Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & Mercury Poisoning
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is one of a number of health issues whose cause is unknown (idiopathic). Traditionally, the term syndrome is used when a number of common symptoms of a condition have been identified to the extent that a specific name can be given to it—but the underlying cause has still not been determined. Thus, the term syndrome and idiopathic go hand in hand when describing CFS.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, like most other idiopathic illnesses, such as autism (learning and developmental disorders), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Meniere’s, or fibromyalgia; many theories are presented to explain their cause. The following list includes some of the most common factors believed to be a cause of, or contributor to, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Stress: Emotional, Psychological and Physical
But from my extensive research, this list is more noteworthy for its one glaring omission, chronic mercury poisoning! Chronic mercury poisoning (CMP) is directly, and indirectly connected, to nearly every symptom, disease, syndrome and illness we deal with, including CFS. I believe any serious discussion about the potential cause (and treatment) of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome must include the elimination of all sources of mercury exposure, along with supporting the body's efforts at detoxifying mercury.
I’ll only be providing an overview of what I see to be the relationship between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic mercury poisoning. This will include some basic facts about mercury, the role played by mercury amalgam silver fillings, how and why to have them safely removed, and some basics about the importance of mercury detoxification. These subjects cannot be adequately covered in the space allowed but I’ve written two books that will provide you with all of the information you need to know about these issues. The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings are Hazardous to Your Health will be your guide to understanding the role these poisonous fillings play in every symptom and disease we must deal with. Mercury Detoxification: The Natural Way to Remove Mercury From your Body, is the A to Z guide to this important subject and a must for anyone with symptoms or health issues related to chronic mercury poisoning. Additonal information about this subject can be found on the website.
Sources of Mercury
There are many sources of mercury, including food, air, water, cosmetics, medications, and occupational exposure. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no safe level of mercury and the single greatest source of mercury is mercury amalgam fillings, exposing you to more mercury than all other sources combined. The following is what WHO lists as the main contributors of mercury and the estimated daily amount of it taken into the body.
Source of Mercury
Daily Intake (mcg)
For the purpose of this article I’m focusing on mercury from amalgam fillings but it must be made clear that the ultimate amount you receive will be the total from all sources. There are a number of factors that will determine the amount of mercury you will receive from mercury amalgam fillings. These include:
Basic Facts about Mercury
It will be impossible to fully understand the toxicity of mercury unless you first understand some basic facts:
- Mercury is the most poisonous, non-radioactive, naturally occurring substance on our planet.
- There is No Safe or Harmless Level of mercury. Even one atom is harmful to the body.
- Amalgam fillings continuously release poisonous mercury vapor.
- Any form of stimulation that heats an amalgam filling will cause the release of mercury vapor.
- Amalgam fillings, for those who have them, are their single greatest source of mercury exposure, contributing more mercury than seafood, air and water combined.
- The first exposure to mercury from amalgam fillings occurs at the moment of conception.
- Mercury passes through the placenta to the fetus and to the nursing baby via breast milk.
- Chronic mercury poisoning can directly or indirectly contribute to, and increase the risk and severity of every known disease and health issue.
In addition, 80% of the mercury vapor released from amalgam fillings is inhaled, readily passes through the lungs into the bloodstream and then enters into and is stored in the body. As it accumulates, it poisons cells and tissues throughout the body, particularly the brain and nervous system.
Mercury will directly affect the body by attaching to essential proteins and amino acids, altering there structure interfering with their function. It will indirectly damage the body by depleting the immune system of its most critical antioxidants, glutathione (GSH) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA). I’ve only touched on the role mercury plays here and more information can be found in my article, Chronic Mercury Poisoning by Clicking Here. I, and many others, consider CFS to be a form of autoimmune disease, and because mercury has also been implicated in autoimmune diseases, I felt it important to introduce it here.
In fact, because of the many factors involved in how much mercury is released from amalgam fillings, including the health of the immune system, tens of millions with amalgam fillings could be getting higher amounts of mercury daily than protective agencies allow in the workplace.
Mercury: The Triple Edged Sword
There are three ways mercury can damage your health.
The first is by its direct effect in which it disrupts the normal function of proteins and enzymes. The long list of symptoms related to chronic mercury poisoning are examples of the many ways it can negatively affect all aspects of one’s health. You can review these by Clicking Here.
The second is how it can dramatically deplete the body of the most important mercury chelating antioxidants, primarily glutathione (GSH) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA).
The third is the relationship of mercury to autoimmune diseases and allergies.
All three play a role in CFS, with the degree of that relationship dependent on many factors. One factor that plays a critical role, and must be considered, is the effect of mercury on the fetus and nursing baby as not only is this a critical period of development but demonstrates just how early a person can be exposed to poisonous mercury from amalgam fillings.
Effects of Mercury Poisoning on the Fetus
It would be impossible to discuss the effects, and source of, mercury poisoning on any health issue without first considering how early you can be exposed to it. I’m sure that learning this will shock most people who are not aware of just how early their exposure to mercury begins, and the surprising source of that exposure. It also opens a Pandora’s box when it comes to connecting mercury poisoning to any health issue.
The first time anyone can be exposed to mercury from amalgam fillings is at the moment of conception; if the mother has mercury amalgam fillings! Mercury entering the mother from her amalgam fillings can be passed to the fetus via the placenta, with the exposure continuing daily until birth. As mercury also passes into breast milk the exposure to it will continue through the nursing period. The amount of mercury the fetus and nursing baby will be exposed to can vary greatly and depend on a number of factors, including;
- How many fillings the mother has;
- How long she has had them;
- How the fillings were stimulated;
- How often they were stimulated and for how long;
- Did she have any removed or placed during fetal development and nursing; and
- Was the baby nursed and for how long.
The exposure to mercury at such a critical time of development is bad enough but it’s made worse by the fact that the fetus hasn’t developed a protective immune system. One should never lose sight of the fact that mercury is very toxic to an adult and far, far more so for a developing fetus and baby. It can also cause genetic changes. Mercury is classified as mutagenic substance and is also teratogenic. A mutagenic substance, any agent that causes a permanent change in genetic material, can cause genetic mutations. These mutations can lead to many birth defects and other health problems later in life.
A teratogenic substance is one that disrupts the growth and development of the embryo and fetus, leading to neurological and central nervous system disorders. Therefore, it would logically follow that any exposure to mercury during this period would play a significant role in genetic mutations that could result in numerous birth defects, including autism and learning and developmental disorders.
The long term effects of mercury could also play a role in other health issues, especially those related to neurological problems and the immune system. (For more information about the relationship of mercury to developmental disorders please Click On Autism and Mercury Amalgam Fillings.)
Another factor related to mercury that must be considered here is the exposure to mercury from the preservative thimerosal, commonly used in vaccines. Vaccinations can start as early as the day of birth and most babies in modernized countries could receive up to 23 vaccinations by age two. Each shot will contain approximately 237 micrograms of highly toxic methyl mercury—with some receiving up to 6 vaccinations during one visit to the doctor. This exposure to relatively large, acute, doses of mercury could also be a contributing factor to numerous neurological symptoms, both early and later in life. As you are well aware, the symptoms related to CFS also include emotional and psychological issues.
That isn’t all. Additional exposure to mercury can begin again as early as age 2, when amalgam fillings can be placed in baby teeth. This ongoing exposure to mercury will continue as long as the individual has amalgam fillings. Mercury poisoning will not affect everyone in the same way and my newest book, The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam Silver Fillings Hazardous to Your Health! discusses how mercury does its damage and the many factors that determine how an individual will be affected.
Although I just touched on the aspect of early and chronic exposure to mercury and its ramifications, I think you get the message. I challenge anyone to disput that chronic mercury poisoning has no relationship to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, including it being a cause of, or as a major contributor to its symptoms. To review the list of symptoms associated with autism to those of chronic mercury poisoning Click Here.
