A 44-year-old New York woman went years fearing she was suffering from an autoimmune disorder before she discovered it was the mercury in her silver fillings that was making her sick.
Doctors were at a loss when Alethea Black first started noticing a tickling in her leg and numbness in her left pinky in 2010 – and the symptoms only got worse over the next two years.
After reading an article on the dangers of silver fillings, the Dutchess County native had the cavity fillers removed and has been symptom-free ever since.
Black first noticed something was wrong while taking her dog for a walk in October 2010. She describes what felt like a spider crawling up her leg, but looked down and saw nothing.
‘I would look under my jeans and there would be no spider,’ she told Cosmopolitan magazine. ‘Then I would feel it again.’
She also noticed that her left pinky went numb, but she initially ignored the sensations.
Things got worse the following spring when the entire left side of her face went numb. Black rushed to the Emergency Room, fearing that she was suffering a stroke, but doctors said she was fine and the numbness went away a few days later.
Without a diagnosis, the symptoms kept piling on. She developed gastritis, ringing in the ears, insomnia, a permanent red rash on her left leg, as well as more spider-crawling and numbness.
This was also around the time that Black was working on publishing a book, so many attributed her health issues to stress.
Black came across an article that explained the dangers of silver fillings, which are made up of 50 percent mercury – a toxin that is then released into the body.
Over time, the mercury can degrade and cause heavy metal poisoning. Black’s fillings were 30 years old.
Black never got that diagnosis from a doctor since silver fillings are regarded as safe by the American Dental Association, though many dentists have been outspoken about their dangers.