Meet author David Hammond, recovering from industrial lead and mercury poisoning

Please meet David Hammond, author of the remarkable new book Mercury Poisoning: the Undiagnosed Epidemic. I’m still reading the Kindle version but already after reading a quarter of the book have learned some things that have transformed my understanding of  the illness I’m suffering from (will post about those insights later). For now, let me just encourage you to read this superb book with me (and post your reviews on Amazon as a thank you to David). Here are the headlines of David’s story in his own words:

SAMSUNGWhen I was in my mid-20s I worked in a steel mill in the desert town of Whyalla in South Australia. I stood close by as molten steel was poured from a 100-ton vat into smaller ingots of about 10 tons. After it was poured, it was my job to apply clay to seal the cracks that formed in the ingots, so that the steel didn’t leak out. Even in the middle of summer I wore a thick woolen coat and a plastic visor to protect myself against splashes of steel.

One day in the middle of a shift, I suddenly felt extremely tired and sat down behind a girder to rest. Somehow I managed to fall asleep in the midst of the chaos and noise. The foreman found me just after I had woken. He was livid as I had held up production, but he saw how ill I was and didn’t fire me. The next day I woke with a dozen ulcers in my mouth and throat, pain in the lymph glands in my groin and armpits, a metallic taste in my mouth and diarrhea that resulted in more than ten bowel movements per day.

These symptoms were constant for several months and then became intermittent. I would have a relapse every month or six weeks which would last for ten days to two weeks. A bout was preceded by a metallic taste in my mouth and depression, and then the ulcers, lymph pain and diarrhea would set in.

I went to a number of doctors and specialists but no-one could give me a diagnosis. This was in the days before the internet – so I spent a lot of time in the medical library at the local university researching possible causes. One of the possibilities was mercury poisoning, as my symptoms were consistent with mercury toxicity, but I couldn’t figure out how I could have gotten mercury poisoning from steel, which is basically iron and carbon. About ten years after I became sick I had all my amalgams replaced, but I didn’t notice any improvement in my symptoms.

Over decades, the intensity of some of my symptoms decreased, but at the same time I developed chronic fatigue and my insomnia got worse. I was extremely thirsty and would drink four or five liters of water a day. I also had a constant pain in my face from sinusitis that nothing would relieve and frequent abdominal discomfort of an unknown origin. I was anxious and avoided company.

Fortunately, about 30 years after I became sick, I read an article on a website about a new law that was to be implemented in steel mills in the US. The government had decided that cars must have all the mercury switches removed before they are scrapped. About 25 to 30% of the iron in steel comes from scrap metal, and the main source of scrap metal is cars. So now I knew how I had been poisoned and this lead to the frequent chelation group and Andy Cutler’s protocol.

Below is my hair test after I had done only a few rounds of 12.5 mg DMSA. I apparently had normal cell transport but high levels of many of the toxic elements.

david-hammond-hair-test-before

After chelating for a year, some of the toxic elements decreased but nickel increased dramatically. I eventually realized this was because of my medic-alert necklace, which was crusted with a green oxide from perspiration. The necklace contained nickel which I absorbed through my skin. I replaced the necklace with a leather band, and a year later nickel had returned to a normal level.

Supplementation with numerous vitamins and minerals moved the essential elements to the right.

david-hammond-hair-test-after

For the first year of chelation I only used adrenal extract for adrenal support as I couldn’t get a prescription for hydrocortisone. I finally found an online supplier that did not require a script and started at 30 mg of HC per day. This was the amount I needed to maintain my body temperature at 37.0° C. As I continued to chelate there were times when my body temperature would increase to 37.3° C and I knew it was time to reduce my dose of HC. After 2.5 years on HC I am down to 10 mg of HC per day.

Like everyone else, I was worried about taking HC and was concerned about keeping the dose to a minimum. Now I am of the opinion that it is important to dose according to symptoms, rather than an arbitrary figure. Cortisol is required for the utilization of thyroid hormones and if the dosage is not optimal I think it will delay our recovery.

