Why You Need to Know About Acetylcholine

I tell you true, Bunky, if it ain’t one thing, it’s another. And now Bette’s gone completely over the edge, talking about stuff I don’t really care about.

True enough, but not knowing about acetylcholine (etc.) can put you at risk. Specifically, not having enough of it puts your brain at risk. And since it’s quite common for patients to get a prescription for drugs that whack acetylcholine levels, we need to know some stuff.

First, some vocabulary:

  • Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, one of many. Neurotransmitters send nerve signals to other cells. Acetylcholine has the assigned tasks to activate muscles throughout the body and, in the brain, initiate arousal, attention, memory, and motivation. What happens if the brain doesn’t get the acetylcholine juice it needs? Well, researchers found that Alzheimer’s patients have less than 10% of what they need.
  • The parts of the body that need acetylcholine are called cholinergic.
  • Substances, often prescription drugs, that interfere with acetylcholine’s activities are called anticholinergics.

In April, 2017, a study in Geriatrics and Gerontology International said, “The use of anticholinergic drugs has been strongly associated with adverse health outcomes, including cognitive impairment, dementia, falls, functional decline, hospitalization, and mortality, especially in older adults.” (And in medical-speak, “older” isn’t all that old.)

The study went on to say that young people aren’t immune to the ravages of anticholinergics.

And, moving up the Yikes! scale, medical schools teach that anticholinergics are safe to use and recommend them as treatment for many problems.

For instance, anticholinergics can be prescribed for motion sickness, irritable bowel syndrome (and other digestive distresses), overactive bladder, dizziness, asthma, COPD, anxiety, sleep problems, depression, allergies, pain, high blood pressure, mental illness, heart failure and heartburn. And I could go on.

It’s not unusual to get multiple anticholinergic prescriptions, each increasing the challenge to your body’s nervous system and brain. And over-the-counter drugs add to the problem.

Some examples of drugs believed to have high anticholinergic impact are Elavil, Actifed, Thorazine, Advil PM (etc), Antivert, Sudafed, Paxil, Scopolamine, Mellaril, etc., etc., etc.

Some Side Effects of Anticholinergic Drugs

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Dry skin
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Etc.

Obviously, anticholinergic drugs can create a certain amount of mayhem in our lives. And taking multiple anticholinergics increases the possibility of trouble. And stopping them suddenly can create severe withdrawal symptoms.

Since doctors are taught that anticholinergics are benign, you probably won’t get much help in stopping them. And you might even get an argument about your reasons for stopping being so much nonsense.

So, what to do?

If your doctor won’t help, change doctors. Perhaps find a Naturopathic doctor. They’re not allowed to prescribe drugs, so they have to try to find natural solutions. And they may help you ease off the anticholinergics.

And getting off anticholinergics isn’t the whole story. The health problem that got you started on drugs hasn’t gone away, so you have to help your body get back in the game. Good nutrition, which is different from what we’re told, not only fights the effects of anticholinergics, but it helps your whole body be all it can be.

The approach I usually recommend is to start building your nutrition program to give your body a boost then, as it responds and needs less and less of whatever medication you’re taking, begin cutting back the med.

Consider joining my Moving to Health program. This is the information that got me out of a really deep ditch. And it’s done the same for others.

I haven’t heard of anything else that does what my program does. If I ever do, I’ll quit doing all the research I stagger through, then just kick back and eat bonbons. (Well, more likely a steak or something, but you get the idea.)

Whatever else you decide to do, think twice, or even thrice, before you even consider taking anticholinergics.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

About the author: Bette Dowdell defines determination. A drunk driver caused a concussion, which put her into a really deep health ditch, when she was a baby. Her endocrine system, the thyroid and the rest of the gang, which controls all of health, dragged along, out of balance and out of sorts, but doctors didn’t help. So, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. Along the way, her fascination with how our bodies work grew, and grew, and grew, so Bette’s still researching. Subscribe to her free health e-mails at https://TooPoopedToParticipate.com

The content of the Too Pooped To Participate blog is provided as general information only.

© by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved

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