An abdominal toning belt is a device worn by men and women to give them ab muscles. Once you strap on the gadget, electrical stimulations from its electrodes start to contract your muscles.
After some time, the manufacturers claim it will give you a better-looking waist. To reap these benefits, you wear the belt every day. You also put up with the tingles and discomfort of the electrical stimulation.
In one study, it was shown that the waist circumference of the users reduced. The participants also self-reported that their midsections seemed firmer and more toned. The researchers measured the abdominal strength and endurance of the subjects and confirmed that it had increased.
While these benefits are worth pursuing, the belt also has many side effects that you should be wary of.
In fact, these reasons explain why the FDA has not approved it as a safe weight loss device.
Side Effects of the Abdominal Toning Belt
1. Swellings and inflammation
Most people sweat inside the belt. With time, this sweat attracts dirt and the dirt leads to skin irritations. Some may manifest as rashes while others will look like acne. Sometimes these skin irritations can become more complicated and turn into infections.
Dermatologists report that folliculitis is a common occurrence. Of course, the latter is not fatal. However, if you constantly have these skin problems, you are likely to take antibiotics for them. The result is a compromised immune system, which is vulnerable to worse illnesses.
2. Electric shocks
As explained earlier, the abdominal toning belt relies on electric impulses to contract muscles. It is often regarded as a substitute for strength training.
When you place electrodes directly in your body, you essentially allow electric currents to run through your body. In case there is a malfunction that increases the intensity of the power flowing through you, you could get electric shocks.
If a person uses the belt while wearing jewelry that conducts electricity, they could get injured.
3. Dangerous during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a highly sensitive time for a woman because she is responsible for another life. If you wear an abdominal toning belt when pregnant, you could be putting the baby at risk. Your uterine could contract thus affecting the birth of the baby.
Additionally, since little research has been done on the effect of electric current on fetuses, it is best to avoid them. These may cause abnormalities or they could deter development and growth in the child.
4. May endanger your life if you wear a pacemaker
The pacemaker can quickly turn from a life-saving to a life-taking device when paired with the abdominal belt. It is for this reason that it should never be used when you have a pacemaker.
Electromagnetic interferences can occur due to the belt. Your pacemaker would assume that this is a physiological signal from your body. It would change the rate at which it is beating, and this could be extremely dangerous.
5. Can burn your skin
There have been reports of people experiencing burns when using the abdominal toning belt. These often arise when short-circuits occur or when the electrodes are too moist then they dry up.
While the manufacturers of the big brands such as Slenderstone claim that their devices are safe, there is always a possibility of danger. The belts come with elaborate instructions and many precautions. Not all users may go through these instructions and could thus be susceptible to harm.
6. Can damage internal organs
The electric signals passing through your skin can have an effect on the health of your internal organs. This is especially true for the ones near the abdomen.
The liver, spleen, and kidneys could be damaged after wearing the toning belt for a long time. External impulses are detrimental to your well-being especially in areas that have sensitive parts.
7. Injures muscles
In certain circumstances, your muscles can become too tense. On those occasions, the tissues give way and tear up. The use of electrical stimulation increases the chances of you getting muscle tears.
If the muscle is not adequately treated, it may lead to injuries and bruises. The tissue may not heal properly when you use the abdominal toning belt over again.
8. Psychological damage
A number of people who use the belt subconsciously believe something is wrong with their bodies. This makes them almost dependent on the contraption.
For some, it can develop a destructive and dangerous attitude concerning body weight. Furthermore, since the results are not guaranteed, the belt can trigger extreme measures. In women, it can even lead to eating disorders.
9. May worsen cancerous lesions
If someone already has a malignant tissue, it could get worse with the abdominal toning belt.
This is because electrical impulses encourage the growth of those tissues. Such a reaction is more likely when the lesions are in the abdomen. The site would be adversely affected by these stimuli.
A small growth could accelerate into a cancerous lesion after using the abdominal belt for a long time.
10. Could trigger an epileptic attack
If a person is subject to convulsive seizures, they can get an attack when using this belt, according to research.
People with the illness often get seizures due to external shocks. These may include loud noises, lights or electric currents. In the case of electric currents, the brain may get mixed messages. This makes it send the wrong messages to a person’s body parts. Usually, these are seen as epileptic seizures. If the person falls hard, they could hurt a major body part.
11. Can cause heart problems
Any person with high blood pressure or cardiac illnesses should not use the abdominal toning belt. If you wear this device and you have a weak cardiovascular system, the electric impulses could trigger spasms.
The spasms may lead to the long-term development of blood clots in the artery. People who get strokes or heart attacks often have clots in their system. It may also trigger spasms within the coronary artery and thus constrict blood flow from the heart.
12. May cause muscle death
The medical term for this is rhabdomylosis. It is when skeletal muscle tissues die thus releasing toxins into the blood that lead to kidney failure.
In this research, a link between the above illness and electric stimulation was found. Usually, rhabdomyolysis is caused by specific events. These could be overexertion or injury. Too much use of the abdominal toning belt can lead to over contraction, muscle death and eventually kidney failure.
An abdominal toning belt may tone your abdomen without much effort. However, when something seems too easy, always think twice. The side effects of this gadget are too dire to ignore.
They can increase the growth of cancerous lesions, cause heart attacks or muscle death. They can give you electric shocks and cause skin injury. If you are pregnant, you could subject your unborn baby to deformations.
The belt may trigger epileptic attacks or could make your pacemaker malfunction. Your internal organs would not be safe inside this contraption. You would thus be safer to use resistance training and a healthy diet to get that perfectly- toned abdomen.
You can actually tone your abs using these simple belly-flattening workouts, which only take 10 minutes and don’t require any equipment.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]