Mercury Toxicity and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Mercury is a heavy metal that can be toxic to our health in even small amounts. When someone has an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, having moderate to high levels of mercury can exacerbate one’s condition. In fact, mercury can even potentially trigger an autoimmune response, thus leading to a condition such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

This is one of the main reasons why I recommend a hair mineral analysis to every single one of my patients. Although I also use this test to look at the minerals (selenium, manganese, phosphorus, chromium, etc.) to see if there is an imbalance, I also want my patients to obtain this test so I can look to see if they have any heavy metal toxicities.

Everyone Has Some Heavy Metals In Their Tissues

Now truth to be told, everyone will have traces of the heavy metals. So when I analyze the hair mineral analysis report, I expect to see small amounts of all of the heavy metals. This includes aluminum, (which is commonly high in people do to widespread exposure from pots and pans, canned foods, and deodorants), along with arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. After aluminum, the next mineral I commonly see high in people is mercury. This doesn’t mean that in some people cadmium, arsenic, and/or lead might be high while the mercury levels are on the low side. But it’s more common to see high levels of mercury than these other ones.

When you consider that two of the most common sources of mercury exposure are by consuming fish and through dental amalgams which contain mercury, then it’s not difficult to understand why so many people have high levels of mercury. To be fair, I’ve had patients with silver fillings whose mercury levels didn’t look too bad on the hair mineral analysis. So I’m not suggesting that everyone who consumes fish and/or has silver fillings will have extremely high levels of mercury. But another thing to consider is that there really has not been any safe levels of mercury determined. In other words, even small amounts of mercury can potentially cause problems, which is why you want to minimize your consumption of fish (especially larger fish, which are more likely to have higher levels of mercury), and eventually consider getting any silver fillings removed.

But why is mercury considered to be toxic? Mercury has the potential to bind to any molecule which contains sulfur. When mercury does this it will prevent certain enzymes from doing their job. For example, mercury can actually bind to the cells of the thyroid gland. When this happens it can potentially lead to hypothyroidism by interfering with some of the minerals that are required to produce thyroid hormone. It can also affect the conversion of T4 to T3. And while most cases of hypothyroidism probably aren’t caused by mercury toxicity, this needs to be considered for anyone who is trying to restore their thyroid health naturally. In addition to the thyroid gland, mercury can affect other glands and organs of the body.

Should One Be Aggressive When Trying To Remove Mercury?

Based on the information I just gave, it probably makes sense that anyone who has silver fillings would want to get them removed immediately. However, one needs to be cautious when trying to remove mercury from the body. This is especially true with autoimmune conditions, along with some other conditions, such as cancer. Even when dental amalgams containing mercury are removed by a competent biological dentist, some of the mercury will be vaporized and absorbed, which can exacerbate the autoimmune component in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. So if one of my patients is looking to follow a natural treatment protocol, it might be best to wait until the autoimmune response is suppressed before getting the dental amalgams removed.

But what if someone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis has very high levels of mercury? In this case would it be a good idea to remove the silver fillings immediately? Obviously everyone needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis, and there might be some people who would benefit from removing the silver fillings before beginning a natural treatment protocol. Of course due to the expense of visiting a biological dentist to get the fillings removed, some people choose not to remove their fillings at all, even after restoring their health back to normal. When someone is feeling much better and is able to reduce their dosage of thyroid medication, or get off of it completely, then they often times will forget about the potential risks of having mercury in their fillings.

Can Getting Silver Fillings Removed Lead To A Relapse?

If mercury can potentially trigger an autoimmune response, then one concern about getting the fillings removed after someone restores their health back to normal is that it can lead to a relapse. From this point of view it makes all the sense in the world to remove one’s fillings before beginning a natural treatment protocol. It definitely is possible for someone to follow a natural treatment protocol, restore their health back to normal, and then suffer a relapse by getting their silver fillings removed. I honestly haven’t seen this happen so far in my practice, but that doesn’t mean the risk doesn’t exist.

But this is why everyone needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. If someone who has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis consults with me and is feeling horrible from a symptomatic perspective, then the last thing I want to do is potentially worsen their symptoms. And this I have seen, as I’ve had some patients who did get their fillings removed while the autoimmune response was still active, and felt even worse for weeks after the procedure. Of course I’ve also had patients who got the fillings removed before or during a natural treatment protocol and didn’t have a problem. Ultimately it is up to the patient, as after seeing that they have high levels of mercury, some want to get them removed immediately, and if this is the case I will support them.

Should Chelation Therapy Be Considered?

Even if someone has their silver fillings removed and limits their consumption of fish, they still need to get rid of most the existing mercury in the body. There are numerous methods of accomplishing this, and I’m not going to go into detail about each one of them in this article. What I will say is that I usually begin with a conservative approach, such as balancing the other minerals, which will help to displace mercury. I also might recommend certain supplements or herbs to help chelate mercury from the body. Chelation therapy is definitely an option, but in my opinion is an extreme procedure that does have some potential side effects, and should usually be a last resort when it comes to removing mercury from the body. I usually will recommend sauna therapy before chelation therapy, but this is just my personal preference.

In summary, mercury toxicity is common with people who have autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. And while one’s consumption of fish needs to be minimized, and any silver fillings eventually should be removed, one also needs to be very cautious when trying to remove mercury. As for methods of removing mercury, I usually take a more conservative approach with my patients, but will consider more aggressive procedures such as sauna therapy or chelation therapy when they’re truly necessary.

Source by Dr. Eric Osansky

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