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Offline Donnah

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mercury
« on: 07/04/2003 02:03:07 »
With a mercury level of 14.3ppb to 15.3ppb (urinalysis) what effect could we expect to see on the human body?[:0]


 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #1 on: 14/04/2003 02:18:59 »
My research on mercury poisoning to date shows that it:

[:0] crosses the blood-brain barrier
[B)] attacks the brain and nervous system
[xx(] damages the kidneys
[V] lowers hormone levels
[8] disrupts neurotransmitter activity
[:(!] destroys red blood cells
[}:)] reduces the number and activity of immune cells
[?] increases production of free radicals
:( depletes the body of antioxidants

Have I got it all?

I also read that it attaches to the DNA in your body.  If the DNA in mitochondria is different from cellular DNA and more susceptible to damage would it not be dramatically affected by mercury?  
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: mercury
« Reply #2 on: 16/04/2003 10:52:48 »
I'm glad you answered this, because I didn;t have a clue !

You know the origins of the "Mad Hatter" though don't you ? The velvet covering a gentleman's top hat was brushed with quicksilver (mercury) to make it shine. Naturally the hat maker would be breathing in the mercury vapour all day, rotting out his brain and making him go mad. Hence the "Mad Hatter" !

Does anyone else know of any similar stories ?

TNS
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #3 on: 17/04/2003 04:39:46 »
Yes, I know about "mad hatters" and, ironically, am a distant relative of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) who wrote about the Mad Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (or so the family story goes).

OK, I confess, it's me who had the above stated level of mercury poisoning.  Why is it so darned hard to get information on the subject?  For 25 years I bounced in and out of doctors' offices like a yo-yo, collapsed several times, went into convulsions, and even had a near death experience (NDE).  The advice I got ranged from "it's all in your head" to "drink more coffee".  When a doctor finally saw that something was terribly wrong and admitted he couldn't find it, I could have hugged him!  Bad enough to lose your quality of life without having people treat you like you are a lazy hypochondriac.  Seven years ago I read a book called It's All In Your Head by Dr. Hal Huggins (a fanatical man, but knowledgable on the subject) and began the road to recovery.  Between the treatments that didn't work and those that finally did, I spent the cost of a modest home (let me tell you what I think of charlatans that fleece ill people, desperate enough to try anything to get well).  My concern now is long term effects.  I know my kidneys have been strained and am doing what I can to strengthen them, but what about DNA, enzymes, amino acids and the seemingly endless body parts that may also need a little TLC?  How do I find the weakest links?  I'm tired of doing this by myself and am asking for help!
« Last Edit: 18/04/2003 01:56:35 by Donnah »
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: mercury
« Reply #4 on: 17/04/2003 12:14:54 »
Dear Donnah

what was the source of your mercury poisoning ?

I think it's worth bearing in mind that the body maintains an equilibrium with things moving in and out to strike a balance. If you are exposed to high levels of something in the environment - take carbon monoxide for example - then the equilibrium shifts to high levels in your blood. When the carbon monoxide is removed from the environment, the equilibrium shifts back the other way, favouring loss of carbon monoxide from the body. Whilst this may take a while to do completely, so long as the source is removed, you should return to normal eventually, and the same is true for mercury, lead and manifold other toxic metals.

I suppose your chief concern is the damage that may have already occurred. This is impossible to predict, but since you seem to be able to write in a quick witted and educated way it's fair to say that your intellect doesn't appear to have been at all harmed (maybe just your sense of humour !). As far as amino acids and enzymes go these are continuously replaced anyway, so definitely no lasting harm done there. Your kidney function can be checked (presumably you've been tested).

Tell us a bit more about your story anyway.

TNS
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: mercury
« Reply #5 on: 18/04/2003 12:01:59 »
i'd be really interested to hear where you were exposed to such high levels of mercury too.

The first question is do you live anywhere near to any current or previous gold mining areas or mercury mines? The reason i ask is because mining mercury will have mobilised it and may have allowed it to pollute local water, as for gold, an old method of removing gold was to use mercury which will have also left large concentrations in the soil.

A more mobile form of the metal is methylmercury, this forms in water in sediments and is then ingested by primary producers, it works its way up the food chain to fish etc.. and can then be consumed by us. I believe the east coast of the US and the states around the great lakes are under an "advisory" dor the consumption of fish due to possible high levels. I'm not sure about Canada i'm afraid.

Coal power stations can also be a major source of mercury, something like 70% of man made mercury emissions in the atmosphere come from this. Worst offenders are the developing countries who place a lesser value on environmental issues such as ensuring almost total combustion.

Do you have fillings? as Amalgam fillings are thought to be one particular source for mercury body intake but surely not to those levels.

Even with its toxicity, mercury is an amazing metal and one that is needed in various industrial processes today. Work is being done to cut emissions around the globe, this is gradually happening with the introduction of more nuclear and gas power rather than coal.

This is all i can think of... even if it isnt an answer, i hope i've told people a little more about the possible sources of mercury.