You must also keep in mind that the factors involved are many. Thus, someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome could have been exposed to mercury during fetal development and nursing, via vaccinations, with its exposure continuing on with his or her own amalgam fillings. And there could be many variations of that theme that could account for the wide variation in symptoms and severity of chronic mercury poisoning. For example, even if a person didn’t have amalgam fillings, he or she could have still been exposed to significant amounts of mercury during fetal development, nursing and vaccinations. What also must be considered is when this exposure took place, how intense it was, and how long it lasted.
Comparing the Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Chronic Mercury Poisoning
I consider it essential for anyone with CFS to compare the many symptoms associated with it to those related to chronic mercury poisoning.
The symptoms I’ve listed above are those that are some of the more common symptoms listed for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. If you are suffering from this syndrome I’m sure you will recognize some, or all of them. But did you know everyone of the above symptoms are also directly associated with chronic mercury poisoning? Still wonder if there might be a connection?
Of course some will have fewer symptoms and others more, but such is the nature of a disease or syndrome. A disease doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t wake up one morning and find you have full blown CFS, or heart disease. Under normal circumstances it will take time for a disease to reach a point where it is acknowledged as such. Prior to that, the indications are more subtle, but if the cause isn’t addressed, over time the severity and number of the related symptoms will increase and worsen. So there really isn’t one stage of CFS, there are early signs and symptoms and there are those that will be much more severe, yet both being considered to be under the umbrella of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
The same is true of chronic mercury poisoning (CMP). CMP isn’t really a disease, or a syndrome, as much as it is an event, or a condition, that because of its highly toxic nature, and its extraordinarily damaging effect on the immune system, will weaken the body’s ability to deal with every health issue.
Chronic mercury poisoning is an accumulative condition. It can take a long time before enough mercury has accumulate for a related symptom to be expressed. But just because a symptom hasn’t yet be experienced, doesn’t mean you are still not being poisoned by it.
Of course the above list includes only a portion of symptoms related to CMP, and if you’ve been diagnosed with CFS, or suspect you have it, I recommend reviewing the full list of the common symptoms directly related to chronic mercury poisoning. You can access it by Clicking Here. (Because of mercury’s indirect effects this list would be much longer.)
Connecting the dots between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic mercury poisoning isn’t difficult once you understand how toxic mercury is and how it affects the body. Another important dot to connect to is mercury's relationship to autoimmune disease and allergy.
Chronic Mercury Poisoning, Allergies and Autoimmune Disease
Although no one knows the exact percentage, it's believed that anywhere from 2% to 35% or more, who will be allergic to mercury and over time can trigger an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disease is a very serious type of an immune response (allergic reaction) and there are over 60 recognized autoimmune diseases, affecting nearly 10 million people in the United States alone.
These include multiple Sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Addison's Disease, Crohn’s disease, and Mysthenia Gravis. There are also nearly 20 other health issues, or syndromes, who many believe are autoimmune diseases and could be related to chronic exposure to mercury, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Psoriasis, and Scleroderma.
Autoimmune disease occurs when the body produces an immunological or allergic reaction to itself. This occurs when an essential protein has been so altered by an allergen, in this case mercury, that it’s no longer recognized as friendly by the body’s lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that recognizes when a substance is a friend or a foe. If it sees a foe, the lymphocytes attack it, literally breaking it apart, resulting in a classical inflammatory response. The body’s basic reaction to an altered, or foreign, protein is the same, but the name used to describe it is different, depending on what structure the body is attacking.
I happen to believe that mercury’s role in autoimmune disease is a classic example of the indirect effect of it on the body. But whether it’s a direct or indirect effect there is no question that mercury’s role in autoimmune disease makes it at least a contributor to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Even though mercury from amalgam fillings is the culprit here, both the diagnosis and treatment of allergies are medical issues, not dental ones. I doubt very much that you would even consider going to a dentist to detect, diagnose, or treat any allergy. (Of course, when the cause is diagnosed as mercury from dental fillings, the dentist will play a contributing role in removing the source.)
What to Do?
