Staying Safe From Mercury Toxicity

Staying Safe From Mercury Toxicity

May 10, 2022

Can’t get enough of your tuna sandwiches, or baked salmon? Or do you
not go a day without using a lot of skincare products? Before you take your next bite or apply that brightening cream, you might want to pause and read on about how you may be exposing yourself to mercury toxicity.

What is Mercury Toxicity?

A shiny, silver-white metal, mercury naturally occurs in the earth’s crust, just like lead. It’s used widely in pressure measuring instruments, fluorescent lamps, and electrical switches. Mercury is used in dental fillings as an amalgam with silver. In some countries, skin brightening or lightening products often contain some inorganic form of this heavy metal in their ingredients list.

In general, mercury is considered a common environmental contaminant that poses risk to wildlife as well as people. There are many sources through which we can be exposed to mercury and its detrimental effects on our health. These include vapors in the ambient air, drinking water, ocean fish, dental fillings, occupational hazards, and more.

Why is Mercury Toxicity considered a human health hazard?

Ranked the third most toxic element on the planet by the US Government Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, mercury is detrimental to human health. However, it continues to be dumped into global waters and soil, released into the atmosphere, and eventually finds itself on our plates and in our glasses. Once ingested through any of these sources ,mercury can cause lasting damage to our metabolic processes:

– Mercury exposure can cause changes in the membrane permeability of our cells .

It induces oxidative stress, triggers mitochondrial dysfunction, disruption of calcium homeostasis, and increased lipid peroxidation.

Mercury interferes in the energy production in the nervous system, impairing cellular detoxification processes. It forces cells in the nervous tissue to either die or remain chronically malnourished.

The blood brain barrier is compromised by mercury’s action, rendering it susceptible to penetration by other heavy toxins as well.

How is Mercury Toxicity Caused?

Most commonly, mercury is introduced in our bodies through seafood and dental amalgams. When you consume ocean fish that has been contaminated with mercury, the intestines begin to break it down further. Due to a process called molecular mimicry, our body is unable to flag organic mercury as a harmful agent. Instead, it confuses it as being a beneficial nutrient and it is sent into blood circulation. How your health is affected by mercury exposure depends on some factors such as

  • The amount of mercury in the exposure
  • The age of the person exposed
  • How long the exposure lasts
  • How the person is exposed — breathing, eating, skin contact, etc.
  • The overall health of the person exposed.

Effects of Mercury Toxicity:

  1. Neurologic Effects: Organic mercury has been researched to trigger chronic neurological disease Symptoms of mercury toxicity in the brain include nerve damage, tremors, loss of balance, hearing difficulties, tunnel vision, dysarthria (slurred speech), headache, fatigue, impaired sexual function, and depression.
  1. Reproductive Effects: Among women, mercury can initiate pathophysiological changes that affect reproductive function by changing the circulating levels of FSH, LH, estrogen, progesterone, and androgens. Irregular or painful periods, ovarian dysfunction, and abnormal cycles are some symptoms. In pregnant women, mercury toxicity can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, low birth weights, and compromised fetal brain development.
  1. Gastrointestinal Effects: When ingested, mercury is absorbed by the epithelial cells and can trigger a number of disturbances in the digestive system. From inhibiting the production of trypsin, chymotrypsin, and pepsin to causing abdominal pain, IBD, and bloody diarrhea, it has far-reaching effects.

4. Effects on Skin: Mercury toxicity causes allergic dermatitis, cheilitis (cracked corners of the mouth), gingivitis (gum disease), stomatitis (sores in the mucous membranes of the mouth), and excessive salivation.

Signs to look out for:

Prolonged exposure to mercury can begin to manifest in a number of ways. However, diagnosing the condition can be a tricky process. Our functional medicine experts at MyPureMD, Houston are qualified to get to the root cause of your symptoms using a 360-degree approach. Some signs to look out for mercury toxicity include:

  • Tremors and memory loss
  • Unexplained mood swings, irritability, nervousness and other emotional changes
  • Insomnia and headaches
  • Neuromuscular changes include weakness, muscle atrophy, twitching
  • Chronic indigestion

Staying Safe From Exposure to Mercury:

1. The most common way in which mercury is ingested by people is by consuming large ocean fish like tuna, swordfish, shark, and tilefish. Instead, choose to eat only small wild fish that’s been fished from local rivers.

  1. Keep your dental health in check to avoid getting fillings.
  1. Safely get rid of non-essential mercury-containing products and implement safe handling, use, and disposal of remaining mercury-containing products like fluorescent light bulbs, old school thermometers, etc.
  1. Check the labels of any foreign creams for the presence of mercury in its  different forms. On the whole, avoid applying skin-lightening products as they usually contain inorganic mercury.
  1. If you work in an industrial setting or live close to an industrial area, ensure you wear the appropriate protective gear such as masks and gloves and  install a good quality air purifier in your home. Run tests on your drinking water from time to time to ensure it is safe and potable. If you suspect you have been exposed to mercury or other heavy metals, get in touch with us today! Our certified expert doctors will help you reach an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis using state-of-the-art testing.

Book a discovery call with us and get started on your path to a mercury-free life.

May 10, 2022

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