After experiencing mercury toxicity in 2011 from my amalgam fillings I decided to write about the experience to help others. I was lost and my brain was not functioning due to the exposure to mercury and I had to try and sort through vast amounts of poorly written and hard to navigate websites, reason with people who thought I was crazy, and talk to doctors and dentists who were not open in the slightest bit to mercury poisoning or toxicity, and try and explain to business partners and family what was happening to me.
It was a difficult process, I but I did find answers, doctors, and people who had experience with mercury poisoning and toxicity. I am recovering and feeling better everyday. Hopefully I can ease the burden on others by providing the information I found and have learned. -Brian
It was 2011, I was 41 years old, married with 3 kids, living the dream of being an entrepreneur in a suburb of Seattle Washington. I was healthy and active, an amateur triathlete, I did not smoke, had an occasional glass of wine or a drink, and stayed clear of drugs. I ate healthy, took care of my body and mind and always took my vitamins. I started everyday with a cup of green tea. I was doing everything I thought I knew and that Dr. Oz, and The Doctors show told me to do to make sure that I lived a long healthy happy life. I knew I could beat the odds of disease or sickness. All of that changed over the course of a few months.
I had a great technology career but after working for internet and mobile technology companies for 15 years and working on various side projects/businesses, one of those business took off and decided to leave my career to go and chase the great American dream. Little did I know that in the midst of amazing company growth and success that I would battle a very worthy opponent, Mercury! An opponent that I did not even realize I had in me until a few months prior. I had 8 amalgam fillings put in when I was in my teens, my parents tell me when I got my full-band braces off my teeth I had cavities. I was not aware that those fillings were 50% mercury along with other metals that are harmful to your body.
About a year into the business I started feeling off, physically and mentally tired, slow, could not seem to concentrate on a given task, lost the ability to focus, and to multitask. Previously this was my strength, my mind was sharp, focused, able to solve problems, and most of all I was able to out work most people in my field. I attributed the decline to being an entrepreneur, working too hard, “Stress”, not getting enough recreation and slipping on the exercise routine a bit. So I turned up the exercise, made sure I was getting enough sleep and eating healthy. I also hired a business coach to help out and see how I could make things easier in my business so I was less “stressed”
Even after turning up the exercise and eating and sleeping habits I still continued to feel worse. I was now having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, I was feeling depressed, not wanting to be around people, and fear and doubt started setting in about life, business, and my future. Also my mind would not slow down, if I was awake my mind would be racing with all kinds of thoughts and images that were not positive. I was more emotional than in the past, I would find myself crying or sad many times per week. All of this was very foreign to me, I had never had this type of fear, depression, or mind patterns.
July 2011, I decided to get a physical and talk with my Dr. I explained what was going on, how I was feeling and asked if I am just getting older and this is what happens. He said that I needed to exercise more and he would look at my test results. All the tests came back and showed I was as healthy as a 30 year old, the 3 pages of results were all were in the normal range, that was all I heard from him.
At this point I joined a Crossfit gym because I knew that would up give me enough exercise to feel better. To my dismay I actually felt worse after exercising more and stopped after two weeks.
Symptoms got worse over the next few months, my mental decline continued, and now I was starting to lose weight, my appetite had vanished, I was forcing myself to eat and I had a strange metal taste in my mouth. The metal taste would cause me to wake up most mornings gagging and I had to force myself to eat something. My tongue would continually be touching a certain tooth that had a strange feel and did not seem right. My hands a feet were ice cold all the time, I my overall I had the chills most of the day. I would wear a jacket even in doors. I found myself taking hot baths, and when I showered I would stay in for long periods of time to warm up. Usually I would be sitting on the shower floor with the water flowing on me. When I would get out of the shower or bath I would feel extremely weak and tired.
