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amalgam removal and conception

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know how long one should wait to conceive after having amalgam fillings removed? I searched the archives but couldn't find this.
post #2 of 9
our dentist recommended at least 12 month.
post #3 of 9
I want to share my experience in your thread, we PM'd on this but it's such an important topic that I think it's better to have a bit of information available for people searching, albeit subjective, than to have nothing available.

I am not an expert, and this is a really important topic. I can only share my experience and my thoughts on what has been important for me. It really needs a lot of reading and a lot of thought for anyone considering amalgam removal and conception. I think an individual's health status is very important to consider, and also how much helpful guidance they can get. I'm working with someone experienced in chelation, and I did outside reading that makes me feel that yes, my HCP does know what she's talking about.

My background: my health tanked during pregnancy #2 and I eventually figured out that it's been triggered by the mercury in my amalgam fillings, though certainly exacerbated by poor lifestyle choices and pathetic nutrition (pre-amalgam nutrition and nutrition choices since then).

Personally, I _need_ to have my amalgams out before getting pregnant again, because the final symptom that my health was bad was really messed up hormones, including a luteal phase of 6 days (obviously after my son was born and my cycles re-started). Not enough for pregnancy, by a long shot, though I felt bad enough that I knew I wasn't ready for another child. That was in addition to the thyroid and adrenal problems.

My kids are affected (I passed a lot of mercury and other chemicals on to them in-utero and nursing), but thankfully not severely--my daughter only a bit, my son (pregnancy #2) a bit more--he used to bang his head on the wall (along with sleep problems, food sensitivities, like that), but I'm working with my healthcare provider to get all this cr@p out of the kids too and seeing good progress.

An onibasu archive of online discussions quoted Andy Cutler (author of Amalgam Illness) as recommending (best to worst): do nothing with amalgams, remove & chelate 18+mos and then conceive, and remove and conceive <12mos.

I'd say my health is moderately screwed up. I'm sure people can be worse--multiple chemical sensitivities, weird neurological stuff... lots of possibilities. But, my HCP and I think that if I work hard and don't experience any major setbacks, I can chelate and do a lot of other detox work (overlapping in time) in a year, maybe a bit longer, so a bit faster than Andy's recommendation. I was slowly building up my nutritional reserves and doing vitamin C flushes (http://www.perque.com/pdfs/Pt_Ascorbate_Slush_FIN.pdf) while nursing to get my body ready while I tried to balance when to wean with my health needs (before I got my amalgams replaced, I mean). But I've also overhauled our diet (more whole foods, homecooked, much less processed food), we're eating GFCF (important for me, not sure if it is for everybody, but vital for me), and I'm cleaning up our household cleaners/laundry detergent/other environmental chemicals.

I think the vitamin C flushes have been key for me, I'm doing them every week now that I'm chelating. And the chelation has been easier than I expected--I think because of the prep work and the flushes. I think paying attention to how you feel is crucial during this process--feeling bad means it's hard on your body, and it will take longer. And I think being willing (after removal) to decide ya know, maybe I'm not ready yet, but an extra 6 months isn't really that long. Waiting a few extra months in order to avoid your child having mercury throughout their very being from the first moments of conception--it's not long to wait to do a bit more work and be sure the chelation is done.

Anyway, this is just my thoughts based on where I am now.

But one good result for me--less than 2 months after amalgam removal and with only 3 round of DMSA done, my luteal phase got longer by 2 days.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Great information!

One thing i was wondering is how can you tell when your body is done chelating? how do you know if it will take 12 months, 18 months, etc.?
post #5 of 9
You can get a blood test for mercury. Costs about $200.
post #6 of 9
One thing i was wondering is how can you tell when your body is done chelating? how do you know if it will take 12 months, 18 months, etc.?
I don't know of any way to know beforehand. I've talked a bit with my HCP (not specifics, since it's a ways off), but I _think_ that the general AndyCutler-advice was chelate until there are no more mercury symptoms (I guess either your health problems or symptoms of metal movement while chelating), and then keep going 50% longer than that took, or maybe it's another 3-6 months. I know the normal recommendation is keep going even after you think you're all better.

