BOTOX – It’s Multiple Health Benefits
Most people wouldn’t think of Botox as the go to treatment for some of the biggest medical problems plaguing people today. When most people hear the word “Botox” they invariably think that it is only for the Hollywood elite. The truth is, however, that with over 2 million Botox procedures performed each year in over 20 countries worldwide, Botox has clearly become main-stream. In addition, using Botox to reduce facial wrinkles was a happy accident discovered while it was being used medically to treat patients who had uncontrollable spasms and twitching of their eye muscles.
It may also come as a big surprise to learn that the active ingredient in modern Botox was actually discovered over 100 years ago! Because Botox works by disconnecting the communication between our nerves and muscles so that specific muscles essentially become paralyzed, the use of Botox for the effective treatment of medical problems involving human muscles has been around for quite a while.
So you’re probably wondering in what kind of situation would it be necessary to paralyze muscles RIGHT? There are certain medical conditions where the muscles become “over-active or spastic”, because there has been a breakdown in communication between the brain and the muscles due to a problem with the nerves. The use of Botox in these situations is like turning off the power switch to specific muscles that have gone rogue.
The following is a list of medical conditions that have been effectively remediated by the introduction of Botox injections as a medical treatment:
For patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis, the communication between muscles and nerves begin to break down when the insulation surrounding the nerves begins to thin out, which leads to the muscles “doing their own thing a lot of the time”. This is called spasticity and because it is uncontrollable it can lead to crippling situations. In over-active-or spastic muscles, the muscles begin to “cramp” up. This can be extremely painful and debilitating.
To put it into perspective for you, I am sure that at some time or another, without any warning at all, you have had an awful cramp in your calf or foot. Spasms like this can incapacitate a 300 lb. professional athlete in a second on the football field. There are over 650 different muscles in the human body. So imagine this happening to some of the other muscles in your body without any warning or control. This is what happens to people with Multiple Sclerosis and with each attack the insulation of the nerves is slowly being lost inside the body.
Fortunately, medical professionals have found that Botox can produce a releasing effect on the cramping muscles and help Multiple Sclerosis patients by paralyzing the muscles that are causing the problem. If the muscles causing the problems can be identified with a small electrode, they can be targeted and injected with Botox and “turned off”, or paralyzed. The cramping and spasticity stops and the patient can breath a sigh of relief.
OVER ACTIVE BLADDER
In addition to having a physically crippling affect, there are some muscle malfunctions that have the potential for crippling a person’s social life. Our muscles all have different functions on both the inside and outside of the body. Our bladder is essentially one large muscle that squeezes like a water balloon when we urinate. This process takes precise and coordinated communication between our brain and the bladder. This is how we are able to “hold” it without having accidents in awkward situations. However, for some people the bladder becomes “spastic” and miscommunicates with their brain, which can cause the bladder to leak unexpectedly.
It is estimated that 1 in 6 adults have some version of an overactive bladder. Botox can be used to calm an overactive bladder and allow people to return to a normal lifestyle. It requires a simple procedure during which a catheter is inserted and Botox is injected directly into the bladder.
Other options for treatment are oral medications that come with potentially harmful side effects and very invasive surgical procedures that have not yet been perfected. The benefit of Botox is that it offers a simple, effective solution with minimal side effects and lasts 6 to 9 months.
HYPERHYDSOSIS or “Over Sweating”
Perhaps one of the best ad slogans ever created was “Never Let Them See You Sweat”. And now thanks to Botox being approved for the treatment of Hyperhydrosis, there are going to be a large amount of sufferers saying those words with pride.
Hyperhidrosis affects over 8 million people and is a condition that causes excessive sweating of the armpits, hands, feet and other areas of the body. Most people only sweat when they are working out, fearful, or anxious. But in patients with Hyperhidrosis, it happens all the time. This can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. It can also affect business and social situations by giving a false impression of nervousness, uncleanliness, and/or anxiety. Most sufferers are too embarrassed to seek medical treatment for their condition or do not even know it exists.
Similar to its other uses, Botox’s effectiveness in decreasing excessive sweating was only discovered accidently when areas treated with Botox for other reasons were noted to have decreased sweating as well. For Hyperhidrosis patients, Botox is injected into targeted areas, which disconnects the nervous system from communicating with the sweat glands.
As with the other procedures, Botox typically takes a few minutes to inject with little discomfort. It is a very safe and effective treatment with little known side effects. The treatment will start to take effect in 5 to 7 days and will last 6 to 9 months.
Botox has also been approved for the treatment of other medical conditions such as chronic migraines and jaw pain. Patients absolutely love the results and the word is spreading: The relatively quick and effective relief from several debilitating medical conditions makes Botox a minor medical miracle.
“One of my earliest childhood memories is of greeting a new friend, shaking their hand, and having them recoil in disgust and say “Eeeeuwww” because the palms of my hands were so sweaty.
I now know that there is a term for my condition: Hyperhidrosis. I have spent most of my life ashamed and embarrassed by my excessive sweating. It affects my armpits, hands, my feet and sometimes even my groin area. I know, gross.
I have spent a large amount of money over the years, as you can imagine, on powders, every kind of deoderant made, and dry cleaning. I have tried acupuncture, nutrition and even a psychic!! I have been forced to search for shoes that hopefully will not show the huge sweat stains from my feet, to wear shirts or jackets that will conceal the sweat dripping under my armpits and to tell people I have a cold, so I don’t have to shake their hands!! It has NOT been fun.
What is most bizarre about my hyperhydrosis is that I can be sitting on the couch watching a movie and my feet will be damp, and my hands clammy. Crazy… If I am talking on the phone with someone, sometimes I hang up and discover that I am sweaty all over. I meditate often and find that even then, when I am calm, I’m sweating. There are the occasional times when I am bone dry- like when I first wake up.
About 7 years ago I had a horrific car crash and almost died. I had to have several surgeries and one of my plastic surgeons brought up the use of Botox for my Hyperhydrosis. At that time my insurance was paying for it so I eagerly tried it out. After about 20 minutes and about 30 injections under each armpit – which was a little bit painful, but a small price to pay as I saw it- I was on my way home and had just a little tenderness. Several days later I noticed that my shirts weren’t getting big sweat stains! I actually felt more comfortable. The results were amazing.
Flash forward a few years and Dr. Motykie, asked if I would like to be on the Marie Show as a patient with Hyperhidrosis, and to have Botox injections under my arms. It’s important for me to note here that to me, Dr. Motykie is one of the best surgeons I have ever had (and I’ve unfortunately had a bunch). Dr. Motykie saved me from pain and discomfort when he fixed a botched surgery that was done by another doctor in New York City. I feel safe, confident and in very capable professional hands with Dr. Motykie…. So when he asked if I wanted to volunteer to do the Botox injections I honestly felt like it was Dr. Motykie, my guardian plastic surgeon, to the rescue again! I had been dreaming of getting the Botox injections again because it worked so well in the past.
Dr. Motykie used a numbing cream prior to injections and I didn’t feel a thing. I mentioned that he did less on site injections than I had had in the past and he said it may not be necessary to do so many. It is now 2 weeks post injection and I am 70 % dryer under my arms! I notice that the sweat is pooling in the bottom part of my under arm, but no longer trickling down my side. I am feeling more comfortable and confident already! I think I need a little more to fully do the trick- and then I am going out in a gorgeous silk blouse and celebrating!!”
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