This post is a combination of my thoughts and a call to anyone having similar issues to share…
I will preface this by saying that I’m not a doctor, and not a dentist, nor a researcher. I am writing on my own experience, and my own test results.
Last November, I had three mercury (“silver fillings”) amalgams removed that I’ve had since my late teens (I’m 40). I knew (well, at least I thought I did) exactly what I was getting into. I had two cracked fillings, and needed them fixed any which way. The nearest biological dentist is over three hours away, and they couldn’t get me in for several months. My dentist was really good to work with, but since he’s not a biological dentist, he was limited in how he could handle some of the protocols I requested (like a separate air source during removal). He was very respectful of my wishes and did his best.
Afterwards, I felt pretty good for awhile. I did what I considered “hard core” mercury detoxing – ate cilantro pastes, Epsom salt baths, took Chlorella, extra Vitamin C, all that stuff, and probably was a little cocky that I was not going to have a problem. And considering that I had been on the GAPS Diet for almost a year, I figured I was pretty well set up to detox. After a couple of weeks, I started to feel really tired (even after a full night’s sleep I felt like I hadn’t slept at all), had chronic unresolvable chiropractic issues, and just felt unwell and slow. I started having gut issues again. My nails had HUGE pits (both thumbs, in exactly the same place – I think that is interesting, and they both finally just grew out. My doctor said this was the assault of the toxins taking their toll outwardly.) In May (keeping in mind I did this work in November), I finally started to feel better. At the end of May, I did a challenge urine test for toxic elements through Genova Diagnostics lab and my doctor.
My mercury level is now 13.07 (“acceptable” level is less than 2.19). I have had two other heavy metal tests done in the past few years and I only had trace amounts so I believe this is directly correlated to the dental work. And after several months of detoxing, that makes me wonder just what it was right after I had the work done. No wonder I felt awful. Anyhow, my doctor has me on a regimen of DMSA for mercury chelation – five pills first thing in the morning Monday-Wednesday-Friday. I will go back in three months for further provoked testing. I was a little frustrated to find out that we could be at this for a year or more. Apparently, I underestimated just how persistent this stuff is. Other “post-worthy” issues include that I had my thyroid labs taken in the past month, and my thyroid antibodies were way up from a year ago, so he increased my dose of Armour Thyroid. Last year, my labs were great and things were healing on their own. So, big change. Also, the test showed that I had high lead levels (“normal” – if there is such a thing – is less than 1.4 and mine is 16.8), as well as moderately high levels of rubidium and thallium (I don’t even know what those are let alone where I’d get into them). I have never tested high for any of that before, but my test results stated that “toxicity of lead can be significantly increased synergistically by the presence of either mercury or cadmium”. I guess so! My doctor feels that every time I test, that could be different, and different toxic elements could and will show up as the mercury chelates out of my body.
And this is concerning why? To pull info from my Genova Diagnostics report: Lead: “Lead primarily deposits and accumulates in the aorta, liver, kidneys, adrenal and thyroid glands, bones and teeth. this element interferes with membrane functions, bonds to sulfhydryl, phosphate, hydroxyl and amino sites on proteins and enzyme cofactors and interferes with heme synthesis, iron transport, erythrocyte life span and hepatic cytochrome P-450 functions. Other deletrious effects include: reduced Vitamin D synthesis (ak!), slowed nerve conduction, peripheral neuropathy, hypertension in adults and loss of IQ and developmental disorders in children. Anemia, neuropathies and encephalopathy are end stage conditions of severe lead excess.”
Mercury: causes excitability and tremor, memory loss, insomnia, lassitude (?), anorexia and weight loss, gingivitis, rash, increased perspiration and salivation. Acute mercury vapor exposure may inflame the bronchial tubes and cause pneumonitis. Irreversible neurologic damage is reported in acute mercury toxicity. Inorganic mercury concentrates mostly in kidneys, while organic (methyl) mercury has high affinity for the posterior of the brain. In some individuals, relatively low levels can cause immune dysregulation. Lymphocyte inhibition and dysfunction is reported, immunosuppression can occur and autoimmune conditions are documented in animals (ahem, wacky thyroid tests). I also saw something recently (argh, I can’t remember where I saw it) where researchers are linking mercury toxicity to Alzheimer’s. Google that one yourself though before you take my word on it.)
I started my chelation about a week and a half ago. Yesterday, I started having leg cramps, headaches, visual disturbances on and off, and I am oh-so-tired. Yawning all the time tired. So if you know me, and see me yawning nonstop, it’s not you, it’s me. 🙂 I am hoping these side effects are short lived – the mercury is binding to the magnesium in my body on the way out and depleting that among other things. So…last night I started taking a quality magnesium supplement to try to combat some of this per my doctor’s instructions. He felt I could be tired for awhile because of the detox my body is going through.
My doctor says they’ve had great success at their clinic with chelation, which is good to hear. I am praying for healing and direction, and my health is overall better than it ever has been. I’m hopeful things will go well. I’m curious to hear about other people’s stories – so if you have one please feel free to share in the comments.
Mercury continues to be a controversial thing. As far as I am aware, many dentists still use it and the ADA says it’s perfectly safe. There is, however, a whole lot of economics tied to it and I don’t know that anything will change because of that. To be fair, I’ll share info from both sides. Here is a quote from the EPA website: “In 2008, FDA reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether the low levels of mercury vapor associated with dental amalgam fillings are a cause for concern. Based on this evidence, FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages six and above. FDA recommends that patients in specific populations who might be more vulnerable to mercury (pregnant women and their fetuses, and children under the age of six, including those who are breastfed), speak with their dentists about any concerns they have about the potential effects of using dental amalgam.”
Here are a couple of other links to pertinent information:
The movie “A Beautiful Truth” had some really interesting commentary about this subject. I saw it on Netflix awhile back.
I look forward to hearing from others about this. I welcome comments, but please keep it positive. Thanks!