Imagine that you suffer from a health condition, and even though you have tried more or less everything, you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Surprisingly, it is very likely that old amalgam fillings in your teeth could be responsible for this. Perhaps your story is as same as Frank White’s, who suffered from an autoimmune disease, Sarcoidosis. Find out more in the following interview.
It usually takes the same scenario. We visit a dentist, doctor, and let them, in good trust, insert in our teeth (in our mouth close to the brain) a metal compound, presuming that nothing terrible could happen. We don’t cast questions because we are pretty much assured that our dentist would not knowingly do anything which would put our health at risk, right? Well, most of the time everything is okay because the majority of us can cope with minor mercury poisoning.
“Prehistoric”, yet still being used
In stomatology, amalgam fillings have been used as a cheap alternative for 150 years. Yes, since the times when, for example, limbs amputation and harsh medical practices were normal conventional methods. Even though with the ongoing development of new materials, prehistorical amalgam fillings still play the prime in today’s stomatology. How is this possible?
First of all, this alloy is popular for its mechanical qualities, which is a very good pressure and friction resistance. Moreover, it has also an excellent ability to resist the aggressive environment in the mouth.
The constitution of amalgam varies. It depends on a manufacturer. However, it can be stated that the compound contains up to 52% of mercury. The rest consists of other metals such as copper, tin, silver, and zinc. Another advantage of amalgam is the fact that it forgives the possible mistakes made by dentists during the filling process. Also, thanks to copper and silver, amalgam has bacteriostatic effects, which prevent developing of cavities. When the filling is placed, it expands during the hardening process and fills up microscopic cracks in the tooth. Therefore, it very effectively seals the treated tooth.
However, dentists must drill in the tooth much more, creating a hole in a shape of a pear. That helps to fix the filling in the tooth properly. Hence, it is needed to use more of the compound compared to modern white composite fillings.
Back in the old days, most of all, amalgam was used as a cheaper substitute for gold. Thus, poor people, who could not afford gold filling, suddenly were able to bear the expenses for their dental treatment.
But – there are always buts – when amalgam is mechanically stressed, mercury is released and can accumulate in the body, poisoning it. The more fillings you have in your teeth, the more mercury is very likely to be absorbed by it. As stated above, some don’t have any problems whatsoever. However, some can suffer from mild to serious symptoms.
Frank White is a sales manager in a multinational tyre company. He has been working there for admirable 24 years. He is 49 years old. In mid-2008, he was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis (a health condition also known as Besnier-Boeckova disease), a multi-systematical granulomatous inflammation.
The condition is characterized as an autoimmune disorder. It usually attacks young adults and middle-aged individuals. The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. Some, however, believe it may be due to an immune reaction to a trigger such as infections or chemicals in those who are genetically predisposed. It mostly affects lungs, skin, eyes, rarely heart and nervous system.
“I had already been sick before. I began visiting doctors in 1995. I was 28 back then, and most of the time I didn’t feel too bad. I occasionally felt weaknesses – something like no energy conditions,” he begins our talk. Frank speaks with a calm, friendly and decisive voice. Later on, his wife, Ann, who is a very nice and pleasant lady, would join us.
How much did your life change after the diagnosis?
Well, not much at the beginning and up until when it really flared up. I was always energetic and fit. When I was younger, I was strong, and I loved running. Actually, as I remember I was an excellent runner, athlete. I usually finished in the first 20% in various athletic events, which would be held locally in County Leitrim, where I grew up.
What environment did you grow up in? How was your home like?
Leitrim is one of the least populated counties in Ireland. I grew up in the country, a very clean environment. I still live there. Therefore, when I got sick, it was quite hard to understand.
I see. Can you describe how you felt?
Well, as I said there were only weaknesses. However, from my age of 28, it had begun to worsen. I would often have head-colds. It wasn’t so bad. I only had this feeling that it had happened very often. And it was true.
(Ann has just joined us)
Can you say that it was hard to determine that the disease was gradually developing?
