According to the WHO ‘Methylmercury (a form of mercury) is the major source of body burden in children worldwide’. All forms of mercury are toxic.
It’s with personal experience and frustrations that I’ve discovered just how invasive and damaging Heavy Metals (HM) can be, especially Mercury.
HM are ubiquitous i.e. everywhere and most of us are carrying them in some shape or form. Mercury, Aluminium, Lead, Arsenic, uranium, cadmium, a few of the common ones.
Let’s focus on Mercury. It’s one of the most common and one I’ve had most experience with and researched.
It’s a topic that’s close to my heart, as it’s something each member of our family has dealt with, in particular our eldest child and has had a defining part to play in their developmental challenges.
- what Mercury does to the body and why it’s SO hard to pinpoint
- why it can be linked to chronic illness, mental disorders, immune disfunction, digestive issues and much more.
- 8 major sources of mercury.
- 5 things I wish I’d known that could’ve saved us time, money and angst.
- 11 things we can do daily to support our bodies to detox naturally and WHY.
This is often an overlooked topic and trigger to illness and as Dr Chris Shade, one of the worlds leading expert in mercury and glutathione says,
‘Overall, mercury has a very strong ability to upset our entire system, which is part of the reason why toxicity symptoms are so difficult to pin down to mercury’
Mercury toxicity is far more common than we realise and has devastating consequences, especially on our neurology (brain) and immunity. There IS good news though, because with the right tools and fuels – we CAN – ship it out.
Importantly, if we don’t detox, it can lead to issues later on in life as stress takes hold or as our bodies age. And of even greater consequence is that these toxins accumulate in our bodies as they are passed on from one generation to the next, crescendoing the impact on the vitality of future generations. Watch the video here.
We need to detox heavy metals, not only for our own health, but for the health of future generations.
A snapshot of what Mercury does in the body;
- Inhibits cellular function. Mercury will also grab onto cell membranes, which leads to shattering of the membranes.
- Robs us of key nutrients. Mercury has a great affinity for sulfur and zinc especially and so can rob us of these key nutrients that are vital for many different chemical pathways e.g. zinc for skin and our immunity and sulfur is critical for us to detox well.
- Disrupts our immune system.
- Disrupts our nervous system. This is key. Think anxiety, irritability, mood swings, depression, muscle abnormality, anything stimulated by the nervous system eg eyesight, language, hearing, fine motor skills etc.Dr Chris Shade a mercury and glutathione (detox) expert from the University of illinois and one of the worlds experts on mercury detoxification. says “Neurologically, Mercury can take you into depression, or it can take you into anxiety,”. “Similarly, it can make you hyperactive, or it can give you chronic fatigue.”
- Disrupts our gut health. Mercury, especially from dental amalgams, can accumulate heavily in our digestive tract where it attaches to your gut lining and can contribute to that imbalance of good v bad bugs. (dysbiosis) .
- Detoxification pathways.
- Our brain health most importantly the neurological development in our children. Commonly toxins store in our organs and our fat tissue. For children, as they don’t carry much fat tissue, the brain is a prime suspect and therefore the central nervous system is the most vulnerable.
- Metals can be used by some pathogens (bad bugs) to strengthen their ‘armoury’ , making them very very hard to penetrate and bring back into balance.
- The nature of Heavy metals also target our kidneys, liver, heart, pituitary and thyroid glands, and increase our risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Overall, mercury has a very strong ability to upset our entire system, which is part of the reason why toxicity symptoms are so difficult to pin down to mercury.
Not to alarm but to be aware. If you are struggling with an illness or issue you can’t get to the bottom of and haven’t considered toxicity, it might be worth considering.
It was certainly the case for us.
I am a great believer the body and the mind together can naturally deal with toxins, including heavy metals, it’s incredibly clever, and it has the mechanisms to do it. In a healthy, strong body.
BUT the reality is most of us do not live in a way that our stressors are low enough (busyness, relationships, emotions get in the way daily) or that our energy is clear enough to be able to do this naturally.
And until we are there, which can take a lifetime, I think it’s important we support our bodies with small steps to daily detoxify, feel better and continue our evolving progress of wellbeing.
Unless we detoxify from these metals, they continue to accumulate and pass on from generation to generation, causing devastating neurological and immune problems along the way.
Has to do with all of us, but in particular our children.
We have had a frustrating and challenging time over the years trying to get to the bottom of their development. As a 5 year old development within their body stopped when they were 5 years old. It’s fine now, development progressing and they are by all means a super healthy, happy child.
It wasn’t always this way and we have definitely had our challenges. A longer story for another time.
I discovered there were 4 key elements at the heart of the issue inhibiting development.
- the functioning of their brain,
- high exposure to heavy metals,
- a leaky gut and
- microbial infections, fungal, bacterial with helico bacter and parasitic, h. blastocystis – a very nasty parasite and hard to get rid of.
They had it all going on. How did I discover this. I listened to my gut instinct and we did testing. I knew there had to be a cause for the challenges that presented, and despite being told there was nothing that could be done. I found answers. The testing we did Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and stool testing and working with a good health practitioner.
