Side Effects of the hCG Diet? My Story...

Image courtesy of istockphoto/hidesy.
Image courtesy of istockphoto/hidesy.

The Temptation of Quick Weight Loss!

You may have seen the photos posted relentlessly on Facebook by a friend of yours: "So and so lost 25 pounds in one month!" "I lost three pounds in one day!" "Join me and lose weight too!"

If you struggle with your weight, you'll soon find yourself tempted to try the hCG diet. After all, they make it look so easy, right? Your friend has shared that she was skeptical too, but... Well, against my better judgement, I finally succumbed to the pressure. I gave in.

I decided to try Omnitrition's Omni Drops (claims they are hCG on the label but the measurements tell a different story...scroll down to learn how much hGC is really in those drops). You might as well know up front, I think this was one of the biggest mistakes of my life (and one of the most dangerous diets out there), especially as others share their stories and the many serious side effects of this diet with me as well.

Why Are You Visiting This Page? (Please note that more than 520 people have had serious enough side effects to be concerned...this diet is risky!)

Quite a few people are visiting this page and I would love to know why you are here.

  • Somebody is trying to talk me into this diet
  • I am worried about somebody on this diet
  • I am doing this diet and having side effects
  • I stopped doing this diet due to side effects
  • I am a distributor for this diet
  • I am thinking of becoming a distributor for this diet
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My Story: The Seduction of an Easy Weight Loss

Seemed like each time I visited Facebook, there were new photos of people who had lost huge amounts of weight. The gal posting the pics was just somebody I know online and not in 'real life'. She seemed nice enough though.

Well, I've gained weight and struggled to get it off. In fact, from my numerous treatments to fix my anemia, I've gained a very stubborn 10 to 15 pounds that I could not get off again. I tried and tried but nothing was working. Even before I gained that amount, I had another 20 to 25 pounds I could easily afford to lose. Seeing those weight-loss photos was like dangling a squeaky toy in front of our overgrown lab pup. Eventually the temptation was too great. I wanted that!

Well, technically, I just wanted that extra weight off that I had gained from my treatments and maybe a few extra. Eating disorders run in my family so I've taken great care not to obsess about weight loss. Just being a size 10 would make me happy.

So, for a month, I watched post after post of people who had lost weight. Looking back now, I realize they were really only a handful of success stories but posted every so often, they seemed like far more. Didn't matter, I was hooked. I was willing to try it. I contacted my online friend who had recently become a distributor. I pestered her with many questions. Honestly, she couldn't answer a number of them but I didn't really mind. I was willing to try this out.

Visions of me in my old jeans were dancing through my head. Okay, I was in! I placed my order.

Hey, This Has Potential!

I pestered my online acquaintance with question after question about safety. She couldn't answer many of my questions but she excitedly added me to their company's support page on Facebook where other members were more than happy to share their hCG miracle stories. The page ended up being such a happy, fluffy place. The posters made this diet sound perfect...a little too perfect. Come to find out, many of them were selling the diet but I only found that out after I was already on it. Posts that shed a negative light on the diet were often deleted from the forum.

Also, I found out this is a 500-calorie a day diet.

That didn't sit well, what could it hurt to try, right? If it was too much, I could always just quit. I had just finished iron infusions and knew my ferritin levels were doing great and I was in no way anemic. Since anemia has been an issue in my life, I know I wouldn't have attempted this diet if my levels were too low, not with such low calories. Since I was healthy, woohoo, I was ready to order!

What Is the hCG Diet?

Now, this is the version I did but they are all similar.

Notice if you do a search for the company name and keywords like 'dangers', 'scam', 'unsafe', etc..., you'll get page after page of results. Be warned, they're tricky. Nine times out of ten, these are distributors and sellers who have created pages with these titles. Think about it, if you see page after page of hCG diet dangers but when you click on the links, you'll see they discuss how 'safe' the diet really is. You'll talk yourself into the safety of this diet. Let me just clarify, these are not real reviews! These are pages done by people trying to make money off this diet!

Finding specific information about the diet is difficult, at least until they have your money. Once I ordered my drops ($79.00 plus a hefty shipping charge), I received this email:

I am here to help you be successful with your products. Please call, text or message me on Facebook when you have questions.

I see you ordered Omni Drops. I want to go over a few things, The drops do not have to be refrigerated, but they need to be kept out of direct sunlight and heat. I just leave mine in the fridge and grab it when I'm on the go. I have attached phase2 recipes so you can take this time to look over what food you might like to eat. Being prepared is crucial to your success.

Omni DROPS: You will take the drops 3x a day 10 drops under your tongue. Hold it there for 30 seconds. No eating or drinking 15 minutes before and after. You can take up to 6 sets in a day, just add one if you are feeling overly hungry. The first 2 days you LOAD! You eat, eat, eat! This is VERY important. It gets your body ready to burn the stored body fat. You should eat fatty foods, pasta's, creamy sauces, pastries all the fatty foods you want and the goal is to remain full at all times. I try to get in every favorite bad food that I won't be having for awhile. On the 3rd day you continue the drops and eat CLEAN. Protein, Vegetables and fruit. The drops come with a folder with all the directions and food you can eat. You have to stay on the drops for a minimum of 21 days to up to 45 days. Then you follow a maintenance plan for 21 days. THIS is very important to lock in your new weight.

