Mercury toxicity is pervasive and insidious. Detoxification of mercury could be the subject of an entire book. Mercury can contribute to symptoms from autism, fearfulness and other behavioral problems, to rashes, tremors, an impaired immune system, thyroid problems and many others. Nutritional balancing programs based on hair mineral testing are an excellent way to remove mercury. They combine five detoxification methods to support the body as mercury is removed.
Regardless of test results, individuals often have hidden mercury toxicity. Dental amalgams are a major source of mercury exposure. They contain about 50% mercury. Each year, dentists in America place about 100 million amalgam fillings. The law prohibits dentists from having carpeting in their work area, for fear of dropping mercury on the floor and contaminating the entire office. But they are allowed to place mercury in your mouth. The term "quack" originally referred to dentists who used "quacksalver", the German word for mercury. Many vaccines, including common flu shots, are preserved with thiomersal, which contains 46% mercury. American children today receive some 49 vaccines by the age of 6, although all do not contain thimerosal. Not only is the mercury injected directly into the bloodstream, but the exposure occurs when the child's nervous and immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
Until recently, mercury was used as a fungicide in house paints and is still found in contact lens solution. Mercury is also a common algicide, fungicide and an agricultural and industrial pollutant used in paper manufacture and many other industries. Most coastal waters are polluted with mercury, which means that seafood and fish, especially large fish such as tuna and swordfish, are often high in mercury.
Finally, mercury is passed on from mothers to children through the placenta. Many children today have high mercury levels even without direct exposure to mercury.
While mercury poisoning may be acute, it is most often chronic. That is, it occurs slowly over a long period of time. Conventional medicine hardly considers chronic mercury toxicity a valid diagnosis, hence they rarely look for it.
Tests recognized as valid for detecting chronic mercury toxicity include hair analysis and urine challenge tests. The latter is a urine test performed after giving a dose of a chelating agent. A simple urine or blood test without a chelator will usually not reveal mercury toxicity unless the poisoning is acute. Some practitioners also use electrodermal screening, muscle testing, radionics and other methods to detect mercury.
No detection method is 100% accurate. Hair testing misses some mercury because mercury may not accumulate in the hair. Urine challenge tests also miss mercury that is sequestered deep inside body tissues. Kinesiology, electrodermal testing and radionics are subject to operator bias and other interference that can influence the test.
People often ask, if hair analysis is not a foolproof way to detect mercury toxicity, then why bother with it? There are several answers.
First, hair analysis is a valid method to detect mercury. There is no perfect detection method.
Second, the reason for doing a hair test is not just to detect mercury. Hair analysis, when properly performed and interpreted, assesses how the body is responding to stress. It can guide the correction of body chemistry to improve energy production and enhance all aspects of metabolism. This greatly facilitates the removal not only of mercury, but of cadmium, arsenic, lead and many other toxic substances. This is the real value of the test.
Most everyone has some mercury toxicity due to its wide distribution in the food, water, vaccines and dental materials. However, mercury may not be revealed on a first hair analysis unless it is being eliminated through the hair.
Fast oxidizers tend to show more mercury on their hair analyses than slow oxidizers. Fast oxidizers are not more toxic. However, they have a greater capacity to eliminate mercury. Mercury toxicity often accompanies copper toxicity.
There are five methods for eliminating toxic metals. In our experience, the best results occur when all five are used together. The most important method is to improve cellular energy production. This enhances the body's natural ability to eliminate heavy metals. A powerful way to enhance energy production is to balance what Dr. Paul Eck referred to as the oxidation rate. This is not exactly the same as the oxidation rate determination proposed by Dr. George Watson. Hair analysis and interestingly, acupuncture diagnosis, are among the few ways to make this assessment.
The second method is the use of antagonists, including minerals such as zinc and selenium.
The third method is the use of chelators. These include vitamin C, sulfur-containing amino acids and synthetic chelating drugs such as DMPS or DMSA. Nutritional methods to enhance metallothionein will also help the body chelate mercury.
The fourth method is to support the eliminative organs with supplements, herbs, physical therapy, saunas, enemas and other means. Mercury is eliminated primarily through the liver and kidneys.
The fifth method is to reduce exposure from all sources. Some agents, such as cilantro, chlorella, herbs and others may combine chelators and other chemicals to help remove mercury. Some physicians also use homeopathic mercury, but this is controversial among the homeopaths.
Many physicians only focus on one method, and then wonder why their results are not satisfactory. This applies, for example, to just giving massive doses of vitamin C, just sauna baths, or just using synthetic chelators. These chelators remove nutrient minerals along with the toxic minerals. Administering a few vitamins and minerals to compensate is not the same as supporting and balancing one's body chemistry.
Well-meaning physicians often use the allopathic principle of a single treatment for a single problem. However, combination approaches are generally safer and more effective. Also, any detoxification method that does not balance body chemistry can worsen the patient's symptoms.
An important reason to use hair analysis is to avoid unbalancing the body chemistry with nutrients, herbs or medications. For example, both vitamin C and zinc are helpful for mercury toxicity. However, giving excessive vitamin C or zinc will lower tissue copper levels. This will make some patients' condition much worse.
A common mistake is to believe that mercury can be "cleansed" in a few weeks or months. Most mercury toxicity is chronic. It affects many organs and systems of the body. Mercury may even perform adaptive functions in the body. Reducing mercury levels can take at least six months and more realistically, several years.
Symptomatic improvement may occur rapidly, but it is wise to keep patients on a program for at least six months. Patience and persistence is often needed. We commonly see mercury elimination occur several years into a nutritional balancing program.
Also, we are continuously exposed to mercury, even if we limit our exposure in our food, water, environment and avoidance of vaccines.
Maintaining good health and taking steps to help eliminate mercury and other toxic metals are always wise health practices.