The shocking story of a glamour model whose diet pill consumption almost killed her, is a wake-up call for any of us who are seduced by the seeming perfection of celebrity bodies.
Helen Hine, a 30-year-old model from Bridgewater took diet pills and appetite suppressants for nearly seven years in a bid to look like TV presenter Cat Deeley.
She was admitted to hospital 10 times, reported The Daily Mail, reporting panic attacks and kidney stones. They reported: "despite being repeatedly warned by doctors to stop taking them, Helen continued to take pills including NO Explode, Lipo 6, Liptex, and a range of thermogenic fat strippers until her 5ft 4in figure shrunk down to a size 6."
It also serves as a warning after a study revealed that women were putting themselves in danger by purchasing online diet pills to get in shape over the summer. An article written by The Mirror revealed that as a consequence of using questionable pills, some women had kidney problems and heart disease.
They wrote: "Former Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton, 32, recently talked about how her use of online diet pills containing the now-banned stimulant ephedrine has left her with a permanent heart condition called arrhythmia – the only cure for which is to have open-heart surgery to fit a pacemaker."
The pills that Helen had been taking also had ephedrine in them. Talking about her ordeal, she said: "I felt so much stronger - I picked up the hoover one day and it felt so light. I was on top of the world. I felt skinny, toned, and amazing.But the euphoria didn't last. A few weeks later, I was driving when I started feeling strange. Suddenly I was hot and sweating - and I couldn't breathe.
"I gasped out in shock, my heart rate rocketed and I was rushed to A&E. Doctors told me I had a resting heart rate of 280 and warned me to get off the diet pills. They told me that they could kill me."
Most of us know that diet pills aren't the answer, so why do we continue to take them? Sam Feltham, weight loss expert and HuffPost UK blogger says: "The reason we find ourselves buying a quick fix for problems is because we're in a desperate and vulnerable place, diet pill companies pray on this and I encourage anyone who has bought them to throw them away right now.
"One question I ask new clients is "are you going to be able to do this forever?" When it comes to diet pills and shakes the answer is often no, when it comes to a real foods diet the answer is often yes. The key to losing weight and being healthy forever is to lay down healthy habits not to repeat quick fixes that you know will just make you put on more weight the next time round."
In 2009, Helen took a break from the pills when her son was born. But afterwards, she was back to exercising a lot and taking diet pills. She said: "After going to the hospital for what felt like the 100th time, I finally thought enough was enough. I know I'll never touch diet pills again - being a healthy mum is more important to me, and I'm determined to keep my figure trim in a sensible way."
Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan, medical weight loss expert and HuffPost UK blogger says: "Online diet pills are often are not approved for safe weight loss (they can have dangerous side effects) or don't work. And anyway, the key to weight loss is not turning to quick fixes like slimming pills. Quick fixes never last and they lead to yoyo dieting.
"It's much better to make a long-term change that might take a little bit longer, but once you've achieved it, you don't need to keep worrying about the next quick fix."
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