Patients' Stories

Inflammatory myopathy caused by a reaction to metals in orthopedic implants

My mother, Patricia, has been a vibrant, energetic and independent person all her life, but in 2009 she was diagnosed with Inflammatory Myopathy. Although she had lived an incredibly healthy life, neurologists said her muscles would continue to weaken over time.


I initiated my own research, trying to discover what could have triggered the inflammation. Time was of the essence, since my mother’s health began deteriorating soon after she was diagnosed.


If not for Dr. Vera Stejskal's incredible invention of the MELISA® blood test, my mother would have continued to suffer unnecessarily, although her first revision was a failed prosthesis. When we learned about the MELISA® test through a dermatologist my mother was referred to by her orthopaedic surgeon, it saved her quality of life for what could have continued to be ill-fated.


Astonishingly, my mother’s symptoms were caused by an allergic reaction to the metals, mainly nickel and cobalt, used in her hip and knee replacements - not due to faulty implant devices. My theory, linking my mother’s muscle problems with her orthopaedic implants, was considered far-fetched and unlikely. At the time, the existence of metal induced allergy was not widely recognized.


Recently, in Feb 2012, my mother’s neurologist deemed the theory as a medical breakthrough connecting Inflammatory Myopathy to metal allergies creating my mother's health demise. The neurologist stated: "This case will enlighten many patients suffering from what appears to be an obscure connection, when in fact, it is proved to be valid due to Patrica's reaction once the types of metals were revised from Nickel-Cobalt-Chromium to Titanium." She did not show signs of being allergic to Titanium.


My mother is the first known case in the United States to be diagnosed from Inflammatory Myopathy initiated from the metals in her implants creating an allergy leading to toxicity. Her neurologist stated it had reached toxic levels due to her muscles beginning deteriorating.


We are extremely grateful to the wonderful team, clinical and non-clinical, behind the scenes at MELISA®. The customer service is personable and compassionate with immediate follow through, and available for any additional questions.


My mother’s dermatologist has stated, "This new medical connection could help countless patients with metal joint replacements and diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, if a metal allergy is proved by the patch testing and/or LTT MELISA® testing."


I have written about my mother's true story in the book Steel Standing, which depicts the entire journey from the first implant to the recent neurologist's report stating that this is a medical breakthrough. We give a tremendous amount of credit to MELISA® for being instrumental in my mother’s return to becoming healthy, again!


Christa Davis, Centre, Alabama, USA
February 2012

Health problem following occupational exposure to mercury and other metals through dental fillings and crowns

I was born in 1942. From 17 to 24 years old I worked as a dental nurse and a receptionist and was exposed to toxic mercury vapour on a daily basis. During this time I also had dental treatment and ended up with many amalgam fillings, several root fillings, and gold restorations.

Aged 25 I was found to have a heart murmur and was exposed to more metals through various injections and vaccinations. Aged 40, my family and I we were posted to Benin in West Africa, so as well as multiple vaccinations, I was given many courses of antibiotics and also daily exposed to pesticide sprays.  I suffered from constant chronic fatigue and terrible headaches which continued when I returned home. Despite endless tests there were no answers as to the cause of my ill health.

My heart gradually began to give me additional problems; I felt exhausted and had an irregular heartbeat. In 2000 an X-ray showed that I had scoliosis.  By 2005 I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and a restrictive cardiomyopathy of unknown aetiology.

In 2010 a chance phone call turned into my “Eureka moment”. I understood that there could be a link between my years of occupational exposure to mercury and my current health problems. I had a MELISA® test, which revealed I was suffering from multiple metal allergies. Some of these were off the scale in terms of severity. To stop the current metal exposure, I would need to have all the offending metals removed from my mouth. This would mean the removal of two bridges made of palladium, 2 inlays and posts made of gold (which also contained nickel) and an amalgam filling (which contained mercury). Due to my precarious health situation, this work needed to be carried out slowly and carefully to minimise any adverse reactions.

