Mercury Poisoning

Successfully Navigating Chronic Mercury Poisoning / Amalgam Illness

8 Months Post Amalgam - Kidneys Healed!

| Comments

Good news on the recovery. One of my many symptoms of mercury intoxication has been impaired kidney function. I had what amounts to stage 1 kidney disease with microalbumin and protein leaking into my urine. My body also couldn’t keep up with removing creatinine, a metablolic waste.

My visit to the nephrologist revealed music to my ears. My kidneys are fiiltering waste well now and I’m not leaking protein. Amazing! I had read several case studies that reported that chelation improves kidney function. Add me as another case. My nephrologist and neurologist both see my cases and “interesting”. They have not been trained to see my symptoms as the result of 20 years of low dose mercury poisoning.

Overall my creatinine levels trended as follows (lower is better):

May 2014 - 1.3 mg/dL
July 2014 - 1.1 mg/dL
March 2015 - 0.8 mg/dL

Chelation for the win!

Health and Symptom Trend

Generally the trend in health has been good. Following the 5 month mercury dump symptoms have improved continuously with the odd spike here and there. I’m still dealing with:

  • Numbness and tingling - Primarily left-sided in the toes, side of the foot pad, and calf muscles.
  • Muscle spasms - Still primarily in calf muscles, but can occur pretty much anywhere including the face.
  • Coordination issues - Sometimes it is not automatic to walk where I have to think a little bit about how to walk. This is one of the more disconcerting aspects of mercury poisoning.
  • Muscle soreness - Primarily in my left forearm and both shin muscles.
  • Sporadic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Cough - It seems like my lungs have been expelling mercury resulting in an annoying cough
  • Nausea - A wierd symptom that typically shows up on the last day before I start a new round of chelation
  • Thyroid Irritation - This is one of my big indicators of blood mercury levels. During chelation rounds I typically have no irritation. At the end of a rest period, my thyroid is typically swollen and irritated. Lately though the level of irritation has reduced significantly. I’m guessing that in 10-15 more rounds it will be completely gone.

Overall, I’m pretty optimistic that these will continue to diminish after each round of chelation.

DMSA

Sourcing DMSA has been an issue. The FDA shut down Captomer and now Nutri-Dyn’s Nutri-DMSA leaving very few places to get over the counter DMSA. I only know of two places at this point and they both probably have google ads running on this very site.

DMSAChelation has a product called DMSA Synergy that I tried because I had run out of Nutri-DMSA and was a little desperate to chelate while I was waiting for a Living Network order. I would steer clear. It’s clearly just packaged in someone’s house and just seems a little shady. It also seems to be of poor quality compared to other DMSA that I’ve used.

On the other hand, Living Network actually seems to have the best DMSA that I’ve used. It’s probably a bit better than Nutri-DMSA. The downside is that it take 2-3 weeks to ship to the US. I will probably get the ALA there as well since they have 12.5 mg tablets.

Until next time

I’m hopeful that parts of my story get to people who are looking for some guidance or solutions to their health issues. It’s very possible that neurological, kidney and other problems are really just symptoms of heavy metal poisoning and that it is curable.

6 Months Post Amalgam Status Update

| Comments

February 28, 2015 marked a milestone in a couple ways for me. Most importantly it was my ¾ anniversary. My wife and I were married on Leap Day 2012. I’m very lucky to have a patient wife that has been supportive during this entire episode. Second, and more relevant to the blog is that I am now six months post-amalgam.

20 Rounds of Chelation

Is Your Deodorant Rash Signaling Heavy Metal Toxicity?

| Comments

Do you get rashes from deodorants? If so then maybe you should check the ingredient’s list. Apart from aluminum, a heavy metal that you should probably be avoiding anyways, many deodorants contain Ethylenediaminetetraacetic (EDTA).

What is EDTA?

I’ve mentioned EDTA when I covered my experience with it when testing for lead poisoning. As you may have deduced, EDTA is an FDA approved lead chelator. One of its side effects is rash.

Deodorant Rashes

I’ve always had a rough time with deodorants causing rashes. As a result, I’ve simply switched over to natural deodorants. I originally thought that the problems were due to the aluminum. However, after going through the EDTA Challenge test, I had a rash on my right hand that looked oddly familiar to the deodorant rashes. So I checked the ingredient list on the stick of deodorant that had caused the rash. Lo and behold, EDTA was staring me in the face.

