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Christina Hall has Mercury and Lead Poisoning? Maybe. This is how she should be managed.


I, like many people, like watching home renovation shows. I also like Christina Hall and wish her well. Having now a lot of experience and publications on heavy metal toxicity, particularly ofcourse Gd, there are important diagnostic approaches and treatments for Christina, and other people in her type of situation.

She describes 3 entities that can result in chronic multisystem illness that fall under the rubric of immune mediated inflammatory disease: breast implants, and description of Mercury and Lead in her body. Is it really lead and mercury poisoning (AKA deposition disease) or is it simply storage condition, that is she has it in her and is not sick from it. Then there are the breast implants. Ofcourse I have to wonder if there are other heavy metals lurking, and yes i am thinking Gd, but there are other heavy metals that are also quite treatable, such as Thallium and Cesium.

So clinical history is critical - and this is especially critical and more or less obvious with Gd, with these other metals the onset is more insidious and long term, so a initiati0n time is not possible to ascertain.

One of the first things I would ask, did she get an MRI with GBCA for anything - breast implants for example, or other general reason, and can her symptoms be timed as following closely, or at least getting much worse, within 1 month of receiving Gd.

But let us look at the metals that are described as poisoning her:

Lead: essentially everyone in the US, and possibly developed and developing world has lead in them. Everyone. So in the US there is maybe 340 million with Lead Storage Condition and perhaps only 100, 000 with true Lead Deposition Disease (Lead Poisoning). Mercury is also not that rare, maybe 1/6th that of Lead. The level of these metals though are critical to observe.

So what I would do is obtain a 24 hr urine for a panel of heavy metals (I use Doctors Data) immediately prechelation to look at what the native elimination is of a panel of heavy metals (I think they measure something like 20 metals in the panel). The most effective general chelator available to remove most heavy metals is DTPA, and the strong chelator is Ca-DTPA. So if I really don't know what is going on I would do immediately pre- and immediately post- 5 ml CaDTPA chelation, see what the levels are of these heavy metals to begin with as the native elimination, and see then what goes up after chelation. I always (by which I mean always) start the first chelation managing the patients as if they will have an acute hypersensitivity reaction, so I use standard hypersensitivity protocol drugs with adding on a steroid taper. So I see what the native levels are, and how much Ca-DTPA facilitates removal. From the science and clinical experience DTPA is by far the best available chelator for Gd, and it also happens to be the best available for Lead, and the heavier radioactive metals like plutonium and uranium.

Mercury is a more complex issue as it exists in both inorganic and organic forms in the body. DTPA is outstanding at removing inorganic Mercury (best available) but only medium at removing organic Mercury. The nice thing about getting pre and post chelation 24 hr urine, if native Mercury is high but DTPA does not seem to be removing extra Mercury based on post chelation findings. You can then try the same strategy with the standard Mercury chelators DMSA and DMPS. You can test them one after the other. (with a week or so apart).

The critical determinant for poisoning is if the symptoms temporarily become worse within days of chelation (often immediately). Flare symptoms for Lead are very similar as those of Gd. Mercury has the unusual Flare, which is also part of the native disease process - is that the individual becomes acutely paranoid and bizarre behaving (Mad Hatter's Disease). So hypersensitivity protocol is quite critical because in common parlance, individuals with Mercury Deposition Disease "go nuts", if they have the disease and chelation removes a lot of Mercury.

Thallium is generally an easy toxicity - stop eating Kale, and Christina does look like she might be a kale -eater.

Unless systemic symptoms came on within 1 month or so of breast implants, I would not recommend to a woman to remove them before we look at the heavy metal question. Ofcourse if she decides to, on her own, I would not object to it, and/or replace them with less immunogenic implants (saline for instance).

In a nut shell, this is what I would do if I was looking after Christina Hall's health care, and what I do with any woman who sees me with this type of picture. This sounds straightforward, but like most things it is very nuanced to do this well. It is like looking at World Soccer Championships on TV, and seeing people kicking a ball around and not much happening. Sitting on your coach eating Cheetos one does tend to think, how difficult is that.. I can do that. Turns out it is extremely difficult to play soccer well, and to treat heavy metal toxicities well. When it is your life it is always best to seek out experts who know how to do this type of work.

Richard Semelka, MD

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