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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.

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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 Nett

About 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.

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Join the conversation

  1. Dear Chris

    A growing body of evidence indicates that exposure to various sources of electromagnetic fields (EMF) such as mobile phones and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) significantly increases the release of mercury from dental fillings (1). These findings have been further supported by some studies on the microleakage of amalgam restorations (2, 3). Moreover, it has been reported that exposure to X-rays can increase the mercury release from dental amalgam restorations (4). These findings have recently been reviewed by Mortazavi and Mortazavi (5).

    1. Mortazavi SM, Neghab M, Anoosheh SM, Bahaeddini N, Mortazavi G, Neghab P, et al. High-field MRI and mercury release from dental amalgam fillings. The international journal of occupational and environmental medicine. 2014;5(2):101-5.
    2. Yilmaz S, Misirlioglu M. The effect of 3 T MRI on microleakage of amalgam restorations. Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2013;42(8):20130072.
    3. Shahidi SH, Bronoosh P, Alavi AA, Zamiri B, Sadeghi AR, Bagheri MH, et al. Effect of magnetic resonance imaging on microleakage of amalgam restorations: an in vitro study. Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2009;38(7):470-4.
    4. Kursun S, Öztas B, Atas H, Tastekin M. Effects of X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging on mercury release from dental amalgam into artificial saliva. Oral Radiol. 2014;30(2):142-6.
    5. Mortazavi G, Mortazavi SM. Increased Mercury Release from Dental Amalgam Restorations after Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields as a Potential Hazard for Hypersensitive People and Pregnant Women. Reviews on Environmental Health. 2015;30(4):287-92.
    6. Mortazavi G, Mortazavi SM. Should pregnant women with dental amalgam fillings limit their exposure to electromagnetic fields to prevent the toxic effects of mercury in their foetuses? Technology and health care : official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine. 2015;23(3):369-71.

  2. Just wanted to share my story for those it may help…

    At 17 years old, I got my amalgams put in. Just two, but enough to do a lot of damage. I went through my 20’s with considerable amount of pain – chest pain in particular but also tightness in right eye and full ear feeling. I would crack my chest often, had difficulty breathing, anxiety especially. i could go on but I won’t.

    Things got so bad it was affecting day to day life, my marriage, etc. I was determined to figure out what was causing my fibromyalgia symptoms so I looked up all the possibly causes and read about heavy metals. Last July I had my amalgams taken out by a biologic dentist and the results were dramatic!

    i ended up breathing better, my lazy eye opened, i lost a good 20 or more pounds, my muscular strength increased exponentially, i was able to stay up longer, do more work (no more chronic fatigue), my married life and life with kids got so much better too. i didn’t need to crack my chest anymore and right now it feels like my network of nerves are reconnecting.

    i should also mention in all this that i became sensitized to metals, not desensitized, but sensitized. Meaning touching metal was painful. once i realized this i stopped wearing anything metal (jewelry, eyeglasses, etc) i even avoided touching metal if possible (eating with my hands instead of utensils, etc). there are some scholarly articleso n this published in sweeden in late 90s that confirmed this existence in mercury exposed individuals.

    This is the backdrop, I would like to explain what I did to get to a nearly full recovery. I am not yet fully recovered but believe I will be someday.

    1. chiropractor – this was before i knew what the problem was – but it did really help get things moving again
    2. tens machine – ultima neuro – matches the nerve impulse of the body to relax it and let nerves repair themselves
    3. other physical exercise devices – i especially liked using the theracane and the foam roller but any massage was great too. It really stimulated more oxygen in my bloodstream.
    4. DIET – this one was huge – I changed to eating just veggies and lean meat, mostly chicken, and plain spaghetti, nothing added. Later on, I added cilantro and garlic – powerful chelators. I read in the posts below that cilantro was not recommended for mercury detox. My experience with cilantro was strong as well. It sure did move things about but for me it was effective in the later stages of detox. i waited until month 5 or 6 before doing it knowing that i was in full swing chelation and things were moving on well. Right now I consume about one paste of cilantro a week and it does help me out considerably.
    5. SUPPLEMENTS – my wife is a physician and she began telling me about supplements – i tried a few but the one that gave me the most success is neurogen by a hand surgeon fitzmaurice, google it, it’s got ALA that cutler recommends. I also take Gluathiamine and chlorella and magnesium oil, These were all recommended by the superman diet, see http://thesupermandiet.com/detox/.
    6. Reading posts – I have to say thet without the Internet I would not have been healed. No traditional doctor figured it out, I did, with the help of bloggers like yourself! It is my firm commitment to keep on going back to learn more and even when completely healed, to help others in my predicament. i think the ADA needs to go down for the evil it has allowed to occur under its watch!
    7. Prayer – no real explanation needed here, but I do think it helps!