So just where do you fit in this equation? If you’re allergic to mercury and have amalgam fillings, the severity of your allergy will relate directly to the number of amalgam fillings you have and the type and number of activities that stimulate them. If you have any allergic reactions, or related health symptoms, that your health professional can’t find a specific cause for, I suggest asking him or her to look at mercury as a possible cause or contributor to them.
Determining the cause of your allergy takes on greater importance when it comes to removing your mercury fillings. If you’re allergic to mercury and you don’t have the fillings removed in a safe way, you’ll be exposed to extraordinarily high amounts of mercury vapor during the unsafe removal process, amounts that could trigger an even more severe allergic reaction. Yet, I’ve never heard of a pro-amalgam dentist suggesting that a patient should be tested for a possible allergy to mercury—even though the ADA has admitted that mercury is an allergen. So finding a mercury safe dentist is critical.
Signs and Symptoms of Mercury Allergy
Although testing is the best way to accurately diagnose an allergy to mercury (I recommend the Melisa Test and information about it can be found by Clicking Here), there are a number of subjective symptoms to watch for, such as:
- Any unusual reaction you had during the placement or removal of mercury fillings.
- Feeling tired or exhausted soon after mercury filling placement or removal.
- Inability to function normally after the placement or removal of mercury fillings.
Sores or unusual lesions on the inside of your mouth, especially in the area close to mercury fillings, or amalgams next to gold crowns.
The following table lists some of the more common symptoms of an allergy:
Eyes watery, itchy, crusty, or red
Itchy, runny, or tingling nose
| Joint aches & pains
Skin rashes or itch
Throat irritation, itching
Again, these are generalized indications of an allergy but they have more meaning if they appeared or increased in severity during the placement, or the unsafe removal, of mercury fillings. If you are already experiencing symptoms related to CFS because of the direct toxic effects of mercury, and are also allergic to it, your symptoms can be exacerbated during unsafe amalgam removal.
Decisions to Make
In my opinion, there is a close enough relationship between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic mercury poisoning to explore it further. For example, anyone with mercury amalgam fillings is being chronically poisoned by mercury and there are nearly 200 million Americans with these fillings in their teeth. I like to refer to amalgam fillings as “timed-release mercury fillings”. I say this because for as long as you have them in your teeth, mercury is continuously released from them over time.
Given my knowledge of the subject, there is no doubt that if I were afflicted with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I would do everything in my power to safely remove the source of my mercury exposure and do my very best to eliminate it from my body. I would also make every effort to repair the damage done to it
It should also be noted that as long as amalgam fillings are present, more and more mercury will accumulate over time. This is because mercury depletes the body of the essential antioxidants, such as glutathione, needed to chelate and remove stored mercury, and other heavy metals. Over time, as long as the fillings are present, the net result is more and more antioxidants being lost and more and more mercury accumulating. If the source of mercury isn’t removed, enough of it will eventually accumulate to manifest a mercury related symptom, or symptoms, and other serious health problems.
Because of the many variables involved (fetal and nursing exposure as specific examples), some people will show signs and symptoms of mercury related problems earlier in life, others who also have amalgam fillings may express them as they age. In fact, I believe that many of the so-called “age related” illnesses that are directly related to chronic mercury poisoning. After all, a vast majority of the population have amalgam fillings, people are living longer, and that means there’s more time to accumulate even more mercury!
The degree of mercury toxicity will depend on a number of extenuating factors and in this, everyone is unique. These factors are described in my books and on my website. But simply, the earlier the exposure, and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk. And remember, even if a symptom related to chronic mercury poisoning hasn’t yet appeared, you are still being poisoned by mercury and your immune system is still being compromised. It wasn’t the last straw that broke the camel’s back, but an accumulation of all of them.
Safely Removing Mercury Amalgam Fillings
Although I am not qualified to comment on how someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome would be affected by an acute dose of mercury one would receive during the placement, and unsafe removal, of amalgam fillings; I personally would not want to take that unnecessary risk. I suggest you reflect back on your previous dental experiences when these fillings were placed in your teeth, or when they were removed and replaced by another amalgam filling. This will give you a clue as to your own reaction to such a high, unprotected exposure.
