A R T I C L E 3 : M E R C U R Y
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
AUTISM EDGE SERIES I am very excited to share this series with you. Autism Edge was born through the journey I have embarked gathering insight and knowledge along the way. I would love to share what I have learnt in the last 6 years with you.
This week we are discussing a very important aspect of autism: Mercury. What a subject. Mercury is known as to be very harmful and creates brain damage in children.
Why do you as parent need to know about mercury? Some theory for you. We are exposed to mercury in different ways and forms.
There are 3 different types of mercury. Elemental , inorganic and organic mercury. Elemental mercury is the most common form. It is a metallic, silvery liquid that is processed from an ore called cinnabar. It readily breaks into droplets and easily vaporizes at room temperature into an odorless, colorless vapor that can easily be inhaled without you realizing it.
The risk of this type of Mercury is it easily crosses over into your blood/brain and placental barriers and can enter breast milk. It is a dangerous neurotoxin that impacts the central nervous system. Some of the neurological effects are: tremors, mood swings, irritability, excessive shyness, insomnia, loss of coordination and slurred speech.
Inorganic mercury can enter the body through mouth and skin from products such a disinfectants and fungicides. Inorganic mercury compounds are frequently found in school science labs.The risks of inorganic mercury is the least toxic of the three forms of mercury. It can damage the GI tract, which we know is very important for autistic children to be healthy, as well as the kidneys and nervous system. High exposures can lead to skin rashes, dermatitis, mood swings, memory loss, mental disturbance, and muscle weakness.
Organic mercury, is most commonly found in the environment. It is converted from its inorganic form by a biological bacterial process. It bio accumulates in the environment and is most commonly found in fish. Oral ingestion of fish is the most common route of exposure of mercury to humans. The risk involved is that it crosses that barrier as well into the blood/brain and placental barriers, which can damage the central nervous system and causes birth defects, neurological problems and developmental delays. Fetuses are the most vulnerable to methylmercury's toxic effects because studies have shown that chord blood levels are twice as concentrated as maternal blood levels for mercury. Chronic exposure to methylmercury can cause an impairment in vision, speech, walking, hearing and lack of coordination.
Why do you as parent need to know about mercury? Mercury in children with autism can cause certain characteristics that we see as abnormalities. Arms flapping, speech development delays, poor or no eye contact, over sensitivity issues to sound and touch as well ass low muscle tone and sleep disorders.
These are only a few
example. The similarities between mercury poisoning and autism can not be seen as not important. High levels of metals in autistic children are found and can be detoxified through he right diet. Children with autism is more prone to neurological damage due to mercury. Mercury cling to the brain and tissue and can be difficult to test for. As children with autism struggle to detoxify, it is hard for them to excrete metals through different systems like urine, hair and sweat like most of us.
Mercury can also decrease immune function. Thimerosal inhibits DPP-4, an enzyme that is needed in the break down of gluten and casein, which also influence T cells ( microbes ) a binding protein for purine and an enzyme which is important for energy release and control. Low DPP-4 results in unbalance in amino acids therefor makes the detox difficult. How can diet increase the levels of mercury in the body? A high consumption of sea foods like fish, salmon are in the lower ranges of containing mercury where shark and tilefish with very high levels of mercury.
Air is also a source of
how mercury can end up in our systems. Air pollution. A study have found that in areas where the air contained high levels of mercury, the rate of children with special educational needs increased by 43%. Any area with high levels of metals in the air contributes to the high levels of !metals found in children and so possible influencing their behaviors.
Please let us know if you would like to know more about how to use diet as a way to lower metals in the system as well as how to detox metals through following the right diet.