Let’s focus on Mercury. When we first tested, it was barely negligible and under the ref. range of her hair tissue analysis.
Fortunately we were with a Naturopath that understood it’s not OK and there is no room for heavy metals.
We started a detox protocol and the metals started to come out. Over the space of a year her levels for mercury, lead, arsenic, rose. Mercury was incredibly high, thankfully now we are almost there.
As mentioned, Mercury is a potent neurotoxin.
At the same time, despite their good diet, their nutritional profile for key nutrients was very low. Heavy metals (along with the imbalance of bugs) can rob the body of these nutrients.
WHO 3 Key facts;
- Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life.
- Mercury may have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes.
- Mercury is considered by WHO as one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern.
Sources of Mercury.
- Across the placenta
Different types of mercury, affects the body differently
All forms of mercury are more or less toxic to humans, because it is widely distributed in the body and many systems are affected.
The toxic effects of mercury vary according to:
- Form: elemental, inorganic or organic.
- Dose: high dose acute poisonings versus low dose chronic effects.
- Timing: prenatal, infancy, childhood or adult.
The fetal brain is the most sensitive human tissue to damage from this powerful neurodevelopmental toxin. Certainly explains some of the challenges we had to deal with.
Not going into detail re some of the effects, but you can imagine.
What is more concerning is if there is NO heavy metals detected as it may mean the body isn’t detoxing well and pathways are compromised.
5 things I wish I’d known.
- elimination organs must be functioning well eg gut, liver and kidney
- if there is leaky gut, and it’s highly likely there is, it needs to be worked on and healed
- we all detoxify differently, based on the efficinecy of our detox pathways, this needs to be taken into consideration.
- They MUST be removed gently. Be patient
- Glutathione is a critical player in detoxing. The glutathione system is the core for proper detoxification. Glutathione is our master antioxidant and detoxifier. It binds to the metals to pull them out of the body, but needs lots of help from different nutrients and enzymes to do this. Good nutrition is key plus healthy elimination organs e.g. gut, liver, kidneys.
You have to have all parts of this going and working well.
I wish I had known a few of these things first up, it would’ve saved us a lot of time and money.
11 things we can do.
- Conduct a hair analysis test to get a baseline. More comprehensive testing involves blood and urine testing. (different forms of mercury that will settle in different areas of the body).
- Remove the source of exposure. Primarily, Seafood or amalgams, packaged foods.
- Optimise our diet to give the body the nourishment it needs and can support detoxification and get the job done. Antioxidant rich foods eg blueberries and goji berries, vitamin C, green tea, good fats to help eliminate toxins from fat cells, good, healthy protein sources and dark leafy greens especially eg a morning green smoothie is a great way to start the day, support the liver and flood the body with nutrients (if tolerated).
- Start healing the gut. Bone stock, gelatin, zinc, aloe vera, prebiotic foods, chia seeds, remove dead foods, processed foods, sugars, inflammatory foods eg gluten and dairy. Stick to whole, natural real foods. Good bugs.
- Restore and strengthen kidney and liver health a with foods such as avocado, turmeric, dark leafy greens, bitter foods eg rocket and dandelion greens. herbs eg milkthistle. Supplements and essential oils eg lemon.
- Rebuild the microbiome, fermented foods, leafy greens, prebiotics, or a probiotic. Bring the bugs back into balance.
- Promote and support detox pathways e.g. glutathione, a master antioxidant is important. Sulphur rich foods eg Whey protein, onion, garlic, leek, eggs and cruciferous vegetables support our glutathione system. Mercury likes to pair with Sulphur especially, making it especially important to increase the level of these foods.
- Introduce foods that chelate HM, coriander, chlorella, parsley, sulphur rich foods onion, garlic, leek, eggs and cruciferous vegetables
- Amino acids from protein sources are also important eg fish, eggs, clean red meat.
- Alpha lipoic acid, powerful antioxidant found in some vegetables, the best sources are clean red meat and organ meat. Sulphur and ALA both help stimulate our glutathione levels.
- Lemon and lemon essential oil. Make sure it’s a good quality lemon oil, it’s a powerful detoxifier.
Other things to do.
- Good quality mineral and vitamin supplement
- Lots of good quality water
- Exercise daily and get a bit of a sweat up.
- Vitamin C
- Infrared sauna
- Good quality sleep
If you do suspect heavy metals and want to investigate it further, find a good health practioner experienced in the area.
Detox needs to be done carefully, gently and properly as can go onto cause further damage.
Be patient, it takes time and be comforted knowing food and lifestyle choices can heal.
If you want to talk to me about my experience and next steps, I am very happy to share. I would love to help you save costly and unnecessary time and money. Pop some time in our diaries here or email me for a 30 minute consultation on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the video here.
- World Health Organisation, (WHO) Paper, 2008
- Dr Christopher Shade, https://www.quicksilverscientific.com
- Joseph Marcela, https://www.quicksilverscientific.com