Because of the many factors involved, some people are more vulnerable than others to mercury, this highlights the importance of using a mercury free dentist and a safe amalgam removal protocol as a way to minimize exposure to mercury during their removal. I think it goes without saying that if you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, having amalgam fillings put in your teeth wouldn’t be a very good idea if you want to minimize your exposure to mercury! (You can find the largest listing of mercury free and mercury safe dentists by Clicking on, Find Mercury Safe Dentists.)
Selecting a mercury free dentist is extremely important for anyone with any idiopathic disease or condition whose symptoms are triggered by ‘unknown’ causes, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. For example, I've a friend who has early symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and she told me that before she knew the importance of safe amalgam filling removal, some of her symptoms were triggered when she had her fillings removed. Not only was she exposed to a high dose of mercury (for her situation) much of what she received would accumulate in her body. I’ve also heard similar stories from many others. If mercury is a trigger for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms then it is logical to avoid or minimize any exposure to it.
It also makes sense, for anyone with CFS to find a mercury safe dentist and discuss having only one amalgam filling removed at the first appointment so you can determine if you may have undesirable side effects from the mercury exposure to just one filling removal (even with the safe removal protocol). If you dodn’t experience any undesireable side effects, you can proceed with removal at the pace that suits both you and your mercury free dentist. If any severe side effects are noticed, the removal process should proceed slowly, with adequate time in between dental appointments. I also believe that you should be participating in my Mercury Detoxification Program as doing so is even more important if you are still be exposed to mercury and have any suspected allergic reaction to it.
I want to be clear that while identifying mercury as a possible contributor to CFS is a significant and positive step, other steps must be taken to remove the source of mercury exposure and support your body’s effort to remove the stored mercury. Unless those steps are taken you will never know if there is a relationship, or if improvements in symptoms are possible. It’s also necessary to understand that mercury poisoning can be a factor in many other symptoms and diseases that are not directly related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Chronic mercury poisoning and mercury detoxification are big subjects and there isn't space here to cover every aspect of them in detail. That is why I wrote my books, The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam Silver Fillings are Hazardous to Your Health, and Mercury Detoxification: The Natural Way to Remove Mercury from Your Body. Although I won’t be able to cover everything you will need to know about this subject in this short article, you will at least have sources that you can go to fill in the gaps.
Testing for Mercury: Fecal Metals Test
It’s one thing to suggest, recommend and have a subjective opinion about the relationship of mercury to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but you really don’t have to take my word for it. I recommend that anyone with CFS find a health practitioner who understands the health effects of chronic mercury poisoning and is willing to explore the possibility that his or her patient may be mercury toxic. While a subjective review of the symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning can be helpful in determining a relationship, I'd strongly urge you to have an objective, science based, fecal metals text done. This test indicates how much mercury the body is removing naturally and it can be referenced to the amount eliminated by those tested who didn’t have amalgam fillings. (I discuss the most common tests for mercury in my books.)
If the dentist, or health professional, understands the value of this test, it can also be used to monitor a mercury detoxification program. (This test must be ordered by your health professional from Doctor's Data Laboratories. Their website has information about this test for the layperson and the doctor and contact information can be found by linking to: www.doctorsdata.com.)
If the fecal metals test levels indicate a high body burden of mercury I would strongly encourage you to have your amalgam fillings removed, if you haven’t done so already, and participate in my mercury detoxification program. If the body’s burden of mercury is high I believe mercury will not only contribute to every health problem and symptom you have, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but will dramatically reduce the immune systems ability to deal with them.
To date, no test for mercury will tell you exactly where it came from, how much of it is in the body, where it is, or its specific affect on one's health. But if even one atom of mercury is harmful you shouldn't be in the same room with it, let alone have it being released into your body from your fillings.
