Thursday, May 29, 2008

Too much of a good thing is always bad

I’m falling apart. Literally. Who knew that a person could “OD” on canned tuna.

I started 2008 on the right foot. After months of indulgence at the end of last year I decided this year would be all health and vibrancy, my body is my temple, warm fuzzy feeling type year.

Well think again before you embark on a health food diet. I had decided on the Candida diet which is meant to inhibit the growth of yeast in your body, but boils down to a typical sustainable diet like all the other mainstream ones – only healthier. Or so I thought.

The list of allowable foods is pretty limited, but includes all the things which we have come to believe are good for us. Lots of veggies - apart from the starchy ones, lots of seeds and nuts and fish of all sorts. Chicken, occasionally beef and a few fruits and beans. The amazing thing is that I managed to get into it, stick with it and find things I liked. No cheating – no fries, bread, desserts, not even caffeine. What could be bad in that?

Little did I know that the supposed ‘brain food’ I was consuming daily, sometimes twice daily for months in the form of fish, was slowly filling my body with a powerful neurotoxin. Mercury.

It’s not like there aren’t warnings about ocean fish consumption everywhere, especially with the sushi craze that’s hit North America over the past 5 years… but who can take these things seriously? I mean, you have to choose your demons. It’s safe to say that bleached white starches and processed sugars are bad. But fish??!!

It turns out that a diet including more than one can of tuna in 3 weeks can put you way over the danger limit. I am also convinced that the grade of tuna sold locally in Ghana (there is a Starkist factory here), is subjected to far fewer stringent regulations about what toxin levels can be...

How did I realize that this monster was accumulating in my body? About a month ago my hair started falling out in clumps. In the shower, dark brown furry animal-like balls of hair would cascade down my body and clog the drain. I was alarmed over the few weeks it continued persistently and then began my usual first step toward investigations: self diagnosis via the Internet!!! The first site I found, “Something’s fishy” came out of a random search about unexplained hair loss. Some scary stuff there. Then I read in deeper detail the technical side of what mercury does in the body. One of the points in that article mentioned that mercury poisoning causes tremors which commonly start as an eye twitch. So you can imagine my alarm when three days ago my right eye started a persistent twitch along with the hair loss.

So needless to say, I have stopped all consumption of fish. Which quite sadly for me, means NO MORE SUSHI!!! (That’s like taking away Christmas and birthdays to a child!)
It takes from a few months right up to 15 years for mercury to leave various parts of the body, once it’s attached itself to cells. It does not float in the bloodstream and is hence difficult to remove.

So now that I have polluted my body unknowingly or ignorantly over the past 5 months, on my “healthy” diet… I can look forward to further hair loss, and I shudder to think of the further complications…

So what do the experts suggest as a detox from Mercury? Aside from a controversial drug called DMPS that was commonly given to people who got mercury poisoning from amalgam teeth fillings a couple decades ago, they advocate another bloody diet….
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