You will need a food scale.

Be sure to do your measurements and weigh daily.

You need to drink a gallon of water a day. IMPORTANT! (with lemon is acceptable)

Stevia sweetener is the only sweetener allowed. Powder or drops.

You can purchase flavored Stevia drops online. I use Amazon.

Mustard, Franks Original hot sauce and Braggs amino acids are allowed.

As the time approaches I'm sure you will have questions, don't hesitate to contact me, I'm here to help you be successful with Omnitrition."

What Does 500 Calories Look Like?

Here is a typical day:

Breakfast: Water, herbal tea or coffee. You may have your fruit serving at this time.

Lunch and Dinner: Four ounces at each meal of one of the following: beef, veal, buffalo, chicken breast, sea bass, flounder, sole, halibut, lobster or shrimp. Seasonings are fine. You also get four ounces of the following vegetables: spinach, chard, beet greens, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onion, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus or cabbage.

You may have two servings daily of the following fruits: one medium apple, one medium orange, a grapefruit, or half a cup strawberries.

You may also have two pieces per day of either Melba toast, Grissini breadsticks, or Wasa crackers.

Keep in mind, if you are losing slowly, they'll tell you that oranges, tomatoes or the grains may be stalling you. Many women cut those out as well.

You are also told not to exercise but with so few calories, exercise would not be safe. Keep in mind, 500 calories is roughly the equivalent of a six-inch Subway sandwich. You don't need to eat a dangerously low amount of calories to lose weight and, indeed, to keep off weight and not slow your metabolism way down you need a lot more calories.

What Did It Do For Me?

During Phase One ("loading"), I gained about three pounds. Gaining is encouraged. Eat whatever you want. Go crazy. Hey, no problem there. I know from prior diets, that's just a lot of water weight and easily lost. Still, binging and dieting...not a healthy cycle. I read post after post from women who made themselves ill during this time eating so much junk. I'm not a big sugar eater and I keep a pretty low-sodium diet. While I didn't add in sugars, I did add in foods with salts which always cause a good weight gain from retained water.

How did I do? I lost about 15 pounds from my first day. That's not bad for a month, right? Well, remember, I had gained three pounds with loading so it really was only 12 pounds. Of those 12, I lost about 10 in the first two weeks. The second two weeks, I only lost a couple. Ten lbs in two weeks is pretty awesome, no doubt, but I've done other diets in the past (usually to lose baby weight) and had better success. I lost 12 pounds in two weeks on the South Beach Diet (which I kept off for quite awhile). After having my son, I lost about 20 lbs in a month and a half on Weight Watchers. So, can't say that this diet was any more miraculous. As with the other diets, I was motivated and I did lose weight.

But, I did have some side effects with this diet that I've not experienced before with any of those other diets.


My period started early, which was not a problem before once I began the drops. That was definitely unusual. My next period was only a few weeks after the first and it was one of the worst I've ever had. It was so heavy that I was filling a pad hourly. I felt like I would pass out and struggled with intense dizziness. I had severe cramping on one side. It was just awful.

Ferritin Levels:

For me, all of this was very concerning as I have had to get iron infusions for anemia in the past. Thankfully I had just had infusions and had really good ferritin levels or I think this would have been far more serious. They tested my ferritin (that only one month before had been great) and it was all gone! That has never happened to me before and the doctor and nurse were also stunned by the drop in my levels. Of course, knowing I had to restart iron infusions at the cancer center after having such good levels only a month before left me overwhelmed and even depressed. I broke down.

If you have or have had anemia, please think twice before doing this diet. I've seen multiple people online say that this diet is good for anemia, and I really believe they are putting lives at risk. I can't say this clearly enough, the hCG diet was so dangerous for me!


I had other side effects as well. Hunger was typical. The first few days, as you can imagine on 500 calories, I was really, really hungry (and a mite grumpy). After that, there were days I didn't feel as hungry, but having done other diets, I know that can be typical once your body adjusts to whatever you are doing. That's typical with any diet.

Heart racing:

I have had problems with my heart racing only when I am very anemic. I had just been tested and knew I was not anemic and yet I found the first weeks especially, my erratic heartbeat would wake me up each night. This was before my scary menstrual bleeding so it wasn't related to anemia. Every time I'd rest, it would really start pounding. Toward the end, my heart almost seemed to seize up and then would start pounding out of my chest. It was scary. It got to the point where I didn't want to lay down because I was getting worried I'd have a heart attack. That is when I knew I was done and had to see the doctor.

I knew, after that incredibly heavy period and the erratic heartbeat that that was it for me. My anemia is nothing to play with. The advice I received by a distributor when I mentioned my side effects was not to talk to my doctor. I was doing this diet with a buddy and she kept suggesting that I contact my own distributor to see what products they recommended. No, I am not kidding. Rather than seek medical attention, people selling this diet just wanted to sell me more products. And, that was the typical response whenever anybody posted about a serious side effect of any sort. For me, that was a major red flag. I wasn't taking this to my distributor. I was going to see my doctor and that was what needed to be done. I lasted about a month on what I believe is a dangerous diet. Let me clarify, yes, I do believe the 500-calorie portion of the diet can be potentially dangerous, especially if you are not being monitored closely by your physician

After the Diet

After going off the diet, I just went back to eating normally. I was not overeating. No doubt whatsoever that my stomach shrunk and I'd get full quickly but weight started going up a bit too quickly for comfort. My doctor figured out my basal metabolic rate and we both realized there were serious problems because I was eating below that amount and gaining!

