Understanding Pregnancy Hormone Levels & HCG Diet Side-Effects

HCG is an abbreviation for ‘human chorionic gonadotropin’ and it is also the hormone that pregnancy tests detect roughly one or two weeks after conception. Pregnancy has a way of turning even the most down-to-earth person into a nervous wreck, and this is why it is so important to understand how pregnancy hormones affect moods and overall state of health.

Effects of Increased Pregnancy Hormone Levels

During early pregnancy, the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG) is the first one to become visible after conception. It is also referred to as the “announcer of pregnancy” because it can be detected in the pregnancy blood test and in normal tests. Science shows us that HCG levels double approximately every two days during the first 10 weeks of conception. At the same time, pregnancy hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone are kept at normal levels with the help of HCG, until the placenta manages to develop and take over this function.

Increased estrogen during pregnancy improves the vascularization of the fetus and placenta. Also, normal estrogen levels lead to nausea associated with early pregnancy, and milk development / enlarged breasts during the third trimester. High progesterone levels during pregnancy lead to loosening/laxity of ligaments and joints as well as increased size for internal structures such as the ureters.

There are a few noticeable changes that all people talk about when a pregnancy appears. For example, you get that specific ‘glow’ of pregnancy and your mood changes as well. Let’s take a look at some other major changes.

Major Changes Caused by Pregnancy Hormones

Mood swings may be an effect of increased pregnancy hormone levels, but they represent only the tip of the iceberg. Most women will be confronted with weight gain. This will result in increased physical activity for the pregnant woman, as well as slower blood and body fluids circulation towards the lower limbs. Ultimately, the mother will have to deal with swelling of the legs, hands, and sometimes, face. Even if pregnant woman are able to exercise, they will be restricted by water weight gains, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Swelling of the legs usually appears during the second trimester and it continues into the third. Another noticeable side-effect of HCG is a sensitive bladder. That’s because the hormone increases blood supply to the pelvis, and this, in turn, makes your body want to get rid of the tiniest amount of urine.

Here are a few other physiological changes that the HCG hormone is responsible of:

  • Breast changes: the breasts undergo a series of significant modifications, as the body prepares itself to produce milk for the infant. Tenderness and sensitivity around the areola, stretch marks and increased nipple size are only a few examples of changes.
  • Taste and smell changes: In general, women develop different tastes during pregnancy. For example, they may start craving foods they don’t generally like, or their threshold for sour, salty or sweet tastes may increase.
  • Vision changes: some women will experience myopia – nearsightedness – during pregnancy.
  • Cervical changes: the cervix also undergoes several physical changes as it prepares for labor. In most situations, it thickens and becomes glandular.

If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned changes or nausea, you should definitely take a blood pregnancy test. If you are conducting research prior to starting the HCG diet, it is a good idea to know the effects and role of the HCG hormone in the body. The truth is that the HCG died plan is a major change from your everyday diet. Injections are prescribed together with a punishing 500 calorie diet plan.

The diet has proven effective. Countless of women and man have managed to mobilize stored fat from the upper arms, thighs and midsection by respecting the rules of this diet. Taking into account the effect of pregnancy hormone levels on women, you should also get a better idea of the side-effects for the HCG diet. Side-effects may include, but are not limited to:

1. Headache: the body needs time to adjust to the new diet, and you may experience headaches in the first week of dieting. Drinking enough water or administering over-the-counter pain-killers should be enough.

2. Leg Cramps: this side-effect is extremely rare, but it may appear if you have low levels of potassium. Taking a supplement of potassium should quickly alleviae the problem.

3. Dizziness: is a common side-effect of the HCG diet. It is associate with the low calorie, low carb HCG plan. If you feel dizzy you should absolutely eat more than what you are allowed to in the plan.

4. Constipation: because you will be eating a lot less than what you are used to, you will become constipated. Make sure you administer a mild sugar-free laxative from time to time.

5. Rash: lastly, in rare cases, the HCG diet may cause rashes. This happens because the body will be burning fat at accelerated speeds, and this fat excretes toxins in your body. When they build up, rashes appear.

These side-effects can be easily prevented through proper hydration and monitoring of the body’s reaction. 

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