Arsenic, Mercury, and Lead – What do They Have to Do with MS?

If it’s one thing I have learned in caring for my spouse, it’s that in order to keep him healthy and functioning at his optimum level, I have to take a holistic approach to his care.  Taking MS drugs to prevent exacerbations helps prevent significant loss of function; however, if his body is not in the best shape possible to fight attacks from viruses or bacteria or if he’s injured or allows his body to become de-conditioned, those issues are just as significant to his well-being as the medication he takes. Therefore, Lynn’s wellness regime includes a diet that targets mitochondrion function (repair of nerve cells); he exercises every day focusing on different muscle groups; and he rests when he gets tired.  At his last neurologist visit, his functioning was better than the visit before and as it had been the visit before that.  In fact, the neurologist stated, “You’re surprisingly better and it’s not due to what I’m doing for you.  Keep up the good work.”  It seems that he’s doing all the right stuff so why is it that he continues to feel so bad?
Lynn has been taking Rebif for almost two years now.  If you’ve taken Rebif or know anyone who has, it has the ability to make you feel like you have the flu; however usually that gets much better as your body adjusts to it.  That hasn’t happened for Lynn.  In addition, as a side-effect of Rebif, his thyroid stimulating hormone levels became high indicating that his thyroid was not working properly.  Hypothyroidism makes you feel cold, extremely fatigued, and generally miserable. So hypothyroidism was blamed for why he felt bad; but then the thyroid levels began to get back to near normal but his fatigue and general malaise seemed worse. Was this just another MS issue he would have to live with? Maybe not….
The best healthcare provider he has had by far to date is not his neurologist but his dietician. She’s amazing. We were having one of our regular consultations with her and describing how bad he felt and she quickly became suspicious that something else might be going on. She asked his primary care doctor to do a urine test for heavy metals.  She requested a six hour provoked test which required him to take some pills that stimulated the release of heavy metals that might be stored in his cells into his bloodstream and later excreted into his urine.  This test would show potentially if he had stored heavy metals in his system that might be affecting his health.  We were shocked at the results!
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