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Acute mercury poisoning

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by jpotter, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. jpotter

    jpotter Welcome New Poster

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    Hi- just wondering if anyone has experience with acute mercury poisoning. Have a 26yr old male client who works in mining industry and was cleaning out an old tank with lace up non waterproof boots and no mask- was exposed to 900 times the recommended level of 'safe' evaporative mercury for 2 hours and has acute mercury poisoning since. its taken 3 months for his urine levels to show levels to now be slightly elevated- toxicologist said it will be further 7 months before all is eliminated. Since it happened has what seems to be bilateral acute medial plantar fasciitis- can;t walk more than 2 metres and extremely painful to touch. however also has had tingling/ burning pain in forefoot and digits- had nerve conduction tests by neurologist who said no damage done. He feels okay except sever foot pain and only way out is in wheelchair. His GP has him on NSAIDs for so called inflammation- sore foot but has also had him having deep tissue massage to the area whci client said was amazingly painful. Bought himself some preformed shop orthotics but said they made it worse. My question is can this be a preexisting condition which was going to occur anyway or can it have been made worse by the mercury- which was absorbed by the feet when water was used to wash out the tank . The skin of the feet has also a white blotchy apperance- skin intact however. Thanks-any ideas/ etc would be greatly appreciated. Julie Potter
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    This is from the lecture notes i used to give students:
    Almost always, the effects we are likely to see are neurological (tremor, bradykinesia, peripheral neuropathy). There are some musculoskeletal symptoms associated with it, but I not heard of plantar fasciitis.

    Here is the eMedicine and Wikipedia articles:
  3. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member


    I was quite interested by your posting so I searched the literature and this pretty much summarises what they all say. Most of the research into mercury poisoning is from the dental profession because the silver dental fillings contain 50% mercury which apparently the vapour is turned into methylated mercury by bacteria in the gut and is extremely toxic especially to the brain and CNS.
    Most pathology, signs and symptoms appear to be aetiological of neurological changes.
    Perhaps neurological changes have changed the timming or strength of muscles in the lower limb which lead to increased load on the plantar fascia.

    Mercury poisoning symptoms

    Signs & Symptoms of Mercury Vapor Exposure

    1. Psychological Disturbances (erethysm)
    Irritability, Nervousness, Fits of Anger, Memory Loss, Lack of Attention, Depression, Low Self Confidence, Anxiety, Drowsiness, Shyness/timidity, Decline of Intellect, Insomnia, Low Self Control.

    2. Oral Cavity Disorders
    Bleeding Gums, White Patches - Mouth, Stomatitis, Bone Loss Around Teeth, Loosening of Teeth, Ulcers of Gums- Palate- Tongue, Excessive Saliva, Burning of Mouth, Foul Breath, Gum Pigmentation, Metalic Taste.

    3. Gastrointestinal Effects
    Abdominal Cramps, Colitis, Crohn's disease, Gastrointestinal Problems, Diarrhea.

    4. Systemic Effects
    Cardiovascular, Irregular Heart Beat, Changes in Blood Pressure, Feeble or Irregular Pulse, Pain or Pressure in Chest

    5. Neurologic
    Chronic or Frequent Headaches, Dizziness, Ringing or Noises in Ears, Fine Tremors (Hands, Feet, Eye Lids, Tongue)

    6. Respiratory
    Persistant Cough, Emphysema, Shallow or Irregular Breathing.

    7. Immunological
    Allergies, Asthma, Rhinitis, Sinusitis, Swollen Lymph Nodes in Neck

    8. Endocrine
    Subnormal Temperature, Cold Clammy Hands & Feet, Excessive Perspiration, Muscle Weakness, Fatigue, Hypoxia, Edema, Loss of Appetite, Loss of Weight, Joint Pain

    The primary symptoms of mercury-poisoning are vague psychic ones. Short-time memory deteriorates. You will find it difficult to concentrate on tasks which require attention and thinking. It is easier to execute tasks that are well known rather than to learn something new. You avoid social contacts which demand that you get out of your introvert behavior. You loose your temper easily and switch between different moods for no particular reason. Little by little, a more physical kind of exhaustion is added to the condition. More and more effort is required to initiate activities and sometimes break things due to inability to co-ordinate your movements with your visual impressions (ataxia). Occasional headaches, minor involuntary muscle spasms or ticks within groups of muscles can also appear. Hands and feet become easily cold, attacks of dizziness or vertigo can occur, and periodically you may find it difficult to focus your eyes and to see clearly. Joint and muscle pains, stiffness, lumbago and similar symptoms often appear at an early stage. They can be caused or increased by low availability of the trace element selenium. Nervous heart, sometimes accompanied by a week pulse, sometimes by a hard pulse, creates a feeling of anxiety. You don't sleep well, you wake up stiff and never feel thoroughly rested. As a whole you need more sleep than before, and you are constantly tired. Some individuals develop pronounced intestinal and stomach disturbances. Bloating is common and diarrhea can alternate with constipation. From 50 to 200 micrograms mercury from amalgam daily passes the gastrointestinal tract. There is usually irritation where mercury first interacts with tissues. The upper respiratory tract easily becomes chronically inflamed and symptoms in mouth appear. The gums bleed when you brush your teeth, red and white irritations (lichen, leukoplakia) araise, blisters and sensitivity to certain nutritives develop, ypur teeth ache, the whole jaw can become more or less inflamed, and some persons develop sinusitis. Metal taste in your mouth is a direct sign of metal-poisoning (mercury, copper). The more poisoned you are, the more serious and chronic your problems become. The piruitary gland will be affected which often leads to frequent urination. When the thyroid gland is affected secondary effects on metabolism can appear. Both glands accumulate mercury. neurological symptoms such as numbness, hypersensitivity and paralysis exacerbate. It is often hard to determine if the cause is in the nervous or circulatory systems..."

    Nothing about muscle or soft tissue pathology in general or the feet in particular.

    Cheers Dave Smith
  4. JFlatts

    JFlatts Welcome New Poster

    Hello Dave,

    I have experience with mercury poisoning (from silver fillings being removed incorrectly) directly linked to feet that feel like one has plantar fasciitis. The best way to rule out plantar fasciitis is to have an MRI done. The Radiologist will most likely say the patient does not have plantar fasciitis. This is why orthodicts don't work, nor does stretching, etc.... Turns out the foot pain (both feet) is due to being allergic to thimerosal (mercury preservative). Thus, when the silver fillings in the teeth were removed incorrectly....it manifested in the lowest point in the body or weakest link....the feet. One needs to be hooked up to oxygen with a silver filling specialist dentist (not a general dentist). See "youtube" and "removing silver fillings." The hard part is actually discovering why the feet hurt....if it's not plantar fasciitis then heavy metal testing is a great next step. After determining heavy metals exists then detox seems the way to go. How has your patient detoxed?


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