Pricey Physician: Do fat-removing procedures like CoolSculpting actually work?

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DEAR DR. ROACH: I’ve heard quite a bit about fat-removing procedures, comparable to CoolSculpting and pink gentle remedy, and I’m questioning in the event that they actually work. What’s your opinion on these merchandise? — Anon.

ANSWER: A very powerful level is that these are procedures designed to enhance an individual’s look, however they do little or nothing to enhance bodily well being. They don’t trigger individuals to lose important weight, and elimination of the superficial fats proper beneath the pores and skin doesn’t enhance diabetes or affect coronary heart threat elements. The advantages are purely beauty.

CoolSculpting is the model identify of a system that freezes and damages fats cells. Crimson gentle remedy, additionally referred to as “cool laser” or “low-level laser remedy,” damages the fats cells with out the necessity to make incisions, comparable to can be mandatory in liposuction. There are extra applied sciences used, comparable to targeted ultrasound and electrical pulse gadgets, amongst others.

Trials on CoolSculpting confirmed that 86% of individuals noticed enchancment in cosmetically necessary areas. The laser remedy will not be as well-studied. An early trial discovered that 70% of individuals handled with laser have been glad in contrast with 26% of these handled with a “sham” machine that had no laser, simply pink lights. The machine did present some slimming results on the hips, thighs and waist.

Sadly, not everybody has a great response to those therapies. A number of individuals, together with a well-known mannequin, have sued the producer resulting from an unusual antagonistic impact of the process, referred to as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, the place as an alternative of dying, the fats cells develop and develop into onerous — and should not even be detachable with surgical procedure.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I’ve had gastroparesis for a few years. About two years in the past, it led to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (which I as soon as examine in your column). I labored with a dietitian for a number of months. One of many remedies she instructed was an natural product referred to as Iberogast. The mixture of herbs helps the abdomen to empty faster. I exploit it every night time earlier than mattress (as a part of a 12-hour quick) or at any time when I’ve overeaten and really feel dangerous. It has been most useful for me. Iberogast is out there on-line. — L.E.

ANSWER: First, for the good thing about different readers, gastroparesis is a too-slow emptying of the digestive system. Iberogast is a mixture of 9 medicinal plant extracts, and research in Germany and Austria, the place it’s mostly used, have proven the treatment to be simpler than the placebo (and about as efficient as one widespread prescription treatment) within the remedy of practical dyspepsia and irritable bowel illness.

The treatment has typically been considered protected, however there are uncommon circumstances of liver harm related to this treatment, at the very least certainly one of which ultimately required liver transplantation.

All drugs — whether or not prescription or over-the-counter, synthetic or natural — have the potential for hurt. Iberogast is fairly protected, with a handful of dangerous outcomes in its 50 years of use involving hundreds of thousands of doses, however it nonetheless could cause uncommon and extreme antagonistic results. Iberogast is value contemplating in individuals whose signs haven’t been efficiently handled with different therapies.

Dr. Roach regrets that he’s unable to reply particular person letters, however will incorporate them within the column at any time when potential. Readers could e mail inquiries to or ship mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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