I started this Blog because God has sparked within me a desire to bring the message of health, hope and healing to all those who need it, but especially to those that have been touched by physical infirmities. At least some level of healing is available to all who ask, seek and believe!

Join me as I take a step of faith out of the boat and into the murky waters to begin my own journey of health and healing. We will be taking a closer look at how to find healing in our modern-day world and what God has to say about the process as well. Some of the posts will be on practical ways to achieve healing in our bodies; others will be inspirational and are meant to bring you hope. I think most of you will find that a lot of the information here challenges what you think you know about good health.

May Jehovah Rapha--God, Our Healer--open your hearts, minds and eyes as you explore this website. And may you never forget...to Always Hope.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Heavy Metal Toxicity as a Contributing Factor to Disease

My very first blog was about cellular malfunction and how virtually every disease can be linked back to this. I wrote about how following the right diet and eliminating toxins makes it possible to reverse the disease process. If you haven't already read this blog, I would encourage you to go back and do so now. While the idea of "bad stuff out, good stuff in" is simple, the actual execution can be completely overwhelming. Don't worry. As we go on, we will be talking about the specific steps you can implement to achieve good health. Today though, I want to talk about heavy metal toxicity--in particular mercury--and the effects it has on the human body.

I found out about heavy metal toxicity in a rather unusual way. I started feeling poorly when I was about 21, although my symptoms started off as vague ones and I was able to ignore them for a long time. I would complain to my doctor and she ran all kinds of tests but on paper, everything looked just fine. I graduated college and started law school, all the while having less and less energy and becoming weaker and weaker. When I started having dizzy spells during the spring semester of my first year of law school, my doctor told me I had anxiety and started to treat me for that. I felt like something deeper was going on with me, but at the time I had no knowledge about health or healing and besides, she was the doctor and she knew best, right? However, I never really felt any better and the only thing that happened was that any time I told someone I did not feel good, they thought it was all in my head.

In January of 2008, I was under a tremendous amount of stress. I woke up one morning and could not get out of bed. I was experiencing all my symptoms 10 times worse than what they usually were. I felt like a new born baby--I could not sit up and had no muscle control. For anyone who has seen the movie "Beloved," I looked like the daughter that died and came back to life but could not even hold up the weight of her head. I was having internal and external tremors--sometimes it felt like I was leaning up against a generator and my body was being vibrated from the inside out, other times, I could actually see different part of my body shaking but there was nothing I could do about it. My joints hurt terribly; I hard a very hard time breathing; I had difficulty swallowing and would often choke; I would bruise easily; I couldn't concentrate; was forgetful; my muscles twitched; I had headaches; acid refulx; dizziness; fatigue; weird sensory feelings like burning; tingling and numbness; malaise; my hair was falling out in droves--it was not a pretty picture.

At that point, I started to research my symptoms online and everything pointed to an autoimmune disorder. I went to my doctor and asked that she test my ANA levels. Sure enough, it came back that I had elevated ANA levels with a 1:160 titre and a Nucleolar pattern. She was shocked. For me, the results were bitter-sweet. I was happy to know I may have had an actual answer as to what was going on with me, but now I was facing the fact that I had a chronic, "non-curable" illness. I immediately went to see a Rheumatologist, who did not believe my lab results because they were so "rare." To make a long story short, my labs came back for the second time just the same and so I was diagnosed with "possible Scleroderma and/or Lupus." He told me things were only going to get worse and that besides putting me on steroids, there was nothing else he could do for me. It was scary not to even be out of my 20s and to think that my life was pretty much over.

I felt terrible, but I was determined not to have to be put on steroids because I knew that they could do terrible things to your body. What's more, I did not have the hallmarks of either Scleroderma or Lupus (no hard skin, no malar rash, no photo-sensitivity). Things did not quite fit together in my head or in my heart. I was praying a lot for direction (and because I felt so bad) and I started to research what other things might be caused by my "very specific" Nucleolar cellular pattern. God was really good to me because he started to put medical journal articles in my path that I was able to freely access and actually understand!

