TikTok Health Products A Doctor Doesn't Recommend

Comedy skits, dance routines, and cute cat videos are just some of the many viral trends that have always dominated TikTok. Health and wellness hacks are also among these trending topics. Scroll long enough and no doubt you'll find users all across the platform offering advice, guidance, and product recommendations on everything from skincare to healthy eating to workout tips. However, some health professionals feel it's important to exercise caution when it comes to TikTok expertise.

Dr. Joe Whittington is a renowned emergency medicine physician who specializes in empowering people to take control of their health and wellbeing by providing accurate and reliable educational health content to over 1.6 million devoted followers on TikTok and YouTube. In an interview with Health Digest, he shared which popular TikTok health products people may be better off avoiding.

First, Dr. Whittington states that he generally doesn't recommend detox teas. "Some detox teas claim to help with weight loss, digestion, and liver function, but they often contain laxatives or diuretics that can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and other adverse effects," he explains. "There is little scientific evidence to support their efficacy or safety, and they may interfere with prescription medications."

Waist trainers and double chin reducing devices

The second product Dr. Whittington says he doesn't generally recommend for patients is waist trainers. "Waist trainers are tight-fitting garments that compress the abdomen to create an hourglass figure," he states. As a result, Dr. Whittington explains that these products have the potential to negatively impact one's health. "They can cause breathing difficulties, acid reflux, and even organ damage if worn too tightly or for extended periods," he says. "They do not lead to long-term weight loss or fitness benefits and can be dangerous if used improperly."

The third and final TikTok health product that Dr. Whittington advises against is any double chin reducing device. "While exercising and strengthening the muscles in the neck and jaw can help improve overall muscle tone and may contribute to a more defined jawline, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on reducing a double chin," he explains. "A double chin is usually caused by excess fat under the chin, which can be difficult to reduce through exercise alone." Rather, for those looking to minimize the appearance of a double chin, Dr. Whittington says alternate treatments are more advisable. "Non-surgical treatments like Kybella or CoolSculpting may be more effective at reducing the appearance of a double chin," he states.

What to consider before buying health products recommended on social media

Even if a person sounds pretty convincing, Dr. Whittington emphasizes the importance of not just taking someone's word for it when it comes to health products you find online. "When considering health product recommendations on social media, it's important to think about several key factors," he says. "Firstly, look for the actual scientific evidence and studies to support the product's effectiveness and safety, not just exaggerated claims made by the manufacturer."

"Secondly, consider the opinions of healthcare professionals and experts in the field who can provide valuable insights into the potential risks and benefits of a product," he advises. After all, it never hurts to get a second opinion. "Thirdly, consider your own health status and medical history before trying any new health product," he states. This is particularly important, as one person may not necessarily react the same way to certain health products as another. Dr. Whittington concludes by cautioning that "Some products may interact with medications or exacerbate certain health conditions, so it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new product."