• Dr. Naureen Akhtar General Practitioner MBBS,MRCGP,DRCOG

Recent Study: Stomach Botox for Weight Loss

botox for weight loss

A new use of Botox is now being considered by many doctors – the injectable toxin may help overweight and obese people shed weight, based on early research.

Botox treatment is believed to work by blocking a crucial nerve in the stomach that regulates feeling of satiety and hunger. In a small study in Norway, researchers injected Botox into the stomach of 20 obese individuals, with body mass indexes ranging from 35 to 44. The study utilized an endoscope, a medical instrument to look inside the stomach and administer Botox for weight loss into the lower part of the organ. Participants received Botox at the beginning of the study and then another one every six months.

After a year (patients had received two injections) results revealed that 70 percent of the group had lost weight, with an average weight loss of 17 percent out of their excess weight body. After 18 months (patients got three injections), 75 percent of the patients lost weight, with an average weight loss of 28 percent of their excess body weight.

Researchers emphasized that despite the small size of the study and the need for more research in order to confirm, if future studies validate the findings, then this procedure may become ‘the latest method in treating obesity.
A number of past studies have also tested Botox for weight loss, but majority of the studies found that Botox did not help the subjects lose weight. The difference between this study and those in the past is that earlier studies followed patients for just a few months after a single shot of Botox, whereas this new study followed the patients for over a year with repeated injections of Botox.

Furthermore, researchers in the earlier studies thought that Botox would only help people lose weight since it could slow down the rate of stomach emptying. However, the researchers in the new study had a different theory – Botox can block the vagus nerve – a nerve connecting the stomach and the brain, controlling feeling of satiety and hunger.

The researchers first tested their theory in animals, targeting the vagus nerve with Botox injection in mice and discovered that the rats lost weight by eating less. But in experiments where the vagus nerve had been cut, they did not lost weight even with Botox injections. This experiment suggested that Botox acted through the vagus nerve, inducing weight loss. This made the researchers target vagus nerve with Botox.

Botox for weight loss is relatively safe and patients didn’t experience any serious side effects. Also, the procedure is quick, which only takes about 15 minutes. Still, Botox can cause serious side effects such as trouble breathing, muscle weakness and double vision, in rare cases.

The study was funded by the European Commission and The Liaison Committee between the Central Norway Regional Health Authority and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Getting Botox for Career – How Cosmetic Injections Help More Men Compete Against Younger Men

Botox for career

Today, more and more men are jumping on the Botox bandwagon – and they are giving all different reasons to give wrinkle injection a try. According to a recent survey done by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), there is a significant increase in the number of total procedures (9.9 per cent) for both men and women, with more than 400,000 male patients who got Botox injections last year.

Plastic surgeons are not surprised to see more men in their practices. The main motivation of men to get Botox injection is to appear youthful, particularly at work where they’re more likely to face age discrimination. Many men view the procedure as a way to defy aging effectively and freeze time.

The pressure to look young and feel more youthful are not exclusive to women; men too feel pressured. This is according to most physicians who told patients age 35 to 65 years were interested in getting the injection.
The president of the ASAPS Dr. Daniel Mills said, “’They’re simply having more procedures done because they want to maintain the competitiveness in an increasingly ageist workplace”. Nowadays, the younger you look, the better chance you have in competing and staying in market. The most common areas injected with Botox for career are around the eyes and eyebrows.

In addition, spouses and significant others play a part in convincing their partner to go inside their doctor’s office. Some patients feel more comfortable having the procedure after finding out that a loved one or a friend have it, while others just reported that their partner demanded they get Botox.

After seeing more and more men considering this cosmetic procedure, doctors are beginning to pay more attention to men’s aesthetics, as this trend may continue and even perpetuate. In the past, a man checking a plastic surgery website may see procedures often aimed at women. But now, more and more websites are dedicated to cater men.
Another reason to the rise on the number of men getting Botox is social media and the desire to look great on their dating profile. This inspired more and more men to try the Botox.

Most men who likely get Botox for career have higher incomes and a lot of them work in fashion, art, corporate world and law. There’s also no specific ethnicity – Asian, White, African-American.

Studies Suggest – Botox for Arthritis Pain

Botox for arthritis pain

Popularly used to smoothen fine lines and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, experts are exploring the potential of Botox for arthritis pain, specifically rotator cuff arthropathy. Rotator cuff consists of four tendons and four muscles that surround the joints and provide important function. It makes sure the end of the humerus stays within the socket of the shoulder.

