Are you doing everything right to try to get your health back… but yet don’t feel good?
I know how frustrating this is!
Keep reading, today I’ll share with you a possible root cause that could explain why you are still suffering from numerous health issues, despite your best efforts.
So don’t get discouraged.. just keep digging until you find the root of your health issues — there can be many!!!
And today, we will explore a very common one:
HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
A lot of people think that it’s not a possibility for them, either because they have already had their amalgams removed (hint: removing them is not enough to remove the stored mercury) or because they think they haven’t had any direct exposure to heavy metals.
But heavy metals are everywhere: in the air you breath, in the food you eat and in the water you drink. We are all exposed to a certain degree.
Heavy metals get stored in organs, especially the brain, which means that if you’ve been exposed at any time in your life (like with mercury in your mouth), you’re very likely to still have them in your brain and other organs, as they’re very hard to mobilise once they’re stored in your organs.
Something else to bear in mind is that if your detoxification capacity is reduced or overwhelmed (because of faulty detox pathways like MTHFR, or because of digestive issues like SIBO, yeasts/fungi, parasites, etc), then you are much more likely to accumulate heavy metals.
In this article, I will focus on mercury toxicity.
However, please bear in mind that there are plenty of other heavy metals that can accumulate in your body, like arsenic, cadmium, aluminium, lead, etc.
WHERE DOES THE MERCURY COME FROM?
Mercury amalgams (in your silver fillings): The mercury contained in the amalgams leaches out as a vapour into your body for the lifetime of the filling. It’s important to note that even if you have had your amalgams removed, it’s very likely that you have mercury stored in your organs, especially the brain.
Fish: Mostly big fish like shark, tuna and swordfish.
Vaccines: The preservative thimerosal, which is mercury based, was used in vaccines until recently. It is still used in some flu vaccines and I have had clients suffering from mercury toxicity after a single flu vaccine.
Contact lens solution: Thimerosal was used extensively in the 80s.
Red tattoos: Mercury sulphides is the red colouring agent.
Water: If you do not filter your water, it is highly likely that it contains heavy metals, including mercury and lead.
EFFECT OF MERCURY ON DIGESTION
As a gut health expert, I feel like I have to start by talking about the potential impact of mercury on digestion.
Much of the mercury from dental amalgams (as well as from other sources like water, food, etc) is swallowed along with foods or in the saliva and the digestive system is usually one of the first areas of the body to be affected.
Mercury binds with and blocks the actions of digestive enzymes leading to poor digestion and the development of food intolerances.
It also alters the normal gut bacteria, favouring the overgrowth of yeasts (most commonly Candida albicans) and suppressing the growth of ‘friendly’ bacteria. Read more about gut bacteria here and here.
The imbalance in gut bacteria and the constant irritation on the gut mucosa can lead to the development of intestinal permeability (leaky gut), which can lead to the development of multiple food sensitivities.
The effect on the brain (see below) and on the thyroid (leading to poor thyroid function which does not always show up in lab tests) can also affect gut motility, leading to difficult to treat constipation, or sometimes diarrhoea.
Most common digestive symptoms:
- Food sensitivities
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Leaky gut
EFFECT OF MERCURY ON THE BRAIN
Mercury accumulates in the brain, which is why most people with mercury toxicity will have some brain related symptoms. Once it has entered the brain, it will not leave until you do chelation therapy to get it out.
Mercury can produce a host of mental, emotional, and behavioural changes and what are considered ‘psychiatric’ disorders by disrupting neurotransmitters, interfering with endocrine gland function and hormones, and causing destruction of nervous system pathways.
Most common brain related symptoms:
- Poor memory (especially short term memory)
- Difficulty multitasking
- Difficulty finding words
- A lack of initiative
- An inability to concentrate
- Brain fog
- An inability to make decisions
- Lack of motivation
- Changes in mood: from anxiety to depression, to mood swings, panic attacks and loss of self-confidence.
