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Posted by Rhonda Dorren
Rhonda Dorren
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on Wednesday, 18 April 2012
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How Unlicensed Weight Loss Consultants Gamble With Your Life: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself

 How Unlicensed Weight Loss Consultants Gamble With Your Life: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself

Unless you’re one of the lucky few, chances are you’ve been there with the rest of us—trying to lose weight and if you have managed to lose it, trying to keep it off. Some of us sign up for weight loss programs and buy health products for weight loss, which may provide benefits when used properly as part of a weight management program.

But what happens frequently is these products are misused. This can lead to health risks. If the weight loss consultant recommending or prescribing these products does not have the training or is not a licensed health care professional, he or she will not be able to advise you on whether these products are safe for you.

The weight loss battle can be a challenging and frustrating one. And because it so challenging and frustrating, some people become increasing desperate to lose the weight. They sign up for a weight loss program and/or are taking several different kinds of weight loss products together. Doing this, or taking weight loss products in addition to other health products, without discussing possible risks with a health care practitioner, increases the risk of an adverse event. Certain kinds of weight-loss drugs and natural health products may interact with each other, with foods you eat, or with other medications you take. Some health products for weight loss may not be recommended for individuals with certain health conditions. (For more information, visit: Health Canada The Safe Use of Health Products for Weight Loss http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/weight-amaigr-eng.php ) Are you keeping yourself safe?

Providing health care services is regulated by government and licensed healthcare professionals are authorized to implement care and treatment of patients. Licensed healthcare professionals require ongoing formal qualifications to practice their profession and their licensure is regulated and monitored by their official College (e.g. College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, Alberta College of Pharmacists, Alberta Dental Association).

Here are 7 ways to protect yourself:

1.Avoid buying weight loss products from a source that you cannot qualify.

2.Avoid engaging in weight loss programs with a source you cannot qualify that offers you advice on your health and prescription-based answers.

3.Avoid using health products off-label for weight loss, unless this has been recommended by your health care practitioner.

4.Only use health products for weight loss that are recommended or approved by a health care practitioner.

5.Be skeptical about advertising claiming a miracle will occur.

6.Be sure that the health products you use have been assessed by Health Canada for safety, effectiveness and quality, and are authorized for sale in Canada.

7.Only take prescription drugs for weight loss that have been prescribed for you by a health care practitioner who has examined you.

Another risk to your health and safety is the use of unlicensed devices for treatments. Facilities, which use unlicensed devices for treatments (i.e. laser machines and handpieces, hair removal devices, ultrasonic machines and handpieces) may place the health and safety of their patients at risk. Cosmetic and medical devices used in health care facilities must comply with the Canadian Medical Devices Regulations (Class II, III or IV medical devices) and require authorization by Health Canada (by way of a device license) before they can be legally utilized in Canada. In contrast to licensed devices, unlicensed devices have not undergone any assessment by Health Canada as to their safety, quality or effectiveness. (for more information, visit: Health Canada Drug and Health Products http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/md-im/activit/announce-annonce/purchase_md_achat_im_let-eng.php).

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