Mary’s Patient Journey Story | hCG

“My weight has been an issue my whole life,” says Mary, a 54-year-old Central California resident who became a patient of Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness earlier this year. “It goes back as far as I can remember.” 

She calls herself a “chunky monkey” of a child, born to Italian immigrants whose rich culinary culture migrated with them to the United States. 

“My mother is the most amazing cook on the planet,” she says. “She cooked really healthy, but we didn’t learn that these are the carbs, these are the proteins, and so on. You just always had some pasta, and I always had more pasta.” Her weight gradually climbed. 

Today, Mary is proud to say that she has taken control of her health and lost 70 pounds working with Dr. Young. The road to success was decades-long, and it began with a devastating loss. 


“My father passed away of cancer when I was only 15 years old,” Mary says. “For all these years, I’ve wondered why can’t they find a cure.”

Her search for an answer eventually led her to The China Study, a bestselling book that examines the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease. She was intrigued by the book’s claim that a whole food plant-based diet offered the most health benefits.

“Studies done throughout China found that cancer rates are higher in people who eat meat, so I immediately stopped eating animal products,” she explains. “It resonated with me at the time — like, maybe I’m not going to get cancer.”

Mary took a relaxed approach to her new vegan diet. As long as she avoided animal products, she allowed herself to eat anything else she wanted. Sometimes that meant tucking into large portions of her favorite legumes. At other times, it meant “shoveling in” Cheez-It crackers at 10 pm after a stressful day.

“I wasn’t being a healthy vegan. All I was doing was not eating meat. I never paid attention to the calories I was consuming,” Mary says. “That showed year over year as I continued to gain weight.”


Although Mary hadn’t adopted veganism to lose weight, she’d hoped it might be a perk. Instead, she sank years into trying various diets with no long-term success. “I basically tried all that’s out there,” she says. Some worked temporarily, “but I never understood that the work isn’t done after you lose the weight.”

Repeated attempts to maintain weight loss fell short. Mary grew disheartened.

“I felt like I was turning into a fat old lady,” she says with a short laugh. “I would go out and do things because I was trying to live my life, but I wouldn’t be excited. Getting dressed up wasn’t fun. I hated my photograph being taken. I would always be appalled by what I saw.”

Years of weight fluctuations passed. Mary found herself facing her 50s and a new set of health challenges. She began bioidentical hormone replacement therapy after reading that it could ease the symptoms of menopause, and considered taking probiotic supplements after she started experiencing digestive issues.

“Finally, I said, ‘Mary, you have to stop self-diagnosing. You need to get to the root of these things.’ So I googled ‘hormone specialist’ and I came across Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness.”


“I truly feel that I was led to Dr. Young,” Mary says. “I made an appointment not knowing anything about naturopathic medicine. I just wanted to figure out how to feel the best I possibly could.”

Mary’s first interactions with Young Naturopathic Center for Wellness assured her she’d made the right decision. She loved everything from the convenient 7 am appointment availability to the enthusiastic greeting she received from Carla, the patient care concierge.

“My consultation was great. Dr. Young was very warm, compassionate and knowledgeable. She listened to me and fully understood where I was coming from. I felt super comfortable with her,” Mary recalls. 

Dr. Young conducted a comprehensive health screening that included a medical history, physical examination and laboratory testing. With the results of this assessment, Dr. Young would have a clear picture of Mary’s genetic risk of disease, body fat, cardiovascular health, hormone levels, dietary deficiencies, inflammation and immune markers, and more.

That picture turned out to be dramatically different than Mary expected.

“She said I had markers for heart disease and that the single most important thing I needed to do for my health was lose weight,” Mary says. “It was eye-opening.”


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Millions of Americans suffer from cardiovascular conditions that are life-threatening but preventable. Despite the family history of cancer that worried her for decades and the interest in hormone replacement therapy that initially brought her to Dr. Young, Mary had a new battle to fight. 

“Heart disease wasn’t on my radar. Cancer hit our family really hard, so I was focused on that,” she says. “I made my mind up at that moment — I had to lose weight.”

Dr. Young suggested trying the hCG protocol, which is a daily peptide therapy of FDA-approved hCG along with a low-calorie diet.  This powerful peptide therapy alters how the body reacts to hormones and helps maintain muscle while safely losing weight on a low-calorie diet.  As a treatment for weight loss, hCG suppresses appetite and encourages the body to burn off fat while preserving muscle.

“She said, ‘I can give you the tools to drop the weight quickly, but you have to do the work.’ That was scary and exciting to hear at the same time.” Mary says. “It had gotten to the point where I couldn’t fix it alone.”

Fortunately, she was not alone. She had the expertise of Dr. Young and Dr. Sana Chrystal, N.D., D.C., guidance from certified health and wellness coach Phaedra, encouragement from Carla and the loving support of her husband of 22 years. 

It’s never too late to start making healthy decisions, and Mary finally had the right plan in place to ensure the changes last. 

“I’m on a journey. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and Dr. Young has probably got so much more I can learn from her. I feel in my heart that I was led here.”

After hearing about her risk for heart disease and the benefits Dr. Young’s hCG weight loss protocol could offer, Mary was ready to make major changes for her health. But first, she would have to give up something she’d held dear for a decade.

Read Part Two Now