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HELP! My Dad is trying HCG and I need to talk him out of it
Topic submitted for
fawkesmom's own diet
Joined: Feb 10
Posted: 19 Apr 2012, 18:54
I'm out in AZ visiting my parents right now and I've just discovered that my dad is taking HCG and is on a diet of less that 800 calories a day. The "doctor" that he has been seeing is clearly a quack and is charging an insane amount of money for this "treatment." He's in his 60s and I'm so concerned about what this is doing to his internal organs, especially his heart. He tried to keep this secret from me, and just told me that he was seeing a doctor who was helping him lose weight. But he left the pills next to the coffee pot and I found them. I'm going to confront him about this tonight and I want to be armed with facts. I would appreciate it if you could post any good sources that I can use to help me to help him.
If you are an HCG advocate please do not respond to this, this is about my father and has nothing to do with you. Advocating HCG will not be helpful and will only receive a negative response from me.
Thank you all in advance.
Joined: Feb 11
Posted: 19 Apr 2012, 19:24
I would be concerned from a cardiac standpoint. If your electrolytes get out of whack, you can be in real danger. I know someone who tried it for awhile and she ended up with atrial fibrilation (irregular heart beat). Aside from that, she lost the weight and gained it back and then was ultimately taken off the HCG and she weighed more than when she started out. If you simply follow a very low calorie diet without the meds you would probably lose weight, so the meds are just money spent. I recently read "Eat to Live" and it is about eating healthy for disease prevention (diabetes, cholesterol, cancer) and weight loss. I think it gave some excellent reasons for eating healthier and has some success stories in the book. I have recommended that all my family members read the book. I don't have any hard facts on HCG, but I do think it is dangerous and if you search some of the forums you will probably find some links with useful information. I don't like it when doctors sell stuff - they are making money off it and that is their incentive.
I just did a quick HCG search in the forums and didn't find anything. Maybe FS removed them, I know they removed the diet from here.
Joined: Feb 11
Posted: 19 Apr 2012, 19:45
Here is a link to a forum w/ many posts and some links. Good luck!
Joined: Dec 10
Posted: 19 Apr 2012, 19:53
First, oral HCG is necessarily pointless - it's only biologically active if injected. Taken orally, it simply gets digested and does nothing.
Second, even if you receive the injections, decades of controlled, double-blind testing have found no evidence to support any of the proponent's claims. Pasted from an older thread:
The claims regarding HCG have been studied extensively. The results from several decades of research have found no difference between this protocol and a very low calorie diet with a placebo. This is just
of the research:
Meta-analysis summarizing the controlled and observational studies:
The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis.
"We conclude that there is no scientific evidence that HCG causes weight-loss, a redistribution of fat, staves off hunger or induces a feeling of well-being. Therefore, the use of HCG should be regarded as an inappropriate therapy for weight reduction, particularly because HCG is obtained from the urine of pregnant women who donate their urine idealistically in the belief that it will be used to treat an entirely different condition, namely infertility."
One controlled double-blind study:
Human chorionic gonadotrophin and weight loss. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Subjects receiving HCG injections showed no advantages over those on placebo in respect of any of the variables recorded. Furthermore, weight loss on our diet was similar to that on severely restricted intake. We conclude that there is no rationale for the use of HCG injections in the treatment of obesity.
A second controlled double-blind study:
Ineffectiveness of human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction: a double-blind study.
There was no statistically significant difference in the means of the two groups in number of injections received, weight loss, percent of weight loss, hip and waist circumference, weight loss per injections, or in hunger ratings. HCG does not appear to enhance the effectiveness of a rigidly imposed regimen for weight reduction.
A third double-blind study:
Chorionic gonadotropin in weight control. A double-blind crossover study.
Serial measurements were made of weight, skin-fold thickness, dropout rates, reasons for dropping out, and patient subjective response. There was no statistically significant difference between those receiving HCG vs placebo during any phase of this study.
Another early meta-analysis that doesn't mince words (PDF file):
Human chorionic gonadotropin is of no value in the management of obesity
Other reported adverse effects of treatment with HCG include the following:
* An ovarian overstimulation syndrome, with edema and cyst formation in the ovary, and intra-abdominal hemorrhage requiring laparotomy.
* Multiple pregnancy, with an increased prevalence of immaturity, abortion, perinatal death and preeclampsia.
* Ascites, pleural effusion and other symptoms caused by salt and water retention and edema formation.
* Hypercoagulability and thromboembolism.
Because HCG is ineffective in the treatment of obesity, patients may become discouraged and so not seek or accept treatment that might help them. HCG injections are expensive in both patients' time and physicians' fees and may therefore divert resources from areas of real contribution to the health of the community.
Because HCG "therapy" in the management of obesity has been thoroughly discredited and thus rejected by the majority of the medical community, any practitioner whose patients experience undesirable side effects as a consequence of such therapy may face civil and even criminal liability.
Third, very low calorie diets are not
hazardous, but they can be, if not done carefully:
Very low calorie diets (VLCD) of 400 to 800 kcal/day appear attractive as they generally show an increase in weight loss from 0.2 to 0.5 kg/week found with the traditional diet to 1.5 to 2.0 kg/week. Early use of very low calorie diets with poor quality protein and loose medical supervision resulted in about 60 deaths, many of which were attributed to
loss of lean body mass and in particular, cardiac muscle atrophy
. Although current very low calorie diets are presumed safe, concern regarding preservation of lean body mass (LBM) remains. Investigators have used exercise to slow the depletion of lean body mass during very low calorie diets; however, the results are not conclusive.