I found that I was still eating a lot less than I did before this diet and I was gaining. That did not seem right at all.

So, in between doctor visits, after assuring my doctor I was not doing the 500-calorie thing anymore, I decided to try the hCG diet without the hCG. It's true. No, I'm wasn't doing the 500-calorie a day diet. That would be foolhardy. After I started experiencing side effects from the diet, I spent hours and hours reading everything I could online.

Did you know they found that people doing the hCG could double their calories and still lose the same amount? In fact I found posts from people who were eating 1200 to 1300 calories with hCG and losing just as quickly. In fact, they didn't seem to have the weight gain problem after they went off the diet. Well, now of course I know that was because their bodies didn't have to go into starvation mode which slows the metabolism greatly. They could also exercise without feeling like they'd black out.

I also found sites where people had added their 'cheat' foods and had lost just as quickly. It was recommended that you not add a cheat food while plateauing but if you were losing, didn't seem to slow down the loss any. So I realized you could eat more foods, have more calories and still lose weight.

Did you know there are people sharing their "hCG Diet Without the hCG" diets and showing just as much success? Just seems as if hCG may not be as important to the diet as you might believe.

Honestly, though, I'll let you in on a little secret. My 'Non-hCG hCG Diet' was really just more about eating healthy and taking in a bit less than I am expending. Perhaps the hCG diet was beneficial in that regard, it taught me to really watch portions, weigh food and be a little more careful with what I eat. I can do that without the placebo drops.

Anyhow, I lost almost the exact same amount of weight the first week with my non-hCG hCG diet but, after a week, we realized some of my complications were more serious and my doctor asked me to toss the diet and just work on getting healthy and that's what I did. I was not overeating but the weight plus some extra for good measure piled right back on. I ended up going through several months of appointments.

My goal with this page is just to present another story of somebody who had some serious concerns about the diet. Yes, the weight came off, but I pretty much stalled after two weeks and lost very little after that. I then started gaining once I was off even while being very careful about what I was eating.

Sadly, once I started having more serious side effects and went off the diet, I also lost the support that I had. No longer was I getting daily messages about how I was doing. In fact, one gal and I were messaging daily and she stopped initiating messages once I started having problems from this diet. Then again, she just became a distributor and I suspect she didn't want to know what was happening. Update: apparently she doesn't want to hear about my side effects so even though we run into each other quite a bit in real life, she unfriended me on Facebook. She even insinuated that I had a 'fake' brand even though we both had the exact same drops. I have to admit, that makes me a little sad.

Woman walks by Diet Books section divided into 'Fiction' and 'Nonfiction.' - New Yorker Cartoon at AllPosters

How Much hCG Is Really in Those Drops?

Would you be surprised to learn there is none?

This diet uses homeopathic dilutions of hCG to supposedly help you lose weight. One question I have been asked a number of times is how much hCG is really in those drops. Let's take a look.

If you have your bottle of drops, take a look under the ingredients. If you don't have a bottle, search online for your particular brand's ingredients or ask the person selling you this diet to send you the ingredient's list with amounts.

My brand says hCG 3x, 6x, 12x, 30x, 60x. So what does that mean?

Now, when I got talked into this diet, I had no clue what that meant either. I've been studying up a bit. Apparently the 'x' following the number is the roman numeral for 10. The first time it is diluted and shaken vigorously (to release its "energy"), you get 1/1,000 (3 zeros following = 3x). That dilution then gets diluted again to 1/1,000,000 (notice the 6x or six zeros = 6x).

By the time you get to the 60x, you have one drop of the "real" substance (in our case they say that one drop is hCG) for every 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of water or it has been diluted that many times. According to an article on Wikipedia, "This would require giving two billion doses per second to six billion people for 4 billion years to deliver a single molecule of the original material to any patient."

Now, take your bottle and count how many drops are in it with the dropper. If your measurements are the measurements in my bottle, were you able to squeeze out 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 drops? If so, congratulations, you might have one molecule of hCG in your bottle.

To read more about homeopathic dilutions, take a look at Dr. Stephen Barret's page Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake.


The FDA advises consumers who have purchased homeopathic HCG for weight loss to stop using it, throw it out, and stop following the dieting instructions. Harmful effects should be reported online to FDA's MedWatch program or by phone at 800-FDA-1088 (800-332-1088) and to the consumer's health care professional.

If You Have Had Side Effects:

If you have had side effects, please, note the comment above about contacting the FDA. Over the last year, I have heard from far too many people who have been hurt by this diet.

To report your side effects, either call the number above or leave a report with the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting for dietary supplements.

With any product, if you believe that there have been false claims made in the advertising or sale of that product, it is recommended that you contact the FTC Complaint Assistant and file a report.

For more information, please visit the FDA's page: HCG Diet Products Are Illegal.

Roughly half the poll respondents who have tried this diet report serious side effects.

Have you done the hCG diet? If so, did you have side effects?