My logic leads me to believe that my deodorant was signaling metal toxicity very early on, probably in my teens and twenties, however there was no commonly accepted reason for why a rash might occur other than you might be sensitive to some chemical in it. My experience with heavy metal poisoning suggests that there is a very good reason why you might have a rash when using deodorants: Heavy Metals. So next time you develop a rash from your deodorant, switch to a natural deodorant and consider mercury or lead toxicity as a potential cause.

5 Months Post Amalgam Removal Update

| Comments

5 Months Amalgam Free

Today I’m celebrating 5 months of being amalgam filling free. Life has improved signficiantly over the last few months with only 2-3 days a week sucking instead of 7 out of 7 days. I’m able to comfortably work 40+ hours a week, whereas I used to only be able to work 20-30 hours. Unfortunately, this week I’ve been celebrating my 5 months with a mercury dump.

What is a Mercury Dump?

Andy Cutler explains on page 52 of his book Amalgam Illness that there is a period, typically between 2-6 months where your organs begin ‘dumping’ mercury rather gleefully resulting in an increase in mercury toxicity symptoms. Parting my Clouds has an excellent image that explains the process.

Mercury Dumping Phase

Testing for Lead Poisoning With the Calcium EDTA Challange

| Comments

After performing the DMPS challenge, my Doctor suggested I also take the Calcium EDTA challenge to determine whether my symptoms might be caused by Lead poisoning. Some alternative doctors use EDTA to treat Arteriosclerosis as an alternative to angioplasty, and while there might be some benefit to it, I’m not really interested in that for our purposes. Instead, I’m going to discuss EDTA in the context of Mercury and Lead poisoning.

EDTA Challenge Test

The EDTA Challenge Test is very similar to the DMPS Challenge Test. A solution of Calcium EDTA is administered intravenously over about 20 minutes, urine is collected for 6 hours and the urine sample is analyzed for levels of heavy metals.

Road to Recovery: Mercury or Lead Poisoning?

| Comments

After removing my amalgams, my next step was to fully determine if heavy metal poisoning really was the culprit. My doctor suggested that I do two different challenge tests: DMPS for mercury and Calcium EDTA for lead. I would later learn that doing this is probably not the best or safest way to test for heavy metal poisoning.

DMPS Challenge Test

There is a lot of disagreement surrounding the DMPS Challenge Test. Since there is not a good way to measure the total body burden of most heavy metals, some practitioners use a provoking agent to stir up metals hiding in various organ tissues and then measure the amount of heavy metal that shows up in the urine after a set period of time. If you do any bit of research you will find the DMPS Challenge on Quackwatch or DMPSBackfire.com. There is currently no standard medical diagnostic use for a DMPS Challenge and just because a person does have a higher amount of heavy metal following the test does not necessarily mean that he or she is mercury poisoned.

Conditions Related to Mercury Poisoning

| Comments

Because mercury binds to sites where lighter essential minerals function as catalysts to normal human biochemical processes it can cause symptoms that are similar to conditions on the list below. Having multiple conditions increases the likelihood that some sort of environmental toxin like mercury or lead is the main culprit. Also have a look at the symptoms of mercury poisoning.

  • Acrodynia
  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Anterior Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Bulemia
  • Candida
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Cholitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Depression
  • Developmental Defects
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema
  • Emphysema
  • Environmental Illness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastritis
  • Hormonal Dysfunction
  • Intestinal Dysfunction
  • Immune System Disorders
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Juvenile Arthritis
  • Kidney Disease
  • Learning Disorders
  • Liver Disorders
  • Lupus
  • Manic Depressive Disorder
  • Metabolic Encephalopathy
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Myasthena Gravis
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Reproductive Disorders
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sciatica
  • Senile Dementia
  • Thyroid Disease

Mercury Poisoning Symptoms

| Comments

Chronic Mercury Toxicity caused by dental amalgams may exhibit a long list of symptoms. Because everybody’s biochemistry is slightly different, every person’s experience is slightly different. Chances are if you have amalgams and exhibit many of these symptoms then you should consider mercury poisoning as a potential diagnosis. You may also find the conditions related to mercury poisoning helpful.

