The Dangers of Herbal Diet Pills and Side Effects of Herbal Pills
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all manufacturers of
herbal products to not make false or misleading claims about their
products. Manufacturers must have evidence backing up all claims but
they are not required to submit that evidence to the FDA. Consumers must
research and determine the safety and effectiveness of herbal products.
doctor or pharmacist is a good source of information when researching
health risks and potential side effects of herbal medicines. The
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the
Office of Dietary Supplements are also good resources to find
information on herbal products.
Herbal Diet Pills are not for Everyone
herbal ingredients can interact with prescriptions and over-the-counter
medications. Speaking with a doctor or pharmacist is recommended to
ensure interactions are avoided.
Pregnant or breast – feeding
moms are not advised to take any herbal supplements. The safety of
herbal ingredients has not been established for fetuses or infants.
herbal ingredients may cause complications during surgery procedures.
They have been known to reduce how effective anesthesia is, causing
bleeding or raise blood pressure. Anyone who is taking or was taking
herbal supplements should advise his doctor prior to any surgery
Adults over the age of 65 are not advised to take
herbal supplements due to metabolism changes. Safety for anyone under
the age of 18 has not been established and this age group does not have a
safe dosage recommendation.
Herbal Diet Pills Can Cause Electrolyte and Vitamin Imbalance
herbal diet pills contain laxatives and diuretics. These agents can
lead to dehydration and imbalance of electrolytes. Using laxatives or
diuretics can lead to vitamin deficiencies. Another ingredient used for
weight loss purpose is Ipecac Syrup, a syrup meant to induce vomiting.
Ipecac Syrup is not a safe method of weight control and has potential to
Herbal diet pills containing laxatives and/or
diuretics often have a side effect of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal
symptoms from laxatives and/or diuretics include: stomach cramping,
constipation, bloating, mood swings and fatigue. Withdrawing from
laxatives may require medical assistance in some cases. Diuretics rid
the body of water and often lead to dehydration and electrolyte
imbalance. Hospitalization may occur after using diuretics along with
short and long – term fluid retention.
Liver Damage and Failure Can Result from Certain Herbal Diet Pills
DeCruz, a 28–year–old actress, nearly lost her life after taking a
herbal diet pill called “Slim 10”. Time Magazine reported that DeCruz
took the herbal diet pill for two months before being near death. The
herbal diet pill destroyed her live and she now takes immunosuppressants
to ensure her new liver is not rejected.
There have been many
reports of women losing their lives from taking herbal diet pills. In
1997, the U.S. banned an ingredient called “fenfluramine”. This
ingredient was often found in herbal diet pills as well as variations of
the ingredient. The ingredient was still found widely on store shelves
in Asia despite government warnings and measures were taken to reduce
chances of export into North America.
Herbal Diet Pills May Cause Death
As Time Magazine
reported, death from herbal diet pills did occur in the early 2000s.
From 2000 to 2001 a total of seven women were reported to have died from
taking herbal diet pills. In the U.S. 80 deaths have been reported as a
result of taking ephedrine, a stimulant used in herbal diet pills.
government warnings, people are still intent on taking herbal diet
pills to lose weight quickly. Only consumer education will assist
consumers in making wise choices and avoiding lethal side effects.
Consumers are encouraged to read the ingredients and research their
warnings before trying a diet pill of any form.
information contained in this article is for educational purposes only
and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the
opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his
or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
Mayo Clinic. Herbal Supplements: "What to know before you buy" (accessed September 29, 2010)
Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders. "Diet Pills, Laxatives and Dangerous Methods" (accessed September 29, 2010)
Time. "Asia’s Killer Diet Pills" (accessed September 29, 2010)
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