    * a word about clay baths – for me due to my metal sensitivity, the clay baths were a lot to handle. the ionization ended up pulling not just the mercury out but other essential minerals. it left me feeling depleed in the long run. I will say that this was when i put in on externally. i had better results with eating it but that did cause some constipuation as well. i also think caution needs to be taken when using clay and do so slowly if extremely toxic like i was. .

    I would be happy to go into any details of what I did to recover but I do think the following things are true:
    – my recovery could be linked to the fact that I am in my mid 30s and besides this thing (doctor’s always said this) had perfect health
    – i respond well to chelation – not true for everyone
    – i had my amalgams removed by a biologic dentist – google this now – they have different protocol to keep you safe for removal such as dental dam, oxygen, etc.

    therefore, i believe that you first must listen to your body before anything else – even a trained practitioner. Go slowly and increase dosage as your tolerance allows. Remember that the toxins are eliminated through your poop. If you don’t eliminate regularly this could be a problem. Fortunately, I don’t have that problem.

    Wishing you all the best of luck and God’s good graces on your road to recovery.

    By the way, in July it will be my one year since removal of amalgams so my progress has been relatively quick.
    I do think that it can be for others as well without too many other comorbidities.

    • Hi Jason,
      I just happen to run across your reply and I couldn’t stop myself from immediately replying. You seem like a man of faith so I felt the need to reach out. I really desperately need help. I have several amalgam fillings and I can’t help but think that is the cause for my uncontrollable depression and anxiety. I want help. If you don’t mind, please give me more specifics about your journey and what I can do. Thank you so much. God bless you.


      • Hi Monica. I am happy to go into more details with you over email.

        There is a new supplement edta that I am taking now that is also helping a lot. But again I caution everyone to do your reading first.

        Some people consider edta a poison that should not have been given fda approval. Others find it is a God send. I do think that it depletes your body of other essential nutrients such as vitamin B and C and magnesium however.

        Livestrong had a good article on this if you google edta livestrong.

        Since my last post, I am now wearing my eyeglasses more frequently and continue to lean down. The release of metals coincides with an exponential increase of energy…so much so that it can be hard to fall asleep at night despite working a full day.

        I am a servant of the Lord and if I can be of some assistance to those suffering such calamaties, I would be honored to do so, as my time allows.


        • Hi Jason, How can we get in touch with you?
          I too have similar auto immune issues, and have only recently realised that the mercury fillings could be what is causing my health to deteriorate, this last year, my health has taken a nose dived quite dramatically.
          Im incorporating a diet that lowers inflammation, helps break down biofilm, repairing gut lining etc. But I wanted to ask if you did any of these detoxes whilst you still had the fillings in your teeth or did you wait till they where removed? Ive been contemplating on doing certain detoxes but am not sure if its safe to do before fillings are removed?
          Btw did you ever try Glutathione supplements?
          Thanks for your wonderful comments, this will def help many, Jesus bless you too, he is coming soon, and those that continue to still do evil upon us and his creation will have to answer to the most High, REV 22:11, till then, may we fight our way back to health and help others who can not join the dots like we have, God bless you and your recovery, hope we can link up to your email.

      • Go to Andrew cutlet think tank
        On Facebook.
        Ala is dangerous if u have dental amalgams

        • Peter probably means “Andy Cutler Chelation Think Tank” on Facebook.

          You could also try the “adult metal chelation” and “frequent dose chelation” groups on Yahoo.

