Last night I had a dream: I’m in a car, behind the wheel but I’m not in control. The car is violently rolling back down hill and the breaks aren’t working. All I can do is steer it a bit but I can not stop this terrifying downward spiral. This dream always means one thing in waking life – some crap is about to hit the fan when it comes to my health. Today, I woke up more fatigued than I have been over the past half a year.
While I’m seeing vast improvements in sleep, my fatigue remains a major issue and I believe it will get worse for the next few weeks, perhaps months. That is because I’ve hit the dump phase. The latter is a term describing a process where one’s body starts dumping heavy metals as a way to cleanse itself. This happens anywhere six to nine months after removing the source of intoxication. In my case this source was the amalgam fillings that were full of mercury.
On one hand this sucks as I know that all of my past symptoms are about to come back but on the other hand – once I exit this phase I should be on the home stretch to recovery and putting this madness behind me.
Heavy Metals and Fatigue
I’ve had symptoms of total adrenal fatigue (completely exhausted, heart palps, unable to function) that kind of improved and morphed into a state of chronic fatigue (CFS). Initially, I thought all this was due to my mitochondria being affected by years of insomnia but I’ve been sleeping much better since I started QiGong and even better after starting chelation with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) but my fatigue just lingered. Over the years I’ve accumulated some research and ideas as to why my energy levels have been so messed up. Here are a few hypotheses (like to avoid saying “facts” although there is good science behind this) as to how heavy metals can wreak havoc on one’s energy production:
- Mercury exerts acute and chronic toxic effects on the human body including the nervous and immune systems. One of the main pathways of mercury toxicity is damage to mitochondrial function. Malfunction of mitochondria has been associated to neurodegenerative diseases. (Source) Toxic mitochondria can’t produce energy, can’t let chemicals out, can’t let nutrients in.
- Mercury generates many of its deleterious effects through the formation of free radicals, resulting in DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, depletion of protein sulfhydryls and other effects. The result is a direct and indirect damage to mitochondria via depletion of glutathione which results in excessive free radical generation (oxidative stress). (Source)
- Mercury and lead inhibit methionine synthase (MTR), which inhibits the methylation cycle. The latter controls over 40 major processes in the body. Aluminum inhibits the BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin) cycle which controls neurotransmitters.
- My genetic test revealed I have a CBS gene mutation which can cause one to be sensitive to sulfur and thiols in food. CBS controls sulfur detoxication, and the production of glutathione, the body’s major detoxifier. Mercury, arsenic and aluminum inhibit many pathways in the so called Kreb’s cycle which is how energy is produced in the mitochondria.
- When a normal methylation process becomes compromised the body will be missing major nutrients and vitamins like B5, B6, B12 and so on. Most mercury toxic people have huge need for these vitamins because it uses them to protect against & detoxify heavy metals.
“Fixing” or regulating my methylation cycle was a trip down the rabbit hole that cost a lot of time and money, let alone suffering. Had I known what I know now about mercury toxicity I would have started chelating long time ago. Once the heavy metals are out the methylation cycle, should, technically normalize.
Heavy Metals and TCM
All these years I was trying to use Traditional Chinese Medicine to make myself better. While I saw improvement in symptoms I did not get anywhere close to healing. Why? Because neither herbs, nor acupuncture helps to remove mercury or lead directly. In fact, some herbs can make things much worse which is what happened to me when I tried to boost my adrenals with things like ginseng, cordyceps or prop up my immunity with Astragalus.
Simply put, I was unable to charge my drained batter not because it was depleted but because the battery cells were damaged. Feeding electric current to bad battery cells will only make it explode, which is what it felt like when I tried all these jing tonifying herbs and supplements like CoQ10.
The formulas that I found most helpful were the ones that helps liver and digestion.
If I had to describe this from TCM perspective – heavy metals bind tightly to our organs, making them weak. Our body’s jing essence is then mobilized to maintain whatever possible balance. This depletes our kidney yin and yang energy (source of jing) (hormones become out of balance), causing fires in the heart (insomnia), liver and spleen (digestion issues) and so on.
Final Thoughts and Advice
Mercury is the second most toxic metal on the planet and can be a silent killer. It wages gorilla style war by interfering with our energy production, hormones, sleep and can ultimately cause cancer. If your CFS or adrenal fatigue is as stubborn as mine then do look into heavy metal toxicity and safe chelation. Whether you win or get worse all depends on your strategy so choose wisely.
If you wonder whether mercury toxicity could be behind your health crisis then you must read this section where I explain on how to tell whether your symptoms are mercury related.
So what about you? How have toxic metals impacted your life? Are you taking anything that is helping with your energy levels? I’d love to hear about it.
Right next now I am only doing sauna and near infared sauna. I wish there was a validated test for metals.
Jason, there is no test for long term exposure. When heavy metals lodge in our organs and tissue they are impossible to detect with simple blood and urine test. Only after an acute exposure those tests show something. Also, there are tests that can stimulate heavy metal detox but they can make one very sick due to redistribution afterwards. So far, one of the tests that can show something is hair mineral analysis. Perhaps I should update this post and explain my discoveries better.