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Could Mercury Toxicity Be Causing Your Symptoms?

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Mercury levels can build up in your body, causing immune dysfunction, fatigue, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disease, and many other complaints.

mercury in body symptoms
Dental fillings can be a source of mercury toxicity in the body. Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Thinkstock

In my work, we often see patients with complex medical histories and symptoms that don’t fit inside the usual diagnostic categories of the conventional medical world. As a result, they are often given a prescription for an antidepressant and assured that they are perfectly healthy, or they are otherwise left unaided after multiple physicians just don’t know the cause of their seemingly mysterious complaints. Fortunately, they persist and find their way to our clinic.

In searching for the underlying cause of chronic illness, I’m often surprised by how frequently we find high levels of toxic metals, especially mercury. Mercury is a common environmental contaminant, and many of us are unknowingly predisposed to mercury toxicity.

As this is a fascinating and complex topic that affects many of us, Chris and I will soon be offering a free webinar providing more details about how mercury wreaks havoc in our body, how to test for mercury toxicity, and how to support healthy detoxification. In this article, I want to provide an overview of mercury exposure, explain how we normally move it out of our bodies and why some of us develop toxicity, and provide some clues to see if you might be mercury-toxic.

Mercury 101: Three Forms of Mercury

There are three major types of mercury:

  1. Elemental mercury: this is the form in “silver” fillings, or dental amalgams. Such fillings are about 50 percent mercury with smaller amounts of silver, tin, and copper (1). Dental amalgams continuously lose trace amounts of mercury, primarily as mercury vapor, or gas, which we inhale. Just as we inhale oxygen and it’s transported from our lungs to all of the tissues in our body, so too is mercury inhaled and transported throughout our body.
  2. Inorganic mercury: you can think of this form of mercury as a result of corrosion. At some point, the elemental mercury in dental amalgams will be inhaled or swallowed, and then it attaches to another compound, forming inorganic mercury.
  3. Organic mercury: also called methylmercury, this is the type of mercury found in seafood. When we eat fish, the methylmercury is delivered directly to our intestines. Somewhat unfortunately, due to a process called molecular mimicry, which can be thought of as a case of mistaken identity, our body sees the organic mercury, thinks it’s a beneficial nutrient, and brings it out of the gut into circulation.

Different Individuals, Different Rates of Mercury Detox

Based on studies during an outbreak of mercury poisoning from eating mercury-contaminated seeds, the half-life of mercury (meaning the time it takes to decrease the blood level of mercury by half) for most people is 60 days (2). But the range is 40 to 120 days. In someone who only slowly detoxifies mercury, exposure to a constant source, even if small, such as with dental amalgams, leads to significantly greater accumulation and toxicity than would occur in someone who quickly moves it out of the body.

Chronic inflammation can lead to impaired detoxification and mercury accumulation. Are you at risk?

Mercury Detox Is Affected by Numerous Factors

Mercury is moved out of the body by the glutathione system. Glutathione can be thought of as the master antioxidant. One of its many roles is to attach to metals and other toxins to guide them out of the body.

Genetics and epigenetics clearly have some influence over our rate of detoxification (3). But the story is much more complex, and fortunately, there are a number of pieces of the detoxification process that we can support.

Most notably, there is a complex interplay between inflammation and detoxification, and one cannot be treated without addressing the other.

Chronic Inflammation = Impaired Detoxification. And, Mercury = Chronic Inflammation. A Vicious Cycle.

Detoxification is essentially an antioxidant system. Inflammation, in contrast, plays the role of “attack and repair.” For example, if you cut yourself, you’ll notice that the skin around that cut becomes red, warm, and a little swollen. This is because inflammatory cells move in to “attack” any potential pathogens (like bad bacteria) that may try to move into your body through the cut (since the skin provides a normal barrier of defense). Inflammation is often protective in the short term, but it is associated with increased oxidative stress, meaning there’s an increase in reactive compounds that can cause damage to our cells and our DNA (4). Chronic inflammation, which is essentially “pro-oxidant,” will decrease detoxification, which is “anti-oxidant.”

In one study looking at fish consumption in children, levels of mercury were compared with inflammatory markers (5). Even though the levels of mercury in these children were low, an association was seen between higher mercury (whether due to slow detoxification and associated accumulation, or due to high consumption) and several inflammatory markers.