  • Yes, I did this diet more than a year ago and had some serious side effects
  • Yes, I did this diet more than a year ago and had some minor side effects
  • I have done this diet in the last year and had some serious side effects
  • I have done this diet in the last year and had some minor side effects
  • Just thinking about doing this diet
  • Not even thinking about doing this diet
  • Was thinking about doing this diet but won't do it now.
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*NEW* Have You Tried the hCG Diet and had Side Effects? 132 comments

leon 5 weeks ago

Hcg diet the worst diet I make I gain my weight back , bloated and muscle pain

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 4 months ago Author

I've had women mention getting them tested but not sure whether they've done it or not. I think one of the issues that has been raised is that in a lab, they need to know what they are testing to find. There is no hCG in the bottle based on the label measurements so they won't find hCG (and indeed a pregnancy test kit is enough to tell you that). You don't lose weight from these drops. It's the starvation diet that does it. If you do get them tested, please, keep us updated. I've heard from so many people that have been harmed by this diet.

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 4 months ago Author

Did a search for this diet and hives and you are not alone. I don't know if it has to do with starving your body or something hidden in the drops. Really, there is no hCG in these drops but that's not to say there isn't some chemical or drug or something that is not on the label.

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 4 months ago Author

I discovered and many women have said the same that when you have complications with this diet, the people selling the diet are very quick to blame you and accuse you of being dishonest somehow. It is awful and worse because you are already feeling so awful from this crazy diet. I can tell you that FINALLY, I feel like my metabolism is getting back to where it was but it took a few years :( That diet really did such a terrible number on my body. For me, I had to ditch trying to lose weight entirely. I

TnT 4 months ago

Well, I wish I had seen some of these comments a long time ago!! Thank you for sharing your stories. I did hcg drops years ago to prepare for a hernia surgery. I was successful in loosing 30lbs and keeping it off for a few years. Once things started to creep back on, I went to a doctor which put me on the hcg injections. After 4 weeks I only lost 9 lbs. He was disappointed with my results and even accused me of consuming msg in Chinese food:( like I would eat msg during a 500calorie diet?? Then went on to tell me that I was hcg resistant and there was really nothing I could do about it. During both hcg experiences I developed low iron, hair loss, leg cramps, headaches, heart palpitations, and extreme irritability. Since this last bout of the shots over a year ago, I am up 30lbs. I have fought every single pound that has come on! I have been to medical doctors, natural path doctors, consulted nutritionist, started exercising, hired a personal trainer, gone to the gym and done hours and hours of research. Nobody can find any fault in my diet and I have completely baffled all in involved! It is so nice to hear these sad stories just because it makes me feel that I am not alone and not going completely crazy! I am wondering though..... Does anyone have any wisdom at all on how to heal a broken metabolism? Where do we all go from here? Are we all just destined to carry around the extra lbs? I am at a complete loss right now and am feeling pretty defeated.

Chelsea 5 months ago

I did this diet and lost 54 lbs. and had a terrible itchy hive breakout all over my body. I went to several different Drs and they could not figure out the cause of my hives other than said it was an allergic reaction Tried all different types of creams, otc allergy medications dbl doses, oatmeal baths with no relief. I had black n blues all over from nonstop scratching. I stopped the diet altogether and after a few months the hives disappeared. I gained back about 30 lbs and decided to go back on this diet because of my past success. I was in p2d2 and my hives were back & I was scratching away. I have stopped the drops and on p2d3 my hives have subsided. Clearly something in the drops are causing the allergic reaction. Guess I'm just going to eat clean and hope to drop some weight.

Jane 5 months ago

I ordered the Omni drops in January but when I got them they were not packaged well, the dropper was already in the bottle & popped out due to the drops being frozen & they were partially gone. I used the drops anyway & lost 9 pounds my 1st week & then no more after that. I did experience a pounding heart & chedt pains but i thought it was just my anxiety. I just ordered the drops again & they came packaged very differently than the 1st time. Everything was sealed & the dropper was separate. The problem I'm having now is they smell & taste like chemicals which they are supposed to be odorless & tasteless. I've only taken them twice but both times have caused stomach cramps. This is very alarming to me & I am not taking them again! I would like to take the drops to a lab & have them tested. Does anyone have a suggestion of where I could take them?

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 7 months ago Author

Felize, thank you for sharing your story. I too was so discouraged by posts being deleted that talked of any side effects. Had I seen the 'real' posts, I never would have done this. Tells you why they delete those posts though. They wouldn't get much business at all. Hang in there. You can share your stories with others but some just have to go through the terrible side effects themselves to get it. (((hugs)))

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 8 months ago Author

I am so sorry. Your story is a common one, sadly enough and, yet, women keep doing this to themselves.

Angel 8 months ago

I ended up with severe reacting after loosing 80 lbs in 4 months. I ended up damaging my heart due to the hcg side affect which i didnt notice till later on. Weight coming back swollen ankles and face. Itndamagednmy kedneys and liver. I thought it made me lookngreat at 120 ln s crom 190. But now i wish i had never takn it. The clinic should be sued and theynstill aremselling hcg to people.