          ALA can be dangerous even after you’ve had all your amalgam fillings removed, if you take it on the wrong schedule. I messed myself up badly taking 1 large dose ALA per day for 8 months. Google “Cutler protocol” for more info.

      • I took l-glutothione and felt a huge difference I one day. I think my glutathione was so depleted from mercury toxicity that right away I felt much better. I have had my amalgums for forty years. I plan to have them removed by a biological dentist. I am building up my glutotione because it helps detox the mercury out. It is a must do for mercury toxicity because glutathione is destroyed by mercury but it is the system used to detox mercury. My body was not detoxing the mercury because of glutathione deficiency! Anxiety and depression are the result of the mercury not being detoxed out of your body!

  3. Is this Mercury to be obtained through fillings only? As a child I had collected a fair amount (Palm-sized dollop) of mercury from several broken thermometers.. I played with it for about 4-6 hours while we were driving to a family camp site- when my dad saw me and told me it was bad.
    Now 30 years later, all the symptoms I read about, foggy brain, anxiety, exhaustion, pale in comparison to not being able to paint anymore, let alone, stir food properly.. I have carpal tunnel now, and surgery is this spring. Toes and feet are not good either- roll ankles often . I’m just”unsteady” …. All the time – and I used to be so strong.
    What is a test *I* could take- just to know? And would it even show up?
    Thanks for any and all answers

    • Sounds like mercury toxicity to me! The best test is the toxic and essential elements hair test from doctorsdata. You can get it from holisticheal.com. You don’t look for a high mercury; you look for the deranged mineral transport which is mercury’s signature. You can join the Andy Cutler Chelation Think Tank on Facebook and post the test there; somebody will read it for you, if you like. Or you can learn how to read it from Andy’s book Hair Test Interpretation. Ignore the stuff Dr. Yasko writes on the test. If you find you are mercury toxic, and I really suspect you are from history and symptoms, please learn how to chelate carefully and properly. So many people have gotten worse from doing it wrong. the FB site is a great place to ask questions. Please don’t start any sort of chelation without educating yourself! Very few doctors know how to do this safely.

    • Go get a hair elements test directlabs.com
      Post on Andrew cutler chelation think tank fb group

    • Take l-glutothione and see if things dont get better. The levels have to be up to get mercury out.

    • I believe functional medicine doctors usually can test you for mercury toxicity . Also heard some chiropractors have done the test as well not sure though.

  4. I have been having some serious health issues: osteoporosis, hyperparathyroidism, extremely low estrogen and hormone levels, brain fog, difficulty keeping weight, joint pain, respiratory issues, magnesium deficiency, racing heart, Reynaud’s syndrome, etc. the lust keeps growing and I feel I have been pretty healthy most of my life. I have been going from doctor to doctor, Chinese and western, Ayurvedic and even a medical intuitive. Recently I met with an herbal practitioner that is very knowledgeable in many modalities, and he thinks I have a chronic and long term heavy metal toxicity eich is highly disruptive to the endocrine system, particularly thyroid/parathyroid. I can’t find any definitive or correkating articles through PubMed, the CDC or the NIH. Does anyone have any further apscientifically based articles or leads that I can follow up with.? I would greatly appreciate any help.

    • Sorry to hear about your challenges in dealing with the mercury. Here are some supplements I’ve found helpful…
      Broken cell wall Chlorella
      Diatamaceous earth
      Chaga mushrooms
      Sea salt
      All worth looking into… best of luck!!!

      • Andy Cutler advises against using most of these. Read both sides before deciding.

      • I didn’t do enough research, had my amalgams out and started the Dr Mercola and Klinghardt protocols as suggested. The high amounts of cilantro and chlorella made me so much sicker. That was 6 months ago, I stopped everything I was doing 3 months into it. finally getting some strength and stamina back. The migraines are less often the MS symptoms are still flaring but less violently. I can’t be angry with all those that told me how to detox, I did not do enough of my own research. I wish I would have looked for what to do when the protocol doesn’t work. We are all individuals and therefore have different needs. Learn to listen to your body, do what your gut tells you not just what the health care team says is the only way!

