As I explained in last week’s article, mercury overload is a far more common issue than you might think, and I often see it as a root cause of chronic illnesses, including Hashimoto’s, Graves’, and autoimmune disease.
If you missed that article, be sure to check it out here to discover why mercury overload is so common and how it can lead to chronic health conditions.
In today’s article, I will cover the most accurate testing options for mercury exposure, how to reduce your exposure, and how to safely detoxify mercury.
Testing Options for Mercury Exposure
In my book, The Autoimmune Solution, I detail the testing options available for mercury exposure.
The first is a blood panel called a red blood cell test, or RBC, in which the lab uses a blood sample to examine your heavy metal exposure for the past three months. Now the reason this test only looks at a three-month time period is because the life of a red blood cell is only three months. For this reason, I do not prefer to use this test in my clinic because it’s not as comprehensive.
The second option is a hair test. This is a test I do use in my clinic because I find the results to be more accurate for a number of reasons. Toxins such as mercury are typically more concentrated in your hair than in your blood, making them easier to detect. Also, mercury can be detected over much longer periods of time in a hair sample, particularly if your hair is longer.
The third of test I use, and what is considered the gold standard for detecting mercury is a urine “challenge”. This test determines not only how much exposure you’ve had to mercury, but also how much of that is actually being stored in your system. To do this, you take a urine sample to establish your baseline heavy metal levels, and then take a DMPS solution that helps your body filter out, or chelate, the heavy metals in your system.
Over the course of the next six hours you continue to test your urine to determine how much of the heavy metals are being filtered out of your system, and how much is actively being stored.
Once you have determined if your heavy metal toxicity has resulted in long term storage, you can create an effective protocol to help you safely reduce your mercury levels.
As with any type of toxic exposure, I recommend a two-phase approach, phase one is to reduce your exposure, and phase two is to safely remove the toxins from your body.
Phase I: Reducing Your Exposure to Mercury
Though modern living continually exposes you to mercury, there are steps you can take to reduce this exposure and prevent further storage in your body.
Filter Your Air
Using a HEPA filter can keep toxic heavy metals such as mercury out of your air supply. Keep one in your home and office to ensure you’re not inadvertently inhaling mercury from nearby coal burning plants.
Filter Your Water
Pollution and runoff from everything from manufacturing to industrial agriculture has resulted in heavy metals finding their way into a large number of aquifers.1 Despite EPA regulation, the permitted levels are still too high to be unsafe, or in some cases, there are no regulations at all.
Take control of what’s in your water with a high quality water filter for your sinks and showers. It’s important to note that mercury can also be absorbed into the skin, so even something as simple as a shower could be exposing you if your water isn’t being filtered.
Remove Amalgam Fillings
If you have these mercury-rich fillings, it’s time to talk to a biological dentist about having them replaced with a less toxic option.
Avoid Mercury-Rich Fish
Shark and tuna are both notoriously high in mercury, so try to completely avoid these types of fish. The Environmental Defense fund has a list of fish that are typically high in mercury and should be avoided, and those that are low in mercury and are preferred.
Be Choosy With Your Cosmetics
Look for companies that fully disclose the ingredients in their products, and avoid anything that contains any of these heavy metal compounds:
- Lead acetate
- Thimerosal (a mercury compound)
- Hydrogenated cottonseed oil
- Sodium hexametaphosphate
Eating foods that were grown without pesticides is an easy way to cut a significant portion of your heavy metal exposure out of your diet.
Make Informed Vaccine Decisions
If you do opt for flu and other vaccines for yourself or your child, be sure to ask your physician if there is a mercury-free option.
Phase II: Addressing Mercury Overload
Now that you know where mercury hides, it may be tempting to rush right into an intensive chelation program. However, it is important to take a measured approach.
When you begin to chelate, heavy metals are released from areas where they have been stored, but at a much faster rate than they were accumulated. The result is a dangerous risk of overwhelming your body with too many heavy metals at once and then subsequently reabsorbing them all.
That’s why I recommend a four-step approach to safely addressing mercury overload.
Step 1: Repair Your Gut
Leaky gut, which is when the lining of your gut has become permeable, increases the risk that mercury will be reabsorbed in one concentrated dose during treatment. Leaky gut is incredibly common, especially among anyone with autoimmune and thyroid condition. Additionally, as I explained in my previous article, mercury overload and Candida overgrowth (which leads to leaky gut) often go hand in hand.
For that reason, I recommend that all of my patients start first by repairing your gut, which includes removing Candida overgrowth. You can learn more about my 4R approach to repairing your gut in this article and my books – The Autoimmune Solution and The Thyroid Connection.
Step 2: Safely Chelate Mercury with Heavy Metal Detox
Heavy Metal Detox contains contains EDTA, a chelating agent, as well as chlorella and cilantro, which are natural chelators. Chelators help pull the heavy metals out of your bones, where they are stored, so they can be safely flushed out. The Himalayan shilajit extract also helps to detoxify your body as the chelating ingredients actively release heavy metals from the bones and tissues where they are stored.
Step 3: Safely Flush Mercury with GI Detox
As Heavy Metal Detox is helping to chelate the mercury from your bones, I recommend adding in my GI Detox supplement. It contains bentonite clay and activated charcoal which have very large surface areas to bind to mercury so that it can be safely flushed from your system
Step 4: Support Your Detox Pathways with Glutathione
Glutathione plays a critical role in the body’s natural detoxification process, and if you’re not getting enough, it could be causing your body to store more mercury than it should. Unlike most glutathione supplements available, the one I carry in my store is acetylated and therefore not broken down by the gut and is well absorbed.
Additional Tips to Support Your Detox Process
As you repair your gut and address mercury overload with supplements, I also recommend supporting your detox pathways using the tips below.
Test for and Address MTHFR Mutations
If you haven’t already been tested for MTHFR, talk to your doctor about seeing if you have this genetic mutation, as it can greatly impact how you absorb nutrients and detoxify mercury.
If you do have one or more MTHFR mutations, I recommend taking a Methylation Support supplement daily, which supports your body’s ability to detoxify mercury and other toxins. As someone with two MTHFR mutations, I take this supplement daily and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.
Eat Cruciferous Veggies
These vegetables are rich in antioxidants and can help your body more efficiently process any mercury that enters your system:
- Brussel sprouts
- Collard greens
- Cilantro (natural chelator)
Pee, Poop, and Sweat
To help your body flush toxins out of your system before they get the chance to be stored in your bones and thyroid, drink plenty of filtered water every day, and then be sure to work up a sweat with some exercise of a visit to an infrared sauna.
Saunas are a fantastic way to detoxify, but also help to balance your cortisol levels, relieve pain caused by inflammation, lose weight, improve circulation, and even purify your skin! I always recommend to my patients that they try to invest in one for their home for these reasons. I have and personally recommend these saunas from Sunlighten Saunas.
If you are dealing with mercury overload, or suspect that you are, and would like one-on-one guidance, I recommend setting up a wellness coaching session with Dana, my registered dietitian. She can help recommend testing options, review your lab results, and tailor a protocol to your exact needs.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.