I have bolded some of the symptoms that I experienced.

Musculoskeletal

  • Tender Muscles
  • Mees' Lines - moving white lines across the nails
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Joint pain, swelling, or stiffness
  • Painful muscle cramps
  • Muscle twitching - Starting in the calf muscles migrating toward the upper legs and torso.
  • Facial twitches and tics primarily around the eyes and mouth
  • Tremors

Reproductive

  • Unxeplained missed periods

Neurological

  • Poor Coordination or Balance
  • Fatigue
  • Poor memory
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Slurred speeach
  • Numbness or Tingling (Parasthesia)

Auditory

  • Ringing Ears (Tinnitus)
  • Difficulty processing speech

Cardiovascular

  • Anemia
  • Chest pain (Angina)
  • Rapid Heart Rate (Tachycardia)
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Feeling cold

Respiratory

  • Allergies
  • Recurrent sore throat
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shallow respiration
  • Nose inflammation
  • Sinusitis
  • Excessive mucus formation
  • Stuffy nose
  • Loss of sense of smell

Gastrointestinal

  • Painful BM
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bad Breath / Halitosis
  • Yeast / Candida Infection
  • Nausea / Vomiting

Lymphatic

  • Swollen Cervical Lymph Nodes
  • Swollen Preauricular Lymph Nodes
  • Swollen Jaw Lymph Nodes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Water retention (Edema)

Ocular

  • Vision Disturbances - Eye Floaters
  • Tunnel vision

Oral

  • Dark spots on gums
  • White patches on gums (Leukoplakia)
  • Tongue Swelling
  • Metallic Taste
  • White coated tongue
  • Cold Sores
  • Mouth soreness
  • Inflamed gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Canker Sores
  • Tooth grinding (Bruxism)
  • Bone loss

Emotional

  • Apathy
  • Irritable
  • Moodiness
  • Hostile Disposition
  • Confusion / Disorientation
  • Easily Excitable
  • Introversion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks

Skin / Hair

  • Reduced perspiration
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Rashes from deodorants containing EDTA
  • Night sweats
  • Dry skin
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Hair loss

Metabolic

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Headaches / Migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Weight Loss

Organs

  • Kidney Disease
  • Chronic Renal Insufficiency
  • Frequently waking up at night to urinate - Nocturia

Mercury Free: Consult With a Biological Dentist

| Comments

After getting some good news from the neurologist, I decided it was time to get my amalgams out. My symptoms kept worsening and mercury poisoning seemed like the link that could cause all of them.

Amalgam Removal Protocol

It’s incredibly important when removing your amalgams to work with a dentist who specializes in mercury free dentistry. You can search for a biolical dentist near you at the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT) website. Here is their explanation of how mercury fillings should be removed.

Is there a proper way to remove mercury fillings?

To prevent additional mercury exposure, find a biological dentist properly trained in mercury filling removal. Patients should inquire about the following amalgam removal protocols: Utilizing an efficient suction system in the oral cavity with a special tip or its equivalent to contain amalgam particles and mercury vapors. 

Operating a vacuum system at maximum efficiency. 

Applying copious amounts of water to the filling during removal. 

Removing the amalgam in large segments to minimize the generation of mercury vapor and amalgam particulate. 

Providing the patient and dental staff with a mercury-free source of air.

To summarize:

  1. Dental Dam to prevent chunks of amalgam from being swallowed
  2. Vacuum to remove mercury vapors
  3. Secondary oxygen source

Even these precautions do not fully prevent mercury from entering the bloodstream. I would quickly experience some of the after-effects of amalgam removal. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I went to a dentist who didn’t take these precautions.

The Most Thorough Dental Exam Ever

My dentist was without a doubt the most throrough I’d every met. He checked for temporomandibular joint problems and other aches and pains that can be caused by dental issues. He noted the swollen lymph glands in my neck and excessive salivation were likely caused by mercury poisoning. He also had a fantastic chart on the effects of mercury on the nervous system and organs.

Toxicity from Dental Mercury

He then did an examination of my teeth and counted my 6 amalgam fillings. His plan was to extract the amalgam and replace them with composite fillings, one side at a time, one week apart. I signed up immediately.

