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Mercury - I Should be Deranged or Dead

Mercury amalgam does not belong in teeth. Here's Health is campaigning for British health authorities to follow Sweden's lead: to stop the use of mercury in fillings for pregnant women and eventually phase out the use of mercury amalgam completely.

This month we have a patient's view. Yvonne Morris of Stratford-upon-Avon was a runner-up in the Here's Health Achievers award last year, after successfully fighting back from a coma. But her ill-health persisted to the point where she found herself on the point of psychiatric treatment: then she discovered the mercury connection. She tells Simon Martin of her second ordeal.

"My problems began about a month after I had a porcelain crown fitted, though I had no idea of the relevance of this at the time. My heart started to miss a beat every six to 12 seconds, but as I felt fine in every other respect I wasn't unduly concerned. As other symptoms began to appear I became increasingly perturbed. I began to suffer very painful gut ache and my energy just whittled away, but I put it all down to the food allergies which had plagued me for years."

Yvonne's diet was fairly strange by this time. She was an Achiever runner-up after we heard how she had been in a coma for four days due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a blocked boiler. She was expected either not to come out of it, or to be severely handicapped if she did. Instead, she had managed to regain health: Slowly. "It was six months before I recovered sufficiently to work again an years before life approached normality."

She took Valium and anti-depressants, antibiotics, diuretics, Paracetamol to stave off a variety of symptoms, and sill slumped into depression. Her mother gently bullied her into joining a karate class. Yvonne trained regularly, added running, then swimming, and began to recover. She saw a nutritionist, started taking nutritional supplements on medicines.

But the allergies! She had a never-ending list of them. Her digestive system seemed unable to absorb nutrients. She lost weight, and settled into a late-night regime of sago or tapioca pudding ( a pint a night) to try to maintain bodyweight. It was obvious that the carbon monoxide had hit her for six, but now things were sliding out of control.

"The depression started gradually, and I deduced the problem was wheat. I added this to my now considerable list of foods to avoid and visited my nutritionist in London who ran some tests. The results were worrying. I had and autoimmune allergy to wheat and would probably be or become allergic to all grains. On asking if I would ever be able to eat wheat again, the reply was "Very doubtful, and you possibly have coeliac disease", the likelihood of this disease being strong on a positive result of this specific blood test.

"By the time I had these results the outlook had began to look very bleak indeed. My heart was jumping, stopping and thumping with increasing regularity and my weight had dropped dramatically in spite of consuming above average calories. My energy was nil. My metabolism had gone haywire and hormones likewise - I had four periods within one month complete with corresponding PM symptoms. I wasn't sleeping, was constantly hungry and despite drinking many pints of water daily my thirst remained insatiable.

My mouth felt foul. Everything I ate seemed to adhere to my tongue and the revolting metallic taste wouldn't go even when I cleaned my teeth.

From being a very fortunate, happy-go-lucky, confident woman I suffered the most unbelievable depression that left me a paranoid wreck. I started suffering panic attacks and became totally manic. Within seconds of being virtually suicidal I was perfectly fine again, only to slip minutes later into the black abyss.

I saw two doctors - one insisted I see a psychiatrist, the other prescribed beta blockers, tranquillisers and anti-depressants and told me I had no choice but to take them. I gratefully took a low-dose tranquilliser to help me sleep and ignored the rest. In my now fast diminishing lucid state I knew that pills and counselling were a waste of time. The demon that seemed intent on taking over my body was an outside force and I presumed the fault lay totally in food allergies and hypoglycaemia.

"Very quickly my condition deteriorated to the point where I was certain I would die. I was torn between welcoming the release from the hell I was living and every human's fear of the unknown and death. My mother came to live with us and I spent my days, exhausted, clinging to her and sobbing my heart out, praying for normality to return to my nightmarish existence."