One study looking at how the immune system responds to mercury found an increase in the release of pro-inflammatory immune cells (6). This dysregulation in the immune system leads to an unopposed inflammatory response and increased risk for infectious or autoimmune diseases.

Inflammation Makes Us More Susceptible to Mercury Toxicity

In one study, inflammation due to different causes, including exposure to bacterial endotoxin, which occurs with food poisoning or other GI infection, significantly increased toxicity (7). Another study similarly found that small amounts of bacterial endotoxin exposure substantially increased susceptibility to damage from various toxins, including metals (8). And another study in mice demonstrated that mercury in the presence of bacterial endotoxin caused measurably more kidney damage than mercury alone (9). This means that the same amount of mercury or other toxins will cause more damage in the presence of inflammation.

Mercury Affects Every Cell and System in Our Body

Because of this, the effects and symptoms of mercury toxicity are different in each individual. While the variety of ways in which mercury affects each of us is too much to cover in this article, here’s a list of some signs and symptoms that mercury is affecting your health:

  • Anxiety (10)
  • Depression (11)
  • Brain fog or decreased concentration
  • Fatigue (12)
  • Frequent headaches
  • Ataxia (decreased control over muscular movements such as with walking or picking up objects)
  • Sleep disturbance in children (13)
  • Autoimmune disease (14, 15)
  • Allergies (16, 17)
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity (18)
  • Paresthesias or neuropathy
  • Hearing loss
  • Dysarthria (characterized by slurred or slow speech due to weakness or poor control over the muscles used for speech)
  • Muscle tremor
  • Movement disorders
  • Hair loss (19)
  • Hormonal dysregulation including abnormal menstrual cycles and infertility (20, 21, 22).
  • Cardiovascular disease including hypertension, coronary heart disease, transient ischemia attacks or stroke, or other vascular diseases (23)
  • Kidney dysfunction including proteinuria (or “spilling” proteins into the urine)

Our Nervous System Is Particularly Vulnerable to Mercury Toxicity

You can see from this list of symptoms that our brains are especially susceptible to the toxic effects of mercury. Many of these conditions also result from the underlying inflammation and immune dysfunction associated with a high burden of mercury. Fortunately, you can get the mercury out of your body safely!

It’s important to know that if you are considering having your dental amalgams removed, this MUST be done by a biologic or holistic dentist with experience in low emission removal techniques (24). When done incorrectly, removal of amalgams can expose you to a substantial amount of mercury.

In an upcoming webinar (exact date is TBA) Chris and I will talk more about how to test for metal toxicity, including why we don’t recommend provoked mercury tests, what additional tests need to be considered, and how we approach detoxification. The webinar will provide some time for questions and answers, so we’ll look forward to answering your specific questions there!

Amy NettAbout Amy:  Amy Nett, MD, graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2007.  She subsequently completed a year of internal medicine training at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, followed by five years of specialty training in radiology at Stanford University Hospital, with additional subspecialty training in pediatric radiology.

Along the course of her medical training and working through her own personal health issues, she found her passion for Functional Medicine. She works with patients through a Functional Medicine approach, working to identify and treat the root causes of illness.  She uses nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, supplements, stress management, detoxification and lifestyle changes to restore proper function and improve health.

229 Comments

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  1. What about the mercury in CF bulbs? I work in the lighting industry….almost all compact fluorescents contain mercury. I’m sure I’ve breathed that in upon breakage of bulbs. Any info in this type of exposure would be helpful. Thanks.

  2. informative assay and thank you.
    would you please clarify me the following Dr. Chris
    1. Are the sources of mercury identified in this article limited to dental amalgams fillings and fish.
    2. what is the normal mercury level in the blood and how is to be tested and how much it cost since this test is not regular?
    3. Hair loss could be attributable to Mercury level in the blood but how the root cause of hair loss can be correctly identified

  3. I think there is far more to good dental care than the issues about fillings. So many people avoid dentists and routine maintenance and then look for someone or something to blame when things go wrong. Finding a way to spend what it takes on keeping teeth and gums in good order is just another aspect of taking responsibility for your health.

  4. I was tested and I do have high levels of Mercury in my system so I am very interested in learning how to detox them out.

