Monday, November 14, 2011

The Dangers of Diet Pill Use Among Athletes

By Samantha Van Vleet

With many athletes finding themselves wishing to lose a few pounds, it's no surprise that some athletes turn to the use of diet pills to help shed those last few stubborn pounds. Athletes who suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia are much more likely to use (or abuse) diet pills. Despite claims by diet pill manufacturers, diet pills, aren't always safe, and even worse, they aren't regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means it is possible that over-the-counter diet pills could contain risky combinations of ingredients that could pose a threat to an athlete's health and wellness.

Do diet pills work?
Diet pills are a multi-billion dollar industry and for the most part, an unregulated one. Diet pill manufacturers can say whatever they like on their labels so long as the manufacturer does not claim that the product can diagnose, cure, prevent or treat a disease or condition. In fact, there are even diet pills on the market that are directly aimed for consumption by athletes, however, the claims these diet pill companies make are largely unproven and unsupported by any real evidence.

What are the dangers of diet pills?
Because there are so many different types of formulations for diet pills, it can be hard to say what the exact risks of all diet pills are. However, there are many different symptoms associated with diet pill use that are cause for alarm. These symptoms include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, tightness in the chest, heart palpatations, fever, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, digestive tract irritation, heaches, blurred vision, excessive sweating, menstrual irregularities, loss of libido, urinary tract problems and increased respiratory rate. These symptoms are not something any athlete should take lightly.
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What are the dangers associated with consumption of diet pills, particularly among athletes?  If you or someone you know has been struggling with an eating disorder, has diet pill usage been a part of your history?

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