Bolding the important part - unless steps are taken to preserve lean mass, like getting most of your 500 calories from protein, and doing some exercise, you may be risking having
your own heart muscle used for fuel
. If your father is obese, this is, frankly, unlikely, but it's a pointless risk, no matter how remote.
Good luck to you.
Joined: Mar 12
Posted: 19 Apr 2012, 20:50
So I needed to put in my two cents on this post about the hcg. I did the hcg diet about two years ago. Sure I lost like 34 lbs. in like a month, but I have never felt so bad in my whole life. I am a nail tech. and my arms were so weak that sometimes I couldnt file my clients nails. I would get winded going from my door to my car (about 10 feet) I was not in good shape. And not only did I gain all the weight back ( i was extremely careful with my diet after hcg) but I ended up gaining way more than before I did the diet. This happened about 5 months after the diet was over. I do not recommend this diet to anyone!
Joined: Apr 12
Posted: 19 Apr 2012, 20:58
The drops were pulled off the market. The injections are the real deal. I have done the HCG injections twice and I hate that diet and I will never do it again. I hate having to NOT eat certain foods. I think for a very obese person the injections might help give the person the jump start they need to be healthier, and the risks of HCG are minimal compared to the incredible health risks of being obese. However, I would NOT recommend the diet to anyone who is just overweight and not obese.
Joined: Jan 10
Posted: 19 Apr 2012, 23:59
If your parents are anything like my parents... I'd start off with a talk with your mother. My mother does all the cooking and my dad eats what she cooks and puts on a plate in front of his face.
He needs to learn how to eat healthy and not starve him self half to death or even death as HCG has the potential of doing.
If your father isn't buying the groceries and cooking the meals he is at the mercy of the person feeding him.
Joined: Feb 10
Posted: 20 Apr 2012, 01:28
Thank you all for you comments. I had the initial talk with my dad, it led to a big fight and brought up a lot of history. He's agreed to stop taking the hCG, but still insists on trying to keep to a super low calorie diet. I told him that anorexia has a lot of side effects. I'm still not through with arguing with him. I want to convince him to go see a nutritionist who is reasonable and responsible and I would also like him to see a psychologist to deal with the binge eating, emotional eating, yo-yo dieting problem. (I am so pissed at the "dr" prescribing him this poison, whatever happened to "do no harm"?)
Nimm thank you for the links, very helpful.
PeeFat, my mom is a doctor and she's already tried to talk him out of this. She refuses to shop or cook for this crazy diet so he's doing it on his own. He never listens to her and I'm the only one in the family that has a chance of getting through to him. What can I say, I'm daddy's little girl. This tactic worked 20 years ago to get him to stop smoking, lets hope he still finds me too adorable to say no too.
Thank you all.
Joined: Jun 11
Posted: 20 Apr 2012, 10:30
Have him watch the movie Fat Head on both netflix and hulu.
"Eat as if your life depends on it!"
Joined: May 12
Posted: 07 Jun 2012, 15:46
The drops are still on the market - I just saw them at my local King Soopers less than a week ago.
Joined: May 12
Posted: 12 Jun 2012, 19:28
I am not an advocate of HCG but I did it a couple years ago and lost about 60 pounds. I couldn't even function, thank god i wasn't working at the time but I was going to college on line and could not even think It seemed like I was in a brain fog. If your dad works or is active at all he wont be able to keep up the low calories plus as soon as you go off the drops and start back eating normal the weight comes right back. I would try to talk to your dad and tell him it is not worth it.
Joined: Dec 11
Posted: 14 Jun 2012, 04:30
I personally know someone that is going to a doctor for hcg weight loss and she has to get shots for vitamins.
Joined: Dec 11
Posted: 14 Jun 2012, 04:31
If your Mom's a doctor, I am sure she can tell you a nutritionalist does not have to have a degree.
Joined: May 12
Posted: 09 Apr 2013, 08:42
I actually work for a doctor/mircrobiologist and am the facilitator for an HCG support group. We have had more then 500 people go through this diet and when people are loosing the weight, they do not look gaunt, do not feel hungry and actually loose weight. But, this is not a diet and is a medical protocol and must be done correctly and not played around with. I have done it 3 times and am in the best health at 51 years old of my life. I eat healthy, clean fats, low carbs, as organic as possible and all because of HCG. I think it is amazing, but is a medical protocol not a diet.
Joined: Feb 10
Posted: 16 Apr 2013, 14:58
Ajujichcg - I wish you had respected what I said in the original post and not tried to advocate the use of HCG. There is no scientific study (other than the original that has not been shown to be repeatable) that shows HCG helps with weight loss and it has serious side effects. Your comment was inappropriate in this line of conversation. Fortunately I was able to talk my dad out of taking this poison.
Joined: Sep 11
Posted: 16 Apr 2013, 15:07
Men need a minimum of 1400 calories daily just for normal day to day body functions. A dietician or nutritionist would be a good person for him to talk to, or maybe see a different doctor of a second opinion. 800 (or whatever is below the minimum requirements) is ok for a few days, but it's not sustainable, our bodies are not made to work that way.
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.
Starting Weight 228 - 3/29/13
Weight Goal 220 - Met:5/16/13
Weight Goal 210 -
Joined: Aug 12
Posted: 16 Apr 2013, 15:59
I had a friend who lost a lot of weight doing that. Afterwards, she had some family issues, fell off the diet and gained all the weight on plus. It is very sad how depressed she is about how things have turned out.
Joined: Dec 08
Posted: 16 Apr 2013, 18:57
I went on HCG giving myself a shot everyday lost 50 pounds and messed up my hormones messed up my blood pressure and I ended up having to go to a heart specialist . All the doctors told me its bad stuff never been approved by food and drug company
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