If the toxin does spread into the bloodstream and diffuses into body tissue it is particularly attracted to the membrane nerve endings of the peripheral nervous system. We are extremely lucky that the only portion of the body that the toxin cannot spread is the Central Nervous System – the toxin molecule is too large to penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
At this stage there is a bilateral (two-sided – left/right sides of body) attack on the cranial nerves. Our 5 senses are controlled by 12 pairs of cranial nerves. So I think at this stage lets look at the Peripheral Nervous System and its function:
The areas outside of the brain and spinal cord are controlled by the Peripheral Nervous System. This system is divided as follows:
Sensory portion – sends nerve impulses from the sense organs to the CNS
Motor division – sends nerve impulses from the CNS to the muscles or glands
Ok so now we also divide the Motor division into two separate areas known as the:
Somatic Nervous System – takes care of activities that are consciously controlled and usually involve the skeletal muscles – also contains many of the nerves that are part of reflexes that act automatically.
Autonomic Nervous System – controls bodily functions that are not consciously controlled. It’s overall function is to maintain homeostasis balance in the functioning of the bodily organs and systems. This system is further divided into two parts:
Sympathetic – usually speeds up action or activity and controls organs and systems when they are stressed by environmental factors. (effects things such as dilating pupils, inhibits flow of saliva, accelerates heartbeat, dilates bronchi, inhibits peristalsis and secretion, conversion of glycogen to glucose, secretion of adrenaline and noradrenaline and inhibits bladder contraction)
Parasympathetic – regulates activity when the body is at rest and its action is normally to slow down activity. (effects things such as inhibits pupil dilation, stimulates flow of saliva, slows heartbeat, constricts bronchi, stimulates peristalsis and secretion, stimulates release of bile and contracts bladder.
After Botulinum poisoning the head and neck are the initial starting point and the symptoms include double vision, difficulty in seeing with blurred vision, problems with speaking and swallowing and droopy eyelids. Depending on the amount of toxin consumed/injected and the immune system of the person will vary the progression of the symptoms and any paralysis. The brain is not attacked so the person is still alert and aware of what is happening.
Botulism is not a common disease so many Dr’s will have had no experience with diagnosing it. This leads to no diagnosis or mistaken diagnosis such as Myasthenia Gravis, stroke, tick paralysis, shellfish poisoning or Gullian-Barre syndrome. Once the toxin attaches to a nerve it will be a long time before that protein toxin will be broken down and can release that nerve – recovery usually involves the growth of new motor axon strands that attach to and REINNERVATE previously paralysed muscle fibers – unfortunately this is a LONG process that usually takes weeks or even months :( to complete in adults.
Information obtained from ‘Botulism’ – Author Donal Emmeluth
So as you can well imagine the symptoms can be numerous and varied due to the complexity of the Peripheral Nervous System – the one bonus I take from all of this information is that the PNS can REPAIR itself……..even though some of us have to wait many many months at least we eventually achieve recovery.
So my questions are:
What causes the toxin to spread in some and not others?
Or does it spread in all of us but some have stronger immune systems?
Does the preparation/dilution of Botox effect it’s ability to spread?
Does the amount of Botox or where it is injected make it more likely to spread?
On the Allergan website they state ‘No DEFINITIVE serious adverse event reports of distant spread of toxin effect associated with dermatologic use of BOTOX/BOTOX cosmetic at the labeled dose of 20 Units (for Glabellar lines) or 100 Units (for severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis) have been reported’
First of all define ‘DEFINITIVE’ – does that mean it has to be linked in a lab to the Botox injections? So they get, for example, 10,000 reports of extreme side effects but none of these people have been asked to have medical examinations by Allergan for specific links – or they have submitted a report to Allergan but Allergan haven’t responded so of course there is going to be NO definitive link.
I must say though that at least Allergan have attempted to outline side effects and also make it clear that a medical history and clinical management from a Dr is essential – so really the weakest link appears to be the people injecting us. If they have not taken your medical history and explained these specific risks outlined in the Allergan document then they are being unethical and compromising their duty of care? Why is that we trust people who want to inject us with a toxin? Why are people allowed to inject Botox without a prescription, clinical management or a medical history evaluation?????
If they were anything like me I went to multiple health professionals and they had no idea and told me to wait it out – even if they did think there was a link how could they prove it???? Where were they going to send me for Botox lab tests? My doctor couldn’t find any tests for Botulism………… So really the word ‘definitive’ is a COP OUT!!!!!!! So consumers BEWARE!!!
I would also like to discuss the point that they have specifically stated exact unit amounts – 20 and 100 – does this mean that they have had links for 18 units or 105 but this has been omitted from the pamphlet???? I don’t know what do you think?