5 Myths About Mercury Detox You Need To Know

Heather Dessinger

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Quicksilver, atomic number 80, hydrargyrum . . . Mercury. It’s been described in lots of ways throughout history, but these days just about everyone from the CDC to the World Health Organization seems to be on the same page about one thing – it’s highly toxic.

Though it’s a naturally occurring element (oddly, the only metal that is liquid at room temperature), it was only present in very small amounts in the surface environment until the past century, when industrial activities began releasing it on a massive scale. Once released, it can circulate in the environment indefinitely – a fact which has sparked an international effort to reduce mercury emissions.

Mercury can cause organ damage, immune system damage, and cognitive problems. (source) It is considered a risk factor for autoimmune disorders in women of childbearing age and has been implicated in a variety of other disorders. I wrote more about what experts have to say on the risks of mercury exposure here.

What are the most common sources of mercury?

According to the World Health Organization, dental amalgams are the primary source of mercury exposure for individuals who have “silver” fillings. (source)  Though they were once believed to be inert, current research shows chewing, drinking hot liquids, brushing teeth and other activities releases mercury vapor from amalgams. (source 1, source 2) It is estimated that about 80% of the inhaled mercury vapor is absorbed by the lungs and dispersed throughout the body. (source)

There are other routes of mercury exposure as well: fish and shellfish, skin lightening creams, and pharmaceutical preservatives, for example.

The Detox Dilemma

Daddypotamus and I have tried to limit our family’s exposure by eating seafood that is low in mercury (you can find a list here), but until last year he did have “silver” fillings. I’ve already shared with you why he opted to have his dental amalgams removed, along with information about removing fillings safely and how to find a provider.

I’d planned to help him detox after the removal (because, as has already been established, exposure is definitely occurring), but after reading several books on the subject and talking to our local holistic doctor I did . . . nothing.

The problem? Once he got to his appointment the dentist expressed concerns about the approach we’d decided on with our holistic M.D., and after considering his input I wasn’t able to find an approach I felt comfortable with.

I continued reading and researching, but I’d pretty much hit a wall until I heard Chris Kresser and Dr. Chris Shade, who founded Quicksilver Scientific, discuss a new approach in this podcast, which led me to several more hours of interviews and scientific articles.

If you’re not familiar with him, Dr. Shade is a specialist in the environmental and analytical chemistries of mercury who developed a patented analytical technology for mercury speciation analysis. (In plain English, that means he’s figured out a way to detect different types of mercury in the body, as well as determine how well the body is eliminating them.)

What I learned helped pull together all the research I’ve been gathering. I highly recommend you listen to the podcast, but if you’re like me you may need to hear it 2-3 times before it all sinks in. Before you pop over, here are some key points that will help it come together.

Please keep in mind that “Best Boo-Boo Kisser South Of Puckett’s Gas Station” is about as official as things get for me professionally. I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. If you need some convincing on this, read my full disclaimer where I say it over and over again. Okay, let’s jump in!


Myth #1: A single diagnostic test can detect all forms of mercury

When it comes to testing individuals for mercury, it’s often assumed that all forms of mercury are equally represented in the results. However, according to Dr. Shade, the form of mercury found in amalgams (inorganic mercury) doesn’t show up in hair analysis, and is poorly represented in blood tests. It might show up in urine, but only if the body’s detox pathways are functioning optimally.

On the other hand, organic mercury (such as methylmercury found in fish) shows up in hair and is better detected in blood. While that’s good information to have, it’s far too easy to overlook the presence of inorganic mercury, which is highly toxic to the body.

Dr. Shade also brings up another issue with testing –  challenge tests. Basically, the idea here is that some individuals with mercury exposure have a difficult time eliminating it. So it may be there, but looking for it in blood/urine/hair isn’t all that helpful if it’s trapped in tissues. When practitioners suspect this might be happening, they sometimes recommend a “challenge test” that uses a chelator like DMSA (meso-2, 3-dimercaptosucccinic acid) to mobilize mercury in the body, then measures what it mobilizes.

