By Michael Torchia
What Do Octomom and Manny Ramirez Have in Common?
They are both under the spotlight for taking a fertility drug...
HCG is not the "Drug of Champions," the fact is that it could actually hinder athletic ability due to the side effects it causes. Normally prescribed by doctors to help with andropause (male menopause) as well as low sperm count and erectile dysfunction - why would any athlete come forward about his reasons for taking this drug?
Rather than deal with this privately it was brought out in the media and now Ramirez is getting ridiculed for taking the drug considered "performance enhancing." The following information sheds the light of reality on the HCG drug.
Now that Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been suspended for an astounding 50 games by Major League Baseball, I feel it is time to add some balance to this consveration regarding Mr. Ramirez's "illegal" performance drug abuse. HCG is the drug in question that has landed Mr. Ramirez in trouble, but HCG is not an athletic enhancing steroid!
In my 30 years as a health and fitness expert, I have recommended HCG to some of my clients, many of them are older males looking to counterbalance the effects of andropause - the male version of menopause.
HCG is not a drug that can be used to enhance performance, in fact because of the water gain that it can cause, it would be more likely to slow an athlete down! It is derived from a fertile woman's urine. It is also used to treat Erectile Dysfunction and now Manny Ramirez is facing a deeply embarrassing public explanation of his personal medical issues.
This is unfortunate. Major League Baseball has had its image tarnished with too many drug scandals in recent years and perhaps the people in charge there find it necessary to make an example of Ramirez for the sins of others. It's my opinion that this is a mistake. I don't believe Mr. Ramirez would take such a drug to gain an unfair advantage - one has only to look at this drug's side effects below to see why:
Side Effects of HCG:
The most common side effects include enlargement or tenderness of the breasts (both sexes), swelling of the ankles and legs, loss of appetite, weight changes, retention of water, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and feeling of bloatedness.
Less common side effects are bleeding gums, breakthrough vaginal bleeding, vaginal spotting, changes in menstrual flow, painful menstruation. pre-menstrual syndrome, no menstrual period during and after estrogen use, enlargement of uterine fibroids, vaginal infection with Candida, a cystitis-like syndrome, mild diarrhea, jaundice or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, rash, loss of scalp hair, and development of new hairy areas. Lesions of the eye and contact-lens intolerance have also been associated with high estrogen levels. You may experience migraine headache, mild dizziness, depression, and increased sex drive (women) or decreased sex drive (men). Rare side effects include stroke, blood-clot formation, dribbling or sudden passage of urine, loss of coordination, chest pains, leg pains, difficulty breathing, slurred speech, and vision changes. Men who have high levels of estrogen are at a greater risk for heart attack, phlebitis and blood clots in the lungs.
This drug is not a steroid. HCG is a natural protein hormone secreted by the human placenta and purified from the urine of pregnant women. This hormone is not a natural male hormone but mimics the natural hormone LH (Luteinising Hormone) almost identically. This LH stimulates the production of testosterone by the testis in males. Thus HCG sends the same message and results in increased testosterone production by the testis due to HCG's effect on the leydig cells of the testis.