Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of heavy metal burden in the body are many and varied. For a more complete list see Keesha’s blog on heavy metal toxicity:
High blood pressure
Constant pain in joints
Headaches after eating
Shortness of breath
Heavy Metal Toxicity Scale
Score each symptom on a scale of 0 – 10 (with 10 the highest) and calculate a total for each row that will be entered as a total at the bottom of the page.
1. Unexplained irritability
2. Constant or very frequent periods of depression
3. Numbness and tingling in extremities
4. Frequent urination during the night
5. Unexplained chronic fatigue
6. Cold hands and feet, even in moderate weather
7. Bloated feeling
8. Poor memory or Brain fog
9. Sudden, unexplained anger
11. Difficulty making decisions
12. Tremors or shakes of hands, feet, head, etc.
13. Muscle twitches
14. Frequent leg cramps
15. Ringing in ears
16. Get out of breath easily
18. Excessive itching
19. Unexplained rashes, skin irritation
20. Metallic taste in mouth
21. Jumpy, Jittery, Nervous
22. Suicidal thoughts
24. Unexplained chest pains
25. Constant or frequent pain in joints
26. Rapid heart rate
27. Unexplained fluid retention
28. Burning sensation on the tongue
29. Headaches after eating
30. Frequent diarrhea
Adopted from: Huggins, HA, It’s All in Your Head, Avery Publishing Group, NY, 1993, pg. 54.
Score <30 – Low likelihood of metal toxicity
Score >30 – Significant likelihood of metal toxicity – recommend further evaluation
What if I have many of these symptoms? What next?
1. Call Fern Life Center for an appointment so you can be screened: (425) 391-3376.
2. We request that you fill out the required paperwork before your appointment (download from www.FernLifeCenter.com).Your symptoms and history will be reviewed by Keesha Ewers, ARNP. As part of the screening process and you will receive 2 urine kits and a small dose of a medication to provoke the release of any heavy metals you might have encapsulated in your body. You will collect your urine before the medication and then after taking the medication for the next 6 hours. The samples will be sent to the lab and will take a week to ten days for us to get results back. This is called a pre and post-provocation urine test.
3. It will be necessary to take extra nutritional supplements which include: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC),calcium/magnesium supplements, and supportive supplements for the adrenals and detoxification systems.
4. We require you to do frequent kidney function testing during the course of your chelation therapy.
5. Each chelation therapy is individualized and you must have a mindset of “go slow and be patient”. It is possible to burn out your adrenals and detox organs with rapid heavy metal chelation. At Fern Life Center, Keesha believes in taking it at the pace your body can handle. You may be advised to take oral chelating agents or intravenous nutrition. See below for more detail about IV interventions.
6. For insurance purposes, we repeat the 6 hour urine collection every the 15th treatment to determine the next step in treatment.
7. You will be asked to have mercury amalgams removed before Keesha will chelate your mercury. There is no sense in undergoing the stress of chelation while you have an active source of mercury still in your mouth.
Sources of Mercury Exposure
The following list will help to identify where you may have come in contact with mercury in your environment:
Dental fillings, exhaust fumes, insecticide sprays, mercury polluted water, fish, floor waxes, polishes, air conditioner filters, felt, skin lightening creams, sewage disposal, tattooing, hemorrhoid suppositories, coal burning stoves or mining, certain cosmetics, adhesives, organo-mercurial pesticides, antiseptics, camera film, canvas, plastics, water based paint, fabric softeners, chemical fertilizers, the preservative thimerasol (in vaccines).
Mercury Nutrition Guidelines
- Eliminate caffeine.
- Eliminate sugar and alcohol.
- Eliminate fish and shellfish from diet, especially those that historically contain the highest levels of mercury.
|Avoid||Not more than once per month||Lowest in mercury|
Tuna (including canned)
Gulf Coast Oysters
Great Lakes salmon
Gulf Coast blue crab
Channel catfish (wild)
Blue crab (mid-Atlantic)
Salmon (wild Pacific)
Shrimp (although shrimp fishing and farming causes serious environmental damage)
- Avoid external sources of mercury including petroleum products, Bounce fabric softeners, fungicides, cosmetics, and hair dyes. Read labels: phenalmercuricacetate and thimerosal are other names for mercury.
- Eliminate milk.
- Eliminate pork.
- Eliminate cigarette smoking.
- Increase fiber consumption, which is important to bind toxins in the digestive tract.
- Drink 8 eight oz. glasses of water/day.
- Eat eggs and ghee. The emphasis on animal protein is because of its concentration of sulfur bearing amino acids and lipids (fat). Mercury has an affinity to both of these chemical groups. You may use MSM 1000mg 3x/day if you are allergic to eggs.
- Supplement your diet with probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus capsules.
- Steam in a sauna or steam bath for 20 minutes 1 to 3 times per week as directed by your healthcare provider. Your skin is the largest excretory organ in your body and one of the safest routes of detoxification.