Think of it like this: You have a glass of water with sediment in it. If you draw water off the top and test for sediment, it will come back relatively “clean” because the sediment is at the bottom. However, if you stir the glass first, a lot more sediment will be present in the sample. Challenge testing is kind of like that.

The potential problem with this approach is that the low, mid-range, and high levels for mercury were established in people who didn’t receive a chelator. In other words, their “glasses” were not stirred before samples were taken. Those who had a lot of sediment in their samples probably had a lot more sediment at the bottom. In the stirred samples, the overall amount of sediment might be much smaller, but the lab tests will show them to be about equal. This may cause some people to believe that they have “high” levels of mercury when in reality they might have low/average levels compared to the rest of the population. To make the situation even more challenging, some people with severely compromised detox pathways may not excrete much mercury even with the challenge test. This might lead a practitioner to conclude that not much mercury is present when in fact it is.

To solve these problems, Dr. Shade adapted a technique he developed for detecting different forms of environmental mercury – either from chronic or acute exposure – into a diagnostic lab test that doesn’t utilize challenge testing. It’s called the Tri-test, and it determines not only the type of mercury present, but also how well the body is eliminating it. You can find the lab test here. (This is not an affiliate link. I have no financial connection with the lab except as a customer.)

Myth #2: Chelation is the best starting point for everyone

Most mercury detox protocols involve the use of chelators – either natural ones like chlorella or prescription ones like DMSA (meso-2, 3-dimercaptosucccinic acid) or DPMS (2,3-dimercaptopropan-1-sulfonic acid) sometimes used in challenge tests. While they can be useful in mobilizing mercury in the body, according to Dr. Shade that’s only helpful if the body’s detox pathways are working properly and they can flush it out.

For certain people who have compromised detox pathways (either due to the effects of mercury accumulation or genetic mutations such as MTHFR), the mercury may fail to leave the body and move to another part of the body instead. The big concern is that it might move to the brain or another vital organ, which may cause more harm than wherever it was before. (This is also considered by some to be a concern with respect to challenge testing.)

Here’s how Dr. Shade explains it in the interview.

There are plenty of capable practitioners who have made great strides with people with DMPS and DMSA, but these were chelators that were designed for industrial environments. DMPS was made for factory workers in the battery industry in Russia and Eastern Germany that were exposed to very high levels of lead and cadmium, and they were able to take these otherwise healthy people that were clearly just metal toxic and bring down those loads and get them back to work.

But the problem is a lot of the people that we deal with have multifactorial problems. There are some infectious problems, there are leaky gut problems, there are some kidney problems, and that’s leading to them accumulating toxins, like metals, and them being hyper-toxic or hypersensitive to those metals. So trying to grab those metals and say, ‘Well, that’s the only problem; let’s just force them out through the kidneys,’ often leads to more harm than good.”

Rather than take this approach, Dr. Shade starts by supporting the body’s detox pathways – making sure the drains are open, if you will. In scientist-speak that sounds like this:

On a microcosm, that’s the cell and that’s the chemistry in the cell, and so that’s going to turn up the metal’s resistance of the cell as it pushes things out of the cell into the circulating fluids, but that’s also responsible for the macrocosmic effect of moving those metal-glutathione conjugates out into the urine flow, out into the bioflow. So on one level, we turn up the cellular resistance. On a larger level, we turn up what’s called the drainage or the movement of those out of circulation and into fecal excretion and urinary excretion. So upregulating of the glutathione system is the detox approach that we use.”

In practical terms, what you need to know is that he’s developed a supplement protocol that supports detoxification. If you live in a Direct Access Testing (DAT) state, you can order their tests directly. However, in most states the tests need to be obtained through a practitioner. If you don’t have one near you, they do have a practitioner – Dale White, LAc – who works with long-distance clients. You can find a list of DAT states, more info on ordering, and Dale White’s contact information here. (Again, this is not an affiliate link.) Supplements can be ordered directly.