    • Please join the Facebook site Andy Cutler Chelation Think Tank. Lots of people very knowledgeable about mercury toxicity, diagnosis and treatment, and happy to help.

    • Sounds like undiagnosed Lyme Disease. You may want to find a Lyme Literate MD to evaluate you.

    • Try l-glutothione. It is best for detoxing mercury. The levels in your body are low because mercury depletes glutothione and that is the system used to detox mercury.

    • If you already know you have hyperparathyroidism, which causes or contributes to nearly all of those other things you have, why not get that cured by having surgery to get the parathyroid tumor removed? If you go to the right surgeon (this is crucial), it’s a minimally invasive procedure that takes twenty minutes. Check out testimonials of people who have done it.

      I have primary hyperparathyroidism myself, and my surgery is next week at the Norman Parathyroid Center. I’m ridiculously excited. Having such high calcium has wreaked havoc in so many ways in my body.

  5. As is stated above the toxic affects or lack of is different for each & every person. Therefore telling everybody they need to have all their mercury fillings removed & replaced with some type of white resin/composite fillings is unnecessary. The complete elimination of the use of mercury fillings is also unnecessary in my opinion. If you are not having any ill effects from the use of mercury fillings I think they should be used. There are many people out there that CAN NOT afford basic dental care. The cost of white resin/composite fillings are much more expensive and do not last as long as mercury fillings. Both types of fillings are loaded with potentially toxic chemicals. The use of the more expensive white resin/composite fillings presents even more of a financial challenge to obtain basic dental care for those of us who struggle to afford basic dental care. This puts an even further financial challenge on these people who now need to figure out how or if they can come up with even more money to have fillings replaced much more frequently in addition to coming up with the money they need for basic care. Yes there is a lot wrong with our way of doing many things in this modern world. But before we do a hundred and eighty degree turn around especially in a way that makes it a lot more expensive, we need to make sure that the financially challenged amoung us are not further challenged or eliminated from receiving the care they need. The ill effects of living with decaying teeth and the bacteria present in the decaying teeth being allowed to further enter our bodies has a lot worse ill effects on our health then the small amounts of mercury entering our bodies from fillings. It is easier for our bodies to detoxify from small amounts of mercury then it is from constantly having large amounts of bacteria entering it. All of this needs to be taken into consideration with all the things that need to be changed. Please do not rush into changing things without considering whether or not it will cause some people to not be able to afford any care at all.

    • Rather have no teeth than go through what “silver” fillings did to my body and mind…

    • Interesting comment given that the World Health Organisation recommends that there is no safe amount of Mercury exposure.

    • With the years of not feeling well to the point of detriment, and the vast amounts of money to fix my health problems due to mercury poisoning- I would’ve gladly paid over and over again for the safer fillings. I had spent my entire life technically in poverty but saving a few bucks over the cost of my health isn’t worth it at all. But I didn’t have a choice as I got my fillings as a child. People aren’t educated on the harmful effects on mercury fillings which is so wrong. Due to this I am working on fixing my endocrine system and brain, but unfortunately I’m still not strong enough to get my fillings removed or start chelating. Like I said, there’s no price tag on my health.

  6. Hello all,

    I received a tetanus shot two months ago and my body hasn’t been well.

    Some days it’s not so bad. Other days I am anxious and scared for my life.

    I have had digestive issues for three years but never did anything about it because doctors told me I was too young.

    Now I’m 24 and this is tetanus shot has given me joint pain, rigidness, more anxiety than usual, irregular menstrual (which is going back to normal I believe), coated tongue… Pulsating of body (which is on and off).

    I pray that my body is detoxing itself but this single dose tetanus shot is terrible for you!

    I would love answers or guidance. I barely have money and need help. I need someone to speak to. My mother thinks negatively about me and I am saddened.

