Image of scalpel and violin

Violin and Scalpel
Courtesy of: Craig Sommer DDS

How Are A Violinist And A Surgeon Alike?

The Violinist

“Two years ago, as a solo violinist, I was on stage behind the curtain, waiting. After all of those years the butterflies were there again. They were always there before a performance. It’s impossible to not be a little nervous. A week since my last public performance I am noticing again my right hand is noticeably not as sure as it used to be. Not quite as strong and with some shaking, a tremor. Subtle, but obvious to me.”

“The first changes I noticed were about two years ago with a little buzzing sensation in my finger and thumb. It was barely noticeable initially. But it became more pronounced and then it was happening most of the time. I’m sure my colleagues had seen it.”

“For the last thirty years after graduating from Juilliard I’ve been playing professionally with great distinction. I’ve enjoyed performing all over the world as a soloist and with various orchestras.  But now I am not as confident as I used to be. I dropped my bow for the first time about nine months ago and I chided myself for being so clumsy.”

“Then it happened again so I stepped away from solo performances, but my symptoms continued to worsen. It was inevitable. My orchestral career ended at 52 years of age.”

The Surgeon

“I first noticed a little tremor in my right hand at about 50. As a vascular and trauma surgeon we often use video enhancement during surgeries. Any hand motion is amplified visually under a surgical microscope.”

“I first noticed a little finger movement when my hand was at rest. You see it most commonly in coffee drinkers. After a couple of cups of coffee, a slight tremor might be visible. A little shaky.”
“I didn’t want to consider that it was of any consequence initially and I ignored it. But now, I was beyond being afraid that some my team noticed my tremor. I could see my own hands under surgical magnification and realized I could compromise my surgical success with patients. I could be placing them at risk. So I retired at 54 years of age.”

A Frustrating Medical Diagnosis

Both the violinist and the orthopedic surgeon sought medical advice. And after comprehensive testing and evaluation they were individually diagnosed with what is called “an essential tremor of unknown etiology.” That means there is no known cause of the symptoms or explanation for the gradual worsening of symptoms. It affects 10 million people in the United States.

Mercury-A Cause Of ET Or Essential Tremor?

So what could be causing tremors with loss of strength, since their respective doctors had ruled out strokes, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and other common neurological disorders? Something even more out of the ordinary?

Astute physicians are also now examining patients with conditions like these for environmental mercury exposure. Mercury is well know to be extremely toxic to nerve and brain tissue and its effects are cumulative. The chief source of mercury for those not working with mercury in industry is dental fillings or amalgams. Food contamination, broken mercury light bulbs and coal fired power plants are also sources of mercury but on a much smaller level.

Both the physician and violinist had mouths full of mercury containing dental  fillings. Could that be the source of nerve damage leading to tremors? Could that be the reason both had to leave the professions they so dearly loved after a diagnosis of ET or “essential tremor.” It is impossible to say for sure.

Mercury Shown To Induce Essential Tremors

Tremors were induced experimentally in rabbits by exposure to mercury vapor as early as 1971. The vapors are the same as the ones continuously emitted by your mercury silver fillings, as you eat, sleep and grind your teeth. When you drink hot coffee, tea or chocolate the mercury vapors increase dramatically.

Mercury Poisoning Symptoms: Needs A Team Approach

A team approach may be required for a proper diagnosis and treatment of mercury toxicity. Testing methods designed to reveal mercury hiding in the body, not just current levels of mercury in urine, feces and blood will often be needed. The goal is to remove mercury poisoning symptoms as well as any underlying damage if possible.

Part of the treatment regimen put together by the comprehensive team will be to remove the source of mercury contaminating your body. This will include an evaluation by a holistic or biological dentist to determine whether you have mercury filling material remaining in your mouth. If so, a plan for its safe removal will be presented for your consideration.

It can be devastating to have one’s career cut short by something as obvious as the unnecessary exposure to toxic mercury in dental fillings.

If you have any concerns as to whether you have any mercury dental fillings, make an appointment with a holistic or biological dentist today.

[Both the violinist and surgeon in this article are composite characters. The interviews are fictitious, but represent the symptom descriptions and events in the lives of millions of sufferers of ET or “essential tremor” that may be the result of unnecessary mercury exposure.]