Thats Economics...
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #6 on: 19/04/2003 22:10:01 »
You two are a gold mine of information.  As I'm sure you are aware, some individuals are more reactive than others to certain things.  Blood allergy tests show that I am highly reactive to mercury.  

For 12 years I lived in a mining area.  I'm not sure what was mined there, but one of the main industries was an iron works, and Cobalt is the name of a nearby town.  I remember being an anemic child, playing with the mercury from a broken thermometer, and having a tonselectomy at seven.  Then we moved to a gold mining town for two years.  

At age 16 a dentist did a "make work project" on my teeth and packed every molar with mercury amalgam.  From age 23 to 25 I ate a large number of Pike fish from Lac La Biche, which I've since heard has a high mercury content.  Eventually mental clarity left me; I would read a sentence and by the time I got to the end I couldn't tell you what the sentence was about.    

I had mercury amalgams removed (following the correct protocol - VERY IMPORTANT) and replaced with materials that were compatible with my body (as per blood allergy tests).  Next came chelation injections, alternately using EDTA and DMPS which I combined with lymphatic massage (I think that's why it took five injections rather than the expected ten).  

I have found reflexology to be a reliable diagnostic tool.  I like intense pressure during reflexology, but when the liver area became too tender to touch, even lightly, I did the liver cleanse outlined in The Cure for All Cancers by Dr. Hulda Regehr Clark.  I won't tell you how many gallstones came out (painlessly) because you wouldn't believe it. (Good thing nobody dissolved me in acid and scattered my ashes in the garden, they'd have been busted for sure.)  My concern now is that my kidney area always hurts, and there's sometimes pain in my lower back (I know exactly where my kidneys are).  What tests are available for kidneys, how are they performed, and what do the results show?
« Last Edit: 20/04/2003 22:00:47 by Donnah »
 

Offline chris

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Re: mercury
« Reply #7 on: 19/04/2003 23:09:38 »
The best tests are those that provide the most information in the least invasive manner. An ultrasound (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/bobburycolumn7.htm) can provide detailed information about kidney structure and size (an important predictor of kidney function), whilst a simple blood test can rule out signs of kidney failure, although you have to lose a significant amount of kidney function before the most basic blood tests even begin to look abnormal.

Chris
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #8 on: 21/04/2003 17:10:57 »
Thanks, Chris, I'm on it:D.

Exodus, given these sources, do you think the mercury body intake levels are logical[?]
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: mercury
« Reply #9 on: 21/04/2003 17:53:30 »
hi donnah!

It seems considering you are sensitive to mercury you have been very unlucky with where you have lived and with your fillings.

I'm just a geologist so i cant really comment on levels of mercury ingested from fillings.

However, mining i can discuss. I think you lived near the Sudbury mining region which is a huge mining operation for a wide variety of metals. Mercury is most probably mined but even in regions that it isnt, mining operations may have mobilised it. Not sure what the water sources were in your town, did you have a well or was water piped from a reservoir? It is very possible you got a high dose of mercury through these processes. As for Lake La Biche, i have also heard of the levels of mercury. The chances are you ingested Methylmercury which is the more toxic form and remains in fish muscle. (methylmercury is formed by bacteria i believe in water)

As mentioned before, gold was once mined using mercury as a solvent resulting in ground contamination. This leads to a pollution of groundwater meaning local rivers, reservoirs and wells can end up being polluted with mercury.

Overall i'd say you've been unlucky. It is believable however that levels could have been as they were considering your continued exposure to the metal.

Thats Economics...
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #10 on: 21/04/2003 19:00:49 »
New Liskeard had a water tower but I don't know where the water was brought in from.  It could have been from the Wabi River or the town lake (can't remember the name), both of which were quite polluted, presumably by mining activity and pulp and paper industries.  Residents outside the town boundaries had wells, but if the water table had been compromised their supply was corrupt too.

No worries about the information on mercury amalgams; I have a stack of data about 15 cm high which I am compiling into a book.  It's slow going though, this darned working-for-a-living thing keeps getting in the way!

Considering the first half of my life has had so much bad luck, statistically speaking, aren't the odds in my favour that the second half will be very lucky?
 

Offline chris

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Re: mercury
« Reply #11 on: 21/04/2003 19:21:39 »
I think that's called Gambler's Fallacy - the same idea that if you've not yet won the lottery then you somehow have higher odds of winning next time just because you've been unlucky before. On the same lines, some people change their lottery numbers each week believing that this improves their chances of winning.

See Rob Stanforth's fun article on this for a better explanation :

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/robstanforthcolumn2.htm

Chris
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #12 on: 21/04/2003 20:59:29 »
Ah well, I'll have to abandon the old expression "ignorance is bliss" and go with "the harder I work, the luckier I get".

Coincidentally, Rob Stanforth looks remarkably like my brother-in-law, who also lives in the UK (what are the odds of that):)!
 

Offline chris

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Re: mercury
« Reply #13 on: 21/04/2003 22:54:45 »
According to my calculations, about 35.3675% Or, put simply, pretty likely !