    Thank you so much! God bless. 🙂

    • On Livestrong.com, it says that Tetanus shot contains Formaldehyde, Thimerosal (another name for mercury), Aluminum Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate Dibasic, Sodium Phosphate Monobasic, Sodium Chloride, Distilled Water and Inactivated Tetanus Toxin / Toxoid. Thimerosal has been removed from most childhood vaccines with the exception of the Tetanus shot due to concerns of mercury poisoning however Thimerosal continues to be used in all adult vaccines to include all flu vaccines. Aluminum in the vaccines cannot be healthy in the human body either. I’ve read that most Alzheimers patients have a high aluminum content. It may be that the Thimerosal, the Aluminum or a combination of the ingredients in the vaccine was simply too much for your body to cope with. If you think this may be the case, you can have your heavy metal levels checked by a Naturopath. If you have elevated levels, he/she will probably start Chelation Therapy which pulls heavy metal out of your body. My Naturopath had a 2 week rotation of 5 days on the Chelation and then 9 days off. They usually use either DMSA or EDTA as their chelator of choice. Another route you may consider is to simply go online and research what foods are natural heavy metal chelators. At the very least, I would definitely recommend finding out what your heavy metal levels are to see if it is even an issue. Just remember… everyone is different so whatever level you have may cause you all kinds of problems while the same level doesn’t affect someone else.
      Coated tongue sounds like a candida overgrowth which means your gut flora is not in balance. A naturopath can help you there or once again, do some research on the subject and you will be surprised at what you will discover!

  7. Hi Jenny,

    Is Dr. Garry Gordon’s Chelation Formula Beyond (I think the new name is Binding Cellular Impurities) a good source for getting rid of mercury toxicity? See links below.



    I had a heavy metal test recently and my mercury was off the charts high (88). Any information you can provide regarding detox is very much appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • L-glutothione. This is the holy grail of detox methods because its the very system used by the body to detox mercury. Unfortunately the mercury in our bodies depletes this wonderful antioxidant. Build this up and help your body do what it was naturally meant to do before this dangerous demon came along. Talking about mercury!

  8. Amy:

    I gather you use Quicksilver’s testing and detox protocols.

    Perhaps you could reassure us on a couple of issues:

    1) I’m uncomfortable not knowing exactly what the thiols are in IMD. If ALA, is it irrevocably bonded to the silica resin? Because if not, if it dissociates to any extent, it seems it could then be absorbed, and, at least according to Cutler, this could provoke redistribution as the ALA is not being given according to its half life. (If the thiol is something else, same question, really.)

    2) It makes me a little uncomfortable also that virtually all the info I can come across on Quicksilver’s products come from the manufacturer. There’s hardly a thing out there from people who have successfully chelated with Quicksilver products. There’s Skyler’s mother…. and then there’s Skyler’s mother…
    It all seems a bit of a black box, unlike Cutler’s approach, which is entirely open and understandable. It would be very nice to see some LONG TERM studies, from someone other than the manufacturer, on the Quicksilver detox products.

    That said, Quicksilver purports to detox from mercury a lot quicker than the Cutler protocol. It would be nice to have some solid basis to believe this claim.

    Thanks for your help,

    Penny Douthwaite MD

    • PLEASE HELP!! I’m very sick over last 4 months and worsening symptoms of shaking, vertigo, insomnia and about to get all 7 of my Mercury fillings out over next 2 weeks.
      Can you tell me what to eat or do during the process and after? Like should I take chlorella etc and how? Eating it? Clay?

      Bless you for helping me.

  9. Just talked to an oral surgeon about removing 2 root canal teeth due to possible bacterial contamination. He was not gung ho to do so. We started talking about replacing mercury/amalgam fillings with white resin fillings. I have had this done already. He claims that the poisons/chemical exposure in the white/resin fillings is as bad as the amalgam fillings. That there is more chemical exposure and offgassing of the white fillings than the older amalgam fillings. Could this be true? They tasted awful when I had them replacing the older fillings. The chemical flavor was horrific. What is your opinion on this? Also is removal of root canal teeth necessary in your opinion?

    • There are hundreds of different composted materials available. You should first be tested to determine which material is most biocompatible with your body.

        • That’s what happens when you use a tablet and it spell corrects incorrectly and you are unable to go back and make corrections once you post the comment.

          I need to learn not to trust the tablet. I do know how to spell and I know the correct word. Sorry.

