Was I suffering from Mercury Toxicity? Could Mercury Toxicity be a contributing factor to the onset of my Progressive Muscular Atrophy?
I will ask YOU to be the judge!
The following letter is one I wrote in hopes of convincing any of my health professionals that at least some of my current predicament is due to ongoing exposure to mercury, primarily from the amalgams in my teeth. I apologise for its length but I am posting it in its entirety in the hope that it will be of use to other PALS. You should be aware that I suggested testing for mercury toxicity to at least six health practitioners before I found one willing to order the test. Also, be aware that testing for mercury in the urine is not the best way to determine if you have a build up of mercury in your body. In my opinion, I tested positive mainly due to the detox regimen which had been ongoing for over 3 months AND from daily exposure to minuscule amounts leeching from my teeth which were, previous to the detox, likely being stored in my body.
The Case for mercury toxicity or sensitivity
Since I first started the current journey of medical visits (around April 2017), I have raised the possibility of mercury toxicity or exposure to various medical professionals. The response, almost without exception, was to summarily dismiss it out of hand. Rather, once a potential diagnosis of MND was proposed in Oct. 2017, almost everyone seems to have automatically accepted this (albeit tentative) diagnosis as fact. At the same time, there have been significant clinical findings that are not consistent with this diagnosis and may suggest other possible reasons for my current condition.
To be fair, no one of the medical professionals who has examined me has had ALL of this information at his/her disposal and this is precisely the reason that I have decided to lay it all out here.
I am aware that mercury toxicity or sensitivity is apparently rare (but then so is MND/ALS) and that millions of people are exposed through dental amalgams, mercury-laden seafood, vaccines, to name a few, and suffer no visible harm. However, most people could eat an entire jar of peanut butter and suffer no consequence, while others would go into shock after a single, minute exposure. Therefore, I am positing that rather than suddenly being exposed to a toxic dose of mercury, it has built up in my system over my lifetime through the following means and with the following symptoms:
1. As a pre-teen and teenager, my mouth was constantly filled with amalgam fillings. Before the days of vacuums and power rinses, I can remember fishing metal-filling shavings out of my mouth after visits to the dentist. Although I cannot with surety say that the episodes below coincided with, or resulted from, dental surgery, I had the following otherwise unexplained symptoms which I took, at that time, to be normal:
a) Recurring skin problems variously diagnosed as dermatitis, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and common dandruff
b) Sporadic but intense migraine headaches
c) Persistent severe intestinal problems often diagnosed as gastroenteritis.
Upon entering university, I stopped having regular dental visits and many of these symptoms abated.
2. In my twenties, I developed heart-attack like symptoms and was given an extensive work-up at the Ottawa Heart Institute. No heart problems were discovered and the result was labeled as arrhythmia combined with stress.
3. I had my wisdom teeth removed in my early thirties, in hospital, under general anesthetic, due to horizontal impaction. After surgery, I became gravely ill and as medications failed to improve matters, I was declared allergic to penicillin and subsequently to anti-histamines (neither of these was actually tested for). After three months with no improvement, I took it upon myself to cease ALL medications and slowly regained my health. In retrospect, I am forced to wonder whether the surgery released mercury directly into my bloodstream through open wounds. I have ALWAYS been slow to recover from any major dental surgery!
4. In my latter years as my dental visits became fewer, so my general health improved. Although I was still allergic to pollen, dust, some pet dander, and skin problems remained, I maintained a healthy lifestyle and had few visits to the doctor. I was, however, refused life insurance due to increased liver enzymes, a condition which has persisted to a greater or lesser degree since that time.
5. In my mid-fifties, I had a broken wrist which failed to heal and almost resulted in the complete loss of function of my right arm and shoulder. Due to inability to obtain an appointment at the Pain Clinic, I used physiotherapy and a GP-directed exercise program to rehabilitate myself. (Probably not significant but added in for completeness).
6. For the last 10 years, I have only 3 dental amalgam fillings as most have been replaced with composites, but one of them covers almost the entire area of the tooth and is partially encased by my gum. I do, however, consume a moderate amount of fish, mostly salmon, cod & haddock. Almost every year, I develop either flu or flu-like symptoms which usually develops into bronchitis or pneumonia
7. In 2014, I was admitted to hospital with severe lower back pains which were deemed to be kidney stones (though none were ever found). I was left virtually paralysed from the waist down and it took 3-6 months to regain normal function. It was since this time that I noticed the constant fasciculations, initially in my left leg and eventually spreading to my right. I was able, however, to resume my fitness regimen and could still run 10K in 48 minutes.
7 In October 2016, I started to note a decrease in my running times and in late December fell (for the first time) whilst skating on the canal. Since April of 2017, blood tests have variously shown anomalies other than elevated liver enzymes: CK levels rangings from 250 – 527, Rheumatoid Factor from 18-38, ANA positive at 1:160
8. After commencing a self-prescribed cocktail of supplements in November of 2017, which included ALA, NAC and CoEnzyme Q10, all of which are suggested in some circles to aid in heavy metal detox, a urine test in Jan 2018 showed elevated levels of mercury.
9. I have attached a copy of a Mercury/Toxic Metal Sensitivity Questionnaire where I would appear to tick almost 50% of the boxes (12/30) where 5 is said to be a warning level.
I hope that the foregoing is sufficient to convince the reader that, in my case, mercury sensitivity/toxicity is something that at least warrants further exploration and analysis.
N.B. Of the three medical professionals that I approached with this letter, none read it before venturing an opinion/diagnosis!
I have now had my amalgams removed and will describe my experience elsewhere