welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, September 20, 2019

alzheimers news-that would make the treatment worse than the disease maybe

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my mother and my younger brother took aricept (donepezil) for alzheimers disease
my older brother was on in for a year or two also
i have been on it now for almost 9 years

i am quite familiar with the side effects having experienced most of the side effects over the last several years

i read with interest this linked article on aricept (donepezil) causing rhabdomyolysis after working in the community garden with a large volunteer group for almost 4 hours in the hot sun last weekend
when i laid down for my afternoon nap i was awaken with a marked cramp in my calf and then on the opposite leg a severe cramp in my quadriceps
i was afraid at one point that i was not going to get the quad cramp to go away
i was left with a sore calf and a sore quadriceps

rhabdomyolysis is better known in the news from athletes who get overheated and cramp up
their muscle fibers get broken down and the substances have to be filtered by the kidney which can overwhelm the kidneys leading to acute kidney failure but thankfully most usually return to normal kidney functions after rehydration

some folks with this die or get left with permanent kidney damage

so thats why that article caught my attention after it showed up this week and after i had that get out of bed leg cramp that wouldnt hardly go away

i sort of suspected that someone on aricept (donepezil) would be susceptible to rhabdo as its called since folks like me get those godawful leg cramps at night sometimes
ive noticed them more often after ive done a lengthy garden session or a long hike

aricept (donepezil) allows acetylcholine to accumulate in the nerve endings so the nerve will fire and work better even in the brain if the nerve cell is partly damaged
thats how it works in the brain by making the brain cells work better

for some it works better than others
hopefully im one of them

this accumulation elsewhere in the body especially the gi tract like the intestine and stomach and the muscle leads to these side effects

you can watch my calves sometimes and they look like small snakes crawling under the skin as the muscle fibers fire beyond my control
its this overfiring of the muscle fibers that probably leads to the cramps and then the rhabdo

the gi symptoms are nausea vomiting diarrhea decreased appetite and abdominal pain
i have some nausea let just say im never constipated now for 9 years and i have some abdominal pain in the morning after taking the aricept (donepezil)
i also commonly have a loss of appetite and normally dont get hunger pains
i could probably easily go without eating but know i have to eat to live

i compensate by eating small meals and snacks in the morning that help
i also take a pill for nausea sometimes and take the ppi pill like omeprazole to help

i tolerate all this since i feel like the aricept (donepezil) may be why im better right now as it delays my symptoms for awhile

when i hike or work in the garden i try to stay well hydrated
if i dont i notice the leg cramps are worse

yes i read this article with interest
i will now be more vigilant about staying hydrated with exercise and just generally well hydrated all the time

even with these gi symptoms and the leg cramps and now the slight risk of rhabdomyolysis from taking the aricept (donepezil) the treatment is not worse than the disease
the untreated disease leads to your death 100% of the time

whats a little side effects

also join and or donate to our team for the walk to end alzheimers or join an alzheimers walk in your area

alzheimers disease presentation
our walk to end alzheimers team organicgreendoctor will be walking in the walk here in santa barbara on saturday november 2 2019
here is the link to my team and the walk

the organicgreen doctor

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