in prescribing and monitoring natural hormones. They probably are just not aware of the benefits of bio-identicals or must prescribe within the constraints of your health insurance.
What is the truth about the recent publicity about the risks of taking hormones?
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) is a study that focused on synthetic estrogen (Premarin) and progestin (Provera). NOTE: Progestin is not progesterone. Different “arms” of the study used different drug combinations. The arm of the study using Premarin and Provera (PremPro) was discontinued before completion because an increased risk of breast cancer was detected in the early stages of the study. This risk is attributed to the Provera portion of the regimen. This is not the first time progestins have been implicated in increasing risks for women. The arm of the study using Premarin did not show an increased risk of breast cancer, but was discontinued because of an increased incidence of strokes in older women. A recent study showed that natural estrogen did not have the same effects.
Unfortunately, the media has misrepresented the facts of this study by targeting all hormone therapy. THIS IS WRONG! Again, the culprits are synthetic progestin, Provera, and horse estrogen (equilin), not natural estrogen or natural progesterone. Numerous studies have shown the long-term benefits of bio-identical hormone therapy. You just need to make sure you are receiving the right hormones (bio-identical) in the right balance. It is also important to begin hormone replacement as soon as you begin to lose the hormones to avoid any length of time without their protective benefits.
What are the signs of low progesterone and what are the health benefits?
Progesterone is responsible for balancing estrogen and the female reproductive cycle. Deficiency results in symptoms of PMS, bloating, headaches, cramping, mood swings, breast tenderness, and irritability. A deficiency in progesterone can be a factor in frequent miscarriages. Research shows that natural progesterone stimulates bone building osteoblasts, thus providing protection against osteoporosis. Progesterone reduces the mitotic change in breast and uterine tissue, thereby protecting against cancer (Provera does the opposite).
Progesterone protects against heart disease. Progesterone is necessary for adequate sexual response, lubrication, and vaginal vasodilation. Progesterone is responsible for the physiologic equilibrium with estrogen. At menopause, women lose both estrogen and progesterone and both should be replaced. Progesterone replacement is important, even if you have had a hysterectomy because it does much more than just protect the uterus.
What if I have been taking synthetic hormones?
You need hormones, but you need the right kind–natural bio-identical hormones–in the right balance. Don’t tolerate the risks of the synthetic hormones when a safe alternative is available. Find a physician who will prescribe natural hormones and then make the switch.
Should I take estrogen and progesterone or not?
The risks of NOT taking hormone replacement therapy include elevated cholesterol, heart disease, strokes, osteoporosis, tooth loss, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and menopausal symptoms. The side effects of the synthetic hormones such as bleeding, swelling, weight gain, and breast cancer can be almost eliminated by using the natural estrogen and progesterone. Overall health and well-being are improved, long-term survival is greatly improved, and quality of life is greatly enhanced. The risks of not taking hormones are tremendous. But do avoid the synthetic hormones.
What about over-the-counter creams and saliva tests?
Products purchased over-the-counter are not usually of strength sufficient to produce a long-term therapeutic difference. A sufficient dose requires a prescription. Over-the-counter products might give you some symptomatic relief, but it is necessary to maintain certain hormone levels to achieve the long-term protective benefits.
Because hormones are delivered to the organs by the blood and not saliva, we rely on blood tests to determine accurate and optimal levels. Blood and saliva tests do not correlate. Saliva testing has consistently been shown to be inaccurate in medical studies.
How does one know whether they are receiving adequate amounts of replacement hormones?
Blood tests determine deficiencies. Blood tests also determine whether adequate replacement has been prescribed. All people will absorb, assimilate, and respond to hormones differently than others. If the proper level (and therefore tissue level) is not achieved, then the full benefit of hormone replacement is not realized. Our goal is to have your hormone levels optimally protective for sustained health and well-being, so you can be a healthier–and ultimately happier–you.
Dr. Joann Richichi