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 9 months ago Author

Molly, easy to become obsessive on this diet, isn't it? I hear that from so many who have contacted me and, sadly, has led to many women with serious eating disorders. Stop focusing on what the other women are doing. A lot of it is built on untruths. So many women end up fatter and in worse shape after this. Work on getting yourself healthy. Hopefully your story will help others from starting. Some of the saddest messages I get are from women who read all of this but started anyway. They later email me to share what an awful mistake it was. Please, keep us updated on your progress and healing. Stay away from fad diets. You've learned a valuable lesson here.

Molly 9 months ago

(Warning: Very long post.) Wow. So glad to have found this. It's hard not to feel like a big fat(ter) loser when the downside of this diet is not publicized and all you see on fb are pictures of high school witches that are supposedly maintaining. Here's my deal.

Once upon a time (about 13 years ago) I weighed in at a boat sinking 299.5 lbs. I lost 100 on a treadmill over 8 months. (It wasn't pretty, people.) Some calorie restriction, some cravings but overall a tolerable time. I came to adore snackwells chocolate cookies and fought my children for them regularly. Eventually I fell off the exercise mostly but ate decent enough, slowly (over a few years, nothing alarming) 20 lbs crept back on. No big, I didn't panic, I still went from a size 26 to 18 and was cool to be there awhile. Fast forward from that amazing span of 7 or 8 years when I didn't deny, didn't obsess, ate out with my family and didn't stress over my butt. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 3 years ago. Weight began creeping even faster due how bad it hurt to move. I cut out carbs and found relief without medication and dropped 30lbs. Then I was cruising at about 200, feeling better and starting up at the gym again to finish what I started. THEN I came across hcg. I was focused on how LONG it took to lose 100 pounds, not the fat that I maintained it for a decade like a rockstar, through raising small kids, college, working and being diagnosed with Fibro. Nope. I wanted it now. Now now now. That (beeeeeeep) couldn't get here fast enough. Loading was AWESOME in a totally dysfunctional way. (well, the first half a day. You all know how that goes. You end up having to sleep sitting up it's so painful.) My first round rocked. I have to admit, I did feel good. Great, even. (but I do well without carbs for other reasons.) Went into p3. Sloooooowly, despite being perfect with eating, it started coming back. I got real frustrated. I mean, it had to be me, right? I shouldn't have had that second ounce of cheese. It was those (beeeeeep) unsalted mixed nuts with all those healthy heart oils that got me. (slaps head) by the time I started the second round, I'd gained back half of what I lost the first round. Saddle up cowgirl, we're gonna do this right this time. (huh?) Round two was harder. I began obsessing about food. I would smell everything and count the day til I could have it again. It was twisted. Even at 299 lbs I never "smelled" food. So again I go into p3. Again I'm "good." Again half of it comes back before I can start round 3. I started round three early because I couldn't keep the scale from going up. THIS time, I loaded for three days. You know, just in case. I had been depriving myself of 99% of the grocery store for nearly a year and basically I went nuts. That round failed miserably. I ended it after 9 days because I felt like crap this time and couldn't keep my head "in the game." The scale went up up up. I won't bore you with the details of the next FOUR ROUNDS, yes, like an idiot, I kept thinking it was me, I could do it better, it'll work this time. Very recently a light came on for me. Every time I have worked for my weight loss in a gym, I've kept 85ish % off with little to no effort. WITH CARBS! I have kept zero of hcg weight off after a year and a half of back and forth. I will confess, I just did a round early December. I was in 16's and was pushing the manufactures stitch limits. On December 1st, 2015 I had to decide go buy 18s or get back on the crack. I did a 3 week round because, you know, it was gonna work this time. I went on p3 for Christmas thinking I'd just sail back into the back half. Nope, epic bomb number I lost count. I have no idea what I've done to my body. I went on an eating tear like you have never seen. In a matter of four days, every pound from the three week round is back. I am sitting here (happily eating unsalted mixed nuts) and have accepted the fact that this just isn't going to work. (the definition of insanity, you know) I'm going to go buy those 18s today. (Lord, let it be 18s and not 20's) But even if it is, I have a bigger problem to deal with. This new crazy obsession with food and a carb addiction to beat the band. I have a gym membership (unused for a year and a half on hcg) and plan on using it now. Saddle up cowgirl, we're gonna do it the right way this time.) Sorry to ramble, this is just not an easy thing to come to accept. My metabolism has to get used to eating normal food again. That might mean more gains. I'm mentally preparing for it. I have worse pitting edema in my legs than I have ever had, (I've always leaned toward puffy with a grain or two of salt) But this is nuts. I have to try to avoid simple carbs for my fibromyalgia when I just came across this amazing recipe for homemade brownies. This is so crazy. Do I regret hcg? Yep. Before hcg I could eat one brownie. Now I'll throw down for the whole pan. I don't think (I hope and pray) I don't have any lasting damage besides a wrecked metabolism and some head games. I phoned my best friend (who has been right along side me for this maddness) and told her I'm done. I can't do this anymore. I'm going back to the gym and doing it the way we did before, real slow with lots of sweat.

She's jumping on one more round on new years. She's gained it all back too, but, you know, this time it'll work. I'll be here for her when she sees the light. Much love to anyone else out there who has been on this merry go round. (or should I say horror freak show roller coaster) I wish I had found you all sooner. But then again, I probably would have done it anyway. Thanks to everyone else for sharing their story. Now to see if I can reach my shoes to lace up for the gym. Sigh.

