Before the Needle Although many people have heard about Botox, few people know what it actually is. So, what are Botox injections? Many people would be surprised to learn that it actually is a drug derived from a neurotoxin created by a specific bacterium, the Clostridium botulinum. This is the same toxin that causes botulism, a life-threatening form of food poisoning. When ingested in its natural form, Botox can cause paralysis that spreads through the body until it eventually works its way to the breathing muscles, causing respiratory failure. This is why it is important to educate yourself before considering Botox injections. Why Do People Get Botox? Although this is a toxin, it is safe to use in small doses for medical use. Doctors often use the substance cosmetically. It is probably best known as an anti-wrinkle agent used to treat fine lines and signs of aging. Most commonly, it is used to treat wrinkles in the neck or face. Some people also get Botox injections to minimize their forehead lines. [youmaylike] In addition to smoothing skin to give it a more youthful appearance, it serves other medical purposes. Some patients use it to treat severe underarm sweating, migraines, uncontrollable blinking, overactive bladder and strabismus (misaligned eyes). How Does Botox Work? Botox causes paralysis. While this can be fatal in large, targeted doses, it is the property that helps with treatment. It acts locally, upon the injection site where it will weaken or paralyze targeted muscles. This is done as the neurotoxin attaches to nerve ending and blocks impulses from coming through. Instead of contracting as normal, the injected tissues will remain relatively frozen. Reducing the pulling of the skin is what makes the skin look more youthful. This signal-blocking property is also assisted with the other medical applications of Botox. It is important to realize that these are not the same as a filler. How Long Does Botox Last? The effects of Botox do not last forever. After a while, the signals will begin to pass through again. Procedures are expected to have a visual effect that lasts three to six months. Botox will not lose its effect overnight. Rather, you will experience a gradual decline in results as the muscles slowly regain their movement. The effects of your first session will wear off faster than the later sessions. Your first session is expected to last around three months where the later sessions will gradually last up to six months. Is Botox Safe? Under controlled medical environments, Botox injection procedures are considered low-risk. Most procedures are carried out safely and effectively with little side effects. The side effects one does experience are normally what is expected from any sort of injection procedure. This would be some temporary redness, bleeding or bruising at the injection site. In rare cases, one may experience a headache in the first two days after the procedure or temporary drooping. With this being said, there are certain situations where you should avoid getting Botox injections. You should not undergo treatments if you: Are 65 years of age or older, or under 18 years old. Have breathing problems. Have bleeding problems. Are allergic to or have sensitivities to Botox products. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any medications or supplements you are currently taking as there may be some interactions that could be dangerous. If you immediately experience signs of an allergic reaction upon the treatment, seek medical help immediately. To reduce any of the potential complications, it is important that you thoroughly research the performing physician. You need to make sure you are going to someone who knows what they are doing and has an adequate environment to perform hygienically and legally. It is not worth the risk to seek other methods. Does Botox Hurt? Botox procedures use very tiny needles. While injections are associated with some pain, the size of the needles keeps this pain at a minimum. Botox injections are generally preceded by some sort of anesthetic treatment to numb the pain. This is often done with a topical anesthetic cream or a cold pack. Most people report minimal to no pain at all. The Cost of Botox The cost of Botox will vary greatly depending on the specifications of your procedure. Some facilities will charge you by the area covered, but more often they charge you per unit of Botox used. On average, you will pay about $20 per unit. As the average treatment is about 20 to 60 units on average, you will likely pay between $500 and $800. The number of units used in a session will vary greatly depending on the space that you want to be covered. The bigger the area, the more units you will need to pay to achieve results. When it comes to cosmetic procedures, insurance will likely not pay for any of the costs. You can talk with your insurance provider to find out if they offer financial compensation for non-cosmetic procedures.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Diet
What you eat has a direct effect on your health. While small changes won't cure you of anything, it may help manage flare-ups. Those suffering from ankylosing spondylitis may experience a reduction in symptoms by changing their diet a bit. So, let’s take a deeper look at ankylosing spondylitis diet recommendations.
What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease that impacts your spine. The body exhibits an inflammatory response that, over time, causes your vertebrae to fuse. Depending on the exact vertebrate that becomes fused, patients experience different types (and severities) of symptoms.
For example, the fusion of the lower vertebrate may make it difficult to bend over or cause stiffness and back pain. However, it becomes more severe when vertebrae are fused near the ribs. Patients suffering from this particular type may have problems breathing over time.
Early Signs and Symptoms
Pain and stiffness of the spine are some early indications of ankylosing spondylitis. As time goes on, symptoms will worsen. Sometimes, the worsening (or experience of) early symptoms comes and goes in waves.
While this may happen anywhere at the spine, the most commonly impacted areas are located:
- Between the end of your spine and pelvis
- At the lower back
- Areas where tendons and ligaments attach to
- Near your shoulders
- Near your hips
Many patients experience the worst symptoms after periods of inactivity. While no one knows the exact cause of the disease, there is evidence to suggest that there is a genetic basis to a diagnosis. The disease has a wide range of complications that span beyond direct, physical constraints.
Such possible complications include:
- Eye inflammation
- Compression fractures
- Problems with your heart
Doctors come to a diagnosis through imaging techniques, laboratory results, and physical examinations. Once they officially diagnose your condition, they can assess which steps should be taken next.
The Ideal Diet for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Many experts recommend a specialized diet to target the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. It is important to highlight that these are not meant to replace other interventions in many cases, but help enhance the quality of life.
This diet suggests eating a balanced diet with foods rich in antioxidants, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Guidelines also warn that patients should cut back on substances such as fat, sugar, alcohol, and salt. When diets alone are not enough, talk to a doctor about which supplements are right for you.
Maintaining a healthy weight also helps manage symptoms, so it is important to try to stay fit and eat in moderation.
Foods to eat to manage ankylosing spondylitis and maintain a healthy weight include:
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish (like salmon or tuna)
- Chia seeds
- Chinese cabbage
Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatments
Getting a diagnosis means a doctor can start designing a treatment plan. Treatments help relieve symptom pain and discomfort and delay complications. Treatments are most effective when they are performed earliest. If left untreated, the disease may cause irreversible joint damage.
Pharmaceutical intervention is a popular and effective method for treating different diseases. One particularly popular class of drugs is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like naproxen or indomethacin. These medications treat ankylosing spondylitis by reducing inflammation, which causes the symptoms and damage.
However, when not effective, doctors may also suggest other drugs such as TNF blockers. There are currently five official approved TNF blockers for ankylosing spondylitis treatment, including Humira, Cimzia, Enbrel, Simponi, and Remicade.
Surgeries are only necessary in extreme cases. However, if you suffer from extreme damage, you may need to have a damaged joint, such as a hip, replaced.
Learning how to stay active and maintaining movement and flexibility is important. It helps with the treatment and enhances your prognosis. A physical therapist can design an effective lesson plan for you to thrive off of.
Many different lifestyle changes positively influence patients and treatment outcomes. This includes many things such as staying happy, treating stiff joints when swollen with heat/ice, and avoiding unhealthy habits, like smoking. Practicing good posture and regular exercise is a great way to stay healthy – regardless of your diagnosis. There are also many different dietary changes you may want to consider.
Keep in Mind
While the internet is a useful tool to explore different options, ultimately, medical advice may only be provided by a licensed care physician. Always contact your doctor for expert advice and recommendations as they have the medical training and education to best serve their patients. Even “holistic” approaches, such supplements or dietary changes, are worth discussing with your doctor if you suffer from any medical conditions.