  10. Btw, I’d also like to say that is the amount of mercury in one filling was accidentally spilled in your child’s school science lab, the school would have to be evacuated and the hazmat team would be called.

    • When I was young I used to break mercury thermometers to spill out the mercury and play with it. I used to enjoy watching it roll and drip between my hands and on various surfaces, and some of it would accidentally fall on the carpet in my bedroom and get lost between the fibers until all if it was spilled after a few days of playing with it (until I got my hands on another thermometer and broke it to play with some more mercury)… And I lived in that room with the mercury contaminated carpet for over a decade. I shake my head in horror when I think about it nowadays and I lament the fact that the adults around me didn’t know any better to prevent me from PLAYING WITH MERCURY!

      I have a few amalgam filings in my teeth and I’m pretty sure I had some of them removed/replaced in the past by dentists who had zero consideration about toxicity. Ahh, isn’t ignorance wonderful?

      Unsurprisingly I do suffer from many of the symptoms on the list in this article. I haven’t done any toxicity tests. I’d like to remove the filings in my mouth but I don’t think there is one biologic/holistic dentist in my entire country (Jordan). Alas.

      • Forgot to tick the “notify me of follow up replies by email” box for my previous comment so doing that here.

  11. My wife has (had) MS and one of the many DIY therapies we pursued was having her mercury fillings removed. Her MS is actually burned out – after 20+ years – and she is much improved, but there were so many things we did that it’s hard to say if any one thing or what combination helped.

  12. (copy of reply above in case it gets lost)

    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.

  13. I have a mouth full of mercury fillings. with six left on the bottom and mercury under the four remaining crowns I have (over root canals). I have suffered from Lyme disease since I was about 7 and finally got diagnosed at 42. Three years of IV, oral and injection antibiotics did not help me. My son died at 23 from complications from Lyme and Morgellons. I thought I was doing the right thing three years ago by having the amalgam removed from the top teeth. I asked my dentist if he used best practices and he said “yes”. I was too sick to do much research. He only used a rubber dam. I have had this fire/heat in my head for the past two years. Its gotten progressively worse. I have to sleep with ice packs on my head and switch them out throughout the night and sometimes during the day as well. I never have a fever. The heat used to come and go, but is just mainly there now. I also get this tingling feeling that goes from the bottom of my neck up my head. I was in a home with a bad mold issue and just left it two years ago. We then moved back into our rental and found several more mold issues. They have not been able to control my thyroid for 3 years now. My numbers are all over the place. My TSH was 80 when they first diagnosed me (after I thought I was going to die). I just recently had my family doctor do a blood, urine and hair analysis at CPL. The blood serum came back negative. Still waiting on the hair and urine. I’ve had DNA testing show that I’m a non-secretor. My Ferritin level is 4. Am seeing a hematologist in a couple days and they may do an IV of iron. I’ve heard that Quicksilver Scientific’s Tri–test is the one I should use? Will this work for me, being a non-secretor? I’m fairly certain I have mercury poisoning, but any advice on this would be really helpful. Thanks so much!

  14. Hi
    As a dental nurse in the bid to late 80s I used to pour Mercury into the amalgam machine in unventilated rooms. If I split it inwpils scoop it up on my hand and put it in the machine.
    For the last two years I have been experiencing symptoms simar to MS but the doctors can find no cause for my declining Monility and loss of sedation on skin and chronic pain in my joints. I may be clutching at straws but could my exposure to mercury so long ago be affecting me now?

    • You’re not clutching at straws. If your body does not excrete mercury well, mercury can stay in your body for decades. I was poisoned by mercury when working in a steel mill, but didn’t realize until 30 years later. I had many amalgams which I had removed, but it made no difference to my health. It wasn’t until I started chelating that my health started to improve.

      The following study found that dental assistants were much more likely to experience a number of neurological symptoms compared to assistant nurses.

      Moen, B. E., Hollund, B. E., & Riise, T. (2008). Neurological symptoms among dental assistants: a cross-sectional study. J Occup Med Toxicol, 18(10).

      • Thanks for that David that’s a great help. As they can find no other reason it might be worth mentioning it. Thanks again.

