December 19, 2008

Human Thermometer

Jeremy Piven's doctor is speaking out about the actor's decision to quit Broadway's Speed-the-Plow due a high mercury count.

Dr. Carlon Colker says a major symptom of mercury poisoning is extreme fatigue. Colker tells Entertainment Tonight the actor, 43, has been an avid sushi eater for many years, regularly eating sushi twice a day. Piven has also taken certain Chinese herbs that, along with the sushi, could have led to elevated mercury levels.

Last week, Piven began experiencing neuro-muscular dysfunction, which led to extreme difficulty in lifting his arms and legs. On Sunday, he felt dizzy - and now he is ordered to rest. "He'd like to continue his role in Speed the Plow," his rep tells Usmagazine.com, but "his doctors have advised him that he should end his run immediately." Piven, who was hospitalized for three days recently, is no longer in New York.

After playwright David Mamet expressed some skepticism about Piven's condition, Colker says the actor is disappointed the cast of the play has not rallied behind him. The play, which opened Oct. 23, is still scheduled to run through Feb. 22. Tony-winner Norbert Leo Butz and William H. Macy will replace Piven (Butz starts Dec. 23; Macy begins Jan. 13.)

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