For me, we'll be adding in some other detox products, and when I've done several (how many? who knows) and I stop seeing any reaction (symptomatic during them and vitamin C need stays the same), then I think we'll say I'm done. I _have_ really noticed that my daily vitC need goes up when I take either DMSA or an amino-acid detox supp (it kicked my hiney, which is funny because the DMSA is easy in comparison). So I think when that stops happening, then I'll be done.
post #7 of 9
You can get a blood test for mercury. Costs about $200.
And I think that's a pretty good option if the mercury exposure is acute, but not if it's chronic. Different metals circulate in different ways in the body. Blood tests for lead are apparently a pretty accurate reflection of total body burden (urine and hair also reflect it well) but mercury settles into organs faster and doesn't circulate as much. I'll see if I can find a citation, the only one I got so far is from Amalgam Illness, where Cutler writes:

The root of this problem appears to be toxicologists' unwarranted belief, generally propagated in medical texts, that blood and urine levels of mercury are an accurate measure of toxicity. Yet to quote the Handbook on the Toxicology of Metals, volume 2, pg 402, "At present, there is no suitable biological index of the mercury concentration in critical organs such as the brain..."

I spent a while thinking about how things would've been different this past year if I'd had something I could have used to really definitively know if this was it, the root cause. I had lots of signs generally supporting that this was the problem, but nothing I could hold in my hand and show someone. And I knew my HCP genuinely thought this was the problem, but what if she was genuinely wrong? It added a layer of stress, in addition to getting past the unbelievability factor (because really, who does this happen to?), and the week before I got the last of my fillings out was hard. Because if I was pinning my hopes on an illusion, that would mean, months later, I would still be feeling crappy and still need to figure out what's going on (living like this forever isn't an option I'm anywhere near willing to contemplate).

In the end, I just had to keep on the path and, to some extent, do it on faith. Like I said, I had supportive (but not inarguably conclusive) data, and I could see that, treating my son had made real improvements (first his head-banging went from everyday to only when we got gluten, and now he doesn't do it even when we get gluten ), but there was still doubt.

At least now, it's clear that yes, this is my problem. It's been almost 2 months since I got my fillings out and this time I can't say that the things that have happened could be coincidence or what-not. But I still don't know of a way to really take away the uncertainty beforehand.

I think the hair testing described on this site:
is better than most things at figuring out if there's a mercury problem (it doesn't look for mercury in the hair, it looks for statistically significant skewing of normal minerals), but even then, high dose vit/mineral supplementation meant to correct other health problems (like I did for my hypothyroidism) would throw off the results. So it's not perfect either.

Anyway, lotsa thoughts, nothing really satisfying.
post #8 of 9
Link to a lot of Andy Cutler's advice on conception and amalgam removal. Good starting point for more reading.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
First of all, many thanks to Tanya for all of her information!

I just wanted to mention what I ended up doing. I chose not to chelate via Andy Cutler's method with DMSA.
Instead I'm doing a homeopathic dental detox as well as using PCA-Rx. These are the main "chelators" that I'm using.
Andy Cutler has done a lot of good research that supports his method, but what I noticed is that he automatically dismisses any other form of chelation. I'm not aware that he has done his own research on homeopathic detox or PCA-Rx so I was a bit put off by his dismissive attitude.
PCA-Rx is relatively new and is said to be a safer form of chelation because it encapsulates the heavy metal so that it's not re-absorbed. They actually use the term calthration to describe it.
I will probably do both of these for around 4 months. Then I will wait a few additional months to assess how I'm feeling.

for additional supplements, I'm taking sodium ascorbate (and trying to do the vitamin c flushes weekly), a multi-vitamin, trace minerals, calcium, and magnesium. I also use the bentonite clay, though more during the time of actual amalgam removal.

When I will be looking to conceive, i still don't know. I want to make sure that most of the heavy metals are out and that my body is healthy. So it's definitely a wait and see situation.
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