OTHER COMMON SYMPTOMS
Fatigue is extremely common, as well as an inability to handle stress.
These symptoms are caused by blood sugar imbalances (with frequent hypoglycemia) and adrenal issues, which most people with long term mercury toxicity will suffer from.
Difficulty regulating body temperature is also very common.
Mercury toxicity also has an impact on the immune system, lungs, heart, hormones, joints and muscles, ears and balance.
TESTING FOR MERCURY TOXICITY
This can be tricky. A blood test is definitely not enough, as it will only show high mercury with acute toxicity/exposure.
As mercury accumulates in organs, it will often not show in test.
Hair analysis can be useful. Andy Cutler has developed a method to read a hair analysis that will show if mercury toxicity is present, even if it doesn’t show up as high in the hair analysis. This is what I use most often to detect mercury toxicity.
The gold standard test is to do a challenge test using high doses of a chelating agent like DMSA or DMPS, but this can be dangerous, especially for people who are very toxic, so I do not recommend it!
If you have amalgams in your mouth, the 1st thing to do is get them removed safely.
However, I do want to add a caveat to this. If you are very tired and run down, I recommend working on getting your body in better shape BEFORE removing the amalgams. Even if it’s done safely, it can be very taxing on the system (one reason is that there will always be a bit of mercury leaking from the extraction) and can make you sicker than before if your body is not up to it.
Once you have no source of mercury in your body, you can begin chelation.
There are numerous ways to do chelation and many products on the market, which can be a bit overwhelming.
First of all, before starting chelation, supporting the body with targeted supplements is really important. This will vary depending on your symptoms and lab results, but I find that most people need magnesium, B vitamins, zinc, Vitamin C (up to 10 grams per day) and some form of adrenal support. If you are very sensitive to supplements (many people with heavy metal toxicity are), go slow and build up over many weeks. This is not a race… slow is always better when dealing with heavy metals!
So the big question is, which chelation method do I use?
I have used the Andy Cutler protocol in the past with many clients, using DMSA (or DMPS) and ALA every 3 to 4 hours, 3 days on and 4 days off. I have myself done this protocol after removing 12 amalgams from my mouth.
However, I have found the process to be very slow and tedious (many people take 1 to 2 years or more), and many people just simply can’t do it, either because they can’t wake up at night to take the supplements (yes, it’s every 3 hours even at night!), or because they can’t tolerate DMSA and ALA, even in smaller dosages. So although I still believe it to be a good chelation protocol, I am slowly moving away from it.
In my quest for a better solution for my clients (and myself… I actually stopped the Andy Cutler protocol after 1 year) I found a product called HM-ET binder, which contains a special form of bioactive carbon that is extracted from plant-based fulvic acid and humic acid.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
1- It is a true chelator designed to bind to heavy metals (including mercury, lead, aluminium, arsenic, etc) and environmental toxins (like pesticides, BPA, glyphosate) to remove them from the body.
2- It also includes polyelectrolytes, amino acids, and other organic acids that helps restore the tissues that have been damaged by the toxins. This restoration function helps to reduce detoxification reactions common during chelation, which is usually a big issue, making people feel pretty lousy during the whole process ;-(
3- It feeds good bacteria in your gut, helping to improve digestion and fix the damage done by the heavy metals.
What I especially like about it is that it is ridiculously easy to use. 2 doses per day (the half life is 12-18 hours, if you are interested in these facts!), taken with or without food. That’s it! No fuss! The capsules can easily be opened and mixed with water to allow for smaller starting doses if needed, but it doesn’t need to be painstakingly exact as with the Andy Cutler protocol.
If you are interested in giving it a try, you can order it here.
And by the way, the only reason I sell this product is because it wasn’t available in Australia when I started using it (I had to order from the US, which is pretty costly!), and because I really believe in it, and the people behind it.
If you have used a chelation protocol or product successfully, I would love to hear from you. Please comment below 😉 Feel free to share any bad experiences/mistakes as well, as this can be helpful for people to know when making a decision.