After 3.5 years of chelation I guess I am 70 to 80% better.

  • sleep much better, wake less and feel refreshed in the morning
  • balance is normal
  • thirst almost normal
  • sometimes fatigue in the afternoons and post-exercise, but nothing like the complete exhaustion I use to experience
  • able to drink one or two beers without adverse effects
  • no sinus problems
  • skin is not itchy
  • no longer have periods where I can’t focus my eyes
  • less impatient
  • no anxiety
  • only occasional postural hypotension
  • less tension in shoulder/neck muscles

I was probably exposed to a higher level of mercury than most people due to my industrial exposure and dental amalgams. I anticipate that I will need to do another couple of years of chelation to remove the rest of the heavy metals in my body. Currently I am taking 100 mg DMPS and 150 mg ALA every three hours when chelating.

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  • avatar

    Ron L September 13, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Hi Kim, did you see David Hammond’s recent post which was probably a reply to your post? “If you start with DMPS, you can take it every 8 hours so you don’t need to wake at night. At some stage you will
    need to take alpha lipoic acid every 3 hours to get the mercury out of your brain. Taking ALA at a period longer than
    the half life will shift mercury into your brain. Don’t take chelators if you still have dental amalgams.

    David. “

  • avatar

    David Hammond September 13, 2015, 1:19 pm

    If you start with DMPS, you can take it every 8 hours so you don’t need to wake at night. At some stage you will
    need to take alpha lipoic acid every 3 hours to get the mercury out of your brain. Taking ALA at a period longer than
    the half life will shift mercury into your brain. Don’t take chelators if you still have dental amalgams.

    David.

  • avatar

    kim August 25, 2015, 6:53 am

    Is there an alternative to the Cutler Protocol? Is the Quicksilver/Christopher Shade protocol effective? Need to sleep.

  • avatar

    Eula June 8, 2015, 2:07 am

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our
    entire community will be thankful to you.

  • avatar

    Kim March 1, 2015, 7:21 am

    Hello,

    I became severely ill with CFS and Fibromyalgia after a dentist irresponsibly removed old amalgams/filled cavities with 6 new amalgams. I have intense neurological/CNS issues and horrible exhaustion every day and my symptoms grow worse by the month. Just two years ago, I was a playful, curious, creative, spontaneous, adventurous spirit and now I am housebound and in constant discomfort. My worst symptom, aside from the “fatigue” and daily flu-like symptoms is that I feel like my head and chest are plugged into an electrical socket. I feel like I’m slowly being electrocuted. It’s terrifying and it’s only getting worse.

    So, I don’t know if my body can take what is necessary to chelate. Sleep is vital for me, and I know that, because of chronic insomnia/hypersomnia, I would not respond well to waking up through the night (I need 11 hours sleep) in order to take ALA. And, I know for some that amalgam removal and chelation makes them much more ill, if it has any effect at all.

    What do you suggest for me, a person who is terribly ill with CFS/Fibro triggered by mercury? I know that treating this illness involves many modalities, mercury detox being just one. But, the other treatments (glutathione and mitochondria repair) involve nutrients that cannot be taken if one has amalgams. Should I invest the $5000-$10,000 in having amalgams replaced? Or do I let sleeping dogs lie? I would love to hear your opinion.

    • avatar

      Eric March 1, 2015, 4:51 pm

      sorry to say it Kim, but I strongly believe you cannot recover without removing your amalgams… my heart goes out to you!

    • avatar

      HappyManatee March 3, 2015, 8:21 pm

      Hi Kim,

      I can’t tell you how I feel for you and the unfair situation you find yourself in. It seems you need some expert guidance. I found this site recently and if I were in your shoes, I would think about contacting this lady. I hope Eric doesn’t mind me pasting this info here, this lady found her way out of mercury poisoning herself and now helps others:

      http://mercurymadness.info/my-story/

      I couldn’t read through her story without balling because I had been there. I truly pray you find your answers.

