Mad As A Hatter ~ Part 1
All truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third it is accepted as self-evident."
~ Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th Century Philosopher
This week, The Weekly Beet reports from the dentist's chair! Mary Kent opens wide, getting to the root of some serious health complaints caused by silver, mercury, amalgam fillings.
Each week, as I sit deciding on a topic to write, I make an effort to share something that has in some way or another helped my life and made me a better person. Perhaps I am a guinea pig, trying new things and sharing my experiences simply to help your life become easier, happier, and a bit more healthy. Or, maybe, I'm just a damn good researcher with a lot of time and a knack for knowing what people want to hear. Whatever the reason, I haven't quite pinpointed, but what I do know is after I finish writing a Beet, I feel much better for having shared what I learned and I know that my mission for the week is complete! Though along the way, there is something I have recently observed in my three years spent writing The Weekly Beet and that is I have never written in a way that recounts my experience in first person. I can't explain this, nor does it truly matter, but this week I have chosen to write first hand, as I have been so personally affected by the chosen topic. Mad As A Hatter is an up close and personal series of writings about something that I must share from the heart, stemming from something that caused me so much difficulty. It is a written testimony of my truth and a new found reason that inspires me to continue sharing. Finally, I can pinpoint it, and what I know is, yes, I am a guinea pig and I wore this ridiculous, Mad Hatter's hat to, first, understand the role that mercury played in my health and to, second, help shed light upon such a controversial and toxic issue. It is my hope that this Beet will help you or someone you know live happily ever after. I can proudly testify that knowing what I know now and doing what I did has allowed me to do so!
Mercury. It's silver. It's mad. It's totally toxic. And, oh yeah, it's been in my mouth since I was a kid and probably your's too. You can imagine my utter shock when I learned that a substance used to fill a few decayed teeth was making me absolutely crazy and wreaking havoc on my health! I never thought in a million years that my fillings could ever be the root cause of many of my health complaints, but the more I started digging, the more I was convinced that mercury was, in fact, the culprit behind a number of my mysterious illnesses I had experienced since I was a child. Luckily, I had a few friends over the years who had been through this thing called Mercury Toxicity, so the concept of being sick from silver fillings wasn't totally foreign. I just never fully believed that the mercury in my mouth was affecting me. I mean, I trusted the words of my dentist, who said, "When mercury is combined with other metals, its toxic properties are made harmless." And, I even trusted the very same claim made on behalf of the American Dental Association that advocates dentists to use this toxic material. Their belief is that when saliva hits the mercury filling it makes a coating that stops the mercury from leaking into the body. But, what I didn't trust was the the defensive way my dentist reacted to my initial inquiry about Mercury Toxicity. This gave me enough reason to switch dentists, so I am grateful for his lack of knowledge. As I researched further, I found the ADA's claim refuted by a genius of a man called Dr. Hal Huggins, the founder and advocator of what I like to call the Anti-Mercury Movement, who says, "Most scientists from physics, chemistry, and toxicology would tell you that when multiple metals are warmed up to mouth temperature and coated with an electrolyte like saliva, you have a perfect condition to form a battery. In this case, the efflux from this filling-battery would be mercury, either as vapor, inorganic mercury, or methyl mercury." Was I reading this correctly? Was it possible that a mixture in my mouth was causing mercury vapors to seep out from my teeth? I had become a battery operated human being, whose health was being controlled by some seriously toxic stuff.
It was obvious. After all, I did have eight silver fillings in my mouth that were screaming 'take me out.' And yes, when I analyzed my health history and compared it to the many symptoms related to 'Amalgam Illness', I knew I was getting close to finding the solution. My first trip to see my new dentist, Dr. Larry Frick, who had oddly enough studied with Dr. Hal Huggins, and is one of the forerunners in the south using mercury-free fillings, was absolutely life changing. He was the first doctor in my entire journey who sat, simply listening to all of my symptoms in complete understanding, as I am sure he had heard these complaints many times before. Together, we learned there was a good chance that my body was reacting in an allergic fashion to the mercury present in my amalgams. And, with two tests later, I had enough ammunition to conclude that sure enough I was and had been suffering from Mercury Toxicity for a very long time. Dr. Frick explained to me that symptoms from mercury exposure come and go - some days you can feel great and some days you feel like you can't go on. And, that's how my health was for years. I was in and out of Mercury Illness, feeling the increasing effects of such an incredibly, maddening sickness.
