Case Study: Heather Presents Hives, Chronic Pain
Heather was a 35-year-old hairstylist who read in a newspaper article about our work with detoxification. She told me that she had been completely well until she reached 13 years of age. At that time, she suddenly developed hives over most of her body. Also, she often experienced swelling of her lips and eyelids. Over the next 22 years, she experienced hives on a daily basis, and the winter before I met her, she had taken ten trips to the emergency department for injections of adrenaline and steroids. Five times she had been placed on long-term prednisone which barely controlled her symptoms and resulted in a weight gain of 110 pounds. When her symptom complex began, her platelet count suddenly dropped, but numerous tests failed to disclose any underlying cause.
Heather also suffered from daily headaches, as well as fatigue that gradually became profound. Over time, she developed generalized muscle and joint-pains, sleep disturbance, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and chronic flu-like symptoms. When she was 28 years old she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a rheumatologist. When we met, Heather’s medications included an antihistamine taken eight times per day.
Heather’s medical history revealed that she had all of her childhood immunizations. She had a tonsillectomy at 2 years old, lymph node excision from the left neck at 5 years old, left trigger thumb repair and tubal ligation at 33 years old. She had been a smoker but gave up cigarettes when she was 34. In her late teens, she consumed a lot of alcohol, and used marijuana. She was happily married, had one child, and continued to work as a hairstylist. Her family physician forwarded copies of all investigations, which were within normal limits. Interestingly, a blood mercury level was low (3 nmol/L with normal being 0 – 49).
The key question I posed in Heather’s case was whether or not she had any dental procedures prior to onset of symptoms. Her answer was very revealing, because, as I have noted, she was very healthy until 13 years of age, but precisely at that time her dentist told her that she would require braces. She was also advised that because she had cavities in her teeth she would require mercury amalgams. Subsequently, over a two-month period, she had 12 mercury amalgams placed during several sessions. She told me that after each session she would feel sick for days. The braces were then placed, and shortly thereafter she developed the severe symptom complex described above. One week before coming to my clinic she had several mercury amalgams removed and replaced with composite material, but she reported that after these replacements her fatigue became much worse.
When I examined her, Heather had several small patches of hives on her arms and legs. Her hands were cool to touch. I counted 9 mercury amalgams in her mouth, but no crowns or root canals were present. Sixteen out of eighteen fibromyalgia tender points were positive.