Myth #3: Mercury affects everyone the same way

This myth is not directly related to the podcast, but I think it’s worth including. As mentioned in this post on dental amalgams, some researchers believe that certain individuals are genetically more vulnerable to the adverse effects of mercury than others.

This analysis of a study on children found “evidence of harm,” including neurobehavioral deficits and kidney damage, in children who were exposed to mercury via dental amalgams. The group that seemed to be most susceptible were boys with the CPOX4 genetic mutation, but the analysis says that at least five other mutations “appear to convey increased susceptibility to mercury toxicity.”

Historically, some practitioners used to believe there was a specific cutoff point between “of concern” and “not of concern” numbers. However, as we learn more about epigenetics (the interaction between our genes and environmental factors), the cutoff point seems to be more nuanced.

Myth #4: You can’t detox until all amalgams are removed

So here’s a question that a lot of patients are often concerned with, which is we do the testing, we find out they have high levels of mercury, and they still have dental amalgams, but maybe for financial reasons or where they live, they can’t get them, at least, all taken out immediately, and they want to know whether they can start treatment when they’re still present. And in the past, of course, the idea of starting chelation when you still had amalgams, was not great.” – Chris Kresser

As someone who has been through this with my husband (having to wait until budget and provider availability were both in place), I was SO HAPPY to hear Dr. Shade’s response. Basically, he reiterated that chelation is not a good idea for the reasons discussed above, but optimizing detox pathways with the first phase of his protocol is considered appropriate.

With this system, you can. As I said, you start low and you work up high. You’re not going to go to the highest levels of this while you still have amalgams, but you can do the earliest levels and not have a problem at all.”

Myth #5: You absolutely must have a lab test before getting started

One of the things Chris Kresser brought up in the interview is that many lab tests are not covered and some individuals need to save their money for treatment. While both of them agreed that lab results are helpful, I love that Kresser asked this question:

So is there any risk in someone—a clinician or a patient—doing a therapeutic trial of, like, the Detox Qube protocol without doing the testing?

Dr. Shade’s response:

No. The difference is you have to listen more. You have to listen to your body and your symptoms more and be just more aware of how it’s going. The one thing that is difficult with treatment is when the urine-to-blood ratios are bad, so I would preemptively do kidney support with it. If you do the testing, you decide to add it or don’t add it. If you’re not going to do the testing, absolutely add the kidney support just as a prophylactic measure. And then just be aware of how the treatment is going, and don’t push yourself too hard. If you’re feeling very symptomatic, back up. But there’s no problem as long as you do that.”

This article was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board certified family physician. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Questions about mercury detox?

I’m not an expert, but I am working with a practitioner who is very knowledgeable about Dr. Shade’s protocol. If you have a question leave it below and I’ll see what I can find out for you! (Update: I am not able to give – or pass along – medical advice pertaining to specific situations, but if you have general questions about mercury detox please let us know!)

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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68 thoughts on “5 Myths About Mercury Detox You Need To Know”

  1. I have 9-10 porcelain crowns which I’m fairly certain are covering amalgam fillings. I
    Are they still dangerous or is the vapor output contained?

    • It depends on who you ask. As mentioned on this dental website (http://winaturaldentist.com/position-on-dental-amalgams-mercury-fillings/), “Whereas a dentist in Wisconsin can lose his license for informing a patient about the potential health hazards of dental mercury, a dentist in California will lose his license if he doesn’t do so (to learn more about how the California legislature has dissolved the California Dental Board, see our Links).”

      The practitioner I am working with is not a dentist, but perhaps you can get in touch with someone through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology website and see if they feel free to speak candidly on the subject? https://iaomt.org/

      • In the states, they still believe in Amalgam, even as of August 2018!
        In Costa Rica – they don’t use it anymore (in the private health sector) and they have the proper safe procedures to remove Amalgam.

