In the 1940s and '50s, psychiatrists often used insulin-shock therapy to treat mental illness. In this barbaric treatment, which disappeared by 1970, the doctor would give the patient a massive dose of insulin to cause low-blood sugar. The insulin would put the patient into a coma. After about an hour, the doctor would administer glucose to bring the patient out of the coma.
This treatment would make the patient sweaty, restless, and with repeated treatment, grossly obese. Worse, it killed many patients and caused brain damage in others. While this treatment is obviously horrible, there was some benefit to it. For one, we realized how closely related brain health is to your insulin and glucose levels. They're so closely related that Alzheimer's is now considered type-3 diabetes.
But the real lesson of these treatments was lost on the drug companies. When drugs significantly affect metabolism, they also affect the brain. And a new study shows that even the most mundane drugs, such as allergy medications, can destroy your brain.
For years, most doctors, including many integrative physicians, thought allergy medications like Benadryl, Demerol, Dimetapp, Paxil and Unisom, were perfectly safe to take. Now we know better.
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This recent study came out of the Indiana University School of Medicine. The researchers followed 451 people (average age of 72). Of these, 60 of the participants were taking at least one medication with medium or high anticholinergic activity. Anticholinergic activity means the drug actively blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and the peripheral nervous system. This helps shut down allergy symptoms.
But it also shuts down your metabolism and damages your brain. Previous research had shown that people with Alzheimer's disease lack acetylcholine. So the researchers in this new study wanted to know if these pills exacerbate or trigger the condition. To conduct the study, they used cognitive tests, PET scans, and MRI scans to evaluate the participants' brain activity and structure.
They found that the people taking the medications not only saw a significant drop in their metabolism, but their brains shrank as well. They performed worse on short-term memory tests and on verbal reasoning, planning, and problem-solving tests. So the drugs negatively affected the structure of the brain and its ability to function. And discontinuing their use doesn't necessarily mean that your brain will begin to function better.
If you've ever taken Benadryl, you're probably well aware that it essentially puts you in a coma. I know many parents who give their kids these drugs just to help them sleep. With the results of this study, they need to seriously reconsider doing so. While the mechanism is slightly different and not as dramatic as insulin-shock therapy, the connection to brain damage is very similar.
If you suffer from allergies and need some relief, there's a much better option than taking drugs. Ultimate Allergy Formula is a new formula that can work wonders on treating the root cause of allergies. I'll tell you more about the wonderful ingredients in this supplement in future issues. But for now, stay away from drugs to treat your allergies and try this formula instead.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND