Al: A friend of mine, who is also a dentist, got exposed to mercury while handling a defective batch of amalgam. He started having night sweats, depression, anxiety, and his blood pressure and heart rate would become uncontrollable at times. Thankfully he used a computer program to key in all his symptoms and it diagnosed mercury toxicity as the cause. He took a challenge, which confirmed the diagnosis, and after short-term chelation, he is now much better. My point here is to treat all the symptoms much like a puzzle, and find a good doctor or doctors to help you eliminate all the problems caused by these conditions.
I agree 100% with Polly that many of us seem to concentrate on candida only or mercury only, when many of the problems with our bodies are far reaching. She mentioned her thyroid problem. Many are dealing with allergies, etc. Candida and mercury affect many bodily functions down to the cellular level. Mercury can even alter one’ s DNA. Everyone is affected differently by these two destroyers of health. Marilyn has multiple sclerosis as a result of mercury as well as candida and other problems. Many get Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and some have heart problems as the result of mercury and candida.
Maureen: I purchased it’ s all in your head by Dr. Hal Huggins yesterday. It’ s a great book. If any of you people are thinking your problems are mercury related. Buy this book. I purchased it on http://www.barnesandnoble.com. It points out a lot of things that have mercury in them that I didn’ t even realize—like some nasal sprays, ear drops and bag balm. I use bag balm sometimes since my hands get so dry in the winter. I won’ t use it anymore. Some of the hemorrhoid ointments and suppositories, eye preparations, and acne creams contain it too. (Look for an ingredient on products called thimerosol. It is a very toxic form of mercury.) I highly recommend this book.
Mercury and Dysbiosis
Anne M: Do you know people who have systemic candida and are not mercury toxic? I was hoping that once I clear myself of the underlying lead and mercury (especially in the brain) that the candida would be easier to clear. Am I deluding myself?
Polly: Hi Anne. You aren’ t deluding yourself. The candida will clear much easier if the metal is gone or minimized. Heavy metals inhibit certain white blood cell enzymes that create chemicals used to kill candida. However, you can have candida and not be mercury toxic. If I recall correctly, an old Candida and Dysbiosis Information Foundation (CDIF) newsletter stated that doctors in Europe were seeing heavy metal poisoning in about a third of the patients with dysbiosis. (Dysbiosis means the intestinal flora is harmful.)
There is no question that getting rid of the mercury will help you. The question is whether or not your body is prepared to get rid of the mercury at this point in time.
1. Liver function, bowel function, kidney function£these must be working as well as possible before chelating the mercury. If not, any chelator you employ will stir up the mercury without there being a way to expel the mercury.
2. Good mineral status is important before using chelation. When the mercury leaves biologically active sites, something has to replace it.
3. Is your body able to absorb your replacement minerals? Adequate stomach acid is needed to absorb your minerals. Mercury seems to lower your stomach acid, so you might need a supplement of hydrochloric acid. Or you might need a supplement of the amino acid histidine. Mercury often lowers histidine levels and low histidine in turn interferes with stomach acid levels.
4. A high protein diet may be advisable when doing chelation. In an experiment where mercury was injected into rats, rats put on a high protein diet prior to the injection faired much better than the others. 
5. Your antioxidant and glutathione levels should be decent too. This will protect you from some of the effects of the circulating mercury.
Testing For Mercury Toxicity
Jane: Hair analysis only shows mercury if your body is excreting it. Hal Huggins said in his books on dental mercury problems that extremely LOW mercury in hair can show the body is actually retaining HIGH amounts of it! Isn’ t this odd? One way to test a “body load” of mercury is a DMSA or similar challenge. This means taking a chelator like DMSA or being injected, then checking the urine for 24 hours to see how much mercury is forced out of the body. I haven’ t done this—don’ t have a doctor to do it, AND it can make things worse if your immune system is already struggling. Your body has the newly released mercury to deal with.
Marilyn in Seattle: It is my understanding that there is still really no reliable way to truly test for mercury toxicity. I was lucky that the mercury showed up so clearly in my hair analysis—it doesn’ t always if one stored the mercury mostly in the joints and nervous system. My mercury free dentist said that I must have incredible amounts of mercury in my system for it to be that elevated in my hair.
When I did a DMPS challenge test, I had mercury coming out in the very elevated range— but the naturopath said that my results were not as high as many he’ d seen, BUT, when you looked at the skewered mineral profile I had, it wasn’ t any wonder. According to him, mercury does not want to leave the body unless there are adequate amounts of other minerals in one’ s system. (I was showing depleted levels of most minerals—in particular zinc, selenium, iron, sodium, iodine, and manganese.) So there seems to be other factors involved even in something like the standard DMPS challenge type tests. I read on one site somewhere where a guy didn’ t start to release stored mercury from his tissues until he’ d had seven shots of DMPS. (DMPS is a chemical that removes mercury. It is called Sodium 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate.)
Cleansing the Body of Mercury
Polly: If your body’ s antioxidants are low, then the DMPS or DMSA will oxidize before it ever has a chance to do its work. No mercury will be dumped. That may be why there is such a wide variability in responses to the challenges. Challenge tests just aren’ t that accurate. Because of the tendency for DMPS and DMSA to oxidize, there is another potential problem. If the DMSA or DMPS starts to work, then it dissipates halfway through its job, mercury will be dislodged then dumped back into the tissue without a chance to exit the body. That is very damaging. Therefore, it is very important that your antioxidant levels are up before you try any chelator.
The body seems to have an order in which it will release elements during chelation. There are reports on the Internet of lead and other undesirable elements showing up in the urine of autistic children well before the mercury shows up. It can be as much as 9 months of chelation therapy with DMSA before the mercury ever starts to appear.
To diagnose mercury toxicity, you can’ t depend on blood, urine or hair tests. Mercury usually doesn’ t show up there unless the exposure has been very recent. Instead, the doctor should look for the effects of mercury on different systems of the body. A doctor may test your immune system, amino acids, the sulfate in the blood and urine, and the porphyrins in your urine. For instance, many of the mercury poisoned will have low sulfate levels in the blood but normal sulfate levels in the urine. This is because mercury causes the kidneys to lose their ability to retain sulfate. (Amy Holmes, MD has a list of many of the tests that may indicate mercury poisoning at http://www.healingarts. org/children/holmes.htm.)
Even though the hair will usually not show any mercury, a hair analysis might provide some clues. The mineral distribution in the hair is sometimes very scattered if one is mercury poisoned and there may be elevated levels of other heavy metals in the hair. Sometimes there will be elevated calcium or selenium in the hair.  If the mercury poisoning is from amalgams, then sometimes nickel and tin will show up in the hair because these metals are also in amalgams.