Was there not an experiment not so long ago that found that you only needed about 5 people to get a message from one side of America to the other? In other words, one person (in one part of the country) knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knowns someone (on the other side). Okay so I was taking the piss above, but I don;t think it's that unlikely. Largely thanks to the internet the World is a much smaller place than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. For me personally the internet has generated genuine friendships overseas and led to multiple meetings and opportunities that would never have happened without the web. I never stop thing that it's an amazing thing.

Chris
Chris
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #14 on: 22/04/2003 03:40:04 »
Chris, you crack me up.  I really enjoy your sense of humour (yours too Richard).  But then maybe that's because, as you pointed out earlier, mine's been damaged by mercury[:o)].

As for getting a message across America, I should think it could be done with two people; one dialing the phone and the other answering the ring:D.

I agree the internet is a fantastic tool.  I've mainly used it for information purposes, but am discovering how chatting with people around the world can enhance your life.
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #15 on: 25/04/2003 20:45:22 »
Another question.  I asked my doctor how, using the liver cleanse above, I could possibly have so many gallstones.  He had difficulty believing that I could pass gallstones painlessly, but I could actually feel them moving through my body in the liver area.  He thinks that the epsom salts mixed with water that you drink[xx(] to dilate the tubes combined with cholesterol in my intestines and chrystalized into stones.  (between these epsom drinks there is a dose of olive oil mixed with fresh pink grapefruit juice - tastes like McD ice cream)  I'm also wondering why a friend with very high cholesterol levels passed very few stones if my doctor's theory is correct.
 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: mercury
« Reply #16 on: 25/04/2003 22:58:27 »
It is important to realise that dietary cholesterol has very little impact upon serum (circulating) cholesterol. The major determinant of serum lipid levels is the amount of fat consumed in the diet.

Familial high serum cholesterol levels arise as a consequence of inefficient scavenging of (usually) LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream by the liver. This means that after any meal, because the liver is slower to remove the LDL cholesterol, the levels reach a higher peak, and remain elevated for longer than normal, and hence you are more likely to develop arterial disease. Baseline cholesterol levels also run higher for the same reason.

Cholesterol is the major ingredient of bile which is stored in the gallbladder and also contains phospholipids and bile salts. Gallstones form when the relative concentration of any of these components is altered since this affects the 'solubility' of the other components. Metabolic conditions that affect serum lipids, including diabetes, obesity, oral contraceptive use and pregnancy, can therefore promote the formation of gallstones. Stones can also form through 'stasis' of the gallbladder brought on, paradoxically, by crash diets in fat people, and there also seems to be a familial preponderance. Adding the bile of stone forming individuals to the bile of non stone-formers can induce nucleation (formation of small stones) even in the normal person, suggesting that there may be other factors at work that make individuals susceptible to gallstones.

The bottom line is that a huge proportion of the population have them in the gallbladder, the vast majority asymptomatically. They are a common incidental finding at post-mortem, yet checking the individual's medical records frequently yields no history of biliary colic (pain caused by gallstones). In other words, gallstones only cause a problem when they start to move, and go on to block something, producing pain. This is usually the neck of the gallbladder, but can also be the bile duct which can lead to jaundice and pancreatitis.

I find it very unlikely that any 'remedy' taken by mouth can encourage the passage of gallstones as suggested above. There are some oral remedies that alter the composition of bile, shifting the equilibrium in favour of dissolving the stones and not forming new ones, but the effectiveness of this treatment is extremely poor, hence the frequency with which people under cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal.

TNS

 

Offline Exodus

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Re: mercury
« Reply #17 on: 26/04/2003 00:49:40 »
i've heard that passing a gall stone is probably one of the most painfull things ever? true? don't plan to be doing that myself, i eat very healthily and dont touch maccy Ds or Burger King, am also a budding cook who one day hopes to be a budding chef, watch this space, i'll have my own restaurant!

Thats Economics...
 

Offline chris

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Re: mercury
« Reply #18 on: 27/04/2003 16:19:11 »
You are probably thinking of a kidney stone rather than a gall stone. Most people don't pass gallstones, they just sit harmlessly in the gallbladder. If they do move it is usually to block the duct from the gallbladder which is, admittedly, very painful, but not to the extreme of passing kidney stones or experiencing pancreatitis [xx(].

 

Offline Exodus

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Re: mercury
« Reply #19 on: 27/04/2003 18:21:07 »
why do you get kidney stones?

Essentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem...
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: mercury
« Reply #20 on: 09/05/2003 22:27:35 »
The ultrasound shows that my right kidney measures 11.2 cm, the left 10.4 cm and they are both described as "unremarkable" (:DYAY:D).  What size range is normal for a person my size (105 pounds, or 15 stone, if a stone is 7 pounds)?  

I find it interesting that the right kidney is larger since that is the side that hurts sometimes (and the reflexology point that is more irritated).  Nonetheless, it's an acceptable level of discomfort, and I'm not worried, since I'm convinced that my body will continue to heal.

Thank you for your help:) in concluding what has been a seven year project.

 

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Re: mercury
« Reply #20 on: 09/05/2003 22:27:35 »

 

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