Mercury levels can be tested…we offer urine analysis here at the clinic.
Mercury toxicity symptoms can depend on many factors:
1. The chemical form absorbed and how it is transported into the body tissues
2. The presence of other synergistic toxins (Pb and Cd have similar effects)
3. The presence of a disease that lowers the bodies own immune system
4. The body’s concentration of protective nutrients (Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin E)
5. Organ levels of foreign substances (pesticides which must be detoxified via liver)
Early signs of mercury contamination include:
1. Decreased sense of touch, hearing, vision, and taste
2. Metallic taste in mouth
3. Fatigue or lack of physical endurance
4. Increased salivation
Symptoms may progress with moderate or chronic exposure to include:
2. Numbness and paresthesias
5. Irritability and excitability
6. Immune suppression and/or possible immune dysregulation
Advanced disease processes from Mercury toxicity include:
1. Tremors and incoordination
4. Manic behaviors
5. Possible autoimmune disorders
6. Renal dysfunction of failure
Depending on the duration of Mercury contamination, renal excretion may become impaired and levels tested might not be accurate due to renal failure, if things have progressed to this extent.
Mercury exposures are common in:
1. Dental amalgams
2. Pure liquid form in glass thermometers
3. Laboratory equipment
4. Fungicides and pesticides
5. Explosive detonators
7. Batteries and electrodes
Methylmercury, the common poisonous form occurs by “methylation” in aquatic sediments (both freshwater and salt). It accumulates in aquatic animals and fish and is concentrated up the food chain reaching higher concentrations in larger fish and predatory birds. With exception of fish, the human dietary intake is negligible. However, a daily diet of fish can easily cause 1 to 10 micrograms of Mercury a day to be ingested, with about 3/4 of this as Methylmercury.
Removal of Mercury from the body involves using a detoxifying agent, IV EDTA. It is common to find elevated levels in the urine following these treatments. We recommend using both hair and urine analysis for corrobarating the toxicity. Blood analysis is also useful in differentiating recent or ongoing Mercury exposure.