If you are heavy, it could be making you sick and tired and age prematurely. And I don’t mean heavy with fat …
I mean heavy with heavy metals — like mercury!
Unfortunately, toxic mercury problems are common. Along with polar bears, beluga whales, ducks, otters, panthers, and all river fish as well as most large ocean fish, we humans are poisoning ourselves with mercury at ever increasing rates.
There’s no doubt about it, mercury is the most alarming, disease-causing source of environmental toxicity that I see daily in my practice. Many of patients have toxic levels of mercury — and they’re not alone. I personally suffered from mercury toxicity and chronic fatigue syndrome –which I cured myself from, in part by getting rid of the mercury in my body. So I know about this first hand.
I became toxic because I polluted myself by growing up on tuna fish sandwiches, eating sushi, living in Beijing, which heats all its homes with coal — the major source of environmental mercury load — and having a mouthful of amalgam (a.k.a. mercury) fillings.
All of these exposures, combined with genes that prevent me from effectively detoxifying metals in my body, led to a slow and significant poisoning of my cells and mitochondria. And the effects were obvious …
I felt weak, tired, and couldn’t think. I had muscle pain and twitches, insomnia, digestive problems, food allergies, depression, and anxiety. And it was only by discovering high levels of mercury in my hair and urine — and slowly detoxifying myself — that I was able to get better. …
Some of us are very good at detoxifying mercury and other toxins, while some of us store toxins like a toxic waste dump. Genetic variations (called polymorphisms) make some people more prone to metal toxicity.
One gene in particular is very important because it’s related to the body’s production of glutathione, our most powerful detoxifier and antioxidant. Your body can only excrete mercury when it’s bound with glutathione.
The polymorphism of the gene that controls the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase (GSST) prevents excretion of mercury. That is the gene problem I have that led to my mercury toxicity. When that happens, the mercury stays in tissues and does damage. Plus, mercury also binds to key enzymes that help us produce glutathione — in effect helping itself accumulate in our bodies.
Research also shows that people suffering from symptoms like fatigue, irritability, mood disorders, poor concentration, headaches, and insomnia due to their amalgam fillings are more likely than their peers to have the apolipoprotein E 4 (ApoE 4) gene. (vii)
ApoE 4 is known as the “Alzheimer’s gene.” It also promotes heart disease. ApoE 4 reduces detoxifying activity. This means that people with this gene can’t get rid of mercury from their brains, contributing to its toxic effects on this organ.
I know this all sounds very depressing. And it is. But the good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your exposure — and identify if you have toxic levels of mercury. So let me sum up what we learned in this week’s blog and offer some suggestions for reducing your exposure.
10 Truths and Tips about Mercury Toxicity
1. Industrial exposure to mercury is significant and mostly comes from coal burning (220 million pounds a year) and chlor-alkali plants.
2. The main ways that humans are exposed to mercury are from contaminated fish and dental amalgams or silver fillings.
3. Mercury can affect nearly all your organs, especially the brain, heart, kidneys, and gut.
4. Many chronic diseases may be caused or worsened by mercury, including neurologic disease, ADHD, autism, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and more.
5. Some of us are genetically better adapted to detoxify mercury than others, leading to variable effects within the population.
6. You should reduce your exposure by avoiding large ocean fish (like tuna, swordfish, shark, and tilefish) and river fish. Eat only small wild fish. If it fits in your pan, it is probably okay.
7. Blood tests are relatively worthless for analyzing mercury toxicity, unless you have had a significant recent exposure or eat a lot of sushi or tuna.
8. Hair tests only check for mercury from fish, not from fillings so they only give you a partial picture.
9. The only way to find out your total body load of mercury is to take a medication with sulfur molecules that binds to the mercury like fly paper. This is called DMSA or DMPS.
This test should ONLY be done by a trained physician and involves taking one dose of this medicine, followed by a 6- or 24-hour urine collection to see how much comes out. (In my opinion, the most reliable testing is done by www.doctorsdata.com).
10. If you are toxic and sick, you may consider addressing your dental health by seeing a biological dentist who can safely help you deal with mercury in your mouth. …