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Pesticides aren't just something you should consider as you wash your vegetables before cooking. Organophosphates commonly found in lawn and garden products can be dangerous and even fatal. But you might be surprised to learn that organophosphates are also found in some common flea and tick treatments used on our pets. Are organophosphate and/or carbamate insecticides making you sick?
Cholinesterase is an enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine. Cholinesterase ensures that the nervous system is working properly and prevents overstimulation of muscles and nerves. However, exposure to organophosphate and carbamate prevent cholinesterase from doing its job properly. In fact, cholinesterase is irreversibly inhibited by organophosphate insecticides and reversibly inhibited by carbamate insecticides. When cholinesterase is inhibited, continual overexcitation of nerve-to-nerve and nerve-to-muscle communication is experienced leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, headaches, muscle spasms, nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing, confusion, and even death.
Chronic exposure to systemic insecticides can be correlated with lower cholinesterase levels, which results in higher levels of acetylcholine. This affect is the mechanism by which insecticides kills pests; by overloading their parasympathetic nervous system with acetylcholine. Other reasons for high and low levels include: The RBC level is increased in hemolytic states such as the thalassemias, spherocytosis, hemoglobin SS, and acquired hemolytic anemias. It is decreased in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and in relapse of megaloblastic anemia (it returns to normal with therapy).
Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.
This test measures cholinesterase levels in red blood cells (RBC’s) which is the best test for chronic exposure.
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