Clinical Symptoms of Mercury Toxicity
Symptoms Characteristic of Chronic, Low-Dose Exposure
- Erethism (nervousness, irritability, mood instability, blushing)
- Personality change
- Suicidal tendency
- Impaired hearing
- Speech disorders
- Visual disturbance
- Abnormal reflexes
- Disturbed gait
- Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
- Impaired nerve conduction
- Renal damage
- Adverse outcome of pregnancy
- Pneumonitis (lung disease)
- Glioblastoma (brain cancer)
- Immune system dysfunction
Symptoms Characteristic of Acute, High-Dose Exposure
- Gastroenteritis (stomach upset)
- Mouth pain
- Abdominal pain
- Excessive salivation
- Anuria (urine production stops)
- Uraemia (urine products appearing in the blood)
- Nephritis (kidney disease leading to kidney failure)
- Anorexia (lack of appetite)
- Ataxia (difficulty in moving)
Mercury and Reproductive Health
Chronic mercury exposure can seriously impair fertility and outcome of pregnancy. In one study, 45 women dentists and 31 dental nurses were questioned about their reproductive history and hair samples were taken to estimate mercury exposure. A positive association was found between elevated mercury levels and incidence of malformations and aborted pregnancies. Mercury exposure also resulted in menstrual cycle disorders, arising from interference with the part of the brain which controls reproduction (hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis).
During pregnancy, mercury passes readily through the placenta; the concentration in cord blood is elevated above the level of the maternal blood. There is therefore a risk to the fetus in chronically-exposed pregnant women, although case studies to date are not conclusive. One case report describes the birth of a severely brain-damaged baby to a woman dentist who was exposed to mercury vapor levels in excess of the TLV during pregnancy. In the most recent report, a Swedish dentist was exposed to mercury vapor during her pregnancy through a leaking amalgamator; the fetus showed mild kidney inflammation but was born clinically healthy. The World Health Organization stated in 1991 that ‘the exposure of women in child-bearing age should be as low as possible’.
In men, organic forms of mercury were found to cause hypospermia, a reduction in libido and impotence in some subjects. Evidence of minor genetic damage (aneuploidy) was found, thought to be caused by interference of the metal with thiol groups in the spindle apparatus of dividing cells. More recently, an adverse effect of mercury on sperm motility was reported and another report describes an increased rate of spontaneous abortion in women whose partners were occupationally exposed to mercury vapor.
At Humfeld Family Chiropractic, we can see if your body is suffering from heavy metal toxicity using Nutrition Response Testing.