Facebook Pixel

The HCG Diet is Dangerous For the Heart

Rate This
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've done the HCG protocol 3 times, lost weight successfully, kept it off reasonably successfully (i.e. for a few years at a time) before emotional eating resulted in rebounding weight. I found using HCG it easy - no hunger. Not sure if that's ketosis or the HCG but it seemed less difficult than other calorie restricting methods. It does take some planning and weighing of foods and making sure you're getting at least 460 calories a day (less is not better in this instance). I did a vegetarian version (using tofu, no fat cottage cheese/quark and eggs as protein).

I used HCG in my 50s (now 60) so if there were going to be heart problems, you'd think I'd be more inclined to get them than someone younger. I did however experience leg cramps every night (although slept better than I had for years) and found I needed a supplement that included potassium (not just magnesium) to lessen the frequency of cramps. I did take a multi vitamin as well.

That said, I never knew heart problems were associated with HCG until today when I asked my local doctor for a prescription and he refused. Previously I'd gone to a specialist doctor for the prescription (which by the way I had made into a nasal spray - more effective than drops, less costly and much easier to take). I wonder if it is the HCG that causes the heart problems, or is it the restricted calorie intake in which case perhaps other low calorie diets could be in the same category. I guess the prudent thing to do is check for any heart problems before embarking on any low calorie diet because they're not always evident, and keep an eye on your potassium levels for any low carb diet during which you lose a lot of water.

February 1, 2018 - 7:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

I will be starting it friday. I see good results and bad ones could it be that they was having bad health problems before they started it and didnt know that there health was just starting to decline before the diet i have did Adipex diet before and yes it had me racing but i would sit on my butt and rest a minute and my heart rate would go down and i had no problems so im not sure but i seen results in person and pics on phones and they are still living

October 19, 2017 - 2:03pm
EmpowHER Guest

I know this diet gets so much criticism but I have done it a few times to reach my ideal weight and it has been wonderful. I have suffered no muscle loss as some people complain about and have had no side effects other than being hungry the first three days. I have also noticed many of the websites that bash HCG offer an alternative fab diet that gets plastered all over the website. Hmmm...don't use this diet because it is dangerous, instead take our diet pill because it is not. Nope not adding up.

I also agree that just because the FDA has not approved it for weight loss means nothing. The FDA classifies many medications as off label, including many mental health drugs that have had surprisingly great results. I am on a anti-depressant medication that was given me to control my seizures. Medicine can have bad or good side effects. I would definitely consult with a doctor before starting any diet but HCG has been wonderful for me.

June 30, 2016 - 3:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

I always laugh when people (that includes doctors) say; it's not FDA approved... As if the FDA is looking out for us. You do know that the FDA approved Vioxx, right? That drug killed thousands of people, and if it were not for an internal whistle blower, that drug would continue to kill others. Sorry kids, the FDA is a so-called watch dog pretending to care about us but is really into it for the profits.

Now about HcG... I tried HcG several times. And like all diets, I succeeded until it stopped working. People should be advised that: an extremely low calorie diet, as well as extremely low-carb diet, creates havoc with your adrenals, thyroid and metabolism in general. Some who have followed it with less than 30 lbs to lose, were successful... most have failed. Obviously after reading the above comments, some people have experienced heart palpitations and other heart problems. I think that's serious enough to reconsider.

I would NOT do it again. I was miserable during the process. Furthermore, there's a lot of evidence that supports the fact that ALL DIETS cause B.E.D. binge eating disorders. If you don't believe me, do the research.

April 26, 2016 - 4:59pm
EmpowHER Guest

I too have done the HCG diet twice, the first time I did it for a total of 100 days (correctly and with the break you were supposed to take between rounds etc), I got down to my ideal weight and was maintaining pretty well, albeit with quite a few greek yogurt days only to keep it there until I went overseas to a country I couldn't eat meat in for health and hygiene reasons, I stuck to cooked veggies, paneer (cheese) and a little rice for a month, in that time I put every lb it had taken me 100 days of 500 calories a day to lose back on.
I did love the way it reshaped my body and after the initial detoxing symptoms felt pretty good on it.
I tried to do another round of HCG again about a year later and after a week on the diet woke up clutching my chest in absolutely agony with my heart rate skyrocketing to the point that I couldn't even breathe properly because I was in so much pain. This subsided after about 35 minutes.
I am early 30's, healthy with no history of heart problems, but whether the low calories, the HCG or the unbalancing of certain minerals in your body it does seem it can have this effect on people.
I still think about going on the diet again, but I can't warrant risking heart problems for weight loss.
There are better and healthier ways, they just take longer.

April 26, 2016 - 11:49am
EmpowHER Guest

Please don't follow this diet, I know it can be tempting given the fast weight loss but your health is more important. You can still see amazing results just by making a few changes to your diet.

If your goal is to lose weight, I highly recommend the post at: www.3weekfatburn.com - It can be done with the right plan, you've just got to be willing to stick to it.

December 25, 2015 - 9:11am
EmpowHER Guest

So, could someone do this diet including vitamin and minerals supplements? that would keep the balance

August 21, 2015 - 7:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Yes, a high quality supplement really helps with one's stamina. If you are drinking lots of water, make certain you are faithful about replacing lost minerals. Research your supplements, and adjust for your bodies peculiarities. I always read the professional research, then I go find as much anecdotal information as possible. Best of Luck!

August 31, 2015 - 6:13am
EmpowHER Guest

This is my personal experience of HCG. Firstly, I neither believe nor disbelieve. The protocol is not a religion. I simply required results, which HCG produced. Unexpected benefits were a return of my hourglass shape, and an immense decrease in a 14 year chronic pain issue related to a crushing back injury. Anyone who claims the protocol is easy has obviously never tried it. While it produces results, it is extremely challenging, and requires commitment and flexibility. I had no need to tell any of my social circle about it, and in fact, was hesitant since I was ordering from overseas. Everyone who knew me demanded to know what was going on with my increased health. Do not necessarily listen only to health care professionals, who are force fed 'the canon' in medical school and never recover their open mind. Do your research thoroughly. Vet your sources thoroughly.

May 7, 2015 - 4:16pm
EmpowHER Guest

For all those who actually "believe" (btw, believing something doesn't make it true) the hcg protocol is detrimental and has caused death to a loved one, feel free to provide any scientific evidence or medically determined proof that death was actually caused from the hcg protocol. Otherwise you should know.... that's a pretty unfounded accusation w absolutely no evidence -- simply an anecdotal story, a suspicion, an opinion, a scare tactic and heresy.

rule #1 "correlation doesn't equate causation"
absolutely NO evidence

April 28, 2015 - 2:56pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

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.

Weight Loss

Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!