Rotator cuff tears are more common among the elderly. This is often caused by wear and tear in the joints and affects up to one in four people. Along with reduced blood supply, tendons in the area become weaker with age. Shoulder blade rubs against these tendons, causing tears in the tissue and impairing movement. Some elderly people experience difficulty in raising their arm above their head due to rotator cuff arthropathy.

Benefits of Botox for Arthritis Pain

In the past, treatment options for arthritis pain include heat or ice packs, anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy, and sometimes, for severe cases, surgery. Administration of Botox in the affected muscles bypasses such measures because Botox relaxes the tissue by blocking signals that prompt the muscle to tighten.

Another reason is that Botox for arthritis pain can paralyze the nerves. Similar to injecting wrinkles, it could have similar effect on the muscles that is transmitting pain. The toxin may eventually be used for treating osteoarthritis patients and those with rotator cuff arthropathy, whose pain isn’t adequately controlled by traditional medicines such as analgesics or NSAIDS.

Botox Blocks Pain Signals

Like how Botox flattens wrinkles, the substance can block neuromuscular junction, so the nerve cannot transmit signals, preventing muscle contraction.

In a study published by the Journal of Rheumatology, 54 patients with chronic knee pain were grouped into two – one group were injected with Botox while the other were given placebo. Result of the study showed 71 percent of those administered with Botox achieved significant reduction in pain, with measurable improvement in the joint function compared to 35 percent of those who got placebo.

Botox as a Possible Treatment for Inflammation

Another study has further raised interest by telling that Botox might be used someday for treating inflammation. Published in the Biochemistry Journal in 2011, it cited a future use of Botox – treating chronic inflammation and not only temporarily relieving pain.

The study led by Felix Yeh, PhD said the focus of the study is to learn how the toxin get into the neurons, something he names ‘the Trojan horse strategy’. With the use of Botulinum toxin Type B, a relatively new product, Yeh revealed that the neurotoxin can be used to inhibit the release of tumor necrosis factor alpha, a type of cytokine that possibly causes inflammation in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Recent Study: Botox for Burning Mouth Syndrome

burning mouth syndrome

A recent study has found that Botox injections might be a safe, effective and long-term treatment for ‘Burning Mouth Sydrome’.

What is Burning Mouth Syndrome?

Burning mouth syndrome is characterized by a burning pain in the mouth, occurring every day for several months or even longer. Dentists and doctors don’t have a particular test to diagnosed BMS, hence it is difficult to diagnose. There are no specific treatment that work for the general public, but your doctor may prescribe medications to help manage dry mouth, mouth pain and other symptoms.

The primary symptom of burning mouth syndrome is the mouth pain that is tingling, scalding or burning. There may also be a feeling of numbness. Other symptoms include altered taste in the mouth and dry mouth.

BMS pain may last for months to years. Often, the tongue is affected, however, it may also be at the roof of the mouth, throughout the mouth or only the lips. Some people feel pain every day and others experience increasing pain throughout the day. For most, the pain is reduced when drinking or eating.

Several medical conditions can cause BMS:

  • Allergies
  • Drug side effects
  • Thyroid issues
  • Damage to nerves that control taste and pain

Botox for Burning Mouth Syndrome

Botox has long been used to smoothen wrinkles but it may also come to the rescue for those suffering from a painful condition known as burning mouth syndrome.

A team of Italian researchers found that Botox might be an effective, safe and long-lasting treatment for the disorder. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a team led by Domenico Restivo, MD, of Garibaldi Hospital, Catania claims that Botox, a purified polypeptide that can relax muscles by blocking neuro-muscular junction (nerve receptors) that innervate the muscles, might help ease the condition.

The small study involved one man and three women in their 60s and 70s. All are diagnosed with Burning Mouth Syndrome on their lower lip and tongue for at least six months. Each patient got a total dose of 16 injection in the lower lip and tongue.

The Botox group reported that pain disappeared within 48 hours in all patients. The beneficial effect lasted for 16 weeks after the Botox therapy in all except for one patient whom the effect lasted for 20 weeks.

The other group involving two patients received saline injections as placebo and saw no improvement in their condition. This effectively ruled out the placebo effect. No side effects were noted from the treatment. Dr. Restivo’s team concluded that the positive results from this study is encouraging, believing that the findings must lead to a more comprehensive, randomised trial.

The Benefits of Botox for Neurological Disorders

Botox for neurological disorders

Over the years, the use of Botox has extended, from medicinal to cosmetic. Developed as a biological weapon, numerous studies have revealed its effectiveness and usefulness beyond enhancing your facial features. Right now, Botox has been highly useful in multidisciplinary fields such as urology, endocrinology, ophthalmology, endocrinology and neurology. This neurotoxin provided benefits for many chronic conditions such as muscle spasm and stiffness by relaxing abnormal muscle contractions.