Briefly, my doctor started me on a regime of nutrients and supplements. My dentist observed strict safety protocols while removing and replacing my fillings and bridges. The improvement in my gingival health is remarkable, with no redness, soreness or puffiness. Before embarking on this diagnostic journey and treatment plan, I was in a constant state of exhaustion, with my heart rhythm all over the place and several episodes of near-syncopy every day. I hardly have any such episodes these days, and my cardiac situation is no worse than it was 2 years ago.

My health has improved immeasurably since July 2010. The results of follow-up tests are astonishing, and show an astonishing decrease in metal-reactivity following metal removal and a regime of nutrient supplements.

I have still a long way to go. It’s an understatement to say that I am getting my life back, slowly but surely. I am already a different person, but my treatment is on-going and understandably slow, due to my long-term problems. I hope my quality of life will improve further as my body rids itself of the toxins it has stored. I am already well on the way to being my old self again, thanks to the team of experts I have around me.

Ann Arnecke, United Kingdom
January 2011

Recovery from Rheumatoid Arthritis following removal of surgical steel chest wires

I underwent an aortic valve replacement operation in February 2007 in which standard surgical steel wires were used. Within 6 months of the op, I began to suffer the symptoms of acute arthritis in my wrists, knees and feet – the pain was so severe that I could at times not dress myself unassisted. This was accompanied by auras, a perceptual disturbance more common in sufferers of neurological conditions such as migraine.

Three months later I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This seemed unusual to me, as a GP, as there was no history of Rheumatoid Arthritis in my family and it would normally develop earlier in life.

My symptoms were treated with a combination of co-codamol, anti-inflammatories and Methotrexate, a common treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis – however, these were palliative measures, as there is no known ‘cure’.

I experienced a facial rash upon wearing a new pair of glasses, which I discovered to be largely composed of nickel, indicating a metal allergy. This was combined with the flare up of my arthritis after eating salmon (also high in nickel), which lead me to research the surgical steel wires used in the operation. I discovered that the stainless steel compound contained 40% nickel.

After a consultation with my specialists I was told that there was no link between metal allergy and the development of arthritis. My cardiac surgeon however agreed to remove the wires in case there was a link. This was a year after my original operation.

Before having the wires removed, I took the MELISA test, which confirmed a severe allergy to nickel, molybdenum and manganese and a milder reaction to chromium.

The removal surgery went ahead on 29th April 2008. Over the following three months, my arthritis improved noticeably but did not disappear. I returned to the gym, performed strenuous tasks without extreme difficulty and my daily auras had gone. However, as I still experienced some pain, I continued with methotrexate treatment.

Over a period of two years, my symptoms declined – by September 2009, my arthritis was restricted to mild symptoms in one hand and I experienced auras only occasionally. I decided to stop taking methotrexate six months later in March 2010 after all my symptoms had disappeared.

As of October 2010, I have been off methotrexate for a significant period and I am completely symptom-free. Naturally, defining whether either the methotrexate or the removal of my chest wires was primarily responsible for my recovery is difficult. It is prescient that Rheumatoid Arthritis is usually viewed as an incurable disease even when treated with powerful medications such as methotrexate and it was upon the removal of the surgical steel that my symptoms began to subside. I believe that my symptoms were a direct result of an allergic reaction to the materials used in my operation.

Dr Pierre Mason, United Kingdom
October 2010

Muscular pain, nausea, severe headaches, fatigue and stomach problems disappear following removal of cranial steel clips

When I was 4 years old, I suffered a head injury which resulted in the placement of several steel clips on my hard brain membrane on the right side. There were no complications to the operation and I appeared to recover perfectly.

Several years later, in 2004, I began to suffer various inexplicable symptoms including fainting, hearing loss in my right ear and vomiting. These symptoms persisted for 3 years and worsened upon becoming pregnant with my second child, accompanied by fatigue and severe bowel problems. While some respite was found following the birth, by 2008 the symptoms had returned accompanied by a fever-esque malaise, muscle pain and stiffness and extreme headaches. During this period, I also developed a myriad of food allergies. These symptoms continued to worsen but no one appeared to be able to diagnose me.

