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From Poisoned Patient to Passionate Activist


by Elisa Smith


ones, which seems like an odd assessment for someone who suffered from mer-


F


cury poisoning. Shortly after having an old mercury amal- gam dental filling replaced


reya Koss is one of the lucky


After mercury poisoning


with a new one in 1998, the Wyn- newood, PA resident began to suffer an array of neurological symptoms includ- ing double vision, extreme sensitivity to light, brain fog, and near-total loss of equilibrium. “I couldn’t walk without steadying myself against a wall. I lost my ability to drive.” says Koss, who until that time had been in excellent health. She saw a medical doctor, who told said her symptoms were due to either multiple sclerosis or lupus, for which there was no known cause or cure. When her eyelid began to droop, she was subsequently referred to a neuro-ophthalmologist, who diagnosed her with myasthenia gravis, another malady she was told she would have to deal with for the rest of her life. Koss dismissed both diagnoses,


instinctively believing that her rapid decline in health had to be due to an underlying cause - a cause she was determined to find. “After the initial shock and tears, I came home and got on my computer, spending the majoring of each day poring over anything and everything that might provide a clue,” says Koss. At 3:30 a.m. on the fifth day she hit pay dirt. “On a discussion board, a woman in England mentioned that she had been poisoned by mercury


natural awakenings January 2017 43 After heavy metal detoxification


amalgams, and that her symptoms had started about seven days after ex- posure. Her story cor- responded almost ex- actly to my own. I knew I’d found the link I was looking for.”


From there, Koss was shocked to


find a body of evidence linking mercury dentistry with a host of physical and emotional ailments, including autoim- mune diseases, Attention Deficit Dis- order, Alzheimer’s Disease, depression, anxiety, and even suicide. “It’s been reported that dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession,” Koss


notes, “but what has not been reported is that the cause is very likely mercury exposure over time.” With the help of local holistic


dentist, Koss had each of her mercury amalgams replaced with resin compos- ites, and an integrative physician at the Woodlands Healing Reserch Center in Quakertown helped her safely detoxify her body. Though she still suffers some minor effects from her ordeal, Koss says her health is vastly improved, which is what makes her one of the lucky ones. She is now a passionate activist for mercury-free dentistry, testifying before the FDA and other agencies regarding her experience, though she remains frustrated by the lack of response from the government and the American Dental Association, both of which con- tinue to proclaim the safety of mercury amalgams. As director of development for Consumers for Dental Choice, Koss unequivocally believes that mercury amalgams should be banned, noting that “there has been strong scientific evidence of harm for years and years, yet our government refuses to act.”


Those seeking a safer alternative can find a mercury-free holistic dentist by visiting www.iaomt.org, the website of The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology, an organiza- tion that certifies dentists in proper mercury-free protocols.


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