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 12 months ago Author

Your metabolism has likely slowed so much that your body is holding on to every calorie possible thinking that you are starving. That would account for the bloat. If you find that the weight starts returning quickly or discover other problems like with a rapid heartbeat or pain, see your doctor right away.

christinete 12 months ago

The problems that I am having after my second cycle of the drops, is bloating and headaches. Plus, I noticed that I am waking up more throughout the nite so sleeplesness too. I have stopped useing this product altogether. I have lost thirty pounds but feeling terrible and bloated.

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 14 months ago Author

Jennifer, I am so sorry. You are not alone. I cannot even tell you how many women have messaged me to tell me this diet made them fatter and it really does a terrible thing to our metabolism. Other women tell me they developed eating disorders because the rebounding weight was too much for them. Don't do that either! Sounds like you are on the right track now. Just avoid these fad diets and seek the advice of a nutritionist. You might find a much safer way to shed those lbs.

Cari Kay 11 profile image

Cari Kay 11 14 months ago Author

Danielle, I am so sorry. It was so awful. I know. I hope you are feeling better soon. It's amazing how much harm can come to your body through this diet.

Danielle 14 months ago

Feel for it and am day 3 and quitting I've never felt worse in my life. It's literally like death. Pounding daily migraines along with nasty stomach pains that make me want to puke all day. I can't function. In hot in cold I'm tired I'm misserable

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Cari Kay 11 16 months ago Author

If anything, I've heard from more people doing the drops than the shots and they seem to be even worse. With the shots, at least you are closely monitored (or should be) but, with the drops, you get a distributor who is making money off this diet and does not want to admit the problems. I hope you find something that works for you. I know, like you, my body lost muscle and gained more fat. Just an awful diet all around.

Jennifer 16 months ago

I tried the HCG injections for 4 courses. Did well the first couple of times but as I added even healthy foods back I gained and gained. The most alarming thing is I gained I strange places like my arms and legs which were NEVER heavy. Was worst mistake of my life. My hair thinned and everyone told me while yes I was thinner I was looking old and frankly misshapen. That was 2 years ago and I've worked hard just eating clean to keep my weight down but the odd extra bulk on my arms and legs are here to stay. I actually fell for the FB ads for the Omnitrition diet until I was accepted into a private chat room with no answers to my questions and vague references to "drops". I did some further research and have come to conclusion it's the same old gimmick HCG with dangerous diet that left me deformed with really no explanation why!

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Cari Kay 11 16 months ago Author

I've had women email me to ask how to get all their weight off that they gained after the hCG diet. I've got nothing there. This diet slows the metabolism so much, I think the only solution is to work with a nutritionist. Doing more rounds only makes the problems worse and, I believe, causes a lot of future health problems.

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    Woman walks by Diet Books section divided into 'Fiction' and 'Nonfiction.' - New Yorker Cartoon
    Woman walks by Diet Books section divided into 'Fiction' and 'Nonfiction.' - New Yorker Cartoon

    Discovery Health Report

    According to Discovery Health, some side effects of this diet are blood clots, headaches, leg cramps, restlessness, constipation, hair thinning, depression, breast growth in males and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which can be life threatening.

    On top of these side effects, I've commonly seen women post about major hair loss, gall stones, dizziness and heavy bleeding during periods. My doctor also mentioned that the kidneys and bladders have been affected in people they have seen there.

    "In 1976, a study ... compared two groups of dieters. One group followed the HCG protocol. The other group ate the same 500 calorie diet without the HCG injections. And guess what? Both groups experience the same dramatic amount of weight loss, both groups experienced the same amount of hunger, and both groups experienced fat loss in the same areas of the body."

    ~ Dr. Steven Jepson M.D.

    What I Have Taken Away From This

    1. I gained weight on this diet. Not only did I get fatter, it redistributed my weight. When I got back to my original weight, those clothes were too tight! It was clear that I'd lost muscle and gained a lot of fat. I felt "lumpy" and I really did not like it. After the diet, weight was creeping up so started my own version of this diet (same foods, more calories plus a bit of exercise) to stop from gaining it all back. When your body goes into starvation mode, your metabolism slows way down which accounts for the weight gain when people finally stop this diet. My doctor eventually made me stop even that version so, even with watching what I ate and not overeating at all, I did get back to where I was heavier than when I began the diet. I am hearing from others that they gained back even more as well and I've had a number of women tell me this diet made them shifted their weight in all the wrong ways as well.
    2. Some rather serious side effects. My cycle was really messed up. My periods were coming more frequently and far heavier than they have ever been. The worst was the one right before I stopped the diet. I think increasing my calories again helped get me back on track. This diet did cause some heart problems for which I've been monitored by physicians. The change in my cycle caused a lump to form in my breast (which was found while monitoring my heart and we know it wasn't there a couple months prior...and, no, it wasn't more easily felt because I'd lost the time they found it, I had already gained back a bunch of weight) and the heavy cycle banished all my ferritin and iron stores from my body. I had to go through a month and a half of iron infusions at the Cancer Center.
    3. In the midst of this diet, I was so happy to be losing and the thought of making money was tempting. With the pressure to sell, I did look into being a distributor but as I started experiencing more and more side effects, I knew I just couldn't do it and went off the drops entirely. You can make money selling these products but at what expense? When I spoke with the FDA, they let me know this is an illegal product. I've never had any serious side effects from a diet and could never recommend it. I've also never done a diet that changed my body shape (clearly lost muscle and gained fat). I know this was the unhealthiest diet I have ever done and it was NOT worth it! If I could go back in time and just say, "Not only no, but heck no," I would in a heartbeat.