When there are problems concerning muscle activity, Botox has been a go-to drug due to its effect that help release stiffness.

Below are the different conditions using Botox for neurological disorders:

  • Blepharospasm – a neurological condition manifested by forcible closure of eyelids or abnormal twitching of eyelashes and eyelid. In the case of blepharospasm, the eye muscles contract to the point that the person could not open his eyes and they have to use their hands to open them. Such condition can be an unpleasant experience for the sufferer. A very minimal dose of Botox can be administered through a fine needle in the eyelids.
  • Hemifacial Spasm – a condition when there is involuntary muscle contractions of the face on one side, manifested by flickering movement of the affected muscles. The condition can be resolved by injecting Botox on the lower face and around the eye.
  • Meige’s Syndrome – a condition in which the upper and lower part of the facial muscle contracts.
  • Cervical dystonia – a condition characterized by high muscle tone in the neck, resulting in different positions of the head. Sometimes, the neck rotates and pulls in a certain direction. The condition is sometimes called ‘wry neck’ or torticollis. Botox helps by providing controlled relaxation of the affected muscles.
  • Upper and lower limb spasticity – there are times when a person recovers from stroke, muscle stiffness can hinder recovery. In some cases, spasticity is severe that it causes restrictions of movement. Botox help relax the muscles to assist physiotherapy.
  • Writer’s Cramp – a condition in which a person have difficulty in writing only. A person with writer’s cramp may only write one to two pages and after that, their hands begins to give up.
  • Migraine – not all cases of migraine require Botox injection. Botox can be used for migraine if the person experience frequent headaches and failed to respond with other treatment.
  • Botox for Neurological Disorders – How It Work

    Botox for neurological disorders causes a controlled relaxation with abnormal muscle movements or spasticity. The process is ‘irreversible’ and has to be injected every 3 to 6 months. Botox can be highly effective when injected in the right spot. It is important to hire someone with considerable experience and expertise in Botox injection

ProTox: Getting Botox to Look More Professional

ProTox

Nowadays, more and more people are turning towards less invasive cosmetic procedure such as Botox. With nearly zero downtime and instant results, one group of people turns to Botox too – professionals who want to hide their emotions. Politicians, lawyers, detectives, psychiatrists and even stockbrokers are now turning to Botox to keep a straight face.

Dubbed as ‘Protox’, this is recently sought by mostly professionals who want to achieve a ‘frozen face’, stopping any facial expression in order to hide any form of emotions. In recent times, doctors noticed a new wave of patients who ask for Botox to provide them minimal or reduced expression. This is particularly common for those with ‘hyper-expressive’ features who desire to look for calm or ‘professional’.

Why Professionals Get ‘Protox’

Although many people choose to get Botox as a preventative measure or to erase existing wrinkles, most of them still prefer to have as much facial movements as possible. However, certain people, especially professionals, desire a ‘frozen forehead’, literally.

There are a number of reasons why more and more professionals are turning to ProTox. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, who usually spend time listening to their patients, often get Botox between the brows to relax the area and not appear judgmental or disapproving. Botox helps minimize their facial expressions when communicating with their patients.

Another reason for getting ProTox is for treating excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. The underarm area is commonly the popular spot but for those working in finance, politics and media, they frequently request keeping their forehead free from sweating. Sweaty forehead or brow can show that a person is nervous or anxious, and the want to hide it so as not to show nerves.

Another sign of nervousness is jaw clenching. This can easily be fixed through Botox injection on the masseter muscle. By relaxing the jaw muscle, people won’t easily notice a person is nervously tense.

Interested in ProTox?

People seeking ‘ProTox’ are cleverly realizing the power of Botox and how it can help their careers and working lives. Like actors and actresses who want to hold facial expressions, lawyers, top negotiators and even medical professionals find it useful to show a serene, calm and unreadable face in their careers.

ProTox is more about technique and methodology. Botox is a very powerful injection, however, the result will depend on the practitioner’s skills and understanding of the patient’s desire as well as their artistry and knowledge of the facial anatomy.

It is necessary for any patient to have a thorough discussion with their doctor before getting any Botox treatment to make sure they only get the best result that will suit them.

