There are a few different ways to assess for heavy metal toxicity in the body:
- History and symptoms
- Hair mineral analysis
- DMSA challenge with urinary excretion
Every testing system has its disadvantages. This practitioner prefers to use history and symptoms along with hair mineral analysis to determine whether mercury or other heavy metals are posing a significant health problem by disturbing mineral balance (a known outcome of mercury toxicity). Urinary excretion after challenge is also available but must be used with caution in certain patients – and because mercury has been used extensively in dental amalgams, some believe that anyone tested will show significant levels of mercury with a DMSA challenge, whether or not heavy metal toxicity is a significant factor in illness.