  2. So, should testing, etc be done before fillings are removed or can we gosh rad and get them removed and then figure out the best detox plan? ?

    • Maggie, I heard a biological dentist (who is well-versed in all the necessary steps for *proper* removal of amalgam fillings) in an interview once, and he indicated that he requires his patients to have a detox plan in place; he has someone who works with his office to help patients with the detox and nutritional support and so forth, and if patients aren’t working with that practitioner, he at least requires them to be working with somebody (another practitioner of their choosing who is competent in these issues). So I would say you should first make sure you are having the fillings removed by a biological dentist who knows that they are doing to truly protect you during the removal process, and also have a detox plan in place. It sounds like Heather has tried to find a plan after the fact only because their initial plan raised some concerns with the dentist. I had some fillings removed a number of years back, and the reason I was eager to read this article is because just in the past week or so I’ve been wondering if some of the health challenges I’ve had are due to the removal of those fillings back then. Please don’t just go get them removed without thoroughly checking things out and finding a knowledgeable biological dentist. I’ve also heard stories from others who had fillings removed and then developed severe health problems. It’s not an easy situation — on the one hand, we want the fillings removed, but on the other hand, doing so in an improper way can actually be far worse than leaving them in. It’s not just a matter of detoxing what got stored in the body during the time the amalgams were in your mouth; it’s also a matter of the removal process, which can emit mercury as the process is being carried out. So it’s necessary to protect the patient properly during the removal, AND to detox anything that is stirred up during that process AND what has been accumulated in the body over the duration of the fillings being in the mouth.

      • I would definitely recommend working with a practitioner to have a plan in place. I actually did when my husband went in for his removal, but as Elizabeth guessed the dentist raised concerns based on his experience. He suggested an interim plan, which we followed while I collaborated with a different practitioner to work up a more thorough protocol.

        • Was you our protocol the Quicksilver products?

          And did your husband have amalgams on both sides of his mouth? If so were they removed in the same session?

    • The test can be performed while nursing, but the practitioners I have spoken with do not recommend detoxing until after weaning due to the likelihood that it will pass through breast milk. Some of Dr. Shade’s protocol (the first few steps to supporting the body’s natural detox pathways) might be appropriate, but I would talk to a knowledgeable practitioner before deciding on that. It still might be good info to have, though. I was concerned that my husband’s levels would come back very high, but as it turns out they were low. That was very helpful info that gave us peace of mind.

      • I have two small amalgam fillings from when I was 6 years old (ironically, I didn’t even have cavities at that time, my molars just came in with dimples in the sides and even though they were fully enamaled, the dentist convinced my mother they should be filled…oh how I wish she had researched this or known then what we know now!!). Anyway, I was about to have them removed last year and then we had a suprise pregnancy. My dentist practices mercury-safe removal and recommended that I still have them removed after baby was born, but I am nursing exclusively and I am worried that this might affect baby. Do you know if my nursling is more likely to be exposed to mercury if I have them removed using mercury-safe protocol, or if I leave them in for the next couple years (we practice child led weaning so I expect to be nursing for a while). I have looked it up but can’t find consistent answers. Thank you Heather!

        • Unfortunately, because I am not a healthcare practitioner I am unable to speak to specific situations. This question would be best answered by a mercury-safe dentist rather than the detox practitioner I am working with. Perhaps it would be a good idea to call a dentist listed through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (iaomt.org) and see if you can get a second opinion that clarifies things for you? Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

          • Thanks, as I said above, I did ask my mercury safe dentist and she said it was fine but that goes against what I had read so I was wondering if you had seen any information about it in your research and could point me in the right direction. I can’t be the only one in this situation but there is so much conflicting information out there.

        • My holistic dentist recommended that I wait until after I am done nursing to have my amalgams removed/go through the detox.

      • I’m both nursing, and we are trying to have another baby. I really want my amalgams removed, and to detox. But it sounds like it’s a bad idea. Do you have information on the affects on a growing fetus either for detoxing, removing amalgams, or exposing them to mercury by keeping the amalgams in?