Is Preventative Botox Worth All the Hype?

preventative Botox

Botox seems like the thing you’ll consider when you’re on your 40s or 50s. After all, this wrinkle-fighting injectable is mostly used by the older demographic to enhance their appearance. However, doctors told that more and more young people are getting preventative Botox – or the use of Botox to stop wrinkles before they even form.

Botox is an FDA-approved drug for people ages 18 and above. Doctors say that most of the patients seen getting Botox for wrinkle prevention are in their late 20s or early 30s. Preventative Botox is useful to retrain your facial muscles and enhance facial posture that primarily causes wrinkles. Through the use of highly precise placement of a neuromodulator such as Botox, specific muscles are being pulled in a certain direction, allowing opposing muscles to pull in the opposite side. These muscles will become stronger over time and they will age more evenly.

Benefits of Preventative Botox

People develop fine lines and wrinkles because the skin weakens over time and cannot effectively revert back from folding due to smiling, laughing, frowning and all other facial movements. As such, doctors usually suggest treating wrinkles in two steps.

First, using a topical retinol product to encourage collagen production and strengthen the skin. Second, using neuromodulator such as Botox to relax facial muscles, preventing wrinkling of overlying skin. In a nutshell, preventative Botox simply gives an early start for those who need it more.

Botox prevents dynamic wrinkles or the wrinkles caused by movements of the muscle. They are the lines around the sides of the mouth, crow’s feet, lines across the forehead and the sides of your nose. By relaxing these muscles using Botox, you can prevent the movement that ensues wrinkles.

Doctors can tell if you might need preventative Botox by simply looking at your face. For instance, someone who furrows her brow or purses her lips out of habit might notice lines across her forehead or mouth in her 20s. Injecting Botox at the right places will help ‘train’ your face to no longer falling into such habit. This will help lower the chances that you’ll develop permanent wrinkles on those spots.

Experts say preventative Botox really works – it can totally reverse mild lines and could even prevent them from forming at all. The best time to start preventative wrinkles is when they first appear. Wrinkles begin to show up when you are making a facial expression and then disappear at rest.

FYI: Getting preventative Botox in your 20s or 30s does not mean you are going to be hooked on it for the rest of your life. Ideally, you’ll return less and less often over time. Some may need minor touch-ups while others may not need to return for a year or even less.

The Popularity of Botox for High Heel Pain

Botox for high heel pain

You’ve heard of Botox eye brow lift and face lift, but did you know that the latest beauty treatment to hit the industry is Botox for high heel pain? Popular as ‘stiletto lift’, this procedure was once reserved on celebrities who want walk down the red carpet effortlessly. But now, the procedure is increasing in popularity among career women want to wear high heels at work, but still want to feel comfortable until evening, when they go out with colleagues or friends.

Indeed, the chemical used to erase wrinkles can be injected to the feet. The ball of our foot is equipped with a pad of fat that absorbs shock between the bone and the ground. When you wear high heels, the ball of the feet experiences extra pounding from the high heels and that fat pad gets pushed out or displaced. What happens then is that the bone doesn’t have the cushion so it leads to pain and discomfort. However, some women refuse to give up on them.

Botox for High Heel Pain

Over the last year, the number of women suffering from high heel pain has grown to staggering figure. More and more doctors are offering such procedure, and strange as it may sound, it is now becoming a norm.

Botox for high heel pain has become increasingly popular nowadays. Figures have shown that problems due to high heel shoes already cost £29 million a year in corrective foot surgery.

Using a fine needle, very small amounts of Botox are injected in four areas of the foot to stop swelling and sweating. The result is a slightly comfier feeling to wear four-inch heels. Botox also firm up tissue that is damaged by the painful footwear.

Aside from Botox for high heel pain, many women combine dermal filler injections to relieve pressure on the fat pads on the balls of their feet. Similar to gel inserts, dermal fillers can bear most of the weight when walking in smart heels. Doctors often use hyaluronic acid such as Radiesse in the sole of the foot to help plump the irritated part. Long-term, Radiesse promotes the production of natural collagen in the foot, which means your feet will start to create their own cushioning.

Although the ‘stiletto lift’ does help women wear high heels on a regular basis with clearly less pain and damage, it is still important to use this painful footwear in moderation and not all the time. There is a reason why high heels are very uncomfortable – they significantly change your posture. When you wear them on a daily basis, it can cause permanent problems such as shortening of the calf muscles, which could eventually make walking in flats even uncomfortable.

Botox for Erectile Dysfunction? Canadian Urologists Believe It Could Restore Erectile Function

Botox for erectile dysfunction

Two Canadian urologists believes that the wildly popular wrinkle eraser Botox can help men struggling with impotence. They believe that if it works for men what it so far done among aged male rats, it may provide a persistent, long-acting mean to bring back erectile function.

