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Bioplar Disorder: A possible dental connection
By Dr. Gerald H. Smith
I was inspired to write this article after watching Jane Pauley's appearance and promotion of her new book, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, on the September 3rd , 2004 David Letterman show. After listening to Jane describe her symptoms of bipolar disorder, I suddenly realized that what she was describing was mercury or heavy metal poisoning. As a biological dentist and one who has experienced first hand the devastating effects of mercury poisoning, I quickly made the connection.
From my own research, mercury as well as other heavy metals (cadmium, aluminum, nickel, etc.) have an affinity for the nervous system as well as being transported via the lymphatic drainage system from the mouth to the rest of the body and particularly to the thyroid gland. Chewing food with teeth that have mercury fillings on the biting surfaces of the bicuspid and molars will cause a release of mercury vapor for a 90 minute period. This fact has been scientifically documented by Drs. Fritz L. Lorscheider and M.J. Vimy of the Department of Medicine and Medical Physiology University of Calgary. It has been estimated that between 3 - 17 micrograms of mercury per day come from undisturbed mercury fillings. This number elevates to as much as 45.49 micrograms/cm2 per day with brushing twice a day. If a person had 12 mercury fillings their exposure would be 29 micrograms per cubic meter of mercury. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that 30 micrograms per cubic meter per day is the maximum allowable intake from all sources that the average weight person can tolerate before clinical symptoms of mercury poisoning start to show up. When factoring in the EPA's estimate of 10 micrograms of mercury coming from daily intake of food, air and breathing the toxic level of mercury exposure is exceeded! Because mercury is a powerful neurotoxin it plays a major role in causing numerous medical problems and is a major influence in causing cancer. My new book, Reversing Cancer, describes in depth mercury's role in this plague that is now upon us. (156 new cases of cancer are being diagnosed every hour!)
Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swing (overly "high" and/or irritable to sad and hopeless), and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression. One potential underlying mechanism for which mercury poisoning can replicate the symptoms of bipolar disorder is the migration of mercury to the brain and the thyroid gland. The medical literature describes the mercury poisoning profile with the term "erethism." Erethism consists of subtle or dramatic changes in behavior and pe rsonality, such as depression, irritability, despondency, fearfulness, easily provoked anger, restlessness, indecision, timidity, and a tendency toward easy embarrassment. Companion symptoms are drowsiness, headache, fatigue, dizziness and insomnia with an exaggerated response to stimulation. These represent the neurotoxic symptoms of chronic brain involvement.
Migration of mercury to the thyroid has the potential for causing an under-active or hypothyroid state. Hypothyroidism is associated with severe fatigue and low energy, mental fog, inability to remember, headache, dizziness, poor concentration, low stress tolerance, depression, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia and difficulty in weight control. In addition, numerous other symptoms are associated with a low thyroid: cold hands and feet, dry skin in the winter, infertility, low sex drive, constipation, short windedness, diffuse muscle spasm, excess sleeping, lowered immune system, poor digestion, high cholesterol level that does not respond to medication, heart palpitations and the same symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Below are two lists: signs and symptoms of mania and signs and symptoms of depression.
Signs and symptoms of mania (or a manic episode) include:
A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with 3 or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, 4 additional symptoms must be present.
Signs and symptoms of depression (or a depressive episode) include:
A depressive episode is diagnosed if 5 or more of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer.
As a biological dentist, I have clinically witnessed many patients whose blood tests showed normal levels of thyroid hormone but who had many of the symptoms of an under active thyroid. An interesting observation is the fact that with nutritional therapy to chelate out the mercury, many of the above symptoms disappeared. The following letter was unsolicited and sent to me by a patient with whom I nutritionally consulted. This individual was diagnosed with bipolar disorder for 29 years. His father was a dentist and he had a mouth full of mercury fillings. This patient's friend was a dentist who attended one of my seminars and upon returning informed his friend of the above information. After removal and nutritional therapy miraculous results were obtained.