Dying to Lose Weight? The Hidden Dangers of Diet Pills
The UK is currently in the midst of an obesity pandemic, and if things don’t change fast, it is thought that 26 million people will be obese by 2030. Given the number of chronic health complaints associated with being overweight, such as heart-related problems, stroke and diabetes, it’s not surprising that so many people are keen to start losing weight.
However, shifting the pounds the conventional way, through diet and exercise, is hard work; especially if you’ve got a substantial amount to lose. It’s precisely this fact that makes slimming or diet pills so appealing.
The ‘Miracle Drug’?
Many slimming pills promote themselves as being a ‘miracle drug’ for weight-loss; enabling the user to lose the extra weight without any real effort or exertion. Of course, slimming drugs prescribed by NHS doctors are approved and thus safe to use, and these can be effective in accelerating weight-loss.
It’s the unlicensed slimming pills that are causing significant problems. One only has to type in ‘slimming pills’ online, and a never-ending list of suppliers pop up on the screen. Whilst it’s not necessarily the case that all these readily available pills are dangerous, what is true is that there is no real way of knowing. They are, for the most part, completely unregulated.
The Dangers of Buying Diet Pills Online
In 2011, 20 year old Danni Tip suffered a fatal heart attack after taking dieting pills she’d bought online. The pills, which contained the stimulant DMAA, had given her an immediate caffeine hit which was equivalent to drinking 40 cups of coffee in a row.
Likewise, in 2012, a 23 year old medical student called Sarah Houston was found dead by her flatmates after taking a slimming pill called DNP, which she had purchased online.
In addition to this, these diet pills have the potential to cause bladder problems, kidney trouble, irregular heartbeat and seizures. Although some pills have been made illegal, the internet allows unscrupulous suppliers to easily continue selling them; by simply marketing them under another brand name or selling them on a hard-to-trace site, such as eBay.
Trusting Your Weight-Loss Clinic?
Whilst most are probably familiar with the perils of buying medication online, many people would think nothing of trusting a registered weight-loss clinic. However, according to a survey in Health Which? Magazine, half of all slimming clinics in the UK were dishing out weight-loss drugs to people who weren’t even obese.
Professor Rowland Jung, who runs Ninewells Hospital, which specialises in obesity, warns of the dangers of diet pills. ‘People are really desperate and flocking to private slimming practices because there are two few NHS obesity clinics,’ he comments. ‘The problem is there are no licencing laws for private practices, so we don’t know if their standards are up to scratch.’
Herbal Diet Pills – the Solution?
Whilst you may think that ‘all-natural’ herbal slimming pills provide the solution, again, be warned; some are not all that they seem. Many work as diuretics, which means the weight lost is water, not fat. This can also damage your bladder in the long-term. Others may operate as a laxative, which can cause damage to the bowel.
In reality, there is no ‘get slim quick’ miracle solution, or at least not one that is safe for use. If you’re struggling to lose the weight, it’s a far more sensible idea to arrange to speak with your GP, who will be able to offer you practical, helpful, safe advice.