  3. My mother-in-law says she had her silver fillings removed after her kidney was taken out. She was already detoxing through it all. I told her about this article and she says just to get the filling taken out and no need for detox as I have just one. Am I in less need for detox with one filling?

    • Though I cannot speak to specific situations, this analysis may be helpful to you. “The World Health Organization estimates that the typical absorbed dose of mercury from amalgams is 1–22 micrograms per day (μg/d), with most people incurring doses of less than 5 μg/d (IPCS 2003). Considerable variation exists, with an upper range of ~100 μg/d associated with gum chewing (Berlin et al. 2007). Exposure variables include the total amalgam surface area, the physical and chemical composition of the amalgam, the mechanical stresses of chewing and bruxism, the proximity to other metals, and the oral conditions of temperature, pH, and negative air pressure.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905169/

  4. Does any of this information transfer to someone who was exposed to a broken lightbulb with mercury in it?
    Also: thank you! What a Great article

    • In his interview with Chris Kresser, Dr. Shade mentioned several routes of exposure that his protocol addresses. One was environmental exposure – skin lightening creams, etc.

  5. Thank you for addressing the evil that is mercury, Heather. I would encourage you to look into Dr. Andrew Hall Cutler’s book “Amalgam Illness”. It’s a treasure trove of information on mercury and chelation. I think you will find it very interesting.

    • I have read it. I know many people have found it to be beneficial, but some have expressed concerns about its effect on certain individuals, particularly those with low-functioning detox pathways. Personally, I felt more comfortable Dr. Shade’s protocol.

    • Hi.
      I am trying to work through the different protocols, which is right for me. I’m pretty toxic, so I want to choose carefully.
      How would I know if I should do Cutler or Shade? I’ve been to 2 functional MDs and felt worse after having ALA.
      So overwhelming.
      Any feedback appreciated.

      • Valerie, my husband is in the same situation. Did you find out which protocol was better for you? We are trying to decide between the two now. Thank you 🙂

  6. Alpha Lipoic Acid is the best chelator for mercury but it has to be started in a very low dose and worked up to a higher dose over a period of 1-3 years. DMSA is great for lead chelation. Andy Cutler has a book and a great protocol for mercury chelation that is very safe as it starts at such low doses. Thanks for the article as this is such an important topic for our times.

    Mom’s expose their babes in utero to mercury if they get vaccinations or have amalgams in place. The toxicity of mercury is cumulative over generations.

  7. So what do you think about Nutritional Balancing and mercury detox? I know that you had mentioned Nutritional Balancing (with your daughter I believe) previously and that you were going to write about it soon. I am just curious if this approach could be helpful with detox after amalgam removal.

  8. You recommend working with a “practitioner” for detox but specifically what type of practitioner? Would that be a functional medicine Doctor?

  9. Heather what are your suggestions if you don’t live near any practitioners that use Dr. Shades protocols but have already had Mercury fillings removed safely by a biological dentist?

    • Hi Nancy, I would contact Quicksilver Scientific and ask for a list of practitioners that consult with clients via Skype or another remote service.

  10. Hi Heather,
    Sorry if this has been asked, but have you researched anything or have advise about how long one should wait to get pregnant after having amalgam fillings removed? My holistic dentist recommended 18 months. Do you have any tips to help this process along? I have two healthy babies currently and there is no way my husband will let me wait that long for our last baby. LOL 😉

    • Even if you’re not getting your amalgams removed, it’s good to wait 18 months between pregnancies so your body can recover–not just physically from birth but also nutritionally, hormonally and mentally.
      Also, caring for a helpless human being is hard work, and harder with toddlers!
      Be sure to take care of you, mama!

