Yes, Virginia, Mercury Could Be At The Root Of Your Problem
I really am not worried about my reputation among my medical colleagues, as most of them think I’m “cracked” anyway.
However, just as an actor or director doesn’t make a movie just to get an Oscar, I don’t worry about what other doctors think – as long as I take good care of my patients.
Maybe that’s why the most frequently asked question by my patients is, “Why didn’t my other doctors know/discover/tell me this?”
So don’t get wiggy if I cite a source for this article from “Cracked Magazine” online. I warned you –
Yes, Cracked is one of those kiddie satire magazines that was started to cash in on the success established by MAD Magazine. But their website has evolved a niche that is one of my guilty pleasures – a bunch of “top ten” lists.
Recently, my husband and I chuckled over the list of “10 most insane medical practices in history.” Actually, he chuckled – I grimaced. The writing style for these articles is lurid and irreverent, but the facts are well researched.
I know all too well that these practices were standard procedures in their own day, and I started medicine long enough ago to have witnessed some of them.
One thing that really surprised me was that widespread usage of mercury as curative only made it to number 9. I will still agree it is pretty crazy, and even admit to the fact that nobody really subjected this dangerous substance to any kind of testing — the experimental kind we usually call “science,” in either the historical past or the muddled present.
But despite a total lack of proof or evidence of safety or effectiveness, mercury therapy was used — and for a long time.
By the early 16th century mercury was used to treat sexually transmitted diseases — a rampant public health problem that tended to kill people quite dead. I doubt anybody checked out the efficacy of mercury with double-bind placebo-controlled experiments, even though Avicenna wrote about how to do them by the 2nd century. I mean, some cases of syphilis were spontaneously remitting and such.
Maybe enough mercury would help someone die faster so they didn’t spread syphilis. Who knew from statisticians? Apparently the Mercury compound called “sublimate” (HgCl2) is still used in a couple of countries as an antiseptic.
For me, the payoff is this: with my background in alternative medicine, someone asked me recently, in a mainstream psychopharmacology clinic, what alternative procedures could be quickly and economically instituted that would help the great screaming masses of treatment-resistant patients who were requiring poly-pharmacy and still not doing all that great. I think I surprised someone a lot when I suggested a hair analysis screen for heavy metal poisoning. Sometimes I think it is groundwater contamination and sometimes I think it has been old paint, but I know when patients get treated, they do look better. I have seen other substances (such as lead) involved, but Mercury seems at least to me in psychiatry to be the most common kind of heavy metal poisoning that I see. The treatment is chelation, whether by IV or now they have pretty decent protocols, both preceded and followed by verification of renal and other organ function, just because so many people feel insecure about this sort of procedure
You don’t hear much about toxicity from the Mercury used in thermometers. This elemental mercury seems to be less toxic than the compounded kind.
We do hear more now about what fillings with Mercury (amalgam) can do to people. Lots of alternative health providers urge their clients to get them removed as a matter of course. I would never think of recommending that notion unless we had a real reason to go there and not somewhere else to fix the problems. I mean, I have heard of a bunch of cases where it is supposed to have helped, but I can’t think of a single case where I was personally told this was the exact thing someone had to do to get rid of their anxiety, depression, or whatever.
What I worry about more is dentists who are chronically exposed to the vapors. I know some crusaders in this field, but of no legislation or regulation to help the dental profession with this one.
Here is a nice synthesis on the diagnosis and treatment of Mercury poisoning.
In my professional experience, heavy metal poisoning is a valid and obvious thing to look at in treatment-resistant depression, and/or treatment-resistant anxiety syndromes. Remember, there are plenty of charlatans out there. The surest sign of one, I think, in alternative medicine is someone who thinks that one treatment is the answer for everything. As I often say, “one size does not fit all.”
Make sure you have someone who knows what they are doing when you get to this level of diagnosis and treatment.