HCG: A Therapy for Post-Pregnancy CFS/FMS?

Published: July 14, 2012

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.

HCG is:

  1. Relatively low cost.
  2. Appears to be reasonably safe, with many women having followed the HCG diet program.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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