This is a follow-up to an article I wrote, "HCG — A New Pain Therapy Breakthrough?" That article discussed research showing that a simple HCG injection (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) markedly decreased severe chronic pain in people on high-dose morphine. In thinking about this further, another intriguing possibility occurred to me. HCG is a hormone, made by the placenta, that sustains pregnancy and moderates immune function — so that the mother's immune system does not reject the fetus. A significant number of women have had their CFS/FMS triggered after they delivered a baby. Even more find their CFS/FMS improves during pregnancy, only to come back with a vengeance after the baby is born.
I had attributed this phenomenon to the rise in the hormone CRH (an adrenal-stimulating hormone) and the 30% rise in blood volume that occurs during pregnancy. It is possible, though, that the dramatic drop in HCG when the baby is born also plays a role.
- Relatively low cost.
- Appears to be reasonably safe, with many women having followed the HCG diet program.
- An injection that is fairly simply to self administer, being given SQ, like insulin shots. If the shots help, a sustained-release tablet form may also help.
- Readily available from compounding pharmacies (by prescription).
Dosing is discussed in "HCG — A New Pain Therapy Breakthrough?" Benefits for pain are seen by a week after giving a simple test dose, so the person will quickly know if it helps (though I would give a 4-6 week trial of 2-3x week dosing for postpartum CFS/FMS). Though still experimental for pain and CFS/FMS, it makes sense to try it in the situations discussed above, as the downsides are minimal. Stay tuned as we explore this further!