When Beauty Treatments Backfire
We are all suckers for beauty treatments that promise a quick fix to our biggest dilemmas. But are the risks worth it? Find out
The quick fix: Taking diet pillsDiet pills can have a variety of active ingredients, but board-certified cosmetic surgeon Dr. Victoria Karlinsky, M.D. of New Look New Life says, the most popular ones tend to have phentremine, which acts almost exactly like cocaine. "Phentremine suppresses your appetite, gives you some elation, and may make you feel more energized," says Karlinsky. "However, when patients abruptly stop [using] it, they may experience the same side effects as someone who is addicted to cocaine, such as low energy levels, depression, nausea and vomiting, generalized body pain, headaches, and lack of motivation."
Karlinsky herself has taken phentremine. "When I was studying for my boards I thought it would be a good idea to take phentremine, thinking it would help me concentrate and stop me from eating all the time -- because when you study, all you do is eat and the weight comes on with every breath you take.
"After taking just one pill, I felt like I could take over the world. I studied for hours, had no desire to eat or drink, I felt very energized and happy -- this lasted all day," she says. Karlinsky took another pill the next day, then on "the third morning, I felt lightheaded, miserable, and sad when I woke up. I was starving and nauseous at the same time and couldn't even look at my books. I realized that my body was craving another pill.
"I realize now that I was very quickly getting addicted to this medication. It took me two days to get back to feeling normal -- and I will never take phentremine again."
The better option: Eat right and exercise
"I recommend a healthy diet [and] exercise to all of my patients," says Karlinsky. When you're feeding your body properly, moving your body, and giving it enough rest, your appetite and energy levels will regulate, experts agree. For tips on eating wisely and learning easy-to-stick-to fitness regimens, check out these health and diet tips.
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