  11. We’ve been going through a major mercury detox journey with my husband as well. My husband was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as an adult (although it is very mild and most people wouldn’t guess). He does get frustrated with certain aspects of it, and would love to be healthier. He did do the GAPS diet for two years and had a lot of improvement from that, but we feel there is more that can be done. He also has chronic athlete’s foot that will not go away no matter what we do, and we learned that candida and mercury have a symbiotic relationship and you can’t really get candida under control while there is mercury in the system. At first we found a practitioner through the Quicksilver Scientific website after reading a book called “Mercury Detoxification Simplified.” This practitioner turned out to not be a genuine Quicksilver Scientific practitioner, but was listed because he used some of Christopher Shade’s products. He was helpful, but went a more old-fashioned route of chelation with cilantro and chlorella. He also said we were better off leaving the amalgams in for now. The chelation made my husband feel pretty bad at first, and then he didn’t feel much different. We next found out about Andrew Culter’s chelation method using small doses of ALA and DMSA. We learned about this from the Wise Traditions Podcast. We’ve read “Amalgam Illness,” and have decided to get the amalgams removed. Andrew Cutler does not advise doing chelation with the amalgams in. We also thought about it more, and decided that the mercury is probably going to keep causing problems the longer it’s in his mouth. He would love to get rid of brain fog, poor coordination, the athlete’s foot, and other symptoms. We researched and found the safest biological dentist near us (still a 3 hour drive away) and have the removal scheduled in a few weeks. We plan to start the very low dose Andrew Cutler chelation after the removal, following the protocol in his book. We have already begun the support supplements. Just thought I’d share our experience, since the mercury detox/amalgam journey is so near and dear to our hearts. 🙂 I hope your husband’s experience continues to be good!

  12. Thanks for the great information! Can you tell me if Alpha lipoic acid is part of the Quicksilver detox program. I’ve read lots of conflicting information on the mechanism of action of alpha lipoic acid. It was recommended to someone I know for their diabetes. It this person has lots of fillings. She hasn’t taken it because of all the conflicting info out there. I don’t want her to get in chelation mode. And she has two copies of MTHFR A1298C. So i fear this could be a dangerous combination when paired with ALA. Any good resources you would recommend? Her functional doc is saying it’s safe but I’m hearing differing opinions through others actual experience.

  13. So, what are the phase 1 detox protocols one should follow prior to having amalgams removed? It seems it’s not recommended to use chlorella while you still have the amalgams in your mouth, but I didn’t see any links or mention of the safer, type 1 phases of detox that he recommends?

  14. Excellent article and resources to study as we get those amalgams removed! I was unfortunate in that I had 14 removed, without any protective covers over my mouth or nose, and then went on to have health issues including two miscarriages in one year. I believe my body needed to detox from the mercury exposure, not only in my mouth, but the poor removal of all those fillings.
    Thank you! May this information help others stay healthy and make right decisions when getting fillings as well as detoxing after removal.

    • Hi Julia,
      I’ve recently had 3 removed unsafely and am worried about future health problems. Have you been on a program and have your health issues eased.

  15. So if I go to a biological dentist to have my amalgams removed, would I expect no symptoms until I started a program to chelate?

  16. Can you share how your husbands treatment with the Dr. Shades protocol has been going? Where are you in the program and what have you noticed has changed if anything? Successes, setbacks, observations?

  17. Hi, sorry I’m curious… so what is it that you guys did in the end as a protocol for your husband before and after he had his amalgams taken out?

  18. I had Mercury from a broken thermometer in my mouth years ago I suffer from most of those symptoms at varying times sometimes to an extreme is it possible that mercury is the cause?

