Can Cosmetic Treatments Kill You?

Risks most likely abound in cosmetic treatments such as liposuction and plastic surgery; though a couple's life-threatening experience may dub one treatment the most dangerous of all: Botox.

Botox is a sanitized derivative of botulinum toxin Type A, which is a bacterium found in contaminated food. Certain types of Botox are used to smooth out wrinkles by freezing muscles in injected areas, while others can be used to treat crossed eyes, uncontrollable blinking and head and neck spasms.

One unidentified couple (in their 50s) went to a medical center where they were injected with a cosmetic treatment they were informed was Botox. The very next morning, the couple experienced fatigue and had trouble breathing and speaking to the extent that they were hospitalized on life-support.


Moreover, they are being treated for botulism, a rare and potentially fatal paralytic illness affecting the:

  • Muscles

  • Eyes

  • Limbs

  • Respiratory tract

A second couple has also been hospitalized after being treated at the same clinic. Though it has not been determined whether both couples' conditions are due to the Botox injections they received at the medical center, health officials are not ruling out the possibility. One suggested cause for the couples' conditions might be that they received contaminated doses of Botox or another drug they were treated with. Officials are trying to find out whether Botox or another chemical was used in the injections.

The Ledger December 14, 2004

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

With nearly 60 percent of Americans 65 and older pursuing anti-aging methods, I feel it is important to educate the community on how to address the effects of aging in a healthy way. In fact, in a past newsletter I posted an item about how acupuncture is a safer alternative than Botox for removing wrinkles. So you can imagine my disappointment when I read about the couples who may be paying the huge price for taking the "fast lane" to better looks.

As far as I'm concerned, incidents like these demonstrate the worst-case scenario that can occur when you use toxic drugs as a risky shortcut to a new-and-improved you. Instead, you can maintain a natural fountain of youth by merely following my recommended age-defying techniques.

First, if asthetics are your concern I would encourage you to read the article from Saturday's newsletter in which Donna Gates expands on the secrets of beautiful skin.

Second, eat a healthy diet based on your personal metabolic type.

If you are interested in learning more about your metabolic type, you can take my online test now or refer to my book, TOTAL HEALTH Cookbook & Program. My book will provide you with a complete understanding of all the foods in all the categories that are ideal for you, including the healthiest animal- and plant-based foods. Remember: What may be healthy for others is not necessarily healthy for you and vice-versa.

(Note: If you register in the Total Health Sweepstakes now -- and order a copy of my TOTAL HEALTH Program -- you will get a FREE hardbound edition of The Maker's Diet: The 40-Day Health Experience that Will Change Your Life Forever by Jordan Rubin!)

Third, since increased insulin levels accelerate aging, you'll also want to reduce or eliminate grains and sugars from your diet.

However, many people struggle with this sugar/grain restriction. That is why I suggest adopting the energy psychology tool known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help you eliminate cravings and emotional reasons for continuing to eat these foods. With EFT, you will easily be able to overcome these temptations, as it uses a combination of kinetic energy input and positive affirmations to release you of your emotional "blocks" linked to addiction and cravings.

Eating vegetables are also important on your journey to reducing the effects of aging.

One of the reasons I started vegetable juicing is that I would see 75-year-old women in my practice who looked like they were 40 years old and had virtually no facial wrinkles. Most of them were doing large amounts of juicing and led healthy lifestyles. In addition, an alternative to juicing (while still reaping the benefits) is Living Fuel Rx -- it is your next best option to vegetable juicing in terms of providing you total nutrition.

There is no way to avoid aging -- it's a natural part of life -- but there are many things that are assumed to be a "natural" part of aging (chronic disease, for one) that are actually a result of poor dietary choices compounded over many years. Please understand that the above techniques are not a "quick fix," and there is some effort involved, but the rewards are well worth the effort. If you're willing to put in the "work," there's no reason why you can't keep your skin and body looking and feeling young and healthy even as you "age."