One particular medical journal article was about rats that were exposed to low levels of mercury. These rats became sick with Lupus-like symptoms and started produce the very specific Nucleolar antibodies that I also displayed. 'Mercury?' I thought, 'Well, that's fine for the rats that were actually purposely exposed to it, but where would I have ever picked up something like that? Surely it couldn't be from the mercury fillings in my mouth that the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both says are completely safe?!' I had 7 “metal” fillings in my mouth so I began to research their potential effects on people's health. What I discovered about Mercury poisoning shocked and astounded me. It was the very first time I have seen all of my symptoms described together:

"...The primary symptoms of mercury-poisoning are vague psychic ones. Short-time memory deteriorates. You will find it difficult to concentrate on tasks which require attention and thinking. It is easier to execute tasks that are well known rather than to learn something new. You avoid social contacts which demand that you get out of your introvert behavior. You loose your temper easily and switch between different moods for no particular reason. Little by little, a more physical kind of exhaustion is added to the condition. More and more effort is required to initiate activities and you sometimes break things due to inability to co-ordinate your movements with your visual impressions (ataxia). Headaches, minor involuntary muscle spasms or ticks within groups of muscles can also appear. Hands and feet become easily cold, attacks of dizziness or vertigo can occur, and periodically you may find it difficult to focus your eyes and to see clearly. Joint and muscle pains, stiffness, lumbago (lower back pain) and similar symptoms often appear at an early stage. They can be caused or increased by low availability of the trace element selenium. Nervous heart, sometimes accompanied by a week pulse, sometimes by a hard pulse, creates a feeling of anxiety. You don't sleep well, you wake up stiff and never feel thoroughly rested. As a whole, you need more sleep than before, and you are constantly tired. Some individuals develop pronounced intestinal and stomach disturbances. Bloating is common and diarrhea can alternate with constipation. 50 to 200 micrograms of mercury from each amalgam can pass daily through the gastrointestinal tract. There is usually irritation where mercury first interacts with tissues. The upper respiratory tract easily becomes chronically inflamed and symptoms in mouth appear. The gums bleed when you brush your teeth, red and white irritations (lichen, leukoplakia) arise, blisters and sensitivity to certain nutritives develop, your teeth ache, the whole jaw can become more or less inflamed, and some persons develop sinusitis. Metal taste in your mouth is a direct sign of metal-poisoning (mercury, copper). The more poisoned you are, the more serious and chronic your problems become. The pituitary gland will be affected, which often leads to frequent urination. When the thyroid gland is affected, secondary effects on the metabolism can appear. Both glands accumulate mercury. Neurological symptoms such as numbness, hypersensitivity and paralysis exacerbate. It is often hard to determine if the cause is in the nervous or circulatory systems..."

I quickly learned that mercury is more poisonous than any other metal on earth except for plutonium. Although the safety of dental filling material containing mercury has been debated in dental circles since the 1800’s, the official opinion of the ADA is that when mercury is combined with other metals and used in dental amalgam fillings, the toxic properties of mercury are rendered harmless. However, there exists a growing awareness among health care practitioners and researchers that this is not the case and that a significant amount of mercury is released by these fillings to cause health problems, especially in genetically susceptible individuals (like myself). Research has demonstrated that mercury vapor is continuously released from amalgam fillings in measurable quantities from the moment fillings are inserted into teeth. Mercury is inhaled, swallowed and absorbed directly in the mouth. I would urge everyone to watch this VIDEO when you can.

Studies have linked mercury exposure with a number and variety of illnesses including allergies, chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia, MS, Lupus, Autism, Alzheimer's, depression, anxiety, GI disorders (such as IBS and Chron's), immune system suppression, thyroid problems, periodontal disease, neurological problems, reproductive disorders, birth defects, kidney disease, heart problems, hypertension, respiratory disorders, skin disease, and the list goes on and on.

Mercury can interfere with any process or organ in the body, since it is poisonous to all cells, but it has a marked effect on the immune system. This has been shown by research indicating the presence of mercury amalgam fillings in the mouth reducing the immune system efficiency by one-third to one-half. If a person has a chronic health problem for which a cause has not been found and mercury fillings are present in the mouth, mercury toxicity may be a contributing factor. It is also important to note that while someone like me may be genetically predisposed to extreme mercury sensitivity, others may be toxic and not even know it. Somehow, someway though, if you are toxic, it will eventually catch up with you.

At this point, I must disclose to you that while the ADA still touts mercury amalgams as being safe, it seems that they have the most to gain by making this declaration because they are the ones that own two patents on the amalgams! Furthermore, in a recent development, the FDA has been forced (through legal action) to put up a disclaimer about the potential dangers of mercury amalgams in pregnant and/or lactating women and children. As soon as the FDA did this, the ADA removed any and all references to the FDA in all of their literature about the safety of dental amalgams.