      HappyManatee

      • avatar

        Eric March 6, 2015, 12:17 am

        wow, what a story that is! thanks for posting..

  • avatar

    Clare Wilson November 26, 2014, 9:40 pm

    Hi I have just found out that I have severe mercury poisoning. I have severe systemic yeast of the small intestine too. I am so worried what to do have ordered David’s book and have the andy cutler book too.
    I am seeing a holistic dentist to have my amalgums removed next week. Sadly I did the challenge test with 10 caps of DMSA and feel terrible as if I am loosing my mind. I have been told not to take DMSA or any other heavy chelators by a lady who was also mercury poisoned in the uk and has a helpline she says chelation can be achieved naturally and that DMSA can do more harm. At a cross roads now not knowing what to do so trying to find success stories using the cutler protocol? Any advice I would be grateful I just want my life back as I am too sick to work have two small kids and my husband has now left me because of my health x

  • avatar

    Cynthia September 23, 2014, 6:12 pm

    Hello David, just purchased your book. Is it possible to email me as I have some info to share.

    Thank you…

  • avatar

    Jon Valle July 8, 2014, 5:59 am

    I was diagnosed with mercury vapor poisoning while as a lab technician about 13 years ago. I was performing porosity tests using a mercury porosimeter. have not been able to work since and continue to suffer varying symptoms quite similar to the ones you describe. My employers insurer ( H.I.H.) went broke and dissapeared not long after my claim for mercury poisoning was accepted. I received no treatment whatsoever.and remain pretty distressed by the whole matter. could you refer to me a toxicologist / specialist that has had some experience in this field. This has cost me my health, my career and the loss of my family. I hope you can help me. I am located north of Sydney, NSW

    • avatar

      Eric July 11, 2014, 2:15 am

      Jon, my impression is that most people handle their treatment on their own without the aid of a doctor – reading Dr. Cutler’s books would be a good place to start…

    • avatar

      David Hammond July 11, 2014, 3:15 am

      Hi Jon,

      you may be better off without a toxicologist. Most are unaware of Cutler’s protocol and are more likely to want to treat you with intravenous DMPS, which can have disastrous consequences for some people.

      You may be able to find a GP who will support you throughout the process of chelation. A couple of Australian doctors mentioned on the yahoo frequent dose chelation group are

      Dr Frank Golik 702 Sandgate Road 4011 Clayfield QLD

      and an Adelaide doctor, Dr. Tim Hall, http://www.pimedicine.com.au/ who follows Cutler’s protocol. He apparently does Skype consultations.

      Don’t be persuaded to try a challenge test to determine your heavy metal status. You can get most of your questions answered at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/frequent-dose-chelation/info

      Good luck.

      • avatar

        Robyn July 12, 2014, 12:10 pm

        I live in Adelaide and can highly recommend Dr Tim Hall. He is very kind and knowledgable doctor who actually listens to you and works with you.

  • avatar

    Diane June 23, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Thanks for this information. My husband has been dealing with heavy metal toxicity mainly from diesel fuel as he drove truck for 12 years. Have you done IV chelation?

    • avatar

      Eric June 28, 2014, 11:56 pm

      hi Diane, I have not done IV chelation as I understand it may be dangerous, works great for some people and harms others…

  • avatar

    Dee April 13, 2014, 5:09 pm

    Thanks for printing this story and for mentioning this truly important book.  I’ve been chelating just 10 months (in the middle of “dump” phase – just horrible).  We need blogs like this and Hammonds book so that others will make the connection.  I believe it is an epidemic.  Once you see all of the symptoms in yourself and then look around out in the world and recognize it in other people, it’s mind blowing.  Yet, I feel I can’t say anything to those I know are mercury (and possibly other metal) poisoned because I’ll come across as a nut, yet I KNOW they can get help.  It’s very frustrating.  This book is an important first step to making this finally go mainstream.  Thank you.

