Friday, February 1, 2008

mercury in fish

I believe that my fibroid struggles have been compounded by another problem that I discovered about a year ago. I was exhausted and could not figure out why, and various tests were showing nothing. Finally my acupuncturist asked if I had ever been tested for heavy metals, and I said no.

She gave me a special urine test, and when the results came back I nearly fell off my chair --- my mercury level was touching the upper edge of the chart, right at the top of the "highly elevated" range. My acupuncturist had never seen anything like it. No wonder I was tired. My lead level was in the "elevated" range too.

Clearly this was a result of eating a lot of fish, particularly sushi. Ironically, one reason I had consumed a rather fish-heavy diet for the several years prior was belief that fish was better than meat or poultry if you have fibroids -- which is true as long as the fish you consume is not contaminated with toxins!

I have been detoxing since the spring, and have made good progress with eliminating the toxins. My acupuncturist felt that the usual detox protocol for mercury, DMSA, was not a good idea for me because it puts a burden on the kidneys and I have a family history of kidney disease so best to not overload my kidneys. I've been taking some special herbs she prescribed, combined with a homeopathic remedy, deox baths, and lots of time in the sauna to sweat it all out.

I feel a zillion times better now, but I am convinced that the burden that these toxins have placed on my liver have distracted it from cleaning up excess estrogen in my blood, thus enabling the fibroids to grow. Also, according to this page, the heavy metals can mimic the action of estrogens! Yikes!

So, if you have fibroids, I highly recommend that you find an acupuncturist or naturopath who can screen you for heavy metals in your system. I did a urine test, there are also hair and blood tests. Because discovering any heavy metal buildup you have, and getting rid of it, can help with shrinking your fibroids.

Also, please be careful about what fish you eat. The Monterey Acquarium Seafood Watch has a comprehensive list of which fish is safe and which is not: Also, so you can check while looking at a menu in a restaurant, from a mobile phone you can go to and will be automatically directed to their pocket guide.

In particular, please avoid tuna, especially the type that is in sushi. The NY Times reported last summer that many New Yorkers have elevated levels of mercury in their blood -- including high-income people who presumably are eating a lot of sushi, etc.

And just the other day, the NY Times released results of its own study of tuna sold at sushi bars and food stores, which revealed shockingly high mercury levels. Another study found similar high levels nationally.

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