Stomach Botox injections for weight loss: Do they work?
If you do much reading about fad diets or new weight-loss studies, then you’ve probably heard that some people are now using Botox to attempt to lose weight. Yes, it might sound a bit strange – but some doctors have been saying that Botox injections into the stomach can indeed lead to weight loss.
How could a Botox injection help with weight loss?
While the science is a bit more complicated than this, we’re going to attempt to provide a ‘short story’ answer to give you the general idea behind the procedure.
Essentially, this process involves injecting Botox directly into the walls of the stomach. This is said to stop the stomach from contracting as usual, which does a few different things. Most importantly for weight loss, however, it slows down digestion – which is said to help the individual with the Botox injection to feel fuller after eating less food. This, in theory, would help the person to feel fuller sooner, and would also help them to feel like their stomach is full for longer after eating – both of which are supposed to lead to eating fewer calories.
The procedure is said to be more specifically geared toward people who have a smaller, more manageable amount of weight to lose (like 20-30 pounds), because the Botox will eventually wear off. It’s also usually said to work best when paired with a change in diet and exercise levels, as this will help to maximize the effectiveness of the procedure and help the individual to keep the weight off once the Botox stop affecting them.
Does it really work?
There seem to be mixed opinions about whether or not this method really works for weight loss. In one article on the subject, published by thefoodmd.com, it says this about the procedure in terms of its effectiveness…
“Intragastric injection of Botox-A may be useful to jump-start the induction phase of weight loss when coupled with diet and lifestyle modification to balance your gut physiology and ecology to facilitate weight loss.”
The article makes some valid points about gut physiology, and says that slowing down the sometimes ‘hurried’ gut processes can allow the stomach to process food at a more natural pace. The article also makes it a point to say that sometimes people need all the help they can get, and that if a Botox injection would help them to lose a few pounds early on, then it could make all the difference in the long run. The article also points out some studies that seem to indicate that the procedure has met with some success.
On the other hand, an article published by jjrothmd.com says something much different. Here’s a small excerpt from their article on the subject, titled ‘Injecting Botox Into Stomach Does Not Promote Weight Loss.’
“Recently the plastic surgery world has heard reports of physicians injecting Botox into the stomach of a patient to promote weight loss. A new study refutes any effectiveness of this treatment and does not recommend using Botox injections to the stomach for weight loss.”
The article goes on to point out that recent scientific studies have shown that there is actually no weight-loss benefit to be gained from such injections, and that the procedure is not recommended for people who are interested in losing weight.
The article basically says that established weight-loss methods, like exercising more and watching your diet, will have much greater results and provide better positive health benefits for years to come.
This topic is obviously a bit controversial. It’s also fair to note that this procedure doesn’t seem to be approved by the FDA, which means that you’ll need to pay for it completely out of pocket should you choose to get it.
This would make it a bit expensive and out of reach for some people, especially in the United States – where health-care and surgical costs tend to be quite high.
But in the end, since there is evidence cited to support both sides, it might be best for you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. There is certainly some ‘gray’ area involving this procedure, which is why some doctors seem to be getting behind it as a possible potential treatment.
Only time will tell if the idea sticks around – but if it is something that you would possibly like to consider, then you might want to do a bit of looking around for more information before making a decision. Speaking to your doctor is also a very good idea, as nobody could be more equipped to handle questions regarding your personal health and well-being than he/she.