Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis


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Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the tobacco plant, and in the following foods:

  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant (aubergine)
  • Capsicum peppers

Nicotine is also used as a pesticide in organic farming, so residues may remain on any vegetables that are not thoroughly washed. (I find it quite disturbing and upsetting that both sulfites and nicotine are allowed in organic farming). Nicotine is extremely toxic. The LD50 of nicotine is around 40-60mg.

Sixty milligrams of nicotine (about the amount in three or four cigarettes if all of the nicotine were absorbed) will kill an adult, but consuming only one cigarette’s worth of nicotine is enough to make a toddler severely ill!

What happens to people after ingesting nicotine? Nicotine poisoning causes vomiting and nausea, headaches, difficulty breathing, stomach pains and seizures. Each of these symptoms can be traced back to excessive stimulation of cholinergic neurons. People poisoned by organophosphate insecticides experience the exact same symptoms. With organophosphates, acetylcholine builds up at synapses and overstimulates the neurons. Because nicotine is so similar to acetylcholine, and binds to cholinergic receptors, nicotine in excess produces the same overstimulation and toxicity. The more nicotine binding to the nicotinic cholinergic receptors, the more acetylcholine is subsequently released and free to activate other subsets of cholinergic receptors. How stuff works

Though many epilepsy charities protest (pathetically) that smoking “does not cause seizures”, the clinical evidence indicates that nicotine can and does cause some kinds of seizures. In fact, nicotine is used to induce seizures in rat models of epilepsy.


Written by alienrobotgirl

24 April, 2006 at 7:36 pm

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