By Carrie Vitt of Deliciously Organic
In the spring of 2008, a simple trip to the dentist for a routine procedure turned my world upside-down.
I went to the dentist because of a cracked amalgam filling in one of my teeth.
I didn’t realize at the time that if you get an amalgam filling removed or replaced you should go to a biological dentist who’s been properly trained! The reason is that approximately 50% of a dental amalgam is toxic elemental mercury by weight. Improper removal of amalgam fillings risks heavy metal toxicity among other serious health woes.
Unfortunately, my conventional dentist didn’t take the proper, necessary precautions during the amalgam filling removal process, and as soon as I sat up from the chair, I felt sick and knew something was terribly wrong.
I stumbled out of the office and spent nearly a week in bed recuperating. I thought my reaction to the removal was strange, but I’d never read anything about amalgam fillings being a health hazard, so I didn’t put the two together.
After a week I regained some of my strength and got on with my life.
A few weeks later, however, I began to have problems with my complexion, including breakouts, rough skin and splotchy patches on my face.
I was familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation and its traditional dietary principles as I was already eating an organic, nutrient-dense diet. I hadn’t changed anything in my daily regimen and was exercising regularly and sensibly.
I was confused as to what was happening to me.
As time went on, things got much worse when I broke out in inexplicable hives from the neck up. My face was swollen and red, peeled twice a day, and I felt like someone was holding a frying pan to my skin.
The worse part of this entire ordeal was that I went from doctor to doctor and they all told me I had dry skin, handed me a tube of steroid cream and sent me on my way. I’m not an idiot. I knew my skin wasn’t “dry”, and I knew I had to dig deeper.
I began eliminating things from my diet as I searched for a cause, but no change made a bit of difference. My symptoms got worse. I became very depressed and starting losing my hair. I didn’t want to go anywhere because not only did I look horrible, but I was in constant pain.
I slept with ice packs on my face to ease the burning. I became allergic to everything. If I ate lettuce, I would swell. If I ate meat, I would swell. If I walked into a room with too much perfume, I would swell.
So I stayed at home.
After nine months I finally found a doctor who listened and ran tests. All of the allergy tests came back negative and my preliminary blood work was all “normal”.
Perplexed, she told me about an autoimmune disease that in some extreme cases causes hives. The results came in and I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease (a thyroid autoimmune disorder). The doctor told me to start a thyroid medication, but after some research, I learned the medication would only calm the symptoms and not heal the root cause of my disease. I decided to look for an alternative solution.
How Amalgam Filling Removal Triggered Autoimmune Problems
I began working with a certified nutritionist at Biodynamic Wellness to help me find the root cause of my disease. Remember the amalgam filling I had removed and filled? We discovered my thyroid had absorbed most of the heavy metals from the filling removal and consequently caused my liver to “back up” so it couldn’t properly filter any toxins my body encountered.
This helped explain the hives and thyroid disease. She put prescribed a grain-free, nutrient dense diet, and gentle detox therapies.
I Healed My Hashimoto’s with NO Thryoid Meds or Surgery!
After several years of discipline, detox and rest (and NO thyroid meds!), I’m happy to say my autoimmune disease including Hashimoto’s is now in full remission! My health struggles and path to healing led me to write my new book, The Grain-Free Family Table. In the book I share my entire story of recovery, tips to help reduce inflammation and encourage recovery from disease, and over 125 grain-free recipes to get you going on this new path.
If you’re struggling with an autoimmune disease, I highly encourage you to find a good nutritionist or holistic-minded, experienced health practitioner who can help you find the root cause of your disease and a specialized treatment plan for your body. Even if everyone around you says it can’t be done, follow your instincts. If you think it’s possible, run toward that hope.
After my experience, I truly believe that many of the diseases that ail us can be avoided or reversed with the right foods, detox and support.
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.