Hashimoto's and Botox: A Few Things to Consider.Apr 14, 2021
Reduce smile wrinkles, erase frown lines, perk up droopy eyebrows, lift a droopy nose, minimize deep forehead wrinkles , relieve migraines, reduce acne, calm excessive sweating, smooth chest wrinkles, relax overly tight neck muscles, correct eyes that point in different directions, treat an overactive bladder, control uncontrollable blinking, and benefit from a nonsurgical facelift. These are some of the common, and not so common reasons some people consider Botox injections.
I personally began looking into Botox because my daughter, when she was 3, very genuinely looked me in the eye, and with complete innocence said, “mommy, why does your forehead look like a butt?” (She was talking about the wrinkles in my forehead, to her they looked like a butt crack) Oh, my gosh. I can’t even tell you how hard I laughed at that moment, and yet how quickly I started looking up how to get rid of forehead wrinkles!!
So what exactly is Botox? Botox is a drug doctors have been using for years to treat wrinkles and facial creases. Botox is a brand name of a toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, we will call it Btx for short. There are other brands, such as Dysport and Xeomin. Botox is the term you hear most often because it was the first injectable botulinum toxin.
It is injected with a small needle into the specific muscles that are causing the problem to relax the muscle and get the desired results for approximately 3-6 months. It generally takes 7-14 days after injection to take full effect. Some of the common side effects are:
- This is the most common side effect and will go away.
- Typically, these are rare and end in 24 to 48 hours.
- Eyelid drooping. This happens with only a small percentage of people and usually goes away within 3 weeks. It usually happens when the Botox moves around, so don't rub the treated area.
- Crooked smile or drooling
- Eye dryness or severe tearing
- Mild pain or swelling around the injection site
- Flu-like symptoms or a general unwell feeling
- Upset stomach
- Weakness in nearby muscles
Now, I don’t know about you, but some of these standard side effects are the first red flag that catches my attention to dig deeper. Although I realize side effects may not be super serious or long term, after living with Hashimoto’s, I have definitely learned to research side effects like these to have a greater understanding of what exactly is happening and from there make a risk vs benefit choice based on what I find. Especially since this is something that has to be repeated, so the exposure is long term if you want long term results.
So, upon researching I learned that Clostridium Botulinum is a neurotoxin. Neurotoxin is a poison which acts on the nervous system. Common examples of neurotoxins include lead, ethanol (drinking alcohol), glutamate, nitric oxide, and tetanus toxin. Some substances such as nitric oxide and glutamate are in fact essential for proper function of the body and only exert neurotoxic effects at excessive concentrations.
In a case report I found on National Library of Medicine’s website, () a woman with Hashimoto’s repeatedly experienced over a 10 year period, elevations of serum TSH after eyelid injections of Btx. In conclusion, clinical and bioinformatics data suggest a possible pathogenetic link between Btx and autoimmune thyroid diseases.
So, in my mind, keeping it simple, Botox is a neurotoxin, that is a poison to my body. There is research that suggests a possible pathogenic link with autoimmune thyroid disease. I already have Hashimoto’s, so in my mind its almost a guarantee to cause me even more problems.
I also read on Dr Isabella Wentz’s website that the kind used in cosmetic treatments, Btx A, is the most potent serotype with a toxicity one million-fold higher than cobra venom and higher than cyanide.
Now, I know I’m keeping it simple, but that doesn’t sound like something I want to put in my body. I mean, I’m trying to eat paleo foods, organic produce, use low toxin cooking tools, exercise to keep healthy, reduce stress, supplement my deficiencies, and pay all this money to see a functional medicine practitioner so I can get the best chance at healing. It doesn’t make sense to sabotage my efforts by introducing a super potent neurotoxin, for cosmetic purposes anyway. Now, if its for medical reasons like migraines or overactive bladder, I may reconsider depending on the risk/benefit.
Now, I’m just like anyone else, I don’t want to age, I can’t stand the “butt crack like” wrinkles in my forehead, and my eyes are getting droopy and tired with age, but right now the benefit of Botox does not outweigh the risk for me.
However, I’d really like to hear where you stand on this topic. Just because I’m not going to choose it, doesn’t mean everyone feels that way. I’m certainly not going to judge anyone else for choosing it, and there may even be more info out there that could change my mind one day. I want to hear what you have learned too!
This is what I love about this community, we are all bonded with the commonality of Hashimoto’s, yet how it affects each of us is so very different, and the way we have to treat ourselves for healing is so very different. I’d love to hear your stories too!
So, to wrap it all up, Botox is a neurotoxin that poisons the nervous system and can cause temporary and long term negative side effects. There are links with it’s use, and autoimmune thyroid disease. It is used in small doses for many cosmetic and medical treatments and usually has to be re-administered every 3-6 months to maintain desired results. Use is a personal choice, and I in no way want to sway your decision, I simply aim to educate and motivate you to dig deeper and make an informed choice on your own.
So, what are 3 action steps from this week’s blog?
First, how to help yourself: Seek the root cause of your aging or medical problems. Are there any other safer treatments or lifestyle interventions you can choose from to get the desired results with less risk?
How to help others with Hashimoto’s like loved ones or friends: Encourage them to focus on their health journey as a priority. Our bodies will age and change, some of it we simply cannot avoid. Wrinkles are inevitable. Finding positive ways to embrace the change and find beauty in the aging process creates so much joy and satisfaction.
How to dig deeper? Check out thyroidpharmacist.com for articles on common beauty procedures and some safer alternatives, Web MD for data on what Botox is, and the National Library of Medicine for the case report of the link with autoimmune thyroid disease. (Links are listed in sources at the bottom of this blog)
If you have questions or need help, feel free to contact me to schedule a free consult or submit your questions or ideas for my next podcast episode. Please share with me your ideas, your stories, and if you have solutions on this topic, I’d love to hear that too so I can share with others!
If you need a health coach or personal trainer, I’d love to have the opportunity to help you improve your quality of life and feel healthy like you’ve always wanted. You can find me through my website at coachsandyrobinson.com , and on Instagram @coachsandyrobinson or @hashimotoshealthcoach. If you are interested in my next SIMPLE SIX AIP group, or interested in a custom coaching or personal training package, you can join through my website as well, at www.coachsandyrobinson.com.
Cassoobhoy, A. (2020, July 24). Botox injections: Purpose, procedure, risks, results. Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-botox
Team, E. (n.d.). Chebi. Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi/searchId.do?chebiId=50910
S;, G. (n.d.). Injections of clostridium botulinum neurotoxin a may cause thyroid complications in predisposed persons based on molecular mimicry with thyroid autoantigens. Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21061092/