National attention recently focused on the high rate of mercury
toxicity in the Mobile Bay area. The
Mobile newspapers published at least four separate articles over the past couple
of months concerning this high rate of mercury toxicity.
Mercury toxicity can cause fatigue, difficulty
thinking, poor skin, poor memory, and feelings of sadness, lethargy and
High levels can even poison some of the major
organs like the kidney and heart. Because
of the high exposure rate of in this area--with many people being
found to be toxic--a scientific study was announced in the July 1st
Mobile Press Register. The Mayo
Clinic in Minnesota will do chemically analysis of the hair of 400 people
throughout Mobile and Baldwin County to determine who has mercury toxicity and
what lifestyles might be contributing to this toxicity.
$65,000 has been tagged to fund the study.
It seems certain types of seafood, especially
deep-water fish, make residents most likely to be exposed--but there might be
other factors not yet identified.
Doctors treat mercury toxicity by giving a chemical that attaches itself to the mercury like a sponge.
The kidneys filter out the chemical sponges and then the patient urinates both the chemical sponge and the mercury
into the toilet. This is a true chemical detoxification and is
usually achieved very well with IV EDTA (EDTA is also used for lead toxicity).
Back in the 1950ís a physician noticed that
while treating some people for lead toxicity in which a group was exposed, he
noticed that some of the people in the group who had angina seemed to improve
and therefore theorized that EDTA was also helpful in treating angina (by
cleaning out the arteries).
Though I have seen some people with angina possibly
helped and will make it available under certain conditions, EDTA has never been
proven to be an effective therapy for angina.
Using this same chemical for treatment of
toxicity with lead or mercury is not considered experimental at all and is
usually covered by insurance.
In this setting (lead or mercury toxicity) EDTA is
considered to be very effective and an absolutely necessary treatment.
Because of the high rate of mercury toxicity in
this area I am recommended hair analysis for people who eat seafood or for
people who develop fatigue or difficulty thinking. The test is not
painful and cost is minimal considering the possible benefits. But, even
though the rate in this area is very high compared with other parts of the
country, the actual number of people sick with this disorder is probably small.
The test is not covered by insurance.
The cost is $142.65.
Along with checking for mercury and lead
toxicities, hair analysis can detect nutritional factors and allow intelligent
recommendations concerning diet and supplement therapy.
The test only requires about a tablespoon of
hair. Preferably hair close to the
scalp should be taken (representing new growth that has not been colored) and
the hair should be cleansed with shampoo (preferably baby shampoo) within 24
hours of sampling.
Smokers and people who have worked in industry
should also seriously consider having this test done since they could have been
exposed to toxins that continue to affect their health.
Contact me if you have questions about this
Peace and Health,
Charles Runels, MD