  5. Geez, it would have saved me many hours of research if I could have read this a year ago.

    I blog about health, am supposed to be a good example of someone in good health, and appear to be… so imagine my surprise when a comprehensive blood test showed chronic inflammation, high faster blood sugar, low thyroid performance and low testosterone!

    There had to be a smoking gun, and there was… mercury from my dental amalgams.

    All my reading on the matter, and as Dr. Nett’s article says, mercury and other heavy metals can either amplify or be the cause behind some chronic health conditions. Often it’s the liver that needs some support, but in my case the Quicksilver Mercury Tri-test showed it was the kidneys that deal with mercury from dental amalgams.

    I wound up interviewing Chris Turf at Quicksilver and am writing series of articles for Pro Health on the matter.

    The bottom line: If you can’t figure out why you suffer from some chronic health condition, check out your mercury burden… but make sure you use a reliable, comprehensive test.

    Yep.

  6. as children we played around with mercury in our palm from thermometers. Do you think we absorbed it into our skin? Would it still be in us after 50 years? If so, is there a way to get it out? Or maybe we don’t need to worry about it, after all these years?

    • Hi Randy,

      Yes, I remember being fascinated with the mercury in those old thermometers and rolling it around in my hands. Oops! Most likely your body has effectively cleared that mercury. But there are a number of sources that expose us to mercury and various other metals, and these metals can accumulate. So for anyone with unexplained symptoms or blood markers revealing inflammation I think it’s worth excluding the possibility of mercury toxicity with a reliable test.

  7. Could you please discuss in the webinar zeolite related to this and if it is effective? and also powdered forms versus liquid forms? I have seen discussion on this where powdered is considered better and that quicker detox is better than low and slow with the liquid drops.

  8. Does anyone know how to find out if porcelain crowns (with silver metal beneath) are stainless steel or amalgam?

      • Thanks Steve. So, do they not contain mercury? I don’t know if it was ever used in crowns, someone told me that they are often stainless steel. Mine are over 10 years old.

        • No mercury, just heavy metals. I’m allergic to nickel so it’s a no go for me. Metal crowns can also act as an antennae for EMFs

          • Thanks for your help Steve. That’s concerning about the EMFs. I just recently found out EMFs bad for heart health as well as everything else.

          • Thanks for your help Steve. That’s concerning about the EMFs. I just recently found out EMF is bad for heart health as well as everything else.

    • Crowns themselves do not contain mercury BUT many times dentists will put mercury amalgams under the crown for one reason or another. When I had all my crowns (and bridge) replaced in January 2016, my new dentist found mercury amalgam under three of the crowns.

  9. Testing for mercury poisoning is difficult as blood and hair analysis often produces false negatives. Mercury affects the cellular membrane transport of many minerals as it binds to the sulfhydryl molecules which are the active sites in many receptors. In some individuals this manifests as very low levels of toxic minerals even though the person is poisoned.

    This was shown in a study by Amy Holmes which found that autistic children on average had lower levels of mercury in their hair, even though their fetal exposure through their mothers’ amalgams and Rhogam injections was higher than the controls.

    Another study of trace elements in 40 women with fibromyalgia found that while both groups had the same blood level of mercury, the FM group had only one-third the mercury level of the controls. This means that mercury would slowly build up in the pituitary, thyroid liver and other target organs.

    You don’t mention your treatment protocol. I hope it does not involve intravenous administration of chelators which can release large amounts of toxic elements into the blood stream in a short period of time. As the concentration of chelator drops quickly there can be redistribution of toxic metals throughout the body. Some individuals have serious side effects which can take many months to subside. You can read patients stories at dmpsbackfire.com

    The definitive way to test for mercury poisoning is to take 12 or 25 mg of alpha lipoic acid every 3 hours for 3 days (only if you don’t have dental amalgams in place, as ALA will redistribute mercury to the brain). If this improves or worsens symptoms, then you have mercury toxicity. If there is no effect you keep doubling the dose until you get to 200 mg every 3 hours. Chelators must be taken at a period equal to, or less than the half-life to maintain a constant concentration in the blood to prevent redistribution.

    David Hammond, Mercury Poisoning: The Undiagnosed Epidemic.

    Holmes, A. S., Blaxill, M. F., & Haley, B. E. (2003). Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children. International journal of toxicology, 22(4), 277-285.