  15. 3 months ago, I had my 2 mercury fillings removed by a wholistic dentist as I suffered from at least a half a dozen symptoms of mercury poisoning. I didn’t know what was causing it 6 months ago until I stumbled across an article on mercury. After looking at all of the evidence about amalgams, the last thing I wanted was to have such toxic stuff in my mouth off-gasing everyday. I thought that even if it didn’t help with my symptoms then at least one very toxic substance would be gone. At least that would eliminate one possible cause. After one week after the removal, my symptoms started to subside (and it wasn’t the placebo effect). I have been taking Vit C, Spirulina, lots of broccoli & cauliflower, curcumin, onion and garlic (not to the likely of some people) and trying to do more exercise to detox. I had to slow down at one stage as I think I was releasing too much mercury due to too much weight lose (I am around 75kg). After 3 months, I am starting to feel like the person I was in my teenage years. I am 48 years old. Hopefully as I detox even more I will feel even better. Thanks Chris for the wonderful article as it helped to answer a question I had about how long it took to detox. Keep up the great work!

  16. I’ve been reading about mercury in the body and in dental fillers. I voiced my concerns to my dentist here in Seattle. He belittled the research as junk science and would not consider removing fillings nor root canal. I need a dentist I can trust in the Seattle area. Do you have any recommendations?

    • There is a dental office in Northgate called Integrative Dentistry. Two of dentists names are Paul Rubin and Mitch Marder (I think there are several more at this practice. Another office is called Feasel Dentistry and is located in Bothell/Kenmore. Both practice safe removal and don’t use amalgam in their clinics.

  17. In my opinion in this article one important point is missing: Mercury is a heavy metal which tends to be stored in fat tissues (like the brain) and not to be detoxed. Therefore half-life in blood does not tell very much, because it is shifted to the brain. When someone on top has detox-problems (like inflammation, genetic weakness, high toxic burden) mercury is mainly stored.

    I have not read all the comments, sorry if I repeat something.

    I had (and still have) lead and mercury problems. I had fillings removed in addition to NICO (imo very important!!!) and tried several detox protocols.

    My opinion and experience:

    Detox is very individual, you have to find the program which fits you most. What may be perfect for one may be disastrous for others. On top many advices are in contradiction to other programs, so you have to decide on your own.

    I do not like hair tests, in my case they did not show any burden (my doctor has the same experience). I am in favour of provocation tests, these were the only one which showed something and helped (I feel improvement).

    Heavy metal detox always in conjunction with holistic treatment. Body has to be prepared first (e.g. candida, gut health, inflammation, methylation cycle, diet …).

    People with ADHD, autism, CFS etc. usually have impaired or a totally blocked detox system. Sometimes even provocation tests do not show any burden (this was the case with me). After getting the metabolism working again the metals came out.

    No detox before all fillings and ALL metal crowns (e.g. gold) are out!!! Gold blocks the mercury detox. Also I heavily recommend all root-canal-treated tooth to be removed!!! This was a redemption for me together with NICO removal.

    DMPS may work great, but as any medication it may have severe side effects. You have to follow a strict protocol in order to avoid them. Just injecting DMPS without these additional treatments is very dangerous imo. With additional treatments the problems described under http://www.dmpsbackfire.com are unlikely (according to Dr. Mutter). The best doctor I know is a German one: Dr. Mutter. He was sick himself and treats very very severe cases with DMPS successfully and wrote some books.

    DMPS may be problematic with CBS/ BHMT/ MTHFR1298 due to sulphur problems, may cause an DMPS allergy (happened with me).

    DMSA may work great. Some use Cutler protocol, some can not use it. Some use high doses DMSA once a week doses some can not use it this way.

    A running methylation cycle shall trigger detox on its own (e.g. according to Amy Yasko). I apply some of this protocol, it helps a lot for the metabolism, but it did not help me with heavy metals. But it was an essential prerequisite for me.

    ALA: Works in my case but with heavy side effects. Cutler recommends detox with ALA if no DMSA is available, he describes the same side effects. I got the following recommendation. Use ALA and DMSA together in Cutler stlye but stop ALA one day before DMSA, then side effects are avoided.