After discovering that I was allergic to Candida, I decided to take the MELISA® test. I tested positive for both nickel and silver, which were both components of the steel alloy clips in my head. My doctor was convinced that the clips were to blame for my dehabilitating symptoms and thus wrote a letter to Rikshospitalet in Oslo, requesting an operation for them to be removed. However, this request was refused, as the surgical team ‘did not believe’ in metal allergies.

Fortunately, MELISA Diagnostics in the United Kingdom put me in contact with a hospital in Southampton that had performed a similar operation on a metal allergic patient before, and they agreed to remove the clips. 3 weeks later I underwent surgery to have them removed.

My symptoms subsided over a period of a few months, until now a year after the operation, the headaches have almost entirely faded and my other symptoms have ceased. While I still have health problems which I attribute to the build up of mercury in my system due to amalgam fillings (now removed), the virtually unbearable symptoms I suffered due to the clips are now a distant memory.

Linda Reisersen, Norway
September 2010

Improvement of Parkinson's disease after detoxification and removal of dental metal restorations

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1998, aged 44, and after one year placed on standard anti-Parkinson’s medication. Initially this alleviated my symptoms, but within a short while my condition began to worsen. I assumed this was due to the apparently inevitable progression of Parkinson’s, and was told as such by my neurologist. One year after commencing the course, my neurologist suggested that I stop taking my medication before my next consultation – this made it apparent that many of the symptoms I was experiencing were in fact side effects.

This realisation resulted in me abandoning this course of treatment and accepting the unmedicated symptoms of Parkinson’s, causing me to consider other ways in which my symptoms might be being affected. This led me to being tested for heavy metal toxicity in 2001 by Dr Bruce Kyle (, who diagnosed me with a combined toxic overload of mercury and copper.

I underwent a detoxification program (which included having several amalgam fillings removed) which, after some years, lessened my tremors and improved my mobility. However, my fatigue failed to lift, leading me to suspect a metal allergy. I took the MELISA® test which showed me to have a reaction against gold, nickel and cadmium. With this information, I had a gold crown removed and was fitted with a plastic replacement, alongside following a low nickel and low cadmium diet. By 2008, my fatigue had decreased too.

My symptoms are now less serious than when I was originally diagnosed, directly opposing the accepted opinion on Parkinson’s as an unavoidably degenerative disease, and I believe that the testing I underwent with MELISA® helped me to isolate one of the factors in the exaggeration of my Parkinson’s disease.

To read my full story and for more information on heavy metal toxicity and its relationship with Parkinson’s, see

Hanne Koplev, Denmark
September 2010

Lifelong health issues resolve following removal of Filshie clips, amalgam fillings and nickel based crowns/bridge

Like most children I suffered various illnesses in my early childhood and like many children I went to the dentist for regular check-ups. I had silver amalgam fillings fitted in routine dental restoration. I was 10, or thereabouts, when I had my first filling and it was shortly after this that I began to have asthmatic type symptoms when swimming (I was part of a synchronised swimming team), this resulted in me giving up this hobby. I also noticed that my skin reacted to ‘cheaper’ earrings and other jewellery, belt buckles, watch straps and their buckles and jeans buttons. I didn’t give this much thought to the jewellry because if I stuck to gold and silver, I suffered no ill effects. In my mid-teens I had several bouts of Uticaria (swelling of the lips and eyes); but was told that this was probably caused by my hormones or something I was eating. My parents continued to send me for dental checkups and fillings and I continued with this regime when I left home and got married.

During my early 30's, I was told I could not continue to use the contraceptive pill. I opted to undergo ‘tubal ligation’ - a reversible sterilisation operation in which clips were fitted to my fallopian tubes. At no point was I asked if was allergic to any metals. If I had been asked, I could have told the doctors about the times I had worn jeans and had sores around my belly button, about the reaction to ‘cheap’ earrings, about reactions to watch straps and buckles etc. I did not discover until a few years later, that the clips they inserted were not plastic, as I thought, but metal. I had had abdominal pain and I underwent an investigative operation to discover the cause and it was found that one of the clips had 'come undone' and broken free, and was resting atop my bladder! In a discussion after the operation I discovered that the clips were metal. I said I had been told they were plastic; but still the 'penny' didn't drop for me.

