18 July, 2017
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At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
- MayoClinic.com: Constipation; January 2011
- MayoClinic.com: Laxative (Rectal Route); November 2010
- FamilyDoctor.org: Constipation; July 2010
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HCG Diet and Constipation
An HCG diet is a very low calorie regimen combined with hormone supplements that claim to help suppress hunger and redistribute fat stores in a more normal way. HCG, or human gonadotropin, is a pregnancy hormone that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as an infertility treatment. Recently, it has gained popularity for helping people drop excess fat quickly. Before staring an HCG protocol, talk to your doctor about the possible side effects, including intestinal discomfort and constipation.
About the Diet
On an HCG diet, participants are required to consume only 500 calories a day. The protocol consists of two meals. For lunch and dinner, you can have 100 g of meat, a vegetable, toast or breadstick and fruit. For breakfast, you’re permitted to have a cup of coffee or tea with a tablespoon of milk and sugar substitute. According to A.T.W. Simeons, the British endocrinologist who developed the plan, the slightest deviation can cause disastrous results as far as your weight is concerned.
HCG is produced in the placenta and is responsible for nourishing the fetus through blood vessels in the uterus. In non-pregnant people, Simeons explains that the hormone redistributes fat away from abnormal deposits, around the abdomen, thighs and buttocks, for example, and makes the fat available for use as fuel during calorie restriction. While on an HCG diet, constipation is common, but is not caused by the hormone.
Constipation is a condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stools. According to MayoClinic.com, there is no one amount of bowel movements all people are required to have per week, but that it’s likely you’re constipated if you have fewer than three in a seven day period. Constipation on an HCG diet is not only typical, but is expected. Simeons writes in his book, “Pounds and Inches,” due to the restricted diet, “it is perfectly satisfactory and normal to have an evacuation of the bowel only once every three to four days.”
Using laxatives while on an HCG diet is forbidden. For patients who are concerned about not having a bowel movement in more than four days, use of a suppository is permitted. A laxative encourages bowel movements by releasing a gas into the bowel to cause contractions and move stool; draws water from surrounding tissues to soften stools and increase action in the bowel; stimulant laxatives cause muscle contractions in the intestinal wall and encourage movements. Oral laxatives on an HCG diet are discouraged because they may contain added calories and interfere with your diet, but suppositories, which are inserted into the rectum, are permitted under special circumstances.
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