    Glutathione: Some give it (in high doses), some do not recommend it at all (apparently dagerous re cancer). You have to use special Glutathion in order to pass digestion and reach the inside of the cell. Regular Glutathione is useless.

    Many other protocols may work. I had the problem with most of them, that they were too slow. I would have been 200 years old until mercury would have been out. Therfore I use DMSA successfully.

    Zeolithe: I did not have success (maybe too slow).

    Cilantro: According to many sources helps to detox the brain when rest of body is already mercury free. Very dangerous before that. (I am not at this stage).

    Chlorella: I did not have success (maybe too slow).

    As you can see, many possibilities, different experiences and these are only a view examples.

    • Hello Martin, very informative post, thank you. How did you diagnose lead? I had hair and blood but no trace of lead. I had no Hg in hair but very high result to urine challenge.
      What is NICO? How long ago did you remove fillings and do you feel any better? Emily

    • I am using Cutler protocol with DMSA and ALA and I am on my 9th round. Ran out of DMSA temporarily so I’m doing ALA alone for now. I tried some chlorella a couple times and both times I took it I got leg cramps. Mild ones with a light dose and severe cramps with a heavier dose so I am staying away from that.

    • I-glutotione is the one because it is glutothine that is the bodies natural detox system. Mercury depletes glutothione so then the body cant detox. Doesnt it make sense then to restore it so the body can do what it was naturally meant to do?

    • Hi Martin,

      What is “special” glutathione?

      And for the majority, who can’t afford
      removals, etc. are there dentist/other avenues to go about getting this problem corrected?

      What if your in no position to get the fillings removed? Anything you can do in the meantime? Thanks.

  18. Hi Amy & All,

    a query for the webinar if possible, & also for those here,

    for people who for one reason or another, will not be removing their mercury amalgam fillings (at least not in the near term).

    are there any recommendations that will mitigate the presence of the amalgams.
    Let assume this is for a healthy person with good clinical markers.

    I presume one thing is to avoid any supplements that are mercury chelators, especially those that can cross the blood brain barrier (BBB).

    Are there any supplements that can be used occasionally that would help the mercury detox pathways in people that still have amalgam fillings?

    Anything else that will help…?


  19. I’ve had lifelong, frequent, debilitating migraines, the only real health issue besides insomnia that has persisted after about a dozen health issues simply disappeared when I changed to a trad-food, Weston Price diet. In my research, I always come back to mercury (and lead) as the probable underlying culprit(s). As these articles say, if you’ve done everything else, like cleaning up your diet and environment, and you still have a chronic condition, heavy metals could be the reason:


    This chilling article tells some of the history of its use in medicine:

    I remember playing with mercury from broken thermometers as a child. Through childhood, I had my throat swabbed with merthiolate when I had sore throats (a common practice in the mid-20th century, gads), and I got a handful of mercury fillings. I developed childhood headaches, then migraines as a teenager. The migraines persisted and worsened and as a young adult, before the age of the internet, I somehow put the dots together and suspected my fillings were a contributing factor and I insisted that my (conventional) dentist remove them. But this was before the proper removal protocols were developed by holistic/biologic dentistry, so I got another big dose of mercury which I suspect added to the cumulative burden sequestered in my body’s tissues. The migraines persist, and I’d love to fix that.

    I’m glad you’re tackling this topic, and I look forward to the webinar and future posts. I’d love to know your recommended protocol (if you need any volunteers, let me know!) and your thoughts on the various protocols that have been developed since the seemingly outdated DMPS/DMSA approaches, such as those recommended by Chris Shade, Louisa Williams, Paul Eck, etc.

  20. I had most of my amalgam fillings replaced recently but there are possibly 2 more that are now under crowns. How much can this mercury be affecting me? (I have a lifetime history of depression, anxiety, fatigue, brain fog – etc…).

    I am now seeing a holistic dentist and my long term plan is to remove those crowns and make sure no mercury is left in there.

    thanks. JR

    • These are are common symptoms of mercury poisoning. Mercury affects the thyroid and adrenal glands which can cause fatigue and anxiety. It also affects receptors for dopamine, serotonin and GABA.