I always recommend a mercury detoxification program for anyone who has or has, or had ,mercury amalgam fillings or has any symptoms, or diseases, directly or indirectly related to chronic mercury poisoning. While there are no guarantees that safely removing mercury amalgam fillings and detoxifying mercury from the body will eliminate all of your symptoms, I can say that your body will be much better off and better able to deal with any existing health issue (including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) . . . as long as it no longer has to deal with the extraordinarily harmful effects mercury. I would be remiss by not telling you that mercury is not the only toxin you have to deal with, nor is it the only cause or contributor to these problems. But it certainly is a major one and one that can be dealt with.
The fact is that no one will ever know the specific effects mercury has on any health condition until it is removed; not just from the teeth but from the body. It is also true that any improvement in health issues related to chronic mercury poisoning will be unlikely; as long as mercury is still present in the body. Of course, on the positive side, once the mercury has been reduced or eliminated the body will have a chance to repair the damage done to it. The results of some of these improvement studies can be found by Clicking Here.
In Mercury Detoxification I will provide the information you will need to understand and initiate such a program. This book is truly the A to Z layperson’s guide to this subject and I wrote it in a language you can understand. The book deals with every aspect of mercury detoxification and I know it will be very helpful if you decide to go the detoxification route. It is also beneficial to begin mercury detoxification before and during amalgam filling removal, especially for those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other mercury related symptoms or diseases.
More and more research has been done regarding the direct relationship of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to chronic mercury poisoning but from my experience there is more that needs to be done. But just because a study hasn’t been done doesn't mean there isn't a connection; it only means no one has seen fit to do the studies necessary to find out. Or as Dr. Boyd Haley has said regarding mercury’s yet unproven connection to numerous health conditions, “Absence of proof is not proof of absence.”
We know a great deal about chronic mercury poisoning, certainly enough to make significant connections to many health issues. We know that mercury is an extraordinarily powerful neurotoxin and the majority of the symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning are primarily neurological. We know that mercury poisoning is also related to numerous movement and hearing problems, including, ataxia, dizziness, and tinnitus. We also know that symptoms such as chronic fatigue and exhaustion, the inability to concentrate, distraction, poor memory, confusion, and disorientation are also mercury related. We know that we cannot deny that there is a mind, body, spirit connection and everything that happens to any of them happens, in some way, to all of them. We definitely know enough to look deeper into the relationship of chronic mercury poisoning to our short and long-term health.
I can’t promise you a rose garden but I do hope I’ve provided you with some substantial food for thought. I also realize that all of your questions haven’t been answered in this short article, but The Poison in Your Teeth and Mercury Detoxification will provide you with a place to find them. I also do phone consultations and you can find more information about that by Clicking Here.
There may not be an easy solution to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but I strongly believe that you must consider the fact that chronic mercury poisoning is a major contributor to it. I can’t tell you the extent of its contribution or the improvements in symptoms that may result by dealing with the mercury connection. But one thing I am sure about, chronic mercury poisoning is harming your body and even if you weren’t dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome everything I’ve said about mercury poisoning is still just as true. I applaud your efforts to find a resolution to your symptoms and I hope, in some small way, that I have contributed to that effort.
About Dr. Tom
Dr. Tom McGuire is one of the leading authorities on Mercury Amalgam Fillings, Chronic Mercury Poisoning, Mercury Detoxification, and Holistic Dental Wellness. He is the author of the best-selling books, The Poison in Your Teeth, Mercury Detoxification and Healthy Teeth - Healthy Body.
Dr. Tom and Dr. Paul Rubin have the only DVD Course available to dentists on How to Make the Dental Practice Mercury Safe. If you have a favorite dentist and want to help educate him, or her, about the benefits of practicing Mercury Safe Dentistry you can direct them to the New Directions Dentistry Website at: www.newdirectionsdentistry.com
Dr. Tom also has the highest ranked and most comprehensive Mercury Safe Dentist Directory on the Internet. To find Mercury Safe Dentists, Amalgam Free Dentists, & Holistic Dentists Click Here!
© 2021, Tom McGuire, DDS