    Rosborg, I., Hyllén, E., Lidbeck, J., Nihlgård, B., & Gerhardsson, L. (2007). Trace element pattern in patients with fibromyalgia. Science of the Total Environment, 385(1), 20-27.

    • Sorry typo – the FM group had only one-third the urinary mercury levels of the control group

    • This info is very helpful; thank you for posting! Much appreciated. I have heavy metal toxicity including mercury and am going through the process of detoxing. I did not have amalgam fillings, but I did have impaired methylation, autoimmunity, and GI infections including parasites. It is very individualized and requires paying close attention to my body. Sometimes I go 1 week between sessions, sometimes 2 or more (I use infrared sauna followed by coffee enemas and have to take B12 and 5MTHF, plus milk thistle, dandelion, etc for support). The key is not to overwhelm the system, as you mentioned. It is clearly working because I went from being extremely disabled (in a wheelchair as I could not walk more than 1 block at a time) to now walking more than 2 miles.

      • Thank you for sharing your experience, Jenny. I have impaired methylation and mercury toxicity and am just starting to treat them. It feels scary, so I appreciate hearing your success story. Best wishes for continued health improvements.

        • Best of luck to you, Heather! It will all be OK. I just think the key is, always, always listen to your body. Always flush the toxins out once you’ve drawn them out of the cells (I.e. coffee enemas, ion foot baths, dry skin brushing, hot Zeolite baths, etc). But don’t feel like you have to stick to any formula. Try different things, see what works the best for YOU, keeping the principles listed on this page in mind. The above change for me (going from a wheelchair to walking 2 miles) happened over the course of 8 months (so far). Nothing short of a miracle, if you ask me!

      • Hi Jenny,

        That is wonderful to hear! I’m in a very similar situation, having MTHFR genetic mutations and parasites and GI problems, pretty much everything you mentioned. It’s great to hear you are able to walk on your own now. I have been eating a really restricted diet because it helps me manage my symptoms, buy now I am starting to feel that it is necessary to get to the root cause, which I thought was leaky gut, but now I’m thinking it’s my dental work. When I think about it, my health issues started happening shortly after I got braces, a nickel permanent retainer, and several root canals. I had the worst orthodontist you can imagine….who only wanted money. And this was overseas…. Anyway, could you please share with me more on what you have been doing to get better and some of your recommendations. I ordered folate and active form of B12 earlier today and will hopefully start taking that to assist with methylation. I knew I had the genetic mutation months ago but never did anything about it. I will start slow because I haven’t had any luck with b complex supplements, which is why I ordered thornes b12 and folate separately, 1 mg each…. let’s see how it goes. Looking forward to hearing from you.

        In good health,

        Nada

        P.S: You can also email me privately at [email protected]

        Thanks in advance

        Blessings and peace

        • Nada-I sent you a private email as requested. Hope it’s not too long/overwhelming! Best of luck to you.

      • Thanks for sharing and thereby giving others hope!
        Good luck!!
        Best regards
        Lisbeth
        (Denmark)

      • Could you tell me more about the infrared sauna please? Is it near or far IR? And how often do you use it? Trying to choose one…

        • I honestly do not know a lot about the various different types of infared saunas. My naturopath advised me to buy something new and not used, and to buy a two person not a one person because the one person versions make you pretty claustrophobic. We ended up with a Biomat, which is an infared mat. You can search it and read more about it. I liked that it was easier to store and we could transport it. It works very well for my family and I. As far as how to use any of these, get a stack of clean washcloths and get to the point that you are sweating. Continually wipe your sweat off with new washcloths. This will get the sweat with toxins off your body and them encourage more sweating. Drink lots of water. Afterward I take a hot zeolite bath followed by a coffee enema and later In the day a ion foot bath. I also take activated charcoal before bed. I hope this info is helpful!

