Mercury: the Culprit of Mysterious Health Problems
By Abbie Walston, Moms Clean Air Force
My sister-in-law has been dealing with recurring health problems for the past few years. It’s been a scary time, with lots of searching for what was causing her symptoms and more than a few frightening sessions with Dr. Google. Her symptoms include (in her own words):
- Poor coordination, have to wear sneakers all the time
- Burning, stinging, pricking, itching, aching, stabbing, throbbing, swelling neuropathy on tops of feet and shins, progresses up legs, on buttocks, forearms, upper lip
- Severe anemia
- Tight heavy legs from knees down, cramping calves, can’t walk long distances, need compression socks, can’t stand must be moving or sitting with legs up
- Muscle cramping and spasms on left side
- Face twitching
- Seeing a spot when in bright light
- High anxiety and confusion
- Numbness in left hand and foot
- Intense brain fog and slow, disturbed cognitive function
- Extreme fatigue — always tired & spacey; need lots of sleep
- Hot and red hands and feet
- Shortness of breath, weakness, exhaustion
- Brittle peeling nails on hands, dry skin on feet
- Chills, goosebumps and very sensitive to cold
- Frequent urination
This is all combined with an injury from an accident four years ago, subsequent surgeries and pain that just won’t go away. However, my sister-in-law was relieved yesterday when her doctor finally called her with an answer! She has high levels of mercury in her body: mercury poisoning. Normally, a person would have between 0 to 2 micrograms of mercury per deciliter of blood (ug/dL), and her level was 12 ug/dL. She enjoys seafood and eats different types of shellfish and fish almost every day, which is the likely source of the mercury
It was interesting that I was there when she got the call, and I filled her in on my research about mercury that I’ve done as part of the Moms Clean Air Force. I explained how the mercury released into the atmosphere by power plants ended up in her fish, and we thought it was an interesting coincidence that I’ve been working to protect people from exactly what she’s been going through.
Her doctor has suggested that she should get her one amalgam dental filling removed and limit her intake of seafood as well as following a detoxification protocol. Hopefully, her levels of mercury can be reduced and her symptoms will disappear. It may take a while to get better, but she’s just happy to finally have a diagnosis.
Please JOIN MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE to help us fight for clean air for our kids. We need your voice! If you haven’t already, please tell our lawmakers that you support the proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule. Thank you!