Human chorionic gonadotropin and ME/CFS

A reader sent me an interesting email that interested me greatly about her daughter. Some extracts

“confined to her bed or at least her house with CFS for 5 -7 years. We’ve been following your suggestions as best we can, given my goofiness about science, and we’ve had some modest success, but in the last three weeks she began to get stirrings of energy. Her doctor…has had great success with other non-CFS patients  using HCG, which here …  is fashionable, along with a diet, for weight loss. … He talked her into trying HCG 3 weeks ago  (without the diet- she’s on a Mediterranean diet as you recommend), first on 2 doses of .4  of 125 iu  a day, which seemed to achieve nothing, then 10 about days ago, he increased it to 2 doses of 150iu a day. Within 3 days of that, she unexpectedly got out of the house at 6AM to go the airport to welcome a friend home, then stayed up all day travelling (though not driving) 130 km by car and was still awake and bubbly at 9 pm. Only a little delayed exhaustion and rattiness the next day- usually after this she’d expect to be laid out for a week or more with slurred speech etc The next two days she was on the go…. A low energy three days followed – but today as I write she’s out and about finding out what the shops look like these days!   She’s begun to think about what she’d like to do in the world!”

What do we know about hCG beyond this single report?

Bottom Line

The risk factors for continued use is high. I am pleased for this patient’s mother to see the change that occured, but there is too much risk and too little basis to even suggest it as an experiment for others. Some of the adverse effects (hypotension, hypoglycemia, constipation, fatigue) hints that it does cause alteration of the microbiome — but there are no studies on what the alterations are.

I would be inclined to discontinue use and see what the consequences are (it may have done the essential work and addition dosages may not have benefit — even for maintaining).


This is an education post to facilitate discussing this approach with your medical professionals. It is not medical advice for the treatment of any medical condition. Always consult with your medical professional before doing any  changes of diet, supplements or activity. Some items cites may interfere with prescription medicines.