Ah, the plot thickens and the politics of mercury asserts itself today. Went to see the dental toxicologist, the surgeon who will remove amalgams. Not today. Today we just went over the plan and clarified some issues:
1) she does not do the bio-detox, figuring out what supplements to take and when. That is for the Environmental Medicine (E.M.) physician and/or Naturopathic doctor to do. She just drills and fills teeth. Naturopath told me this week it'd be E.M.'s job to monitor if I chose to use DMSA, one chelator some recommend, others say is too harsh. I'm reluctant but waiting to see more information.
Detoxing can go on for years, she said, people report immediate improvements when amalgams first removed, but residual problems such as environmental sensitivities (as I have in the extreme) may remain, prognosis unknown as to whether there will be some permanent damages or gradual return to normal, it may depend on how long you've been ill and exposed to mercury, and degree of exposure. And other factors involved, especially psychosomatic issues (anxiety, unresolved trauma).
2) She will only take one or two amalgams out at a time in my case, then wait 3 weeks before doing the next one. Priority is by (a) tooth in pain (b) degree of deterioration. I have one bothering me so we will start there, hopefully next week . . . With 8 to do, that's 24 weeks, won't be done before next June.
(3) . . . first I am advised (by naturopath) to get tested by yet another specialist in mercury detox, a naturopath-chiropractor. $295 plus HST, total 333.35 must pay by month's end. Cash or cheque only.
i) heavy metals test for organs
ii) disturbances due to teeth (see how tooth health is affecting other body parts)
iii) bio-compatible materials for dental composites (material used to fill cavities)
-test dental surgeon's composites, of which he has samples, to see how I react to them
iv) Buccal currents. Test electrical patterns in mouth, tells surgeon the order in which to do the work.
Testing takes an hour. He prepares a written report and faxes it to the surgeon.
There are arguments against this sort of testing, calling it "quackery". I find it questionable to be sure and would not take any of it as definitive or make decisions based solely on information provided by tests not widely accepted as reliable. One person's, or isolated group of person's passion is not proof of validity of a practice. Still, curiosity draws me to find out what the tests say, and since I have no other way of assessing whether materials will cause sensitivity reactions, this might help. On the other hand, perhaps there is no way of predicting reactions, in which case it's a waste of time, money and effort and I will react or not regardless of what these tests reveal; this is what I expect is closest to reality. I am interested in what this naturopath-chiropractor has to say, so will do the testing but take it with a grain of salt and keep studying both sides of the issue. I see no harm in it as long as I am not gullible, do not take these opinions as gospel.
The assistant at this tester naturopath-chiropractor's office said my Environmental Doctor has been informed by them that detoxing while amalgams are still in the mouth, as he has done with me, causes "trouble". Tomorrow will investigate what is meant by that. I have heard several opinions that this is a safe practice (homeopath, naturopath, env. dr. mentioned, an online physician specializing in this). A raging debate perhaps. (Ha ha -- mercury causes anger, rage.)
It makes my head spin to hear all the arguing back and forth, and consequences to my health can be serious, so this puts me in a very vulnerable position and makes decision-making difficult, when it's already challenged by the illness itself (confusion, lack of concentration, fatigue, cognitive impairment, emotional lability . . .). That calls for clear thinking, not emotional judgments, and for autonomous decisions not being overly swayed by practitioner's opinions, particularly people who profit from the practice in question. Bottom line: will it do harm? will it cost too much? in time, money, energy, emotional involvement. I will not invest hopes one way or another, just keep an open mind and keep doing more research, listening to other's experiences - MANY others, since there is a hodge-podge of contradictory data out and about. Most importantly perhaps, common sense and intuition.
Right now, both say that having the most poisonous (non-radioactive) substance on the planet in my mouth is not a good thing, that symptoms I've suffered for years match those of known mercury toxicity, that all testing has a degree of uncertainty to it (exact amounts of heavy metals in tissues simply cannot be measured by any known means, is what I understand so far), so judging whether removing amalgams is wise or necessary will boil down to: does it make me feel better?
I feel significantly more energy and better mood since one was removed 2 months ago (and overall since having four others out over the last 10 years, along with improvements in nutrition and exercise, psychological counselling, lifestyle improvements like having more fun! and learning more ways to relax and improve relationship skills, strengthening spiritual practices - so gains can't be all related only to fillings, neither can ills).
Most recent (in the past year) progress has come with simple, natural detox things such as drinking lots of filtered water and no caffeine, soda or alcohol (rarely), eating lots of greens and avoiding junk food, triphala fruit blend to flush the bowels gently (not with strong laxatives which cause dependency), nasal rinses to remove allergens or irritants (huge difference, much less infection and exhaustion). Other detox elements I reserve judgment on at this point, will proceed cautiously and not do anything too extreme. I did the best thing for myself ever in quitting smoking 12 years ago -hurray!
Multivitamins and minerals I'm ok with, still looking at other supplements suggested to see if they seem safe, especially chelators, substances that bind mercury to eliminate it via intestines, skin (sweat), urine. The danger is that detoxing can bring mercury into circulation, like stirring up the mud in a puddle rather than leave it lying on the bottom, and maybe that is why I'm having new symptoms this year even while overall energy is better (incidents of not being able to comprehend speech or inability to speak, balance problems, muscle pain and weakness, cramps, lately mild nausea). We'll see what the guy says tomorrow.
Lots of questions, many mysteries. Steady as she goes. This is hard work! but my health is worth it and I am very happy to make sense of what has been going on health-wise for many, many years. Rejoicing.