      • Dear Jenny and David Hammond,
        Would you mind forwarding to me the information you sent to Nada about how you have achieved such great results. I have all the same problems you mentioned, and more. I had the Genova Labs test for heavy metals and was found to have extremely high levels of 7 different toxic heavy metals, including Mercury, Lead and Cadmium. I have autoimmune issues, including out of control Hashimoto’s. I have GI issues – leaky gut, dysbiosis and malabsorption plus 3 pathogenic gut bacteria and candidiasis for which I have gone through 2 rounds of treatment with Rifaxamin and Diflucan, first 100 mg, second round, 200 mg. I’ve also tried many natural alternatives, including Berberine, Oil of Oregano Juniper, and many others. I’ve used Interfase and many other enzymes to break any biofilm with the treatments, to no avail. I now have to take another round of Rifaxamin and now Nystatin. I’m also pre-diabetic and insulin resistant. I have serious nutritional deficiencies, including all vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as discovered through the Genova NutrEval test. For months I have been taking thousands of dollars worth of nutrients prescribed by my functional medicine physician, but a recent insulsecond NutrEval showed that I am even more deficient now! I am not absorbing the nutrients. In addition, I am homozygous for MTHFR C677 methylation defect and I totally lack the GSTM1 for glutathione production. I also have anhidrosis. I only sleep 4 hours a night, on a good night. I am also insulin resistant and pre-diabetic with a high AIC and inflammation. I have far too many other health issues to list here but now I think my biggest problem is the heavy metals, especially the mercury. My functional medicine MD prescribed a program using nutrients, liposomal C and liposomal glutathinone, but because my metals levels are so high, it will take 9 months to a year to detox. I experience the “perfect storm” where my body went into chaos more than 18 months ago. I need sleep. I need help! I can’t wait another year before I see improvements. I believe I won’t make any progress in the other areas until I get rid of the heavy metals. I was excited because I’m scheduled to receive my first IV chelation on Wednesday. I was excited to begin a faster process of getting the metals out, but now I’m scared after reading David Hammonds comments. My doctor also prescribed NAC. So is the mercury going to my brain? Please send any information to my personal address at [email protected]
        Thanks so much!
        Terri

      • hi , can you tell me your complete protocol and how it is working for you. me too was in a wheelchair . now i can stand but it is going very slowly. let me know how you are progressing. thank you

    • Hi David, Thanks for the info,

      Do have any refs handy that you can post, that relate to the potential issues of taking alpha lipoic acid (ALA) whilst you still have amalgam fillings.

      I had a similar query around the use of NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine), which i posted in this thread earlier.

      Much Appreciated

      • Hi Daz,

        Gregus, Z., Stein, A. F., Varga, F., & Klaassen, C. D. (1992). Effect of lipoic acid on biliary excretion of glutathione and metals. Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 114(1), 88-96.

        In the study above, rats were injected with heavy metals, including mercuric chloride, and 1 minute later they were injected with alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoic acid increased biliary excretion of mercury 12 to 37-fold. However, the level of mercury in the brain was about 3 times higher than the controls.
        This is because mercury (and other chemicals) will move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration (but only if they can cross the blood brain barrier in this particular case). This is why Cutler advises chelation with DMPS or DMSA (not ALA) for 3 months following amalgam removal, so that the blood concentration will be lower than that of the brain. These chelators cannot cross the blood brain barrier. This is also why you shouldn’t chelate with amalgams in place.

    • Hi David,

      Thank you for the additional information.

      Chris and I will talk about our approach to detoxification in an upcoming webinar since it was too much to cover here. But briefly, I do not use or recommend IV chelation. I prefer to upregulate our natural detoxification system and provide targeted support for the kidneys since mercury is excreted both through the kidneys and the GI tract. I also use a supplement to bind mercury and other metals in the GI tract to significantly decrease enterohepatic circulation.

      In terms of reliable testing for mercury I do not ask patients to take alpha lipoic acid prior to testing or otherwise use chelating agents to prepare for testing. We work with Quicksilver Scientific, and I specifically use their Mercury Tri Test which relies on testing of the hair, blood and urine to determine the levels of both organic and inorganic mercury, and to provide a measure of the body’s ability to excrete these.

      • hi Amy,

        would a whole blood mercury test on its own reveal much…

        I recently added a whole blood mercury test to a blood panel on a whim, as it wasn’t going to cost me anything.

        The result was 8 nmol/L (ref range 0-50 nmol/L). These are non-US units, 8 nmol/L converts to 1.6 μg/L.

        I was pretty happy with that number, considering i usually eat a fair bit of Tuna (tho i did exclude a few days before the blood draw).