I remember being lost, not having any idea what was going on, feeling like I was slowly dying and my body and mind were withering away. My doctor did not help me, I had no idea I had mercury in my teeth and body at this point so I figured that I either was allergic to some foods I was eating, or that I had cancer or some other disease that my doctor was overlooking. I distinctly remember telling my wife that something is eating by body and I was not sure how much more I can take and I was on the edge.
I felt like I was not living up to my responsibilities and duties to family, business partners, and friends. I thought i had cracked under the pressure of the business and responsibilities and was a failure. This mind game only added to the situation. I had family, friends, and business partners wondering what the heck was going on, and I had no answers to give them, I only knew I was dying a slow and miserable death. Was it chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, cancer?
It was late October and I decided to go and see a friend, Dr. Alex Oh at Cascadia Wellness in Bellevue Washington, I was hoping he could give me more info than my MD could. He has a more open minded and focused on overall health and nutrition. I remember it was early into the exam and he said that I had a high level of heavy metals, specifically mercury in my body. I was shocked. He asked if I ate a lot of tuna, I said I did not, and then he asked the question that changed the course of my life, “Do you have any silver fillings?” I said I did but what did that have to do with mercury? He said they are made of mercury. At that moment it clicked for me, the strange metal taste, my tongue always touching a specific tooth, and I remembered my dentist saying at my last exam that I have a cracked tooth by my filling and should get it fixed, he never once mentioned mercury or possible harmful effects of that tooth.
I also learned that I was allergic to certain foods now, and that my adrenal system was taxed, that my liver was not doing its job fully, and that overall my body as a system was not functioning well, mercury had worked its way into my cells and into critical areas of my body and was wreaking havoc.
Even though Dr. Oh found mercury he had not had a much experience treating mercury poisoning so the next part of my journey started, finding someone to help me. I started down a path of research and talking with my now previous dentist, other dentists, asking friends and family if anyone they knew had experienced mercury poisoning. I was slowly putting the pieces together but my health was still tanking. This little glimmer of hope did give me a small boost of energy and resolve to continue.
I continued to feel worse I was not able to get of bed until 10:00am, 11:00am or even later even after going to bed at 10:00pm. When I would get out of bed I would have little or no energy or brain power to do much. I remember feeling like even the smallest thing like figuring out what to eat for breakfast, fixing breakfast, picking out clothes, taking a shower, would seem overwhelming. I did not have the brain capacity to think about work, to think about family things, or fatherly responsibilities, I felt like I was doing all I could to just wake up and get out of bed each day. Even watching TV, or listening to the radio, or reading a book was too much to handle and would drain my energy. Some days I would force myself to get out of bed and get ready and go to the office but would not make it in, I would have what felt like an anxiety attack and drive to a park and read some scripture or a book or listen to a calm radio station usually while crying.
I talked with mercury aware dentists, doctors, and went back to my MD for another round of tests of all sorts and explained to him something was killing me and that I thought it might be Mercury from my amalgam fillings. I asked about the possibility of mercury toxicity and he said there is no way that I have mercury poisoning and any test he could do would come up negative. All the test came back within the appropriate “range” and he said I was healthy. I was in disbelief how I could feel this bad and my doctor was telling me absolutely nothing was wrong. The nurse even said how she wished she had my blood pressure and resting heart rate and that I was so healthy….I was in the twilight zone.
I called and talked to Dr. Bourneman’s office in Anacortes, Washington, he is the top dentist in the nation with regards to Mercury Safe/Aware dentistry. I then found a dentist in my local area, Dr. Quickstadt, that had a mercury safe protocol for removal I made an appointment to get the cracked tooth fixed. When I spoke with the dentist, even though he knew how to remove it safely from my mouth, he did not believe that it would cause any of the issues I had and that in his words “Nothing has ever been proven” Which is a common statement among dentists, doctors, the ADA, and the FDA.
