Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mercury in Your Mouth

For the last few years, I’ve had weird symptoms that only seem to have worsened over time. In fact, since I was 15 I’ve suffered from major depression. The other symptoms which have slowly developed include things like severe gastrointestinal issues, anxiety, low energy/stamina, increased anger/frustration, muscle weakness, mood swings, temperature problems (always cold), memory problems, inability to focus, apathy, low self esteem, shyness, etc. My symptoms have gotten much worse in the last year and a half so I decided to go to the doctor. Again.

I’ve been to lots of doctors and had many tests run over the years — tests on my adrenals, thyroid, gall bladder, cortisol levels, lipase levels, vitamin levels, tests for food allergies and sensitivities, etc. Recently, I found a new doctor who is a holistic practitioner and is a medical doctor and a psychiatrist. He ran a bunch of tests. Initially, all he found was that I was low in calcium, vitamin D and magnesium. I started taking vitamins daily. But not long after that, we made a big breakthrough.

A safe level of mercury in the body is 0. Anything over 12 is considered toxic and cause for alarm. I had an elevated level which my doctor first suspected might be the result of eating seafood. So I stopped eating fish and had my level retested. It was 27. The level was so high that the red bar was actually off the chart that my doctor presented to me in his office.

I’ve suspected over the years that my 4 amalgam fillings were doing harm to my body and have looked into having them replaced. They are the one source of issues that I couldn’t just undo. You can stop eating bad food. You can stop smoking. You can stop tanning. You can’t just remove something imbedded in your own teeth. Amalgam fillings are the silver fillings that are actually made of up to 50% mercury. Remember the Mad Hatter? He was “mad” from mercury. Mercury thermometers were banned in the 1990s. Amalgam is outlawed in some European countries. It has been said that mercury is the 2nd most toxic substance on earth.

I’ve studied the symptoms of compound mercury toxicity (the kind in amalgam fillings) and have suffered from almost every single one. Chewing gum and drinking hot liquids speed up the rate at which mercury is released in the mouth. I used to be a chronic gum chewer and coffee drinker. The symptoms are exacerbated depending on how many fillings you have and how long you’ve had them.

I had concerns over the years but was told by several dentists that replacing my fillings was unnecessary. Little did I know, the ADA was doing everything in its power to mask the dangers of amalgam fillings. This is such a controversial topic that it’s really hard to figure out what is truth and what is the result of really rich and powerful companies paying off the FDA and politicians to keep the mercury secret from getting out.

I couldn’t remember when I first got my current fillings, so I decided to contact my old dentist to find out. I saw this dentist from the time I first grew teeth until I was about 18. I called and asked them to send my records to me. The receptionist was really rude and questioned why I wanted them since I hadn’t been in the office in years. She said my records were so old that no dentist would care to see them. I informed her that I wasn’t calling to get records for a new dentist but rather wanted them for my own personal records. I didn’t want to reveal the whole toxic mercury fear to her. I’ve read that dentists are instructed by the ADA to not speak of “mercury” unless a patient specifically asks them about it and I’m not trying to get into that debate. I’m not sure if that’s true, but after some haggling with the crabby receptionist, she agreed to mail my one page handwritten dental records (how professional). One page for 18 years of dental care? I knew this guy was a quack when I was still in the single digits.

A week later, I got my records. They were hard to read but they indicated that I had 2 fillings put in in March 1996 and 2 more in June 1996. Four fillings in 2 months. I was 15 years old. How ironic that this is the same year my symptoms of major depression set in.

I also had several amalgams as a child in my baby teeth. Two of them fell out thanks to the ultra-professional dental work of my then idiot dentist. I remember chewing gum and one of them sticking to my gum. The other one fell out when I was eating but I’m not sure how far apart these incidents were or when they were. I also remember my mom telling me that he once pulled the wrong tooth out of her mouth. Why did we still go there? Who knows. But nevertheless, one of my lost fillings was replaced with a metal crown because my baby tooth was too small to fill again and the other was not replaced at all. My dentist figured that since it was a baby tooth, it would fall out soon enough. God only knows what level of mercury I was exposed to during those incidents.

After seeing that chart in my doctor’s office, I was horrified. I wanted my fillings out no matter what I had to do, even if it didn’t make any difference at all. It was worth a shot to have a normal life and feel good again. So I found a dentist who specializes in amalgam removal and made an appointment.

It’s been about 2 months since I got all of my amalgam fillings replaced. It was done in 2 appointments that were scheduled about a week apart. The dentist used dental dams to protect me from mercury vapors being released back into my body as he extracted them. I wore special goggles and had go breathe in pure oxygen during both appointments. It was very painful when my mouth wasn’t quite numb enough and he started drilling…twice! It was not a fun experience. And I paid for it all out of pocket. But in the end, it was worth it.

I couldn’t believe that almost instantly, I started to feel better.  But just because the source of the mercury was gone, that didn’t mean I was home free. It’s still in my body, my cells, my DNA. True detoxes can take years. To speed up the detox process, I changed my diet, got back into the gym and went into full detox mode. I have been taking pills used specifically to detox from heavy metals, using weird food pads to extract toxins from my body and taking a multitude of vitamins and supplements every day. I’m drinking lots of water and sweating as often as I can (it’s probably the best way to detox). My energy levels are gradually increasing, my depression has started to lift and I am starting to feel human again.

I still struggle with focus and motivation but I am hoping my doctor can help me with that. But overall I feel so much better. I am so glad I found a doctor who could help me figure out what was wrong after years of suffering. And I’m so glad I decided to take my health into my own hands. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. I already knew health was #1 but now I know more than ever how important it is to trust your body and go with your gut, no matter what anyone else has to say about it.

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