Actually yes. You know, it is like this. As long it isn’t too bad, and you still feel more or less okay, you often ignore colds likewise. With the waves of weaknesses, it was hard to notice that I had been completely losing steam up until 2008. It is generally hard to notice when you are slowly falling weak. We got married in 1996 and started to build our house. In spite of the weakening, I did much physical work there. You get used to it and work your life around it. You keep going, and it’s difficult to measure how “low” you have gone. It’s the same like with the boiling frog saying. You don’t notice.
Ann, how did you feel if I can ask?
What do you mean?
I mean Frank’s health condition when he had slowly turned from a strong man to the stage that he was not able to do pretty much anything.
Ann: It was just… tremendous. Not very nice. Most of all, when he was diagnosed in 2008, I can say that it utterly consumed him. He was like a different man. He wasn’t the same man as he had been before.
Frank: I simply didn’t have the energy for more things at a time. The house was done. I was, therefore, concentrating on the job, not on the wife. So she was locked out.
Ann: Totally locked out. It wasn’t easy at all.
Frank: When your energy goes down, you start shutting down departments. Your body starts to shut down. This is what happens with chronic diseases. And sooner or later you are able to concentrate just on certain things. So I prioritised work.
Sarcoidosis creates granulomatous inflammations, which affect certain parts of the human body. Could you describe how the disease developed in you?
Approximately a year before my diagnosis, I started having rashes and lesions, which is very common. It is stated that if the lesions appear firstly on legs, it is regarded as the light form of the disease, and it fades away relatively fast. But this wasn’t my case. I also had joint and muscle pain often, which had not gone away until I had my amalgam fillings removed completely. That was at the end of 2014. The function of my lungs had lowered to 55%. Now, I am back on 70%. It will never be 100% because this is permanent damage. It is also the reason why I came to Dublin tonight. I am going to have my lungs function tested tomorrow. (the interview took place in the middle of December 2016)
Ann: That’s actually why I also came here tonight.
Note: Before our deadline (Februaury, 2017), I received an email from Frank that the examination went expectantly well. The results were more or less the same as the previous ones from 6 months ago. The function of his lungs has stabilised at circa 70%. Pulmonary function tests are non-invasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. The tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. Due to permanent damage to his lungs, it is unlikely that the value will be higher in the future. However, Frank mentioned that it does not have any effect on his normal life.
Were you taking any pills during this time?
No, absolutely not. I tried to stay off pills for a few years. You know, I believed all the time that my condition would improve. But it didn’t. So based on doctors’ recommendations, I started taking 30mg of immunosuppressive corticosteroid Prednisone. Because Prednisone has a number of side effects, I had to take another mix of medicaments. For example, reduction of stomach acid or to the prevention of bone wasting. It didn’t take too long, and I began to have problems with blood pressure and cholesterol. More pills followed.
How did it go on?
I have to point out that right after I had first doses of Prednisone, I got a big kick of energy boost. The rash and lesions were gone after the first set and never came back. I also realised how much I had been down. Long story short, from 2011 for the next three years I regulated the doses between 5 and 30mg based on how I felt. When it flared up, I increased the dose. When I felt fine, I maintained 5mg. I pecked a line of other meds along with Prednisone. I also followed a low processed food diet. To stay fit, I tried to do some exercise too. It was very hard as I was most of the time exhausted. Despite all this, I had gained 10 kilos. My condition would improve, then worsen, and improve again. I was trapped in some kind of circle where it did not seem to be a way out. In July 2014, my doctor told me that I would very likely stay on an average dose of 5mg of Prednisone for the rest of my life. Consequently, other tablets too.
In our email communication, you mentioned that you considered leaving your job at this particular time. Was it that bad?
It was. Results were not good, and I felt the worst of all time. I also did not want to accept the fact that I would leave a job I loved and break up on pills for the rest of my life. You know, I grew up in the country. We had some farm animals, and our neighbours had cattle. If a cow got sick, she were given some medication from the vet. After that, she either got better or died! They mostly got better and very rarely died. To me, this is how nature works. People are part of nature too, even though our modern life tries to insulate us from this reality. So I am sure that taking pills for the rest of your life doesn’t seem right. Thus, I started seeking some alternative ways at that time.
