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Mercury Toxicity


Research has shown that mercury poisoning causes a wide range of symptoms, which include symptoms similar to those caused by fibromyalgia and sleep apnea.

The medical world is perplexed by many diseases that seem to have no specified causes, and for which treatments are still being researched.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by severe muscle pain, fatigue and improper sleep.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which has similar symptoms, but is mainly characterized by interruption in the breathing process a number of times during sleep. Medical research has arrived upon certain treatments that reduce the severity of symptoms in fibromyalgia. Medical science also claims to have arrived upon various cures for sleep apnea, but the ambiguity around the cause still remains.

Furthermore, there seems to be a connection between the two and snoring. Research has shown that mercury poisoning causes a wide range of symptoms, which include symptoms similar to those caused by fibromyalgia and sleep apnea.

Mercury toxicity continues to pose a threat to wildlife and humans alike. A deficient protein status indicates that the body requires repair. Proper diagnosis and treatment can be arrived at by using the biochemical screening profile of a person.

Health Hazards

Mercury is a part of the lithosphere and is converted into methyl mercury by microbes, thus releasing it into the environment. Methyl mercury (CH3Hg+) is the organic form of mercury and is most dangerous as compared to the elemental form (Hg) and the ionic form (Hg2+). Although mercury is of no use to the body, its entry into the body causes disorders at cellular level and disturbs the normal functioning of the body, leading to a host of neurological and other conditions. Apart from this, mercury invades every system of the body and disrupts life processes.

Mercury affects the nervous, reproductive, cardio-vascular, endocrinal, urinogenital, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems and causes various debilitating conditions. Unlike other poisons which produce adverse effects immediately, mercury silently remains in the body and accumulates over the years, and by the time it shows its symptoms, it may be too late to reverse the damage.

Environmental Pollution

The earlier awareness of environmental pollution of mercury and its hazards came to light in 1959 in Minamata, a small industrial town in Japan.

On examining the industrial waste released into the waters of Minamata Bay and the sea of Shiranui, heavy metals such as arsenic, selenium, copper, lead, manganese, thallium and mercury were found. Although the other metals are toxic, the symptoms of a disease that spread across Minamata pointed out to mercury poisoning.

Small amounts of mercury are more deadly than arsenic and lead. This poisoning went on unchecked for 30 years. The fish and animals accumulated mercury. People who ate this fish were affected by the toxicity.

Around 1950 there were incidents where victims began to show a degeneration of the nervous system. Some suffered from numbness in their limbs whereas others suffered from involuntary jerking of the limbs. Many suffered from speech and vision problems. The symptoms were noticed around entire neighborhoods. Cats began to act strange and birds fell from the sky. The animals and humans alike seemed to have contracted an unknown disease.

In 1959, the Kumamoto University deduced from their research that mercury from industrial waste was responsible for these conditions. The courts of Japan are processing claims for compensation till this day.

Dental Fillings

Patients getting dental fillings done are at a major threat from mercury toxicity. Dental amalgam contains up to 50 percent of mercury. Microbes convert the mercury into organic methyl mercury which gets readily absorbed into the blood through the area under the tongue and other areas that are richly supplied with blood vessels.

Mercury converts into vapor at low temperatures. This vapor is inhaled, especially during the dental process and enters the body causing long term ailments. Once in the blood, mercury travels through the body and targets nerve tissue and tissues of the kidney.

Dangers to the Unborn Baby

Amalgam fillings done during pregnancy and lactation have been proved to affect the fetus and the newborn alike. Experiments done on sheep showed that mercury placed in molars took not time to reach the fetus. Till the time of childbirth it was found that the baby could have as much as 30% to even 100% of the mercury as compared to the mother.

Mercury has a higher tendency to enter the blood of the fetus. It passes quickly through the placenta and attaches to the red blood corpuscles and the tissues of the fetus. Another reason for the accumulation of mercury in the fetus is that the fetus does not sweat, make bile or excrete waste matter. Due to this the mercury which is usually excreted through these channels, finds no way out of the fetus' system. Breast fed babies showed a high accumulation of mercury in the kidneys.

Mercury and Heart Diseases

Mercury is also strongly linked with heart diseases. The proportion of mercury found in hair and the condition of the heart showed a direct relation in a number of cases. It was found that an increased proportion of mercury in the hair was directly associated with atherosclerosis progression in men.

Medicinal Preparations

Inspite of the known dangers of mercury toxicity, there has been an apathetic attitude towards its use in medications, vaccines, dental fillings and the manufacture of appliances.

Mercury prevents the growth of bacteria and fungus and therefore has been used as a preservative in children's vaccines in the form of Thimerosal.

Mercury is also used in creams, nose drops, contact lens solutions and other medicinal preparations. Although the use of mercury has some benefits, the risks nullify these benefits. Developed nations are realizing this and are eliminating mercury from vaccines, medical preparations and from manufacturing units.

Conclusion

Although mercury poisoning is prevalent in most modern civilizations, unnecessary exposure can be avoided.

Amalgam fillings must be avoided and one must opt in for composite dental fillings.

Vaccines and medications that use thimerosal should also be avoided.

A balanced diet rich in animal protein and fat along with an occasional consumption of fish is allowed in a healthy person. Large fish that consume other fish and farmed fish should be avoided as much as possible. Smaller fish such as wild Alaskan Salmon, sardines, herring, are much safer for consumption.

Pregnant and lactating women are advised to avoid amalgam fillings during pregnancy and remove any amalgam fillings prior to conception.

The body should be detoxified by drinking filtered water, increasing fiber intake and consuming green leafy vegetables. And practise forgiveness.

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