        Just wondering if i can take much from the result tho, for example, how it might relate to any stored mercury.

        Thanks for the post Amy & any potential reply.
        Much Appreciated.

    • David, thank you for your informative post. What do you think of DMSA / Andy Cutler’s protocol? Also, do you have specific dentists you recommend? It’s hard to know who is good and who is not even with the IAOMT certification.
      Thank you
      Emily

      • Hi Emily,
        I have used both DMSA and DMPS. I prefer DMPS because it reduces the side effects of chelation better than DMSA, also DMSA can cause neutropenia in some people. DMSA is preferred if you also have lead.
        Cutler’s protocol is the one I recommend – I believe you need to take ALA every three hours to prevent redistribution. This can be rather inconvenient and one reason why people are attracted to Chris Shade’s approach.

        I am not convinced of the safety of taking ALA once a day, as seems to be the case with Chris Shade’s protocol. The effects of redistribution may not be apparent for many months. And I haven’t seen much data on the long term safety and effectiveness of IMD, which is, as far as I understand, nanoparticles of silica with two thiols attached. However, there have been some very positive reports from parents treating autistic children with IMD. I wish there were more data – preferably not from studies done by the proprietor.

        As far as dentists – it depends where you live. You could enquire on the Cutler chelation facebook page
        https://www.facebook.com/groups/acfanatics/ or the yahoo group https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/frequent-dose-chelation/info

        • David, thank you for responding to my comment. Regarding candida & Hg, what is your opinion? If candida is adaptive because it absorbs methyl mercury, then is it a good idea to do anti-candida cleanses and diets? It might cause more harm than good.

          Would you mind sharing what protocol you used prior to removal of mercury and after? Many experts including Alison Adams and this website (http://www.yeastinfectionadvisor.com/mercurypoisoning.html) recommend a specific program of detox and vitamin supplements to prepare the body for removing the mercury. Do you subscribe to any of these programs?

          Emily

          • Emily
            Mercury causes candida in some people as it disrupts the balance of intestinal bacteria . Small concentrations of mercury also result in reduced chemotaxis and phagocytosis by neutrophils, which are the first line of defence against yeast infections. Candida wasn’t a problem for me personally.

            I didn’t use any protocol to prepare for chelation. As mercury is the root of the problem I think you just need to start low and find the dose that is right for you and remove the mercury. Some people spend a lot of time doing protocols for their liver or candida to prepare for chelation but I don’t think it is really necessary.

            I would just use a low carb diet for candida (a low thiol diet may also help) and if necessary use anti fungal herbs or drugs if required. The main thing is to get the mercury out.

            I just used Cutler’s protocol and the basic supplements – vitamin C and E, zinc and magnesium, along with silymarin for liver support and hydrocortisone for adrenal support.

            You may be interested in my book Mercury Poisoning: The Undiagnosed Epidemic, which covers the rationale and basics of chelation along with chapters and case histories on the role of mercury in many illnesses from fibromyalgia to heart disease and bipolar.

            David

            • David, I can’t thank you enough for mentioning the AC Facebook group.. I had no idea there was one and have joined because of your mention; it is already super helpful. Thank you! Do you feel better after chelation and how long have you been doing it? Did you also remove root canals? I will try to find your book as I’ve read through Andy Cutler’s Amalgam Illness twice but it is not an easy read. I’m just afraid of making things worse… If you know of any good biological dentist in the US, please let me know. Thank you,Emily

        • I am interested in the use of selenium which I understand can be taken with amalgams still in place. I read the maximum is 1000:micrograms per day. I assume anyone taking such doses should have some sort of fast done periodically to assume they are not taking too much.

          Also, I have read that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) will neutralize mercury and I read that iodine will do the same (such as 5% Lugol’s Solution) but only one of those can be taken at a time as they will neutralize each other. They are not chelators but somehow they oxidize mercury making it inert. I also read that MMS (aka Chlorine Dioxide) does the same and will neutralize all mercury within a week! Then too I have heard of Rife frequencies that are suppose to do the same thing with a week! David Hammond, I don’t suppose your book discusses any of these possibilities? How would anyone confirm that any of these were working or worked?

