03 Sep The Surprising Truth About Botox
When used properly and safely, Botox for cosmetic use is extremely safe. Certainly safer than being under general anesthesia during facial plastic surgery. Which in itself is no way unsafe for a healthy adult being treated by a properly trained and educated plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist.
Getting cosmetic Botox is not the same thing as contracting botulism. The amount of toxin that causes illness is substantially greater than the amount used cosmetically. It also differs in chemical structure and differs in how it is produced and administered.
Yes, Botox is considered a toxin. Unfortunately, the word “toxin” is like the word “chemical” or “bacteria”. There is an unwarranted fear associated with the mere mention and all context is lost.
However, bacteria has been getting better press over the years, and we now see it sold for consumption in yogurt form. Other “good” bacteria are chewed in gum to get rid of “bad” tooth decay causing bacteria.
Bacteria in general aren’t bad, and our body is host to trillions of microbes including bacteria, viruses, yeasts and the like. For every 1 human cell, you have 10 bacteria cells to put it in perspective.
There was a time when we wanted to kill every bacteria on our bodies and surroundings with antimicrobial cleansers. Then we discovered that it’s not the bacteria, but the balance of the bacteria and kind of bacteria. We had been blatantly discriminating against all bacteria when many were only trying to help us.
Chemical has begun to get less of a bad rap after the “dihydrogen monoxide” hoax, which basically took the rarely used full chemical name for water and pointed out some cleverly worded facts about the dangers of “dihydrogen monoxide” , including:
Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities. Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage. Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects. DHMO is a major component of acid rain. Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns. Contributes to soil erosion. Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals. Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits. Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes. Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions. Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks. Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S. Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.
Everything is chemicals and bacteria and microorganisms.The human body itself is a macrocosm that supports it’s own living world of microorganisms.
Not unlike our macrocosm of the Earth’s ecosystem, our body tries to keep everything in balance, and too many of any one thing, like an invasive species that destroys the natural balance of the Earth’s ecosystem, creates imbalance and dis-ease.
Like bacteria and chemicals, perhaps it’s time to say “Et tu, toxins”?
First, let’s begin with something defined as hormesis. Following definition pulled fromhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2248601/
In the fields of biology and medicine hormesis is defined as an adaptive response of cells and organisms to a moderate (usually intermittent) stress. Examples include ischemic preconditioning, exercise, dietary energy restriction and exposures to low doses of certain phytochemicals.
[Hormesis] is defined by…toxicologists to refer to a biphasic dose response to an environmental agent characterized by a low dose stimulation or beneficial effect and a high dose inhibitory or toxic effect.
In some cases organisms have harnessed the chemical properties of “toxic agents”, incorporating them into cellular signaling or metabolic pathways. Examples include oxygen (critical for respiration), carbon monoxide (serves as a signaling molecule in neurons), iron and selenium (potentially toxic metals that are critical for the function of many different enzymes).
Basically, to decipher the exercise example, you cause damage to your muscles and bones when you exercise, which in large amounts is harmful, as in broken bones and torn muscles, but in small amounts it builds them up through repeated repair and actually makes them stronger in the long run.
Also, think of one of man’s favorite intoxicants, alcohol. In a large enough quantity, one can easily die from alcohol poisoning. I’m still going to risk a Strongbow, however.
We continually discover new information about our world and the interaction of our physical selves with this world. There was a time when we thought disease was caused by bad smells, so we carried clove-imbedded oranges to sniff while we threw our human waste into the street. Anyone who disagreed with this theory was chastised, despite it being false.
Also, despite the many applications of BTn-A (Botox) and BTn-B (Myoblock), including migrane headaches & many symptoms associated with Cerebral Palsy and Parkinson’s disease, the acceptance has been slower and misinformation and sensationalist journalism about Botox continues.
When one has muscle spasms, tics, acne, psoriasis, overactive thyroid, to name but a few conditions, it is the body producing an excess of something to the point where it essentially becomes an “invasive species”.
Likewise, there are people who suffer with cervical dystonia, their neck muscles contracting involutarily and painfully, their heads wrenched into uncomfortable positions. Botox is the front line treatment for this condition and has changed people’s lives.
When children with Cerebral Palsy are able to walk for the first time in their life because of Botox, how can people still point the finger and say it is a bad thing?
Yes, alarmist stories about the dangers of Botox, vaccines,and other misinformation and/or “personal opinion” pieces may grab headlines, but it doesn’t mean they are true.
There are risks with many things we do, but evaluating the risk, or looking at the chances of adverse affects in otherwise healthy adults, is how most of us live our entire lives.
So, I drive my car despite the chance of a motor vehicle accident every time I get behind the wheel. Not because I’m such a bad driver, but because everyone runs the risk of a motor vehicle accident every time they get behind the wheel. Now texting while driving is something that causes way more harm than any adverse affects from the entire history of the proper use of Botox, but that’s another story.