I have today listed the Quicksilver Mercury Tri-test for you. After a thorough research of current mercury testing, I have concluded this is our best bet for finding mercury in the body. It is the only test that will differentiate between the types of mercury so you know whether your mercury is from fish/seafood or from dental amalgams/environmental sources. It also measures hair, blood and urine so it can assess how effectively you are detoxifying it. Very useful for knowing then how to treat it. There’s a big difference between cutting down on fish or having your amalgams removed!
Up to now, I have done hair and urine tests mostly for mercury. However, the various sample types show different types of mercury: hair shows mostly fish and a bit of amalgam, urine mostly amalgam and then mostly likely the kidney level. What you want is a total level of each to be truly useful, isn’t it? It also appears that challenge testing is a bit outdated – I must admit I have never really encouraged those anyway because I don’t like the idea of the chelators releasing mercury into a system that isn’t prepared and ready to detox it! Plus, it measures the blood level, rather than cellular level.
Anyway, a worthwhile review of mercury testing, I feel. You have to keep on top of these things!
Here is the blurb from the shop for you – note I’ve moved heavy metals testing to the Specific Health Conditions Tests page where it sits with the other environmental exposure tests including those for moulds and chemicals. Also, below you can see Dr Shade talking about the various methods of testing, which is quite useful. He is a leading expert in this area and is doing an awful lot of educational awareness stuff in this field.
Mercury and Heavy Metal Tests
For Mercury, the best nowadays is Quicksilver’s Mercury Tri-Test. This is because it is the only test I know of that can differentiate between the types of mercury. ie. is it coming from your amalgams (the most damaging type: inorganic mercury) or fish/seafood (methyl mercury)? And it will also measure how effectively you are detoxifying it.
A hair test can show mostly methyl levels (fish) but a bit of swallowed amalgam mercury. Challenge tests, which can mobilise mercury before you are ready to detox it are thankfully no longer necessary, plus they measure blood rather than cellular levels. Blood tests will measure mainly methyl/fish again. Urine tests all inorganic (amalgam) mercury.
With the Tri-test, you get to measure all of it so much easier! You can see loads more info and watch a video about the Tri-Test here and you can see a sample report here. For this test, you contact the lab at least 48 hours before your blood test appointment and they will send you a pre-paid FedEx label to send the samples back to the US, which is included in the price.
Why is Mercury an issue – especially in chronic illness cases?
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I shall direct you to two excellent articles from Dr Hyman, who himself was mercury-toxic. I don’t agree with everything he says – at the time of writing, he was suggesting challenge testing, but then the Tri-Test was probably not around then. Also, I’m not sure of some of his treatment suggestions – see my detox post for how I would probably tackle it overall.
One thing he does point out is the issue of the detox genes being problematic. Many people have issues with the detox genes and that is why I also launched the LGx detox genes test last week, for this very reason. Like him, I have absent glutathione transferase genes and the APoE 4 gene SNiP, both of which are part of the reason that mercury accumulates and affects the brain especially (my migraine?). Now I know that, I am working on supporting those pathways specifically before I even think of amalgam removal – if it even is from amalgams – I’ve not done the Tri-Test myself yet!
Anyway, have a read:
A note on non-excretors/non-secretors
Some people just don’t excrete metals well enough for us to find them – probably because of the detox gene and pathway problems I wrote about in the detox post. In these non-secretor type cases, it will often rise after the detox mechanisms have had some support and not show whilst the detox pathways are blocked or inefficient. A clue might be if someone reacts heavily to detox, that is often a sign of blocked detox pathways. You would then test the phase 1 and 2 pathways and do the LGx Detox gene test, which will no doubt give some answers why. You then target the specific pathways found to be an issue and open the body up so it can start excreting more effectively. At that stage, you would probably see the mercury levels rise on the Tri-Test.
For more on this read my pretty comprehensive Detox post here and look specifically at the treatment ideas at the end.
The other option for testing for non-secretors I came across during research is the Oligoscan, which is a device that measures tissue levels of mercury. There are very few places in the UK you can get this done and those are mostly in London. Do Google and see if you can find one. I’ve not seen any validation material on this yet so can’t recommend it wholeheartedly, but I share it in case for you!
Happily, the majority do excrete so the Tri-Test is a great option.
Note: I was helped enormously by Clare W, one of our TGF family and an admin on the Mercury Detox Facebook group on this whole subject – thanks Clare x
Hope that all helps!