I had 2 Silver Amalgam fillings removed, the one that was causing the metal taste in my mouth which is the one that the tooth had a crack, and the filling behind it. I had them replaced with a composite white filling material. Not as durable but also not toxic Mercury based. The dentist used the proper “mercury safe” procedures, dental dam, extra suction, and an oxygen mask on me. The metal taste was gone by the time I got home and within two days I was not gagging in the morning and my appetite was starting to come back, I could taste food again and my brain fog was lifting. I remember cutting up strawberries and taking a bite and how for the first time in a long time I could taste the sweet and fresh taste and tears started rolling down my cheeks.
I still had 6 fillings to remove and we were going to do them in pairs, since the first one went so easy I decided to make the second appointment for the following week. This one did not go so easy, the dental dam was causing me to gag so they cut part of it to make it easier and then eventually removed it. I did not know it at the time but this was the worst thing that could have happened. I am hypersensitive to mercury so the extra exposure of the mercury particles and mercury water going down my throat and into my body caused my symptoms to get much worse. The 4-5 days following the second appointment my symptoms were the worst they had been, mentally I was gone. The brain fog increased significantly, I had a bad headache, my eyes felt heavy and it was hard to focus. I did not want to be around anyone, I had anxiety about everything, very negative thoughts about life and found myself in my closet with the lights off hoping no one would find me. I was concerned for my safety based on some of the thoughts that were going through my head. I did not know it at the time but this was pure mercury taking over my brain and body.
At this point I decided I had to find someone to help me because I did not know what I was doing and if I was hurting or helping myself by getting them removed. There was a lot of conflicting information on the internet about how long to wait between filling removals, and how to protect yourself.
I was searching far and wide for anyone that could give me any answers and finally a friend said he knew someone that had a mercury poisoning and gave me his phone number. I was walking in Marymoor park contemplating how and if I was going to survive and how I was going to take care of my family and called him. It was a big turning point, after just a few minutes he described what I was going through almost exactly. He had been severely poisoned by mercury from his fillings a few years back and had made it through it. Finally someone understood and might be able to help. I met him a few hours later and he helped me put the pieces together and give me information, supplements, and a plan to move forward. I do not know what my next steps would have been without him.
He had given me a book by Andy Cutler, Amalgam Illness, he is the authority on mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings, amalgam illness as he calls it. He was mercury poisoned many years ago and as a Chemist and a PHD he studied and wrote about the topic. I emailed Andy as a last ditch effort and asked him if he knew anyone in the Seattle area or in the NW that I could go see that could help me. He was kind enough to reply back and give me the name of Julie Anderson. She was a practitioner that had training in Western medicine and also brought in the natural aspects of eastern medicine. She was booked but I was able to get in to see her within a week and a half. During that time, I took some supplements that were recommended, cancelled my dentist appointments, and just tried to hold on until I could see her.
My Dad stepped up big to make sure our business would continue while I figured out my plan to get healthy and live. He also called me and stopped by every day to make sure I was ok. My brothers also did everything they could for my family and for me during this time.The support was amazing, I was always the one that always had it together and helped others, now it was my turn to feel the love and support. It felt great.
I did get in to see Julie, she was experienced in heavy metal poisoning and had answers that I needed. She tweaked my supplement program, put me on a low-sulfur diet, took blood for some tests, cut my hair and ordered the hair test, also sent me home with a stool test kit as well. It was amazing o talk with someone who had experience with mercury poisoning and could tell me I was not crazy and I would be ok.
The tests came back and showed I had mercury and nickel in my body, also showed I had several areas that the mercury was affecting and needed to get back to health, liver, thyroid, immune system, and several hormones in my body were low.
I have appointment to get the rest of the fillings replaced and I will ensure that they use the proper procedure regardless if I am gagging or not. After they are removed I am getting an IV of Vitamin C to help protect my body from any mercury that I might ingest. Regardless of how careful the dentist is you do ingest and absorb mercury when replacing fillings.
Three days after the last filling is gone I will start chelation to remove the Mercury and other heavy metals from my body. That process will take 1-3 years but I am told that I should feel better and better during that time.
From here I will be posting reports on my journey to ridding myself of mercury toxicity.