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Metal Toxicity

Globally, food, water, and the environment have deteriorated to the point that we are all vulnerable to at least chronic, low-level exposure to toxic metals. In the U.S., it has been revealed that tons of toxic industrial wastes, including heavy metals, are being mixed with liquid agricultural fertilizers and dispersed across America’s farmlands. Although the practice of dispersing arsenic, lead, cadmium, nickel, mercury, and uranium on soil and pastures is currently a controversial political and economic issue, the potential for long term adverse health effects is obvious and well-documented.

Chronic low level exposure to metal toxins are associated with rather non-descript symptoms and overt expression of disease are often not realized until later in life. Among the most insidious toxic metals are mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic. These metals are systemic toxins that may well be the underlying cause of persistent ill health in patients presenting with chronic symptoms such as fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, neurological disorders, depression, poor cognitive function and memory, and allergic hypersensitivity. Much of what has been learned about mercury applies to the other metals and so mercury will be discussed here.

The primary source of chronic, low-level mercury exposure are dental amalgams and fish (especially swordfish, shark, salmon, and tuna). Other sources of mercury include the combustion of fossil fuels, and the production of chlorine, paper, and pulp, fungicides/seed preservatives, and some paints. So-called “silver dental amalgams” contain over 50% mercury which is volatile and vaporizes at room temperature. Although mercury is poorly absorbed if ingested, mercury vapor is efficiently absorbed through the lungs and quickly passes the blood-brain barrier. Methyl mercury derived from fish is readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Once absorbed, mercury has a low excretion rate, so a significant amount accumulates in the kidneys, neurological tissue (including the brain), and the liver. High levels also accumulate in the heart, thyroid, and pituitary gland.

The endocrine system is affected by mercury burden. Mercury and cadmium interfere with thyroid function and can be a contributing or causative factor for hypothyroidism and chronic fatigue. It also can interfere with progesterone metabolism without affecting serum levels of progesterone.

Early detection of metal accumulation is paramount to successful treatment and avoidance of irreversible damage. At Dr. Miller's Family Tree Medical Center, only a reputable labs are used for metal toxicity testing combined with a comprehensive detoxification and nutritional support program tailored to the individual’s unique needs.

If you feel you may be suffering from symptoms associated with heavy metal toxicity, contact Dr. Miller at (415) 785-3347 for a comprehensive health evaluation and reclaim your health.