Which alternative ways did you discover?
I had visited a natural practitioner. It was sometime in early 2014. He wasn’t a doctor, though. He used some electrical testing system on me. To be honest, first I thought it was some hocus-pocus thing. He asked me to touch my gums with one hand while holding an electrode in the other. As I moved around my gums, he said: “There, you have inflammation here, is it sore?” I said yes. Without looking in my mouth, he says: “You have a mercury filling in that tooth.” I was surprised that he could tell this correctly without previously examining my mouth. He came to a conclusion that the amalgam fillings were the root of my problems.
Interesting. So you came back to this eventuality in summer, the same year?
This was the first time I started to look into the possibility of heavy metal poisoning. So yes. More importantly, I was quite desperate at that time and had nothing to lose. Even my doctor said that I should do it. Before the extraction, I had done my own research on heavy metals poisoning. Other than that, I found out that mercury poisoning can also trigger autoimmune diseases. Therefore, I went to Northern Ireland to visit Dr Anne Goodings from David Reaney and Associates Dental Practice and had all the fillings removed. They replaced them with white plastic composites. She uses a specific technique to avoid additional poisoning during the procedure. I also had to swallow some homoeopathic medicaments and activated carbon. I breathed through a mask placed on my nose.
How long and how many of the fillings did you have?
I had five filling since I was 25. Some of them had been replaced using a standard method without any protection, which very likely worsened my poisoning.
After the extraction, you must have started feeling better, right?
Not really! Detoxification is the key. So I paid another visit to Northern Ireland and met Dr Finbarr Magee from Belfast. If I remember it correctly, it has not been not long since he lost his license. You know, he is/was one of the rebelling doctors. Apparently, he did something which got him out of the game. I don’t know. But as for me, everything that he did was completely legal (laugh).
One day, during a set of examinations, Magee pushed on my abdomen with very little pressure, and I squealed like a little boy. He concluded that I had a terrible inflammation in my gut. This was the bottom line of the problem. Therefore, he concentrated on detoxification the organism from heavy metals and described me DMSA and DMPS. The DMPS came first as an intravenous set. I started feeling way better in two weeks than I had felt in the last few years. I still was on 5mg of Prednisone. I noticed that my pressure had come back to normal and stabilised around 130/80. It had not been as great for years when I had been taking pills.
Then, the DMSA phase came. They were tablets, and I would take one per week. They were described for 16 weeks. However, I finished in week 12 or 13. After every dose, unbearable pain in my hips followed, which lasted up to 24 hours.
This detox method seems to be quite rough. How did you feel when you finished it?
This one worked well for me. There are, however, more natural and moderate ways. Dr Chris Shade is probably the most recognised specialist in the field regarding heavy metal detoxifications. You can find a lot of information and advises through this man.
After the detox, my health had improved altogether, and energy returned. Well, I still was only about 75% there. I kept reducing the steroids, and by Jan 16, 2015, I was entirely off them. I have not been taking them ever since. I have adopted a vegetarian diet. I think that helps too. Cholesterol has improved. I must admit, I am having little troubles with blood pressure, which has slightly flown up. It has apparently something to do with the iron and ferritin levels, which are quite high at the moment. I am only keeping an eye on this because it’s nothing serious yet.
As you can see, I am not worried about Sarcoidosis anymore. I am now concentration on making sure when I age; I will not become one of the drugged up, wretched, poor geriatrics.
I honestly believe that you are on the right path. To the end, let me ask you our traditional question: Frank, what would you like to tell our readers?
The main message I would like to convey is that if you have a chronic disease such as an autoimmune condition you need to take a whole body approach. A pulmonary specialist will never ask to look at your teeth, yet this could be where the problem is coming from. Also, it is important always to have hopes that you can recover even if you are being told by doctors that your condition is chronic and you need to take drugs for the rest of your life. Less conventional approaches, including changes to the diet, hold a much more powerful effect than people usually think. I wish you good health and lots of happiness in your lives.
Frank, Ann, thank you for your time and a very pleasant evening.