HCG - Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, more commonly known as HCG, is a naturally occurring glycoprotein hormone produced in the human body during pregnancy. First discovered in 1927 by Selmor Samuel Aschheim and Zondek Bernhard, a team of German obstetrician-gynecologists, detection of HCG can be done by blood test and using a urine kit to confirm pregnancy. This principal hormone has various functions. Aside from promoting a normal and healthy pregnancy, the discovery of HCG's function in mobilizing fat for use as a source of energy is helping to change treatment approach in obesity.
Dr. Girouard was the first physician to utilize HCG for weight loss in North Carolina. When he opened his weight loss clinic in 2000, he already had decades of positive results and testimonials.
The importance of HCG in fat loss was first publicized by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons in his 1954 report entitled, "Pounds & Inches." Since the mid 1950's, HCG has been very popular and has successfully and safely been used as an effective weight loss tool with minimal reports of only minor side effects. Several medical studies have shown that when combined with a low calorie diet, use of HCG promotes an increase in fat loss, and as part of a weight management plan can actually help to reshape the body and maintain or improve health.
Today, nearly every medical weight loss clinic uses HCG - not just in the Carolina's, but nationwide. As a matter of fact, having banned HCG for many years, the state of Nevada recently approved it for weight loss, speaking to the recognition and acceptance of HCG by a growing number of physicians and patients.
HCG - Safety and the FDA
HCG has been approved by the FDA for many medical applications though not weight loss, despite the fact that over 13 published medical studies document the efficacy of HCG in fat loss and numerous, more recent studies awaiting publication indicate an even greater efficacy than previously thought. Even though the FDA has not yet approved the use of HCG for the treatment of obesity or the maintenance of weight loss, federal regulations allow medications to be used "off label" to treat other diseases or symptoms in addition to the ones for which the medication is approved. For example, medication such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro are FDA approved for anxiety and depression, but are often used "off label" to treat fibromyalgia (by the way - HCG works very well in many of our fibromyalgia patients), and Wellbutrin is FDA approved for treating depression, but is frequently used "off label" in the treatment for tobacco addiction.
At the direction of a physician, such as at Dr. Girouard's Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic, HCG is a safe, effective, and natural tool that enhances and accelerates weight loss.
As Dr. Daniel Bellucio, renowned HCG researcher in Argentina notes, "Since HCG is secreted in extremely large amounts during nine months of pregnancy (up to a half million units per day), were it dangerous, we would have had Adam and Eve and no one else!" Comparing the small dosage we use, a patient would have to take weekly injections in our office for over a thousand years to equal the amount of HCG received during one pregnancy.TOP
HCG - Basic Questions
- Will HCG interact with other medications?
- HCG will not interact with other medications.
- How often and how much HCG do I take?
- The initial HCG study, conducted by Dr. Simeon in 1954, reported daily use of high dose intramuscular injections. Dr. Girouard's early research in the 1980's found that low dose weekly subcutaneous injections work just as or even more effectively by offering great benefits while minimizing any side effects. A number of patients experience greater benefit using bi-weekly or every other day injections. Your Provider will coordinate the best plan for you.
- Is HCG safe for men?
- The HCG used for the HCG weight loss protocol is actually already found in men. In fact, it is present in every human tissue, including males and non-pregnant women, as well as, pregnant woman. The HCG injections in men also have the added affect of increasing endogenous testosterone production. The higher testosterone levels also help to increase lean body mass in males.
- What is the best time to take HCG injections?
- HCG injections are not restricted to any particular time of day. Patients can administer their HCG injections at a time most convenient for them.
- Will I lose more weight in the area I take the injection?
- The HCG injection can be conveniently administered on either sides or below the belly button, and its effects will not be restricted to the site of injection.
- Do I get the injections at the clinic or can I take the injections home with me?
- You will have the option to stop by the clinic to receive your HCG injection or to take the injections home with you for your convenience. Our staff will properly guide you in the correct way to administer you own injections, if you wish to do so. Please note that HCG injections must be kept refrigerated.
- Do I have to take the injections? If so, for how long do I take them?
- HCG is an optional tool that can assist you in meeting your weight loss goals. You may elect not to use HCG. However, if you do choose to use HCG there is no time limit for using the injections. You may continue to use HCG after you reach your weight and size goals. Many patients opt to continue HCG injections as part of a maintenance program and receive good results.
- Will HCG injections make me more fertile?
- The very low dose used for weight loss will not cause you to be more fertile. When used for infertility treatments, HCG is used in significantly higher doses to achieve any increased fertility effect. However, too much body fat can adversely affect the pregnancy success. On the other hand, losing weight can improve your chances, with fertility increasing by 50% for every 5 pounds lost. TAKE PRECAUTIONS!
Special note: increased sensitivity of modern home pregnancy tests may cause false positive results - even in our male patients!
- Are there side effects to be aware of?
- Side effects using HCG injections are rarely noted. They may include menstrual irregularities (20%) & breast tenderness (5%).
- Do HCG injections work for everone?
- HCG works on about 80% of our patients. Patients who experienced weight gain after a hormonal change such as pregnancy (especially late or second pregnancy), hysterectomy, tubal ligation, miscarriage, menopause or peri-menopause, seem to get the most benefit.
- Who should not take HCG?
- Women with a history of ovarian cancer or blood clots during pregnancy may not be eligible. Women with a history of breast cancer may need clearance from their oncologist. Men with a history of testicular cancer cannot take HCG.
- What about HCG and breast cancer?
- Studies have shown that women with breast cancer experienced a reduction in tumor size or complete remission during pregnancy when enormous amounts of HCG are secreted (one million units/day). Two human studies and one animal study also resulted in similar beneficial effects when high dose HCG was given to females with breast cancer. This new data seems to indicate that HCG may have a beneficial effect in patients with breast cancer. Nevertheless, we still require a medical clearance from an oncologist prior to starting HCG if a patient has a history of breast cancer.