Diet pills may be a quick fix but for one Sydney mother, it almost cost her her life.
Elizabeth Katerina has been in and out of hospital after consuming Fatburners which she purchased online.
The young mum-of-two lost 25kgs in two months from diet pills, the catch being – it almost killed her.
“Eight weeks ago, I just wanted to find a quick route, an easier way to lose the baby weight. I just went on Google. I looked on Facebook and Instagram searching different options, like different brands online, just like online shopping,” Ms Katerina said.
“I came across 3Action Sports Nutrition and I looked at the reviews and they looked really good.” The 25-year-old ordered the 3Action Sports Nutrition Fatburner pills online, from Belgium.
“I took as directed on the bottle. It said “take one capsule after breakfast in the morning and one in the afternoon after food’,” Ms Katerina said.
After a week, her health started to deteriorate. “I started getting really bad headaches and feeling really dizzy. Just lightheaded. My stomach started feeling uncomfortable. I was getting diarrhoea everyday nonstop,” Ms Katerina said.
On the 10th day, her resting heart rate sky-rocketed, so she called an ambulance.
“These Fatburners over stimulated my system to the point where I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t fall asleep, my heart felt like it was going like brrrrr like this, that’s how it felt.”
At hospital, she said doctors told her she’d been poisoned.
“I’m not well. My heart rate is so fast, it was just at almost 150 (beats per minute),” she said.
“I’m dizzy, light headed and nauseas. I can’t sleep I can’t eat.
“My heart-rate was like 158 above that average for a human. An adult should be between 80 to 90 beats per minute. Mine was just chilling at 158, even when I was calm.
“The doctors at the hospital at Royal North Shore, they said to me ‘please throw out those diet pills. Whatever was in those Fatburners, they’re not good for you, they’ve over stimulated your system and you’ve been poisoned’.”
Ms Katerina is now seeing a cardiologist, gastroenterologist and taking a cocktail of prescription drugs just to get through the day. She also claims to have contacted 3Action Sports Nutrition to report her reaction and they told her to email them and proceeded to hang up on her.
The Belgian based company has blocked her and her family from contacting them on social media.
She has left a scathing review on Facebook and 3Action Sports Nutrition no longer ship to Australia.
Ms Genevieve Adamo, a senior specialist in poisons information shares “the main concern is products purchased overseas can contain undisclosed ingredients and these can be very dangerous.”
“We get at least two calls a week about exposure to these types of products” Ms Adamo said.
Products available on international websites are not regulated by the TGA.
“So, if you’re buying online that just bypasses a whole system of regulation that is put in place,” Sydney GP, Dr Brad McKay said.
“If you’re buying diet pills online there’s no guarantee you’re going to be getting what’s on the box. It is really the wild west when you’re ordering things online.”
He said Fatburners like the ones Ms Katerina used can have products like green tea and caffeine extracts in them, which aren’t proven to help with weight loss – but could cost you your liver.
It’s been a hard lesson learnt by Ms Katerina, who just wants her normal life back.
Image: A Current Affair
This article first appeared on Over60.