Their initial data suggests that botulinum toxin or Botox can increase blood flow to the penis by relaxing the nerves that causes penile smooth muscles to contract. Erection relies mainly on a good blood flow.

The benefit of Botox for erectile dysfunction is that if you inject once, it could last potentially for six months. While there are other forms of penile injection therapy, men have to do it themselves every time they want to have sexual contact. Viagra and other similar pills belonging to the class PDE-5 inhibitors act on the chemical signal that stimulate the penile blood vessels and they have to be taken daily or before sex. Side effects from taking this drug such as heartburn and headache may also be experienced. Furthermore, Viagra does not work for more than 30 percent of the men who tried it.

More so for men with prostate cancer surgery and those with diabetes.

Botox for erectile dysfunction may help those who don’t respond to Viagra. French urologist Francois Giuliano told ‘Botox could be a potential game changer for ED’. Others fear drugs for ED are already propagating narrow social norms of male sexuality and masculinity – such idea that somehow, to be a real man’, you need to be a penetrative force.

Men usually do not talk to their partners about the problem before they look for ED drugs, or keep their use secret. However, studies show that when men talk to their partners, their partners responded openly with the change or they are open to exploring other sexual activities.

Some men are using Botox for treatment overactive bladders by relaxing the smooth muscles in the bladder. The Botox treatment could last up to nine months. Experts wondered whether it could work in a similar way to penis by letting smooth muscles to relax, dilate and allow blood flow to quickly fill the penis.

Based on the rat study, the result showed improved erections, exactly what has predicted. However, the animal subject is not the same for humans. Though much more research has to be done, they hope to begin clinical trials in men as soon as possible.

But still, Botox for erectile dysfunction is not completely safe and harmless. It is made from the bacteria that cause botulism and it can spread out in other areas. When given in high dosage, it can leak into the bloodstream, potentially killing you since it can paralyze everything.

The plan is to administer a very minimal dose because there is a potential risk of causing a permanent damage such as priapism or prolonged erection without sexual stimulation.

NHS in Scotland to Prescribe Botox for Migraine

Botox for migraine

For the first time, the NHS in Scotland will be prescribing Botox (Onabotulinumtoxin A) for patients suffering from chronic migraine. Advocates welcomed the decision. Patient will now receive injection treatment of muscle-paralysing drug on their head, face and neck every 12 weeks to treat and prevent migraines and reduce pain.

It is believed that more than 3,700 people in Scotland will be entitled for the treatment every year, costing at around £1,380 per patient. The move to approve Botox for migraine brings Scotland in the same line with the rest of UK. Patients in Wales and England have had access to such treatment since 2012. The availability of the treatment could significantly improve the quality of life of patients by lessening their suffering through the use of NHS resources.

Using Botox for Migraine

The Migraine Trust campaign manager Hannah Verghese told: ‘“Increasing the number of treatment options for people with this highly debilitating and disabling condition offers the prospect of reduced pain, reduced social isolation and a greater quality of life, particularly for those who find the current available treatment options ineffective.
“Although this decision is a positive one the Scottish Parliament and NHS Scotland must still commit to do more to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of people suffering from headache and migraine in Scotland receive the best possible care throughout the health system.”

What is Migraine Headache?

Migraines are believed to be due to changes in the brain chemicals, particularly serotonin. Chronic migraines is characterized by frequent episodes of headaches per month (at least 15 ties) that last for four or more hours. Aside from intense throbbing pain, the symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, visual distortions such as flashing or zigzag patterns and increased sensitivity to bright light, smell or noise.

Although Botox for migraine is still more popular as a cosmetic treatment, more and more doctors discover alternative uses for it, which include potential treatment for depression, severe neck spasms and abnormal heartbeat.

It is still uncertain why it seems to alleviate migraine but it is believed that Botox for migraine block the nerves’ ability to send pain signals or reduce blood pressure in the brain by relaxing the muscles around the head.

Elaine Bell, 50, a Scottish migraine sufferer has experienced the enervating attacks all her life. When she was young, the only medication available was paracetamol which had no effect to relieve migraine at all. Elaine has been using Botox privately for two years to reduce the frequency and severity of her migraine attacks.

She said that after so many years of missed opportunities, family event, social functions and work, she’s finally a significant improvement in her life and that of her family. For people suffering from chronic migraine in which other treatments have been proven ineffective, Botox for migraine can fulfill an unmet need.