          • Spell check is messing things up. The above should say, “I am interested in the use of selenium which I understand can be taken with amalgams still in place. I read the maximum is 1000 micrograms per day. I assume anyone taking such doses should have some sort of testing done periodically to determine if they are not taking too much or not.”

            • There is evidence and a study linking 300 micrograms per day of selenium with ALS or Lou Gherigs (spelling?) disease

      • Thanks Penny,
        I am glad you liked it. My hope is it helps increase the awareness of the health effects of chronic exposure to low doses of mercury.

  10. Is it a good idea to supplement with NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) whilst you still have amalgam fillings.

    ‘google’ is giving me mixed messages on this

    Thanks

    • Some mercury toxic people have problems with thiol foods and supplements. Thiols are sulfur-hydrogen bonds which are found in many foods. DMPS, DMSA and ALA all have two sulfhydryl ligands which have a strong attraction for mercury. This is what makes them good chelators. High levels of single thiol foods can exacerbate mercury symptoms. NAC also contains a single thiol.

      People with high plasma cysteine levels can be affected by thiols. You can find out if you are sensitive to thiols by limiting
      your intake of high thiol foods for a week and noting any effect on your symptoms. There is a list of thiol foods and explanation at http://www.livingnetwork.co.za/chelationnetwork/food/high-sulfur-sulphur-food-list/

      • Thanks David, very helpful,

        Do you know if NAC can cross the blood brain barrier?

        (i will have a google on it now as well)

      • Hi David,

        So glad you posted this pearl of info.. regarding sensitivity to thiol foods.
        Personally I d never heard of thiol before, but I am sensitive to sulphur-anything! I can’t take ALA or NAC or drink wines or eat garlic. All f the above leave me zombified and unable to function as well as swelling round the eyes..! It took me years to figure out why .. then I discovered how I was Mercury poisoned, read and researched and now at least I have some answers. I also have low neutrophil count- only 40%
        Pls tell me more about this sensitivity and how I can overcome it , as well as the low neutrophils.
        I can tell u my whole story but on private email.
        I am an anathema in many ways as I seem incredibly fit and young looking, but at the same time lack enough energy to see me thru the day unless I get lots of sleep.
        Thank you in advance.
        Elizabeth

  11. I got really sick about 5 years ago and no doctor could figure out what was wrong with me. I had my heavy metal testing and my mercury level was 21 – it’s suppose to be below 3. I got rid of all my mercury fillings and did chelation. I found that IV chelation was really hard on my body and after several sessions it only went down to 19. I had more success with oral DMSA. Interesting thing is my dad had parkinsons disease and I came across an article by Dr. Mark Hyman that if you have family history of parkinsons it’s because you are missing an enzyme that breaks down mercury.

  12. I am available for telephone consults for people from all over the world. I use Andy Cutler’s chelation protocol, and am the most experienced practitioner in using it. Anybody healthy or not would excrete large volumes of mercury if given chelators, just to emphasize that we are all exposed to it. Never should anyone chelate at all with amalgam in their teeth!!!! Never use iv dmps either. You will drive the mercury into the neurological system

  13. It seems that every other week, some other thing is said to be at the root of a long list of problems. Really? Basically, everything from gluten to mercury to this-week’s-issue are the cause of everything someone might have wrong or every symptom they might have. I am concluding that being alive is the source of depression, anxiety, autoimmune problems, etc etc etc etc.

    It starts to feel like the mirror image of snake oils being marketed to solve everything. IMHO.

    • Mercury is the 800 ton gorilla in the room that the health industry hasn’t been talking about. Mercury is extremely dangerous and can be traced to the root of many health problems.

    • Yes, the more I read on the net, the more I come to this conclusion. The big questions I have are in the use of amalgam fillings for the past 180 years, how on earth has average life expectancy doubled in that time. Eating tuna and fish and volcanic activity exposes us most to organic mercury (carbon and hydrogen mercuric compounds, which are the most neurotoxic forms) more than elemental mercury, which passes through the gut relatively I reacted. Urine and feces levels can be measured for that.

  14. I’m looking forward to this webinar very much. The last one on gut health was extremely informative and interesting. I hope you schedule it soon.

  15. I was tested for heavy metals several years ago and several things were off the chart. It was the urine tests. It was recommended by my NMD to do chelation which I did with supplements not IVs. I got deathly ill so I stopped and have not done anything about it again. Is there any other way except chelation therapy to reduce or remove heavy metals??