    Dangers infographic.
    Dangers infographic. | Source

    Would you try this diet?

    You've made it this far on the page, what do you think? Would you try this diet?

    • No, I'm convinced this diet is bad news!
    • Still undecided. It would take a bit more to convince me.
    See results without voting

    © 2013 Kay

    I'd Love to Hear From You! 121 comments

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 7 months ago Author

    I so agree with you. This diet can do such terrible things to the body. A doctor's help is definitely a good thing. Keep us updated on your recovery. This diet was a horrible, horrible mistake for me.

    Felize 8 months ago

    Anyone suffering from side effects: go see an endocrinologist and let him/her do a blood test including hormones from your adrenals and thyroid. For my recovery I had to take hydro cortisone, thyroid hormone and dhea. Don't do this yourself, the advice of a doctor is necessary.

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 8 months ago Author

    Brittany, I wish I could just create a page from all the people who became fatter from this diet and now really can't lose the weight. Women don't seem to care that they might have serious health problems from this diet but maybe if they knew how many people ended up with serious weight gain and a damaged metabolism that prevents weight loss, they might look elsewhere to lose. I wish I had a good solution for the weight loss but, sadly, I just don't think, for many of us, our metabolism ever quite recovers.

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 8 months ago Author

    Susan, I am so sorry. I have total empathy and have had too many people message or email me with serious side effects from this diet. It is just not worth it. Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully you'll help some women avoid making the same mistake.

    Brittany 8 months ago

    I can completely relate to the comments I've read. I have done HCG many times throughout the past 7 years. I went from 210 to 127 pounds, but not all at once. I would do HCG and lose some, gain some back, do HCG again and lose some, gain some back etc. On one of my "more successful" HCG attempts many years ago, I went from 185 pounds in the beginning of November to 127 pounds by the end of January, so in less than 3 months I lost nearly 50 pounds. At this point, I was starving myself, not following protocol, just literally eating maybe 300 calories a day. I would gain weight back, do HCG for a month, and then the cycle would continue. I am paying for all of this now, stuck around 180 pounds and doing all the right things, eating about 1,000 calories a day and some exercise, and I am completely stuck. This weight will not come off and it is the most frustrating thing. I refuse to let myself get back into that cycle though, I know it can't be good for my hear etc. Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix what I believe is metabolic damage? Thank you.

    Susan 9 months ago

    I did this diet with the HGC drops. I started in January of 2015. I did lose 28 pounds and I did feel great. Now to the rest of the story. I have never had high blood pressure or any medical problems until November of 2015. I was rushed to the hospital with blood pressure of 188 over 120. I had a blood clot on my brain. I now believe that this diet was a major factor to my health issues. It has taken me a year to get better and I still have problems that will never go away. Please read everything that you can before you try this diet.

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 13 months ago Author

    Frustrating, isn't it? This is only a portion of the messages I receive. Quite a few send me emails because it was their mother, sister, mother-in-law, fellow church member or what have you who talked them into this diet. Talking people into buying MORE of their stuff is common. It's all about the wallet and it makes me sad to think that people are so enamored with making money off this, they'll put their loved ones' lives at risk. You're not the only one to believe this is cultish. Hope you are feeling better soon.

    JuliaDay66 profile image

    JuliaDay66 13 months ago

    I am in my first 21 days of Omni and I have stopped taking the drops and am in the process of getting my money back. I haven't had the energy as claimed, I've developed breast tenderness, bloating and constipation - the hunger pangs are constant no matter how much water I drink, etc. I have been in touch with a lead distributor who told me I need to tweak and adjust to find my "happy numbers" of pills, etc, which absolutely put me off. Instead of taking my worries to heart - I was being "sold". When I described what I'm going through - she had a justification for everything then backed it up by repeating "...but we aren't doctors" - she suggested I wait a few days then do another loading phase of good fats, which truly upsets me -there wasn't much concern for my worries about how I am feeling physically. I don't feel good and I am not willing to put any further effort into something that isn't worth the trouble; that could cause me long-term health issues and in my opinion the conversation with the distributor felt like another cult-scam-fad-thing of the week that just takes your money. I'm glad to see I'm not crazy and there are others who have had similar issues as well.

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 14 months ago Author

    The drops have no real hCG in them. I don't really know if the injections have hCG but, even so, I really don't think hCG is anything more than a placebo. That said, I do think that if you are doing an extreme fad diet such as the hCG one, being under a doctor's care is the way to go. If I had been, they would have caught my problems earlier and prevented so much. Of course, my doctor strongly dislikes this diet because of what it does to people. Don't ruin your metabolism and health with this diet. It's not worth it.

    Krystel 14 months ago

    My question is you seem to have tried the drops but I have always been told that you are supposed to do injections under the care of a physician and not to do the drops from online. Do you think that might have gave you a better outcome?

