Appetite Suppressants, Laxatives and Diet Pills

… are a waste of money, a waste of space on the shelf in the chemist and a waste of good health.

You might have invested in a diet pill before – they’re quite readily available to the public these days. What most companies don’t tell you; however, is that a lot of these diet pills, appetite suppressants and laxatives can hold various health consequences, particularly when taken over an extended duration of time. Individuals tend to only look at the pros, not the cons – but is the quick fix that a diet pill  may provide worth the compromise of ones health?

Many products claim to increase the rate of an individuals metabolism, help control the appetite, block the body’s ability to absorb fat and expand in the stomach to create a feeling of satiety. This might sound excellent to some of you – but you’re probably thinking of the effect it will have on your shape and weight – am I right? A lot of these diet pills have active ingredients such as caffeine or phenylpropanolamine – ingredients which, in abundance, can have serious effects on the body.

These diet pills, laxatives and appetite suppressants can be addictive. And don’t think that just because your doctor prescribed it to you that you won’t suffer any health consequences as a result. Natural Bloom list these side effects on their website:

  • anxiety or nervousness,
  • irritability,
  • insomnia and a feeling of restlessness or hyperactivity,
  • high blood pressure,
  • tightness in the chest,
  • heart palpitations,
  • heart attack,
  • stroke or congestive heart failure,
  • digestive tract problems like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or other stomach pain,
  • fever,
  • dry mouth,
  • headaches,
  • dizziness,
  • blurred vision,
  • profuse sweating,
  • hair loss,
  • menstrual cycle and sex drive disturbances, and
  • urinary tract problems.

I’d also like to suggest that the individual can be affected on an emotional level – and perhaps social. One may come to rely on these for weight loss, instead of focusing on eating a balanced, nutritious diet and regularly exercising. These sorts of pills would only perpetuate the focus and obsessive behaviours attributed to and with weight loss.

Previously being bulimic, I regularly took laxatives. The problem with laxatives is that you have to take more and more in order for them to continue to work each time. They ruin your body – they weaken the muscles in your body, they dehydrate you (because you lost a lot of “water weight”) and cause general electrolyte imbalances. Instead of taking the recommended 1-3, an anoretic or bulimic will probably take the whole box “just in case” – or even as a form of self-harm or punishment. Eventually, the eating disordered individual will cease being able to have a bowel movement without the help of a laxative.

I was  hospitalised in April after overdosing on paracetamol and appetite suppressants – my heart rate was through the roof and I was quite dehydrated. I’d say it’s not really fair to treat your body in that way – my liver does a top-notch job sorting out my metabolism, producing hormones and storing glycogen and it most definitely deserves to be treated a lot better than continual overdoses on foreign substances.

I’d like you to consider this question if you are thinking about going to your chemist to buy a diet product: What’s your purpose?

I strongly believe that these diet pills, laxatives and appetite suppressants should not be as readily available to the public as they are. What sort of message are we sending to young children? That having an appetite is wrong? That dieting is a lifestyle? It isn’t. It’s a waste of time.

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