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What Are the Negative Side Effects of the HCG Diet?

We know that the HCG Protocol is very effective as far as losing weight quickly, even from those hard-to-lose areas of the body like the hips and thighs. But, whenever there are advantages to something, there are also disadvantages. What are the negative side effects of the HCG Diet Protocol?


Some participants experience some of these side effects during the protocol:


  1. A headache for the first few days which can be treated with aspirin.
  2. Leg cramping which can usually be alleviated with cell salts, potassium or other over the counter products.
  3. Temporary hair thinning which occurs after childbirth with some women and other weight loss methods. (Hair loss with homeopathic hcg hasn’t been reported as often.)
  4. Dry mouth.
  • Make sure you are drinking plenty of water to encourage the salivary glands to secrete saliva.
  • Try limiting your caffeine intake.
  • Make sure you are breathing through your nose and not your mouth.
  • If your nose is stuffy, you can use saline drops and breathe in hot water steam to remove the congestion.
  • Brush your teeth and floss regularly because keeping your teeth clean prevents drying of the mouth.
  • Avoid using mouthwash with alcohol, smoking, antihistamines and decongestants unless prescribed by your doctor.


  1. Bad breath is one fairly common side effect on Phase 2. There doesn’t really seem to be a chemical reason for this problem. We believe that the main reason people have bad breath while on the diet is that they are using more spices (like garlic and onion powder) than usual, and they aren’t eating as often, so bad breath is more noticeable.
  • Make sure you are drinking water and brushing your teeth up to 3 times a day or try eating red radishes as the vegetable for your meals.
  • You can also try using Peppermint Stevia as a breath freshener or add it to the water you are drinking.


  1. Bad mood got you down? Before the diet, your daily food intake was probably full of processed, high-sugar “comfort foods”. When you’re suddenly depriving your brain of the feel-good endorphin and serotonin boost it’s used to from high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar, high-carb foods, it is understandable that you’d be in a bad mood. Let’s face it, who really enjoys not being able to eat whatever they want? However, as time goes on, you should notice less cravings and withdrawal side effects as the “bad foods” you were eating previously fully exit your system.
  2. Low energy is pretty normal during the first week since your body is detoxing and adjusting to the diet. It normally takes 2-5 days of this week for the hcg to get your body to tap into its fat deposits for energy (calories). If you haven’t gorged well enough to stock up your normal fat stores (which are easily accessed by the body) to cover this time of adjustment, you may experience low energy.
  • Add homeopathic vitamin B-12 to your diet to help boost your energy level or purchase hcg drops that contain B12 (DIY Energy Plus Drops).
  • Eat your fruit servings and/or breadstick servings separately from your meals to help level out your blood sugar levels during the day.