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 15 months ago Author

    I am so sorry your sister is going through so much as a result of this diet. It really is awful. While there is no hCG in the homeopathic drops sold here in the U.S., you can get it via injection. the 500-calorie can be dangerous but wouldn't matter if hCG was in the drops because the molecules are too large to be absorbed under the tongue and the stomach acid renders it useless. Basically, with the drops, somebody is making money off a placebo...a dangerous placebo. So, are the injections a placebo? I suspect so because people lose the same amounts when they cut down on calories. Since hCG injected can carry very serious complications, some might wonder why people taking the homeopathic drops have more serious side effects. Well, they aren't being closely monitored by doctors so they go long enough to have their organs affected. People being monitored by a doctor and can be pulled off it in time if their 'doctor' (and I use that word very loosely for anybody injecting hCG into patients) is really monitoring them.

    Mary M. 15 months ago

    Hi! I´m so glad I found your page. My sister did this diet 3 years ago under the supervision of a "Doctor" and the HCG was via injections, at first she lost about 45 pounds, she made that awful diet of only 500 cals a day, and one day she cheated and eat one banana and the next day she was 2 pounds heavier!!!. At the end of the day she quit, gained 60 pounds, has PCO, hormones messed up, she is nearly bold and doesn´t know what to do... I just have one question if there is no HCG in the drops or shots, what is it that left every user in such bad conditions?? I don´t get it, so if you have an answer I will be very grateful.

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 17 months ago Author

    Weight Watchers is so much better for you because it doesn't damage your metabolism. If you continue to show side effects, you may want to be seen by your physician. Hope you feel better soon.

    Stephmd85 17 months ago

    After just 5 days on the drops I have started having extreme leg craps at night. I had been feeling fine during the day until day 5. I have even lost 6lbs. Now I'm lightheaded, dizzy and I feel like I'm shaking. I tried to find side effects before starting this diet and had no luck. That should have been a red flag! Thank you so much for this site! I will be stopping the drops immediately and go back to WW. WW was working but I was looking for a quick fix.

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 19 months ago Author

    I was wondering all that myself especially when the side effects became so scary. After talking to the FDA, my doctors and various others 'in the know', first and foremost, extreme crash diets are dangerous. No way to get around that. In some instances, a doctor may put somebody on a crash diet but carefully monitor them. Had I been carefully monitored, no doubt this would have ended much sooner. Honestly, though, my physician, who was very familiar with this diet, lectured me when I ended up in his office. He never would have given his okay. So, crash dieting is dangerous plus, I found out from the FDA, there is NO regulation on these products. They could be putting anything in them and we wouldn't know. These drops could be tap water or they could contain dangerous chemicals and/or diet drugs. Fen Phen was my first worry because I knew a guy who had serious side effects that seemed similar to mine. The illegal thing is interesting. With no hCG in the drops, they shouldn't be illegal right? But, on the label they still advertise it as hCG. The vast majority of people won't realize that the 3x, 6x, 12x...etc... means no hCG. The FDA specifically made these homeopathic drops illegal because they are dangerous. Fortunately, most women seem to have enough sense to avoid them. I wasn't one of those women but I didn't know they were illegal and I didn't realize how truly dangerous these would end up being. At times I think it is probably just tap water but with all the stories, who knows.

    Liz 19 months ago

    I'm reading about this because so many women in my area are promoting Omnitrition. I happen to be a distributor for another company that promotes clean eating with lots of healthy fats, complex carbs, lean meats, fruits and veggies. I've never gone under 1650 calories and have lost. I am confused about one thing, if there isn't actually HGC in omnitrition drops, then what makes it illegal and what are the side affects from? Just the low calorie diet? Thanks!

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 20 months ago Author

    It really is awful, isn't it? On only 500 calories, the brain just feels fuzzy. It's not healthy. Hope you feel a lot better and best of luck with the weight. Thank you so much for sharing. I know it is discouraged but it is important that women hear this before trying this diet. 20 months ago

    Thank you so much for your honesty, I tryed the drops for 8 days. I lost 6 pounds in six days, then gained 3 pounds on day eight . I have never felt this bad in my life. I EVEN quit drinking any and all alcohol for 10 days. I thought I would feel great but I feel like hell. I don't wanna get out of bed, I'm dizzy and light headed, I can't concentrate, and I know it sounds stupid but I don't feel as smart as I was before. Needless to say after all this and reading up on the Omni drops, I am done with them. I will try the old fashion way and try to work the weight off! Thank you! :-)

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 21 months ago Author

    For those who believe the hCG diet may be responsible for their cancer, I read this today:

    "The hCG diet has been shown to increase the risk of developing testicular tumors. Those that have a high risk of developing prostate cancer or those that are already undergoing treatment for prostate cancer should not take on an hCG diet. This can make their cancer worse."

    While this applies to men, it is clear that the hCG diet can be very dangerous.

    Cari Kay 11 profile image

    Cari Kay 11 21 months ago Author

    The drops really are a placebo unless you really believe they carry an imprint or 'the energy' of hCG. There's no real hCG in them. It is the diet that makes you lose the weight. However, when doing a crash diet, you can end up with terrible side effects as we've seen and really do a number on your metabolism. Ditch the drops and talk to a nutritionist. They can help you figure out a healthy way to lose the weight and, better yet, keep it off without having to do continuous cycles of this type of thing.

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