It's history that coined a person suffering from mercury exposure Mad As A Hatter and I can safely say there is no name more fitting. Personally, I felt sick without ever knowing why and that feeling alone is enough to make one crazy. The craziness was heightened even more, as a large percentage of the medical community knows very little about the subject. I described the experience as a roller coaster ride of feeling balanced one moment and the next taking a strange twist and turn into feeling exactly the opposite. On bad days, my body was energetically drained, my immune system was compromised, I could easily get the flu or a fever, I had headaches which are called the band headaches, vertigo, strange aches and pains in my arms and legs similar to fibromylagia, and in the final stages the mercury had reached my brain causing me to become seriously depressed, filled with fear and paranoia. I had developed some serious feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem that appeared from out of no where. That is the moment I knew something was seriously wrong. I had isolated myself from society, which is very typical of someone experiencing Mercury Toxicity. Basically, my endocrine system was suffering, causing my hormones to be seriously imbalanced. I was in desperate need of a battery change and I knew I had found the doctor who would be responsible for the job. Though, simply knowing that a sneaky, silver toxic substance was behind all my health misery was enough to make me feel better. I had at last found an answer to what on Earth was
wrong with me!
During the process of learning about my mercury exposure I learned some pretty unbelievable facts that we should all be aware of regarding the use of mercury in amalgams. The following is a list that I think helps explains the mystery behind why I was feeling the way I did:
- Mercury is the second most toxic metal on Earth, behind plutonium.
- Mercury makes up 50% of the amalgam mixture used by dentists in fillings today.
- Mercury can leak from the fillings in the form of vapor.
- Mercury is further leaked by chewing food and gum, brushing the teeth, wearing braces, and grinding the teeth.
- Mercury can travel in the body, damaging major organs such as the brain, pituitary, and the adrenals.
- A single dental amalgam filling with a surface area of only 0.4 sq.cm is estimated to release 15 micrograms of mercury per day through mechanical wear and evaporation.
- More than 100 million mercury fillings are placed each year in the U.S. as over 90% of dentists use them to fill cavities.
To research further, I needed to know more about this toxic stuff. Amalgam, which literally means mixed with mercury, is a material used by dentists to fill a cavity. I learned that since the 1800s, dentists have used powdered metals and metal compounds of silver, copper, tin, and zinc mixed with equal parts of mercury to create a low-costing, long-lasting solution to tooth decay for the masses. But, it doesn't take a chemist to know that placing a highly toxic metal mixture right next to important nerve endings that connect to certain parts of the body (see the chart below), could potentially have a seriously adverse reaction. According to the following list and what I have experienced, I would say it most certainly does. Luckily, my symptoms never developed into a serious disease like many on the following list. Here are the incredible number of symptoms and illnesses that are brought about by having mercury in your fillings:
| Alzheimer's disease|| Anorexia nervosa|
|Attention Deficit Disorder||Autoimmune Disease|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome||Juvenile Arthritis|
|Manic Depression||Multiple Chemical Sensitivities|
|Obsessive Compulsive Disorder||Panic Attacks|
|Parkinson's Disease||Rheumatoid arthritis|
|Ringing in Ears||Shortness of Breath|
|Waking during the night|
Knowing I had Mercury Toxicity was just half the battle! Removing the fillings and then detoxing were the next crucial steps. In Part 2, I'll share with you exactly what I did to detox my body, which is now on the way to becoming mercury-free!
It's time to lighten the heavy metal load. Get your mercury fillings removed! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. Mary Kent is wearing dental dam at Dr. Larry Frick's office.
PPS. Check out Kathleen Matthews, Kara Goldin Founder and CEO, Hint, Inc. at Ladies Who Launch.