  19. Heather thank you so much for
    Publishing this article. I’m on the same boat. I just had my tri-test done and I am
    Waiting for the results.
    I found a practitioner on Quixk
    silver website and I have been
    Working with her for the past two months. I had my 4
    Amalgam removed and 2 root canal teeth extracted . I am waiting on my results to start the chelation protocol. I’m hoping that all goes
    Well and I can get pregnant afterwards. Not sure when would be safe time to get pregnant.
    Please keep us posted how your husbands healing journey goes. That would be very helpful to all of us who are going through a similar situation.
    Thank you

  20. I also feel that; amalgams, most fish, and vaccines contain mercury. I would also recommend reading books by the late Dr. Hal Huggins. I would only have dental work done with a Holistic Dentist. I think that near infared sauna could speed up the detoxing. I have seen this with the hair mineral analysis I have done with my clients…

  21. Great article, but what if you live in a rural area where the only dentists within reasonable driving distance are traditional? Can you safely have amalgam fillings removed using a detox protocol?

    • I would guess that the level of mercury you are exposed to during removal would be far higher, thus increasing the level of toxicity you are likely to face afterward. Is it safe? I would consider it a gamble. It probably depends on how toxic your body is to begin with and on your genetic predisposition to things like autoimmune diseases. An amount of mercury that might push one person over the edge might not have noticeable effects on another.

  22. how can I support my kidneys while doing the Andy Cutler protocol.
    So far I have just been using ALA as my body couldnt cope with DMSA. Its been effective but very slow.
    I was hoping that if I could support my kidneys somehow I might be able to do low dose DMSA. I did a few rounds on just 12.5mg of dmsa and ALA and results started coming so much faster than with ALA alone. But I am worried about damaging my kidneys. Blood tests have already shown I have protein in the urine. I was very severely mercury toxic and think this may have caused some damage to kidneys. But I cant help thinking that the redistribution from ALA alone might also be hurting the kidneys.

    • Hi Helena. I’m not sure I have an answer for you. I was taking Douglas Labs’ all-food + N-A-C De-Mer-Tox & could handle very little. Then I moved somewhere where the air pressure is lower. (Don’t ask me why or if it’s a side effect from the mercury itself, I’m sensitive to air pressure).
      I became able to handle far more of this product as well as chlorella.
      We have genes for so many things, & getting away from One Thing that affects us negatively can sometimes alleviate other problems.
      But I’ve tried ALA & DMSA myself & felt almost nothing with either, indicating they were doing little to nothing to chelate anything from me.
      We’re all different, so I can only hope anything I said “might be a clue” that can help you. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  23. Hello Heather!
    This information is all so valuable. Thank you and God bless you for taking the time to share.
    Regarding Myth #4 : ….”optimizing detox pathways with the first phase of his protocol is considered appropriate.”
    Please may I ask where to find this information? I’ve searched and searched, checking Dr. Shade, Quicksilver, and Chris Kessler sites. No doubt user error lol.
    Thank you for your time!

  24. Don’t do it with amalgams in your mouth. You will be injured. Join the Andy Cutler Chelation group on FB and get familiarized with how to properly chelate. Many on the FB group have been injured because of Dr. Shade’s protocol.

    • I’m not connected to Dr. Shade or Dr. Cutler, but I have read Dr. Cutlers book and followed Dr. Shade’s work. In fact, I was planning to implement Dr. Cutlers protocol after my husband had his amalgams removed, but the mercury-safe dentist who removed them strongly asked me to reconsider because he felt it was too risky for my husband’s particular case. That’s what led me to keep researching and find Dr. Shade. I believe Dr. Cutler has contributed immensely to our understanding of detoxification and I don’t say that to take away from that at all, but only to share that there are multiple perspectives out there.

      In addition to my own positive experience, one of the practitioners I most respect – Chris Kresser – has used it with great results. Were those that reported negative outcomes working with a practitioner to make sure it was implemented properly? Were they using other therapies as well which could be a factor? Those are some of the questions I’d want to know before making a conclusion.

      • Heather,

        It sounds like you made the decision to go with Dr. Shade’s protocol a few years ago. How did it turn out? Is it something you would recommend?


  25. I have both a highly skilled dentist who extracted my amalgams and MD who are all about Hg detox, who know Chris and have attended training in person, say the QuickSilver, Intestinal Metal Detox (IMD) was questionable. Cutler also pointed out the limitations to silica thiol. Further, when you read on IMD it asserts excising the Hg via the GI tract. Where retorts claim the kidneys still take a fair amount of the load. Please comment.

