Q: Dr. Dean, I have done the Six Point Yeast-Fighting Program religiously for six months now and Iím really not feeling any better. I still have vaginitis and diarrhea and extreme fatigue. Iím getting desperate! What else can I do?
A: If youíve really been faithful on the plan and it hasnít worked for you, consider the possibility that some other condition may be contributing to your yeast overgrowth.
One possibility is that you have accumulated enough mercury in your body to create a toxic environment, especially if you have mercury (silver) fillings. In fact, more than two-thirds of the mercury excreted in the average personís urine comes from dental fillings.
Mercury creates many of the same problems that antibiotics do. It will kill the good and bad bacteria just like antibiotics do. Of course, most of us with yeast overgrowth know that killing the beneficial intestinal flora along with the harmful ones allows the yeast that is normally present in the digestive tract to grow out of control, upsetting a delicate balance and causing a host of symptoms.
A scientific study for the University of Georgia confirmed mercuryís disruption of intestinal bacteria in 1993.
Most people Ė and even many doctors Ė arenít aware that mercury can cause all the problems yeast causes Ė and more, including cognitive impairment, heart disease and motor and nerve diseases like multiple sclerosis.
If you have several mercury amalgam dental fillings, just chewing and swallowing, breathing in the fumes of the mercury as almost microscopic pieces flake off in the course of your normal activities.
These filings can, over time, overload your system with mercury.
Many doctors advocate removing mercury amalgam fillings to stop this toxic overload, and while this may be a good idea for some people, the process of removing the fillings is delicate and will inevitably expose you to even more mercury, so it is sometimes a difficult decision to make.
If you decide to remove your mercury amalgam fillings, be sure to find a dentist who has a great deal of experience in this type of work and who will follow the guidelines issued by The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) and who will test you for possible sensitivity to the replacement ďcompositeĒ fillings.
Among those guidelines are precautions during the removal itself so that the mercury is not dumped into the patientís bloodstream. There is also a caution that no more than two mercury amalgam fillings should be removed at a time and subsequent removals should take place at least a month apart.
You can find more information about mercury in dental filings and locate qualified dentists and doctors who can remove them at the IAOMTís website, www.iaomt.org.
Itís a good idea to have a blood test to determine if you do, indeed, have mercury toxicity. If you have a mild case, you may be able to chelate it from your system with Redoxyl, a natural product made from methionine and magnesium. It will help your body flush out the mercury, although it may take several months if you decide to keep your mercury amalgam filling.
You can learn more about Redoxyl at www.preventhium.com.
Q: Iíve also heard that fish has high levels of mercury, but that confuses me as bit since we are told that fish is so healthy.
A: Youíre absolutely right Ė fish is good for you and could potentially be very bad for you. The relaxing of air pollution laws has put a great deal more mercury into our air from power plants and that mercury eventually finds its way into the soil and the oceans, where it affects all marine life.
The Environmental Protection Agency warns us that nearly all varieties of fish and shellfish contain some mercury.
The EPA says it is safe to eat two six-ounce portions of low-mercury fish a week, including shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish for adults. Fresh tuna is higher in mercury than canned tuna. Your intake should be limited to one six-ounce serving a week.
Children should have the same restrictions, but be given smaller portions of an undefined size, says the EPA. I personally think young children should not be given fish at all.
The government recommends against eating high mercury fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish entirely if you are pregnant or there is any chance you could become pregnant.
Youíll notice that the high-mercury fish are mainly large fish. I recommend eating smaller fish because they are lower on the food chain and do not have the higher amounts of concentrated mercury in their flesh. Herring, anchovies and as well as wild-caught salmon and small freshwater fish like perch and bluegill are safer than the larger fish.
Q: I hate to pick this to death, but isnít there mercury in some kinds of vaccines?
A: Youíre right on that count, too. Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, used to prevent bacterial contamination in many vaccines that are sold to doctorsí office in large vials from which individuals doses are drawn with a hypodermic needles.
Thimerosal has been removed from all vaccines routinely recommended for children under six, except flu vaccine, because of voiced concerns from the public about the possibility that mercury can trigger sudden-onset autism.
Even so, the vaccine industry and the government continue to insist there is no risk from thimerosal, but I personally would not take the risk. If you or your child needs a vaccination, request an injection for a slightly more expensive single-dose vial that is thimerosal free. There are other toxins in vaccines, such as aluminum hydroxide, antibiotic residues, egg protein, and gelatin.