The worst health trends on social media

The worst health trends on social media

Social media health trends can be both beneficial and detrimental to people who are looking to become healthier, but it all depends on where you are looking. 

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have loads of resources to help health enthusiasts find like-minded people by way of groups, pages and hashtags specifically aimed at health and fitness.

As helpful as being able to easily access health tips and find other people on the same kick, there are downsides to social media that may be negative on your physical and mental well-being. 

There are many trends that are pretty dangerous; be careful not to fall into any of these Social Media traps in your pursuit of better health.

Everyone is an expert.

This can go both ways. All people believe that they know the best way to lose weight or build strength, but the truth is that almost all of the advice on social media is not from medical professionals. So no one is an expert, not really. 

The trend here is the culture of asking health questions on your stats or in support groups that are primarily civilian-run. 

As with the broader Internet, the real problem is that you can find an answer to all your health concerns to support any information, whether it is legit medical advice or absolute nonsense. Unfortunately, even people with the best intentions can give you bad advice. Even if a method worked for them and their body, everyone needs to follow a diet, fitness regimen or take supplements that are uniquely suited to them and their body. 

The best thing to do when it comes to getting real health and fitness advice is to get your information from a registered nurse or doctor. 

Laxative Teas

Skinny tea is a trend that has taken Instagram by storm. Celebrities are endorsing these teas by the boatload. All of them swear that they achieved their flat stomachs from simply sipping on these herbal concoctions each morning and night. 

Unfortunately, most influencers and celebs who endorse these snake oils don’t use them. Weight loss is most effective with a balanced diet and regular exercise. 

The truth is, these teas are just laxatives. Can you lose weight from consuming loads of laxatives? Sure… but only water weight. Also, you’re probably losing loads of nutrients, and you run the risk of dehydration. 

Effects of laxatives on the body

Laxatives are medications people use to help stimulate bowel movements or loosen up a stool to ease its passage, explains Healthline. Some experts say that besides the initial water weight loss that will naturally occur with the use of laxatives, extended use can result in dependence. This means that you will no longer be able to have natural bowel movements; a devastating prognosis. Gut health is integral to the body’s overall well-being. 

The main concern for people who overuse laxatives for short bots is dehydration. Laxatives work by pulling water from the body into the intestine to essentially ‘flush you out’. Losing this much water without constantly replenishing it will lead to dehydration and a shortage of electrolytes. 

Common symptoms of dehydration include headaches, reduced urine output, increased thirst, fatigue, dry skin and dizziness.

Appetite suppressants

Another Instagram Model Fad, appetite suppressants, are continuously seen on news feeds. Believed to be less aggressive than Teatoxing; appetite suppressants are not harmless.

Mostly advertised as sweets or ‘lollies’, they work through a saffron extract called satiereal, which has no real effect on weight loss, says Cracked.

They’re telling you to eat sweets instead of nutritional food to curb your appetite. Most doctors have pointed this out as a bad idea. 

Cracked explains: “You, as a human being, are supposed to be hungry. Tricking yourself into thinking you’re not, only works to deprive you of nutrients and create bad eating habits. And for added fun, the lollipops are technically ‘supplements’ so again, they’re unregulated by the FDA.” 

This means that there isn’t a list of ingredients available to see exactly what else you’ll find in those sweets. 

Sunscreen Pills

Yes. Sunscreen pills. New-age health nuts have decided that sunscreen no longer needs to be applied topically. This advert is particularly prevalent on Facebook, and from the look of it, people have bought into the idea that basically, vitamins will stop the fiery sun from burning you to a crisp. 

The pill is made up of plant extracts and can curb some of the inflammation from sunburn and help mitigate some of the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Still, the best way to stop sunburn or worse, melanoma, is to use the good ‘ol SPF40 and above. 

Decrease your risk of skin cancers and skin pre-cancers by using sunscreen regularly.

Regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40% and lower your melanoma risk by 50%, says Skin Cancer. Sunscreen prevents premature skin ageing caused by the sun, including wrinkles, sagging and age spots.

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