Even if one does not have any silver fillings in their mouth, they are not necessarily in the clear with regard to mercury. One does not ever need to have had a mercury amalgam to have high levels of mercury in their system. Research shows that while we indeed get a steady stream of mercury from our amalgams, we get even more in our diet and just from the environment in general. What's more, people who once had amalgams, but have since had them removed (without using a biological dentist), can be almost positive that they have high levels of mercury toxicity.

So why hasn't your dentist told you about the dangers of mercury amalgams? Two reasons: 1) they just don't know any better because the ADA is telling them the mercury fillings are safe (they have been duped just like you and me); and 2) if they do happen to know better (and some of them do), they are not allowed to suggest that you get your fillings removed for health purposes BECAUSE THEY CAN LOSE THEIR LICENSE! The ADA will, and has, taken the licenses of dentists who have spoken out about the dangers of mercury. In the absence of a defective filling, a dentist must wait for the patient to ask for his/her amalgams to be removed; they cannot suggest that you remove them!

There is a highly specialized way of removing amalgams that involves filters, oxygen/gas masks for the dentist, nurses and patient, full body covers, protective eyewear, heavy suction of mercury vapors, and more. Most dentists are not trained in this area and therefore, a Biological/Holistic/Environmental Dentist should be consulted--particularly one familiar with the IAOMT removal method. Even if one is getting a mercury filling out and having it replaced with a white composite for aesthetic reasons, this very specialized procedure needs to be followed. If not, you will most assuredly expose yourself to dangerous levels of mercury vapors and particulate that can cause massive damage to your system. It is definitely worth noting here that when mercury is shipped to dentists to be put in your mouth, it comes in a bio-hazard container. Then, when the mercury is removed from your mouth--whether by a regular or biological dentist--it is placed in a hazardous waste container and disposed of accordingly.

So now that I had figured out at least one of the contributing factors in my "autoimmunity," I needed a solution! I found a biological dentist here in West Palm Beach that happens to be one of the front-runners of the mercury-free movement. He has been on talk shows and radio programs, written books, articles, etc. I met with this dentist right after I moved down here and set up an appointment to get my amalgams removed. It cost me about $2,000.00 to get my 7 amalgams taken out and replaced with bio-compatible, composite material. The morning after the procedure, I realized that for the first time, my jaw was not sore and that I had not been grinding my teeth in my sleep. I still have not done that again and my TMJ has pretty much resolved itself.

My biological dentist, Dr. Medlock, told me that I was going to need "oral chelation" in order to pull out and remove all the mercury that was hiding out in my joints, tissues, brain, organs, etc. Mercury does not detox itself very easily and many people have a genetic predisposition that won't let them methylate mercury to move it out of the body. To help me with the chelation process, Dr. Medlock directed me to Dr. Glenn Chapman, an "integrative" M.D. here in West Palm. Integrative medicine is wonderful because it combines the best of both the holistic and the conventional worlds. Doctors that prescribe to this method of practice try to do as much as they can holistically for their patients but they also use conventional medical tests and treatments if it will contribute to the overall healing of the patient. Within a year of getting my fillings out and doing about 20 chelation rounds, I was able to get off the couch and start doing some of the things that I enjoyed again. I will touch more on chelation in my next blog.

I received my actual diagnosis of Sjogren's Disease in May 2010 but I truly believe that my "autoimmune disease" (cellular malfunction) was caused by a perfect storm that I unknowingly and unwittignly created for myself. Mercury, and other heavy metals, is one of the main culprits that I believe has contributed to my "illness." Receiving this diagnosis has not deterred me from focusing on the CAUSES of the cellular malfunction in my body. I don't want to just treat my symptoms, as the conventional medical world would have me do; I want to get to the ROOT of my disease. If that is cellular malfunction, then to make myself well I have to reverse this malfunction so that my cells can operate like God designed them to. While you won't hear about it on Nightline, through your general physician or from any other major media outlets, cellular malfunction CAN be reversed. I have seen it happen in others and to some extent, I have had it happen in me. I still have a ways to go, but I will get there. I did not become ill overnight and I will not become well overnight either. But that's okay! Since I'm called to "just believe," I will continue to do the things that God is leading me to do to receive my healing and I will continue to tell others about how they can receive theirs. Because no matter what man says is impossible, I know that God says otherwise...and that is more than enough for me.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:5

Always Hope

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