    Further, if Chris Shade was so certain that IMD was the best route why is he currently working with Haley on NMBI formerly Ros1? It makes no sense if in fact Chris was 100% all in on the protocol he sells.

    Does anyone have any data on how much IR saunas and coffee enemas can offset kidney loads during detox?

  26. Hi Heather,
    I wanted to ask you if you finally saw some improvements with IMD protocol and if so, Could you give me your practitioners number? many thanks!!!

  27. Hi Heather,
    I am detoxing from mercury with the loose help of a chiropractor. Through my research I have added to the protocol she prescribed me and I seem to be getting results, however, I’m unfamiliar with the detox symptoms one should expect when detoxing from mercury. I haven’t been able to locate anything online addressing this topic and my chiropractor has only suggested that the mercury is moving around as it’s coming out, based on both my symptomology & a muscle-test. For example, I had terrible feelings of constriction in my legs for weeks prior to the detox and with the detox, the constricted feelings have vanished, my calcium levels and parathyroid function have leveled out as well. I’ve been feeling some digestive challenges with extreme fullness and fatigue after eating, along with a metallic taste in my mouth which are out of the ordinary for me. My chiropractor diagnosed this as saying the metals had moved to my digestive system. Are these normal symptoms? The metallic taste seems to have gone but I’d like to find some answers as to what to expect moving forward. I appreciate your time and look forward to your answer. Thank you! ~ Jenn

  28. this was so helpful. YOu have no idea. I understand your disclaimer and your limitations yet since initiating a detox too suddently my head is being sliced apart and I cannot listen to Kessner as I usually do> I have the apo4 gene. I am supposed to start iv chelation infusions. I want to know how to support my liver first off, what in the name to do about these blinding headaches in reaction to mercury detox, and despite purchasing the urine test where you drink the binder and catch samples for six hours and the hair analysis now I feel liek I have to get the test linked here as I NEED accurate numbers (fibromyalgia 15 years with flare ups becoming so bad almost on disablity/migraines/severede sepression and psychological symptoms—very severe) …getting amalalms out at some point. grateful any feedback esp about the apo4 gene…am I just gonna suffer through this detox and not get it out or does it just mean i have to go slower?? I have a naturopath on all this but you know weeks away until next appointment and simply cannot stop researching.

    • Hi Katie, you may also want to research how fiber can enhance your metals detox. Psyllium is a good source. I have found that the combination of psyllium and bentonite clay are quite helpful in sweeping metals from the colon; the clay absorbs the metals. This might be something to add to your research list, it has worked very well for me. A binder is helpful in order to absorb the metals so side-effects from chelation are minimized. Colon health can adversely effect everything else which is where the fiber is important. Perhaps you have fiber already in your binder. Thought I’d mention just in case! Totally feel ya in regards to needing answers in between doctor visits! Hope this helps. 🙂

    • Hi Katie. We’re all different, so I’m in the same dilemma as Heather herself legally. I can only tell you what’s worked for me. (Severe CFS that also got to be F-M pain after swallowing a chunk of mercury during the procedure to get the old fillings removed).
      Douglas Labs’ De-Mer-Tox is The Strongest chelator that seems to be working the most effectively for me without side effects. It’s all food & N-A-C which may even be beneficial for the apo4 gene (if I only knew what that was).
      I’ve had limited success with chlorella, but it always makes me feel a little bit off. Everything else has been specific to me. I’ve got a few sensitivities that seem to have affected things, & I’m moving next month to an apartment & neighborhood where I feel better. WHY do I feel better there than here? Who knows? I don’t usually know WHAT I’m reacting to.
      I can react to odors without knowing what they are. But I mention this because if you’ve noticed you feel better some places, you may have some of these sensitivities as well, & life would improve if you can get away from them.
      What IS the apo4 gene?