Looking back it's hard to believe that I didn't figure things out sooner. I was perfectly placed to know exactly what was going on. I was a thirty something living in Brooklyn at the turn of the millennium. I was conscious about toxins of all kinds, avoiding pesticides in my produce and plastics in my microwave. I took supplements to keep myself healthy instead of turning to doctors and drugs. I even tried herbal cleanses to boost my health.
And yet, when I fell ill with mysterious symptoms eight months after I got my amalgam fillings removed, I had no idea that this could be caused by mercury. I had chronic candida, chronic fatigue, chronic fear and depression, all classic mercury symptoms, but it took me a long time to make the connection. Why?
Because the mercury was gone! I had, of course, done my research and made sure that my holistic dentist had protected me from unnecessary mercury exposure during removal. I had felt fine, no, make that wonderful in my first few months being mercury free. How could mercury make me sick when it had left the building months ago, so to speak?
Author Aine Ni Cheallaigh
tells her story of mercury poisoning from her amalgam fillings.
I had a lot to learn about how mercury poisoning works.
My health deteriorated in front of my eyes, day by day, week by week. I needed to figure out what was wrong with me, and I needed to figure it out fast.
Forgive me for bringing up a delicate topic here, but one of the very common symptoms of mercury poisoning is that it makes you totally bonkers.
Mercury was wreaking havoc on my body, yes, but it was the effect it had on my mind that was totally destroying me. I could have lived with the chronic yeast, chronic fatigue, horrible digestion, allergies, hemorrhoids etc etc. But the vicious trick that mercury played on my emotional reality? It had to stop. Right. Now.
It was as if my emotions were connected up to someone else's life. Someone who was in a prison camp, maybe. Or on the run from the mob. Time spent with my supportive and loving girlfriend in my tranquil country home filled me with fear and suspicion. Sometimes the feeling that I was utterly doomed would pierce me with such certainty, I would sob hysterically. This would be when I was making my lunch, say, or asking my girlfriend where she'd left the iPod charger. There was no rhyme or reason to it. For a while, I began to wonder if I had a brain tumor.
I felt that I was losing my very self. I searched and searched online for some kind of hint of a diagnosis, but I wasn't making much headway. Mainly because a lot of my symptoms pointed to mercury, but I refused to believe it was the culprit. I'd already had my amalgams removed! How could they be poisoning me?
Still, a lot of mercury poisoned people online had spookily similar symptoms to mine, so I looked into it some more. I finally found a scientific explanation for my odd case of mercury-poisoning-without-any-current-mercury-exposure. It was in a book called Amalgam Illness by a chemist called Andrew Hall Cutler. He explained that stored-up mercury sometimes pours out of a victim's cells in an unstoppable detox reaction in the year following amalgam removal.
This was definitely what was happening to me.
Luckily, Cutler, a victim of mercury poisoning himself, had devised a gentle at-home mercury chelation regimen that would set things to rights again. I started on this protocol, it started working right away, but it wasn't an overnight cure. It took me two full years to make a complete recovery.
The unexpected upside of all this is that I came out of the whole experience really really well. In the end I was stronger and more physically robust than I have ever been. But even more importantly, my emotions became my own again. I ended up happier and more emotionally stable than I have been in as long as I can remember. I feels like I returned to myself, but as a stronger, more grounded version of me.
Being a writer, of course I had to write my account of this extraordinary experience. My memoir called Getting the Mercury Out was published in May of this year. It was a book I felt compelled to write. I had to share what this experience was like. It's so rarely talked about in detail, I wanted to shed light on the inner emotional aspect of mercury poisoning.
People suffering through this surprising and mysterious illness need to know that they are not alone.
Aine Ni Cheallaigh