Still convinced that food allergies were the cause of her problems, Yvonne was willing to try anyone who would help. She heard about Joy Lante, a woman in Leamington Spa who used kinesiology. "I was sceptical, but she had an exceptional reputation and I was pretty desperate". It was a turning point. Without knowing that Yvonne had a crown fitted, Joy Lante diagnosed mercury poisoning and suggested a homeopathic preparation that might help.

Amalgam reaction

Within a few days of taking it Yvonne made a remarkable recovery. She put on 5lb in weight and most of her symptoms disappeared. She read up on fillings.

"I read how dental crowns can react with amalgam fillings to such an extent that the electricity generated literally sucks mercury particles from the tooth and can create havoc with many areas of physical and mental health. Checking through my diary I was encouraged to see how all my symptoms had begun to manifest themselves after the placement of a platinum/gold crown. Also, I had not got a tooth in my mouth (other than my front ones) that had not only been packed with amalgam but had also changed over the year from silver to black, which I understand shows electrical currents bleaching the metals.

"My mother called the author of the book who immediately put me in touch with Jack Levenson and within a few days we were in London and I was told the disturbing yet wonderful news - I had mercury poisoning. At last! I wasn't going insane, I had a genuine physical cause of all my ghastly symptoms and with time and a lot of effort the prognosis as hopeful and reassuring."

Joy Lante's homeopathic prescription was also recommended by Jack Levenson as a desensitising routine before the planned removal, which was going to be carried out by London dentist Paul Mendlesohn.

"I started taking it a week before amalgam removal. In the first two days my symptoms got worse. Over the next five days I had a remarkable return to normality. I put on weight, was fine mentally and most of the symptoms disappeared. However, all the symptoms returned with a vengeance while amalgam was removed despite the homeopathic treatment."

Her self-nutritional therapy was also helping her body and mind to deal with her mercury overload. She had realised she was being poisoned by something, she says, and was taking 5 grams of vitamin C a day, plus 600 iu vitamin E. 200mcg of selenium, 60 mg of zinc, plus multi-vits and minerals. "The chances are that with the state of my gut at the time I was absorbing very little of these, but I am sure they helped."

As soon as she was scheduled for amalgam removal, she started taking Jack Levenson's own-recipe detoxification nutrients. Paul Mendlesohn, in common with other dentist experienced in amalgam removal, also insisted on strict measures to minimise the risk of Yvonne absorbing mercury particles and vapour during treatments: an oxygen mask, rubber dam, goggles, enzyme supplements, charcoal tablets.

Even so, "Everything got worse during the removal of my fillings, and then my recovery was astonishing."

Yvonne's acupuncturist sho used several pulses on her wrists during diagnosis, told her that her pulses nearly disappeared during the worst bouts of her illness. With the amalgam out, the pulses returned full strength - and chaotic, "It was as though you had drunk a bottle of whisky before coming for treatment," she told.

The first symptom to go for good was the foul taste in Yvonne's mouth. Then one by one the others left her. She had been holding herself together with daily TM (transcendental meditation) - literally speaking, a guaranteed 40 minutes of inner contentment and peace of mind ever day". Now the intervals between her depressions extended.

"I went for days, then weeks, feeling fine mentally, and within two months I was my old self. The palpitations stopped within a couple of weeks along with the insomnia, thirst and hunger. My metabolism had normalised. My monthly cycle resumed and the gut ache eased tremendously and became less frequent. Within months I was eating all grains including wheat with no apparent ill-effects. Foods such as corn, pork, peppers, oranges, onions and diary produce which I hadn't been able to tolerate for over three years were back on the menu, and these days my diet is normal.

"I now have hair regrowth, normal looking nails and a great deal more energy and cannot believe how lucky I was to uncover the cause."

Yvonne's experience has left her with strong views about mercury amalgam, "I cannot now sit back with an I'm all right Jack' attitude knowing full well my experience has very probably been mirrored by many thousands of other poor souls - no doubt now languishing in mental homes, hospitals and prisons and it has to be said, mortuaries as well. I have no doubt that without the support of loved ones and the financial ability to undergo costly dental surgery I would now be totally deranged or dead."

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