Amalgam Removal Round One

In the 5 days between my initial consult and amalgam removal I developed fatigue, light senstivity, eye floaters, and metallic taste in my mouth. Needless to say I was ready for the mercury to be out of my mouth.

The removal of my first 3 fillings on the left side of my mouth was straight forward. The dentist applied the precautions above and was done within an hour. He recommended taking large doses of Chlorella and Vitamin C to counteract some of the mercury that entered the bloodstream following the mercury extraction. The next week would be rough due to this more acute mercury poisoning.

Side Effects

Thyroid swelling and fatigue continued after round one of amalgam extraction. However, a new symptom appeared: Dizziness/Vertigo. It became difficult and anxiety filled event to walk as I didn’t know if I would be able to stand up or walk in a straight line. I even woke up at 2:00 am and had dizziness so extreme that it triggered an anxiety attack. Kavinace came to the rescue though and calmed my racing thoughts and heart rate. My wife mentioned that I was moody and irritable. My response was that those are very common symptoms of mercury poisoning. Touche!

Amalgam Removal: Round Two

Much of the same story with round two. Dizziness and fatigue were the main culprits. But now with my amalgams removed I could start chelating this evil poison out of my body. I could not wait to start feeling better, but chelation is no walk in the park.

Round One of DMSA Chelation With the Cutler Protocol

| Comments

Despite having undergone 9 rounds of relatively successful chelation with IV DMPS, this weekend I decided to try Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA). I wanted to try it because I wanted to see if the side effects were better worse than DMPS. On DMPS I would generally feel quite good for one to three days followed by a slow buildup of redistribution symptoms. There is a fervent following of people on the Cutler protocol who believe that frequent low-dose chelation is the best and safest way to chelate, so I felt that given the amount of perceived success people have experienced it was worth trying.

DMSA Protocol

I strictly adhered to the half-life based protocol of 100 mg DMSA every 4 hours. The goal was to get 3 full days of chelation in which would effectively be similar to an IV DMPS treatment in terms of chelation efficiency.

Results

Overall, I was not too impressed with DMSA as a chelator. I experienced a lot of discomfort with redistribution effects primarily with stocking/gloves nerve pain, muscle spasms, heart palpitations and kidney stress. Generally, I can deal with a bit of heart palpitations, spasms and parasthesia. These have been transient with chelation.

Protecting against Nephrotoxicity caused by Mercury

My biggest concern is with kidney stress as the kidneys are fragile. Long-term inflammation can cause scarring and permanent damage. Obviously not a good thing. My strategy to counteract this is fairly straightforward: Prevent Nephrotoxicity caused by Mercury.

  1. Taurine - Has been shown to prevent nephrotoxicity and oxidative stress.
  2. Vitamin C - Antioxidant with chelating properties at sufficient doses also helps to prevent neurotoxicity
  3. Vitamin E - Another antioxidant with nephro-protective effects

Bentonite Clay Detox Baths

Additionally, I have embraced bentonite clay baths as my secondary detoxification modality. Clay baths have been very effective at reducing my parasthesia and heart palpitations. While on DMSA, the deposits in the clay residue after the bath was markedly different than with DMPS. It had a reddish rusty tint to it, which make sense since DMSA can be used to chelate iron1.

DMPS or DMSA?

In the immediate future I plan to give my kidneys a break, at least 2 weeks to let my kidneys heal a bit. Then I will return to DMPS. My body seemed to tolerate DMPS much better than DMSA. The efficiency of DMPS seems to cause fewer side effects when compared to DMSA. Since DMSA is not as efficient a chelator as DMPS, it seems to let a drop a few more molecules of mercury into places where I do not want it. At some point down the road, probably after 20 rounds of IV DMPS, I will probably re-evaluate and start the DMSA/ALA protocol to remove mercury from my brain. Until then, I’m going to return to the more comfortable chelator, DMPS.

1: Hider, Robert C.; Kong, Xiaole (2013). “Chapter 8. Iron: Effect of Overload and Deficiency”. In Astrid Sigel, Helmut Sigel and Roland K. O. Sigel. Interrelations between Essential Metal Ions and Human Diseases. Metal Ions in Life Sciences 13. Springer. pp. 229–294. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-7500-8_8.