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Functional Endocrinology: Mercury and Autoimmune Connection

Do you feel:

  • A bitter metallic taste in your mouth?
  • Inflammation your gut or in your joint?
  • Stomach pain, burning, or aching 1-4 hours after eating?
  • Offensive breath?
  • Unpredictable abdominal swelling?
If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be exposed to mercury in your body.

When it comes to autoimmune diseases, there has been a slight increase in autoimmune diseases that have been around over the past few decades. Everyone knows that when the immune system starts to attack itself, it can cause the body to develop autoimmune disruptors, and even some significant triggers can cause a malfunction in the body as well.

There are many ways that autoimmunity can occur in the body in many different ways. The first one is when the cells are mistaken as a foreign pathogen, and the body attacks itself. The second one is called molecular mimicry. This happens when the body starts to make an antibody to a specific antigen, and these antigens can take the resemblance of any specific proteins; thus, the body's antibodies will attack the tissues. The third one is when the body becomes affected by environmental triggers and genetic stress; it starts to develop T-cells in the immune system.

Many local integrative doctors and health care professionals are working with functional medicine. They all understand that environmental triggers are one of the factors that can cause dysfunction in the body. With food sensitivities, environmental triggers, and lifestyle factors can cause a person's body to have inflammation. Inflammation is not only in the joints, but it can also affect the gut's health as well, causing leaky gut and dysbiosis. There are even toxins that the body can be in contact with that can also affect the immune system significantly. Heavy metals and xenobiotics can cause a total toxic burden in the body, and one of them is mercury.


Also known as quicksilver, mercury is a liquid metal and is a naturally occurring element that is found outside in the air, water, soil. Most people are usually exposed to low levels of mercury by consuming fish and shellfish. Although it is safe to consume fish and shellfish, when humans are exposed to high levels of mercury is highly toxic and can lead to mercury poisoning, thus affecting the body.


Studies have found that the connection link between gut health and autoimmune diseases has been in the news regularly with the exposure to high levels of mercury and becoming one of the most significant risk factors for the body to develop autoimmunity. In a 2015 study, author Emily Somers Ph.D. Sc. M. stated that even though mercury at low levels is generally safe are still associated with autoimmunity, and the exposure to mercury has stood out to be the leading risk factor for autoimmunity in the body.

Mercury Poisoning Symptoms

There are many signs and symptoms that mercury poisoning can cause the body to dysfunction. The effects of mercury poisoning can vary depending on the exposure level and on a person’s age. When mercury affects the nervous system, thus can lead to neurological symptoms like:
  • Physical tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Numbness
  • Memory problems
Other symptoms from mercury poisoning can appear even more if levels of mercury rise in the human body. Some of the severe symptoms can include:
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Lack of motor functions
  • Muscle numbness
  • Difficulty walking or standing straight
There are more studies about mercury poisoning as they stated how mercury can increase the activation of the T-cell receptor and how self-reactive cells can escape the elimination process during T-cell selection. Other studies have found that mercury can induce autoimmune diseases in humans. For many local chiropractors and health professionals would always ask their patients if they have had any dental fillings in their teeth. If they do, then it turns out that the dental fillings may have mercury in them.

What many people do not know is that dental fillings, especially silver fillings, can contain about forty to fifty percent of mercury. If a person still has these types of fillings their teeth, they might have an increased risk of mercury exposure in their system. In order to reduce the mercury exposure in the body, anybody who has silver fillings can get them replaced with newer and safer alternatives for their fillings.


Mercury is a toxic element that can harm the human body and can develop autoimmune diseases in the immune system. Mercury can also cause many symptoms in the body can cause harm and dysfunction to a person. Sometimes a person may have silver fillings that may cause them to be exposed to mercury and can get them replaced to limit their exposure. Once there is no exposure to mercury in the immune system, the body will start to heal and function properly through a healthy diet and functional medicine. Some products are here to help support the immune system by providing the essential formula to the body and its many functioning systems.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


Bigazzi, P E. “Autoimmunity and Heavy Metals.” Lupus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 1994,

Johnson, Jon. “Mercury Poisoning: Symptoms and Early Signs.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 9 Jan. 2018,

Pollard, K Michael, et al. “Toxicology of Autoimmune Diseases.” Chemical Research in Toxicology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Mar. 2010,

Team, DFH. “Mercury Exposure and the Autoimmune Connection.” Designs for Health, 9 Oct. 2018,

Team, WHO. “Mercury and Health.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 31 Mar. 2017,

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*