Another Mercury Poisoned American- Oped
Kelly Lyon- Superior, CO
I am another victim of mercury poisoning from Seafood.
Not from a high-priced swordfish steak, but from my tuna fish sandwich.
My story is one of a long, slow decline in my health, frustration with the medical community and insurance companies, and ultimately long-lasting side effects from mercury poisoning.
I am your typical health conscious American. I've been an active participant in aerobics classes, weight training and sports activities my whole life.
And Iíve paid attention to my diet.
As part of my effort to consume low fat foods, I've eaten a lot of canned tuna. Since I like it and itís supposed to be so good for me, with all those healthy oils, I ate canned tuna almost 5 days a weekÖ for years.
And not a single can I opened in all those years warned me of mercury in tuna or the battle I would be facing to preserve my health.
Then three years ago, my life took a turn for the worse.
I was tired all the time and gaining weight no matter how much I exercised. So I asked my doctor for a thyroid test, which revealed hypothyroidism or an under-active thyroid to be exact.
I was prescribed Armour thyroid and while it was helping to give me some energy, I still felt really bad. My skin was dull and my hair seemed to be thinning! And I won't go into the ugly details of my digestion problems.
Then, last November, my stomach suddenly bloated up like I was about 4 months pregnant and would not go down no matter what I ate or tried!
My doctor ran all sorts of tests and sent me to a gastroenterologist specialist. My stomach was so distended that he immediately performed an unnecessary colonoscopy and still they had no answers.
They were content to give me a vague "irritable bowel syndrome" diagnosis and send me on my way.
This was unacceptable so I turned to an alternative medicine/herbalist type doctor. He discovered that I had parasites and a systemic yeast infection. He put me on some herbs and a yeast-free sugar-free diet and it got a little better.
But then it would get worse again in a vicious cycle. Finally I found information about the relation between candida yeast infections and mercury toxicity, so I pressed my doctor to test me for mercury poisoning. She was hesitant but I insisted and sure enough I was WAY over the maximum safe dose of 3 mg/g mercury. My blood level was level was 71 mg/g! This is over 2300 percent higher than what is considered safe, according to my lab results.
I discovered that mercury can concentrate in different areas of your body including the thyroid...and could even have caused my thyroid disease! This was the first symptom of mercury poisoning for me. There are near epidemic numbers of women with thyroid problems in this country; I wonder how many of them are suffering from mercury poisoning.
I finally started treating my condition with chelation therapy and the bloat and fatigue are gradually getting better. My mercury levels are down to about 8.5 mg/g now and I feel much better but still have the chronic thyroid disease and low energy. I get winded easily (mercury gets inside of every cell of the body and interferes with its ability to properly use oxygen) and I still have digestive problems.
To compound my problems, my healthcare company refused to pay for the chelation therapy since an out-of-network doctor had performed it, but no doctor in my network had anything to offer. I guess they would have preferred I just stayed sick. I imagine I would have eventually gotten much worse and would have required more expensive treatment for the mercury effects, such as blindness, etc.
I donít want anyone to have to relive my story.
Every single can of tuna in this country should have a mercury warning label on it.
Because I purchased so much of the tuna I consumed at Safeway stores, I am asking for people to join me in calling on the CEO of the Safeway supermarket chain to post mercury warning labels in all its stores across the nation.
You can send an email to Safeway from http://www.seaturtles.org/actionalertdetails.cfm?actionAlertID=67
Or you can send Safeway's CEO a personal letter or call him at:
Steven A. Burd, CEO, Safeway, Inc.
5918 Stoneridge Mall Road
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Thank you for joining me in this effort and helping to protect other Americans from mercury poisoning!