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HCG and Diabetic Neuropathy

Letters to the Editor from April 2012

Dear Dr. Tennant,
I loved your article on human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and pain. I am always trying to find better, natural ways to help my patients with peripheral neuropathy. I would love to know what dosage and source you use for HCG and whether you have had much success with diabetic painful neuropathy. 

Thank you.

Jared Shippee, DPM
Brigham City, Utah

Dear Dr. Shippee,
First, let me say that hormonal therapies are the newest advance in pain treatment. Keep in mind that the vast majority of our current medications are symptomatic and palliative. Hormonal therapies are neurogenic and anabolic (ie, tissue growth and healing). Put simply, some hormones, when combined with our current pain-relieving drugs, give our patients relief of suffering while providing some hope of permanent healing.

I just presented an update on my use of HCG in severe pain patients who required opioid therapy and who had centralized their pain.1 Several of those patients had various peripheral neuropathies including those from diabetes. HCG is continuing to show good therapeutic value in many pain patients.

HCG should be viewed as an adjunct to our standard drugs for analgesia including opioids and neuropathic agents. I recommend patients be given a 60-day trial; stop if you don’t see results. My starting dosage is 125 units given sublingually each day or 500 units given subcutaneously twice a week. The dosage should be progressively increased until the patient’s pain, energy, sleep, and function improve. The highest dosage I’ve observed is 750 units per day taken by the sublingual route. Most compounding pharmacists can make the liquid sublingual preparation.

Be clearly advised that while hormonal therapies are exciting and promising, the protocol for testing and treatment of this regimen is in its embryonic stage. Besides HCG, I’m also testing for and treating with pregnenolone, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), dehydroepiandrosterone, progesterone, and oxytocin. One sure thing is that low testosterone serum levels in men call for replacement.

Hormone testing and treatment isn’t nearly as complex and difficult as it may initially appear. It’s a new, practical approach to benefitting our patients. Stay tuned!

Best wishes,

Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH

Last updated on: May 1, 2012
First published on: April 1, 2012