    • avatar

      Eric April 13, 2014, 5:35 pm

      Thanks Dee, couldn’t agree with you more… you and I don’t have much standing to tell people why they are ill because we haven’t cured ourselves yet. Later, our stories will be much more powerful when we are healthy again!

  • avatar

    Raul Rivera April 10, 2014, 4:53 am

    Hello Dr. Hammond I am currently building a website to share my personal story from type 2 diabetes and Aspartame poisoning. I would like to know if you can possibly share a article on mercury fillings to add to my site? I want to help in spreading your message on this so important message! of course I will credit you and add any links necessary to my web-site!  my email: raulrivera22@hotmail.com

  • avatar

    Eric February 24, 2014, 5:48 pm

    David, as I’m making my way through your book, I’m wondering if you’ve thought about translating it into Chinese. Thinking the mercury problem in China must be growing very rapidly! I have the impression you live in Asia, so I’m sure you know more about this than me…

    • avatar

      David Hammond February 25, 2014, 1:35 pm

      Hi Eric,
      I am sure mercury poisoning is a significant problem in China where emissions of Hg are increasing at an average rate of about 3.0% per year. About 50% of global anthropogenic mercury emissions come from Asia. Sales of the book will have to increase a lot before it will be economically viable to get it translated into Chinese.  At present there are 24 million paperbacks and 1.4 million ebooks available on Amazon, so it is difficult to make people aware of a book, let alone buy it. But I am working on it.
       
      Dave.

      • avatar

        Eric February 25, 2014, 9:22 pm

        Well I’m rooting for you, sure would like to see lots of translations… Spanish is another big one!

  • avatar

    JP February 17, 2014, 3:06 am

    Great book!  Thanks for writing it. Yours is the book I’ll recommend people read to learn about mercury poisoning and how to heal from being poisoned. Your book provides a comprehensive overview that’s both easy to read and understand. I especially like that you discuss known (acknowledged) cases of mercury poisoning and the victims’ symptoms.

    • avatar

      David Hammond February 18, 2014, 6:03 am

      Thanks for your feedback JP. I think the reason people don’t believe in mercury poisoning is that they are not aware of the facts.  I’ve always enjoyed case histories – I find them much more memorable than an impersonal list of symptoms.  Once people have read these case histories and the science behind mercury poisoning it won’t be a case of “it’s all in your head”. Hopefully more people will consider heavy metal poisoning as a possible cause of their own health problems.
       
      Dave.

  • avatar

    mary February 17, 2014, 3:04 am

    Congratulations on all of your progress David!

    • avatar

      David Hammond February 18, 2014, 6:07 am

      Thanks Mary,
      I still have  a way to go, but I often have days where I feel great. It’s becoming difficult to remember how bad it was not so long ago.
      Dave.

      • avatar

        Eric February 18, 2014, 3:36 pm

        Love to hear that Dave, very inspiring – thanks!

  • avatar

    Stonecutter February 17, 2014, 2:22 am

    Excellent interview, Eric, thanks so muchfor this and the other extremely thorough and helpful resources on the blog. I’m dealing with very similar issues as you are, and am watching both your methylation and chelation efforts closely, learning a great deal here and on FDC. I wish you all success with both!

"...nothing ever goes away
until it has taught us
what we need to know.
"
-Pema Chodron

"God, whose law it is that all who learn must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
-Aeschylus

About


My name is Eric - I‘m 48 and saw a doctor for fatigue at 17. I lived fairly normally if a little subdued by lack of endurance at times. But then, 12 years ago I fell into a nosedive after moving to South Florida. Now, I know heavy metal toxicity is a significant source of my troubles along with genetic methylation cycle dysfunction and Lyme disease. I spent 18 months chelating the metals out and starting up methylation but stopped when I felt myself circling the drain. Currently going after Lyme and co-infections. More about me here.

* supplements
* hair test
* genetics
* lessons learned

"Battles are won in their darkest hours. Wars are won by learning something from each battle."
-Eric

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