Improved chronic fatigue symptoms after removal of mercury in patient with increased mercury concentration in hair toxic mineral assay: a case
– Source: Korean Journal of Family Medicine, Sep 2012
By Sae-Ron Shin, A-Lum Han
[Note: The full text of this article, demonstrating the potential impact of chronic mercury intake in the diet (in this case from fish), is available free here. The mercury removal strategy the doctors employed in this case was “a dietary medication designed to remove heavy metals…containing…zinc oxide, magnesium oxide, calcium, and L-cysteine.”]
Clinical manifestations of chronic exposure to organic mercury usually have a gradual onset. As the primary target is the nervous system, chronic mercury exposure can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, headache, and poor recall and concentration. In severe cases chronic exposure leads to intellectual deterioration and neurologic abnormality.
Recent outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and pathogenic avian influenza have increased fish consumption in Korea. Methyl-mercury, a type of organic mercury, is present in higher than normal ranges in the general Korean population.
When we examine a patient with chronic fatigue, we assess his/her methyl-mercury concentrations in the body if environmental exposure such as excessive fish consumption is suspected.
In the current case, we learned the patient had consumed many slices of raw tuna and was initially diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Therefore, we suspected that he was
• Exposed to methyl-mercury and
• That the mercury concentration in his hair would be below the poisoning level identified by World Health Organization,
• But above the normal range according to hair toxic mineral assay.
Our patient’s toxic chronic fatigue symptoms improved after he was given mercury removal therapy, indicating that he was correctly diagnosed with chronic exposure to organic mercury.
Source: Korean Journal of Family Medicine, Sep 2012;33(5):320-5. PMID:23115707, by Shin SR, Han AL. Department of Family Medicine, Wonkwang University College of Medicine, Iksan, Korea.