I suffered from serious gastrointestinal problems for several years after getting the clips. I was eventually diagnosed with Cholecystitus (Gall Stones) and underwent an operation to have my gall bladder removed. However, my abdominal problems did not end. By my mid 40's following hospitalisation with severe stomach pain, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was given a variety of ineffective medication. A couple of years later, I underwent a Carpal Tunnel operation and later began to experience continual joint and muscle pain and loss of muscle stamina,I was then diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The medication prescribed for this was also ineffective.

A little research revealed that these neither of these two illnesses are yet understood properly by the medical community and are what is described as 'diagnoses of negatives'. Diagnoses of negatives means that there is not clear medical reason for the symptoms, but I was still prescribed medication which needless to say did not have any affect at relieving the symptoms.

I continued with my dental check-ups and fillings as required, even having a tooth removed when I could not get any comfort and relief from toothache after repeated filling of one particular tooth. Following the removal of the tooth I decided to have the gap filled with a false tooth and decided with my dentist to have two crowns and a bridge fitted. Over the next couple of years, I developed ear, sinus and nasal drip problems and, yet again, no one was able to tell me what was wrong with me. There were several investigations of the nasal passages and entrance to the ear from within the nasal cavity, but no obvious cause; medications prescribed had no effect.

At my next visit to my dentist, I asked out of curiosity what the crown/bridge restoration was made from, the dentist was uncertain but followed up for my and obtained the information for me; it contained 75% nickel and other metals. I told him I was allergic to nickel and he asked if this had been proved, having said no, he told me that if I could prove Medical Need then he could get it changed. So in May 2008 I took an NHS Patch Test to find out. The results came back that I was indeed allergic to nickel and to thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in everything from vaccines to contact lens cleaning solution and make-up. This made sense to me, and made sense of a variety of symptoms I had experience over the years, not least being ill with cold type symptoms and Upper Respiratory Tract Infections every time I had my yearly flu jab.

This discovery piqued my interest in the subject of metal allergy, and my research quickly led me to MELISA®. Having completed the on-line questionnaire, I decided to be tested for allergy to 20 metals, chosen by me after consultation and discussion with MELISA, and based on my history, diet and environment. I sent a blood sample for testing. The results indicated that not only was I extremely allergic to nickel, but also to gold, tin, palladium, inorganic mercury and molybdenum. I took the MELISA® results to my dentist, who wrote to a NHS Teaching Hospital requesting the immediate change of my fillings and removal of the crown/bridge. The first dental consultant refused. I was despondant and asked for full dental clearance of all my teeth and was sent to another NHS General Hospital where the consultant told me that I was deluded and had been misled. I didn't give up and my dentist referred me a third time and to yet another NHS Teaching Hospital; this time the consulatant agreed to treat me.

During winter 2009/spring 2010, I was fitted with composite (white) fillings and offered a zirconium ceramic alternative to the crown/bridge, in which the only potential allergen substance was zirconium. For my own peace of mind, I undertook another MELISA® test, which came back negative to zirconium. In July 2010, I had the crown/bridge replaced with the zirconium ceramic alternative. During this time I had also enquired about the composition of the clips used in my sterilisations. It turned out that they contained eight parts of nickel per million; while this is a tiny amount I believe that to a person with an extreme allergy such as myself, it was certainly sufficient to cause a reaction. I had the clips removed in September 2009. Only then did I discover what it was like to move about with no pain in my hips, no deep abdominal discomfort and no deep abdominal itch, it was amazing that such a small amount had made this local area of my body so sore and uncomfortable. Within 24 hours of having the clips removed my abdominal discomfort subsided, the deep abdominal itch had disappeared and the severe pain in my left hip vanished.

On the completion of my dental work, all of my oral symptoms (blisters, ulcers, lumps, sore, dry mouth) had within a few short hours, either drastically improved or disappeared completely. Within a couple of days to one week following completion of the dental work the IBS symptoms and the Fibromyaglia symptoms also disappeared.

My GP's and Dentist reactions, a couple of months later, were wonderful; they were obviously astounded by the change in me and simply said 'how good and well I was looking'.

