Seafood, Mercury and Me

mercury in seafoodI had written a couple of posts about seafood and mercury before. You can read both posts here. Basically, I was eating quite a bit of fish since that was one animal protein I could tolerate histamine wise. (The fish had to be very fresh though for me to tolerate it.) I was choosing mostly low histamine fish but since I was eating it most every day I asked my physician to test my mercury levels. She ordered a blood mercury test, which I had drawn on October 10, 2015. It came back high at 25 mcg/L!! (The reference range is <11.) The fish I was eating regularly were salmon, sole and tilapia, all on the Least Mercury section of the National Resources Defense Council’s chart.  I would occasionally eat sablefish or halibut (moderate mercury) but never any fish from the High or Highest mercury lists. I did eat Opah from time to time, which I knew was also higher in mercury, according to this article.

I found out the results on the 22nd of October, after returning from a trip to Maui. While in Maui I had eaten fish quite often, even some Opah, which is higher in mercury. (I didn’t know about my high mercury reading before I left for Maui or I sure wouldn’t have eaten fish while there!)

I certainly stopped eating fish daily and while I still ate some, I cut way back on my intake.  I ate fish seven times (smaller portions ~ 3 to 4 ounces) between when I found out about my high mercury levels and my next blood draw to check on my mercury levels which was on February 9, 2016. My mercury levels have dropped nicely to 4 mcg/L.

Looking back, I think some of my neurological symptoms I was having was due to the mercury in my body. I’ve had neurological problems since the start of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and since we believe my CFS is infection associated, we think that is why I have those problems. But, I was having increased nerve pain….where my nerves were more sensitized than usual. For example, if I stubbed my toe or hurt myself in some way, the nerve pain was much higher than normal. I also was vibrating, which is weird. I’d be lying in bed at night and it would feel like an earthquake was happening, but one wasn’t.  I was just vibrating. Those symptoms have all lessened or gone away since my mercury levels have dropped.

For now, I will eat fish rarely, if at all. I am happy that my mercury levels dropped so quickly. It is sad to me that our oceans are so polluted that the fish are polluted too. I can’t imagine that makes them feel good. At least I found out about my high mercury levels and could do something to correct the situation. I am so grateful!

 

4 thoughts on “Seafood, Mercury and Me

  1. Thanks for the post!! Did you do anything to lower your mercury levels other than cutting back on your intake of it? I always wondered how efficient the body was at clearing it out.

    1. Hi Bonnie~ All I did was cut back on the amount of fish I ate. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast my body cleared it out. 🙂

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