It’s pretty safe to say that most people in the Western world have probably been exposed to too much mercury. You’ll find mercury in vaccines (where it gets thrown right into the blood stream- much harder for the body to process vs. it being ingested), dental tooth fillings ( what a dangerous idea! Mercury in your mouth), fish (especially tuna), and even cleaning products. Mercury can be passed through the placenta so a mother with amalgam fillings can unfortunately pass along this metal to her unborn baby. Since mercury fillings were introduced about 100 years ago, this has given us a long time to build up this toxic metal.
Other sources of mercury include pollution in our air, our water, acid rain, talc powder,broken thermometers, batteries, diuretics, suppositories, wood preservatives, adhesives, floor waxes, tattoos, fabric softener, hair dies, paint, plastics, chlorine bleach, laxatives, and the “eco-friendly” CFL light bulbs.
Symptoms of Mercury Toxicity
Nearly every illness out there could be related to mercury toxicity, especially if you know that you have had exposure. Mercury can build up in the brain, lungs, heart, and kidneys so it can constantly be creating symptoms. Mercury is often found with Candida and parasites- there are many theories on why this happens. Some think that yeast, bacteria, viruses and parasites feed off of the mercury but others think that since mercury weakens the immune system it allows us to get this build-up of excess junk.
The most common symptoms include:
- Adrenal issues
- Auto-immune illness like RA, fibromyalgia, etc
- Mineral dysregulation/deficiencies
- Issues with anger or other emotions
- Depression, anxiety, racing mind
- Blood sugar issues
- Literally ANYTHING you can think of
Testing for Mercury
Long term mercury toxicity is hard to detect. If it has been building up for decades then you will more than likely not see it on any test. The most common way to test for mercury is a urine challenge using a chelation drug. After taking the drug, you collect your urine over 24 hours and a lab tests it for how much mercury was excreted. Chelation drugs can be dangerous- we’ll get into this in a minute.
The other way to test for mercury is HTMA. Again, if you have had chronic mercury exposure then it is unlikely you will see mercury on the HTMA, especially if you are a slow oxidizer with weak adrenals. Sometimes we may see mercury come out in the hair once a person becomes stronger but most mercury is eliminated through urine and skin.
Treating Mercury Toxicity
Now this is where many people tend to disagree. One of the most popular ways to treat metal poisoning, especially mercury, is chelation. Chelation is a process that usually uses 2 drugs (DMPS and DMSA) to remove mercury from the body. The biggest problem with chelation is that it also removes GOOD minerals from the body as well as bad metals. So you are stripping your body of much needed nutrients when you are already in a deficient state.
Chelation is powerful enough to pull the metals out of storage (only according to some sources- others say that it cannot pull the metals out of storage) but if the body is weak, it cannot properly eliminate the metals properly and will likely redeposit itself elsewhere in the body, usually the brain. I was part of a group on FB that loves chelation and I was so discouraged to see all of these people suffering for the sake of ripping metals (and minerals) out of the body. This is not safe, and I will never recommend it!
The best ways to eliminate mercury include:
- HTMA to determine mineral status
- Balance the nervous system
- Aid detoxification- liver and lymph health especially
- Strengthen the body with good nutrition
- Strengthen your skin! Skin is our biggest organ and plays a huge role in detoxification. Mercury apparently can be excreted through the skin when it is functioning properly. Sauna therapy, dry skin brushing, getting adequate sunshine and eliminating toxic beauty products are all essential to help the skin breathe!
- As much sleep and rest as possible. We heal when we sleep and without sleep, we will not detox properly since the liver and lymph work while we sleep
- Fix deficiencies in zinc, chromium, manganese and selenium
- Fix copper dysregulation– Mercury has the ability to bind with copper and make it not able to work properly. We need copper to help undo the damage of oxidative stress in the body, which mercury creates a lot of.
What If I have Mercury Fillings?
There is much debate about this these days. Some people cannot make progress without removing their fillings, and others just want to get the junk OUT of their mouth once they learn about it. The best thing to do is to work on your adrenals as much as you can, strengthen your body, and try not to stress about the fillings until you feel strong enough to handle the extraction. Some people that jump into getting them removed completely crash. When they take the fillings out, the mercury releases vapor. This vapor is usually what causes the body to go into overdrive and crash if the elimination organs aren’t working properly.
If you decide to get your amalgams out make sure you find a very competent dentist that has been removing amalgams for years. You can check out the whole proper procedure on this website and you should be able to search for dentists that know how to properly remove the fillings.
Most people will have some form of mercury build-up. We have to aim to strengthen the body in order for it to take care of the metals itself instead of ripping metals and minerals, and then having to go back and replenish the body. Since mercury is not the only issue that we have, it makes much more sense to nourish ourselves and allow our bodies to heal on their own.
I hope this post was helpful for some of you that are on the fence about how to tackle mercury!