Aside from the initial discomfort following such extensive dental work and surgery, I can honestly say I feel like a new person; I have my life back.

Sue Collins, United Kingdom
August 2010

Titanium the cause of multiple health problems and chronic fatigue

My son Louis was a healthy and responsive toddler until the age of 18 months when he was given the MMR vaccination. At this point the health visitor noticed that his development had regressed, especially his language. He was referred for further speech and hearing tests, and later to a speech and language therapist. Until the age of 11 Louis was well but had episodes of behavioural difficulties including uncontrollable anger as well as a lack of physical co-ordination.

In 2005, at the age of 11, my son suffered a compound fracture to his forearm. The bone was pinned with a titanium pin. For the following 3 weeks he suffered from a raised temperature and severe pain.  When the cast was removed there was an infection.  The consultant agreed to remove the pin and Louis’ health immediately improved.

In 2006 Louis again suffered a serious break to his wrist and forearm after a fall. A titanium plate was fixed into his arm. A year later, he was experiencing a myriad of symptoms (headaches, lack of co-ordination, uncontrollable anger) and finally an arachnoid cyst was diagnosed. A craniotomy was performed and titanium bio plates were placed in to his skull to fix the bone flap.

In May 2007 Louis’ arm became tender and eventually seized up completely. There was localised tenderness with the previously fine scar swelling to 3 cm wide. The orthopaedic surgeon agreed to remove the plate in his arm. At this time the surgeon stated “It is my opinion that Louis developed an intense fibrous reaction around the plate in his forearm and does have a tendency to lay down abundant scar tissue.”

During this period Louis had also suffered from headaches around the site of the titanium plates. A year on, he was experiencing more severe headaches, high temperatures, suppressed appetite and periods of exhaustion. Eventually in May 2009 he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. He was unable to attend school and slept for around 18 hours in a 24 hr period. On most days he was too weak to get up from his bed or come downstairs.

At this point, in May 2009, we sent off a blood sample for MELISA® metal allergy testing, and the results indicated a positive reaction to titanium and nickel. The skull plates were made up of a titanium alloy (90% Titanium, 6% Aluminium, 4% Vanadium). I persuaded the surgeon to operate and remove the titanium plates from his skull.

Just two weeks after the operation to remove the titanium plates Louis was back at school on a part-time basis. His headaches had gone and his appetite had returned. 3 weeks after the operation he was well enough to do work experience in the busy kitchen of a local restaurant. 

My son continues to thrive and is now studying for his GCSEs full time at school. Since the plates were removed he has shown no symptoms of CFS.

Charmaine Despres, Dorset, United Kingdom
August 2009

Young woman with chronic fatigue syndrome has titanium plates removed and makes a full recovery

In 2007, I was 18 years old, and had been healthy all my life, although I had experienced some reactions to anaesthetics, antibiotics and painkillers. In June that year, I received commercially pure titanium plates in my lower jaw and seemed to have another bad reaction to the anaesthetic.

Within two weeks my symptoms had worsened, I was constantly exhausted, lying in bed all day and unable to get up. I had pain and swelling around the site of the implant. I had to stop my studies as a dental nurse.

My health continued to deteriorate. On my 19th birthday, friends and family gathered with a cake and presents but I was unable to get out of bed until late that day. With help, I was able to sit and had to be spoon fed. After 30 minutes I was so exhausted that I had to go back to bed.

My GP diagnosed me with depression. My family was desperate to find what was wrong with me, and finally found out about titanium allergy on the MELISA® website. My consultant was initially unwilling to help as he had never heard of titanium allergy.

After three months of increasingly severe pain and neurological disturbances, including feelings of aggression and confusion, the implants were finally removed.

Almost immediately after the implants were removed my symptoms started to disappear. Within one month I got a part-time job, and within three months I returned to my full-time education.

It’s one year later and I am now completely well. As the surgeons agreed to remove my implants, I did not do a MELISA® test until one month after the implants were removed. The results showed an allergy to titanium (SI 2.9) and molybdenum (SI=2.3), both metals found within my implants.

Jane Cole, London, United Kingdom
April 2009