    • Hi Angela,

      Yes, there are different approaches to moving the metals out of your body. At CCFM we take the approach of upregulating (increasing) the body’s natural detoxification pathways. While this can still cause feelings of fatigue and malaise (meaning you might feel like you have the flu), you also have some control over how quickly you move through this process. And we even recommend taking days off the detox protocol. It’s best to work with an experienced practitioner when you do this, in part because you want to make sure you’re adequately supporting your kidneys (a major way for mercury to get out of the body) and using a supplement to bind metals in the intestines to help move them through.

      • This will pull mercury out of the tissues, but the question is, will this pull mercury out of the brain? I have ME and can cause the flu-like feeling by increasing methylation supplements.

        I know people who are clearly mercury toxic who take very large amounts of methylation supplements and have had significant improvement from ME or CFS, but they need to continue the very large amounts or they will relapse.

        Point being, do they still have mercury in their brains – have they recovered from their current disease only to get Alzheimers or other neuro issues later on?

        Note that Cutler says only ALA can remove mercury from the brain. I have looked into body’s natural production of ALA and supposedly it’s bound with proteins and so doesn’t work to remove mercury from the brain like an ALA supplement.

  16. I was very interested to hear the following (from the show notes of the podcast, below):

    By taking lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, in one pill you have 6 billion bacteria that are little glutathione manufacturing plants.

    http://highintensityhealth.com/crossfit-at-age-72-problems-with-birth-control-pills-natural-anxiety-remedies-ross-pelton/

    Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a practical source of this probiotic.

    In the meantime, I take NAC, and eat lots of sulfur-containing vegetables.

    • The date has not been set for this webinar. Make sure you’re on the email list so you get an announcement when registration opens.

  17. The article above mentions one source of mercury exposure as coming from fish consumption. How does this square with another article on this website from last year, which seems to conclude that as long as the fish you are consuming contains more selenium than mercury, which is most of the ocean fish that we eat in the US, you are in the clear? I’m a bit confused…

    http://chriskresser.com/5-reasons-why-concerns-about-mercury-in-fish-are-misguided/

    perhaps you are planning to discuss this in more detail during the webinar? Or am I missing something?

    • It’s a good question. We will answer in the webinar and/or a future article. It’s a difference between looking at things on a population basis vs. an individual basis.

      • Chris or Amy, jenny, david etc, can you please tell me a couple of basic supplements I can add to my diet right now to collect and remove mercury Ive had released in my system from getting amalgams removed the wrong way? (I already take Glutathione Force and feel its effectiveness so I dont feel I need other glutathione precursors necessarily, and I know about sulfer rich foods like broccoli sprouts.

        Malic acid maybe?

        I have one more appointment with an oral surgeon but its 6 weeks out, and then Im doing Aubrey Marcus’ Total Human Cleanse.

        Thanks in advance. Chris Vinson, santa cruz, [email protected]

        • Hi, citrus pectin is one you may want to look into, and also calcium d glucarate is a powerful detoxer.

  18. Dr Nett,
    I had a DMPS chelation for Mercury about 10 years ago. I felt like it made my symproms worse so I stopped after 1 treatment. Is there anything you can do to reverse the side effects I still experience from this mistake?
    Thanks so much for your reply.

    • This kind of reaction is not uncommon. See http://www.dmpsbackfire.com/default.shtml
      Intravenous chelation causes a sudden rise in the concentration of the chelator, which is then followed by a rapid drop. This can liberate a lot of free mercury which is distributed throughout the body, causing symptoms.

      Oral chelation following Cutler’s protocol is much safer. It maintains a constant level of chelator in the blood, thus reducing redistribution. You can start with low doses, say a few mg, and build up the dose as your tolerance increases.

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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/could-mercury-toxicity-be-causing-your-symptoms/comment-page-2/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='9814' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Heartburn/GERD' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Heartburn%2FGERD' /> </div> <p style="display: none !important;"><label>&#916;<textarea name="ak_hp_textarea" cols="45" rows="8" maxlength="100"></textarea></label><input type="hidden" id="ak_js" name="ak_js" value="118"/><script>document.getElementById( "ak_js" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() );</script></p></form> </div>
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