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The Truth about Botulinum Toxin

Ever wonder how does botox work? Is this treatment really safe? Botox sales have dramatically increased over the past decades. What most people don’t know is that this anti-aging treatment contains Botulinum toxin, one of the deadliest substances ever created. Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that produces botulinum toxins, may cause botulism when ingested. This potentially fatal disease leads to muscle weakness, tiredness, decreased blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, and paralysis.

Botulinum Toxin History

This neurotoxin is made from the same bacterium that causes botulism. It comes in different forms and can be used for treating a wide range of conditions. Botulism has been identified in the early 19th century by German medical officer Justinus Kerner. His studies focused on sausage poisoning. He discovered that botulinum toxin is produced by a bacterium and can be lethal in small doses. This substance acts by blocking signal transmission in the autonomic and somatic motor systems.

Food-borne botulism has been extensively studied over the years. In ancient times, Emperor Leo VI of Byzantium has banned the manufacturing of blood sausages because of the health risks involved. However, the pathogen Clostridium botulinum was discovered much later. Its medical use was discovered by Edward J. Schantz and Alan B. Scott. In 1989, the FDA approved botulinum toxin type A for the treatment of hemifacial spasm, blepharospasm, and strabismus.

Medical Uses

Today, this cure is used in over 30 disorders from migraines to lower urinary tract symptoms and tennis elbow. Medical professionals recommend botulinum toxin for treating chronic low back pain, motor tics, head tremors, myofascial pain, and even depression. Millions of people use botox to slow down aging and reduce wrinkles.

All botulinum toxin products approved by the FDA have a label that warns users about the possible side effects. This compound may spread from the area of injection and cause botulism-like symptoms. For this reason, botox injections should only be administered by a trained professional.

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