Tuesday, June 7, 2016

High Manganese Surprise

*edit read the update at the end*

What happens if you have too much manganese?
What is manganese? How much manganese does the human body need?

I never would have asked these questions a few months ago, because I had never really heard of manganese then.

After 20 years of increasingly debilitating health problems, I have experienced almost every medical test known to humankind. The one test I had never had is one I finally took upon myself to do- I paid a private lab to do a hair analysis. They tested for 31 items; I was hopeful that there would be a glimmer of help in the results. Instead, the results floored me.

My manganese was high. Not just high, toxically high. Off the charts, scary high. The reference range was 0.08-0.60, and mine was 3.1, over five times what the maximum should be. This is called Magnanism.

Excess Manganese in the human body goes straight to the brain. It causes bipolar-like symptoms (mania, crying), mood changes, depression, decreased cognitive ability, memory loss, confusion, and neurological problems, including Parkinson's-like symptoms. All of which I experience, and have experienced, for decades. Now I know why.

High manganese also affects iron, calcium, and copper levels, causing them to be low. I have been diagnosed anemic more than once, and my doctor was surprised to see my calcium levels low in my blood labs- "I've never seen anyone with low calcium, that just doesn't happen. It's so easy to get enough calcium. This is weird."

Toxic levels of manganese cause your body to stop producing dopamine and seratonin. This explains why nothing I ever did made any impact on my depression. Seratonin and dopamine actually have a lot of functions in the body; all I care about currently is knowing why I cannot feel happy, and that it's not because I wasn't trying hard enough.

Manganese is absorbed through the bowel, typically stored in the liver, kidneys, and bones, and any extra the body doesn't need is excreted through bile. Now, I've been having issues with my liver, kidneys, bones, bowel, and gallbladder (maker of bile) for a long long time. They hurt, they don't function right, and blood tests will show a problem, then a few months later blood tests normal, then next lab they're off again. We think this is caused by the manganese moving between organs; test the liver *this* time, and it happens to have a lot of the manganese, and so liver enzymes are elevated and liver shows distress; test the liver a second time and the manganese is currently in the kidneys, so the liver test looks fine.

The test results going back and forth like that for years has been driving me batty! And causing more than a few doctors to look at me skeptically, wondering what I'm doing that will affect my bloodwork this way. I've been accused of doing drugs, alcoholism, even suffocating myself!

I've done some research on removing toxic levels of manganese, and I think the best option is PAS. It's a piece of aspirin, basically (not like breaking off a piece, more like a molecule), and it has worked very well when given in an IV to not only remove high manganese, but reverse the damage as well. Here is an article about the treatment, including the 'recipe' to use PAS treatment for manganism: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4180660/

At last we have an answer. A piece of it anyway. A friend asked, how did I get high manganese? the answer is, we don't know yet. There is speculation, but nothing concrete. I'm more concerned about getting it out, as quickly and safely as possible. My doctor is currently running blood labs to verify what was found on the hair test. Once the labs are back, we proceed.

Further reading:
http://www.tldp.com/issue/180/Clinical Effects of Mn.html

UPDATE 11/26/17: after much research, I decided to focus on my Liver, as your liver is what removes manganese from the body. I got a "liver tonic" tincture and a milk thistle seed extract, and started taking daily (at night, or I'd be super angry if I took during the day). I also bought powdered beets, as beets are very good for the liver, and added some to my apple juice- which is extremely delicious, and now the only way I like my apple juice. Had new labs drawn, and...drum roll please... MY MANGANESE IS WITHIN LEVEL. In fact, it's on the lower half of the reference range. PLUS and this is the exciting part, I AM NOW MAKING DOPAMINE AND SEROTONIN. They were low, but there, which I'm happy about. And I can be happy about it!! How cool is that?


  1. Hello Michelle, My name is Victoria and I have been exposed to heavy metals because my foods were tampered with by some sicko who admitted it. My blood levels are 5.0 and nothing was detected in my hair. I was just last exposed 2 weeks ago, so it may take a while for the manganese to show in my hair. I started going to doctors from June 2016- November 2016 and they tested everything and said I was fine. After the sicko admitted hurting me the toxicology showed Lithium, Manganese and Nickel, which were ingredients of BATTERY ACID. When I first got sick I had bowel issues for months and stomach pain. Now my symptoms are slight breathing issues at night (scary sometimes, and I feel dizzy off and on, and spaced out when walking. I have no cognitive issues (yet) and just made a A average in my Masters level forensic class. I also have off and on high BP and tachycardia because of it. I have started detoxing with teas and have a toxicology appt next month. I keep a journal and log my symptoms dates and everything. Start a journal is what I would advise you. Tracking your feelings, episodes, pains and everything help the doctor to help you. How are you feeling now? I would like to keep in touch with you!

    1. Hi Victoria, thanks for writing. Levels remain the same. I have not been able to see a Toxicologist due to insurance and logistics (very rural). I journal as best as I can, which isn't always often (this blog was supposed to be weekly, you can see how often I post). I'm doing my best to heal my organs slowly, as I know going fast can cause greater problems. My chief concern is my brain, because that's my biggest personal impact- if I can get my brain working right, life would improve so much. I hope you have caught yours soon enough that it doesn't impact your brain, sounds like you're doing well in school. I would like to keep in touch as well.