The Mayo Clinic website explains that peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system, which is the network of nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. Information travels back and forth between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body along this system. Peripheral neuropathy usually starts as prickling and numbness in the hands and feet and can move on to worse manifestations from there. The Mayo Clinic lists causes for it as: autoimmune disease, diabetes, certain infections, inherited disorders, tumors, certain bone marrow disorders and “other diseases” among which under-active thyroid. So peripheral neuropathy is not idiopathic, although most of the conditions that cause it are. Under “other causes” are listed, alcoholism, exposure to poisons, medications, trauma, and vitamin deficiencies. Mercury and lead are listed under poisons.
Mercury and lead themselves cause autoimmune disease, diabetes, poor immune function which leads to infections and cancer and under active thyroid. Chronic mercury causes over 250 different symptoms and people get various constellations of these depending on various factors. it is a common, although largely undiagnosed, condition.
One of the ways mercury causes nerve damage is by stripping the neurons of their myelin sheath. This is graphically illustrated in this famous video from the university of Calgary. This video is talking about Alzheimer’s disease but the frayed sheath on the neurons causes MS which also has a terrible prognosis. Peripheral neuropathy is a common symptom with MS. Andy Cutler told me he “had never seen a case of MS where mercury wasn’t involved,” and we see cases of people who have reversed their MS diagnosis through chelation. The ultimate solution for this kind of nerve damage is to chelate the mercury out and put the body in a position to heal and to start functioning properly again.
Heavy metal chelation takes a long time. In the meantime, what can a person do to make the situation easier to bear? Also, what substances can they provide that their body can use to repair itself? I asked people on the Andy Cutler chelation Facebook group what they are doing to control symptoms and I got so many answers that I was inspired to write this article.
First-hand accounts are not supposed to be scientific but I have always been a fan. Observation is the first step in the scientific method, after all, and that’s really what a first-hand account is. People in our group suffer from peripheral neuropathy a lot, and as is usual with other mercury symptoms, they often have to figure out their own solutions.