Archive for the 'Mercury Related' Category
There is a lot of worry about the rising mercury levels in seafood and how well seafood is checked out to ensure it has under the FDA-approved amount of mercury that’s still safe for humans to ingest. There’s a public awareness campaign dedicated to mercury levels in seafood, known as ‘Got Mercury?’ and it is sponsored by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.
In January 2011, people involved with ‘Got Mercury?’ checked out some samples of seafood in California such as swordfish, halibut, and tuna, and checked these fish for mercury, to see if any had enough mercury in them to cause mercury poisoning symptoms. The results revealed that some of the swordfish and tuna had up to three times the FDA limit, which is more than a bit alarming, although the CDC has not documented any cases from mercury poisoning from fish in this area.
The most common source of mercury poisoning comes from eating fish that have been living in polluted waters. Larger fish that primarily feed on other fish wind up having higher mercury levels because their food sources already have concentrated mercury in their bodies, leading the larger fish to have an even greater build-up of this mercury.
When humans eventually eat the fish – often from the biggest fish like swordfish, tuna, or sharks – the mercury is transferred into the body of the human, which can sometimes be at toxic levels, leading to serious mercury poisoning. This can be a very serious problem, particularly for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children.
Mercury poisoning is a very dangerous kind of heavy metal poisoning that can occur if one is overly exposed to mercury. There can be serious damage done to the brain, lungs, kidney, and other major organs if a person is afflicted with mercury poisoning. If you suspect that you are showing symptoms of mercury poisoning, you should see a doctor immediately.
The most common effects of mercury poisoning are lack of coordination and impairment of the senses, particularly in regards to one’s ability to see, hear, and speak. Other common effects include itching, burning, skin discoloration, and the shedding of skin and hair. The most common cause of mercury poisoning has come from the consumption of untreated fish.
My wife started to seem like she was inexplicably sick not too long ago. She’s a bit of a stubborn one so it took longer than I would have liked for us to take her to a doctor; she kept saying that she was stronger than whatever bug she might have picked up and that there was no way she needed a doctor. It was only when her skin started peeling for no reason that she became alarmed enough to go to a doctor.
The doctor asked us what sorts of things had been happening to my wife and we began to describe her symptoms. Her skin had been turning pink, especially in her cheeks; she had felt itchy to the point of insomnia; her vision and hearing seemed to be worse than usual. The doctor mulled all of this information over and quickly informed us that these were mercury poisoning symptoms, which could lead to a number of very dangerous diseases that could seriously affect my wife’s health. Luckily, we were able to start treatment in time and my wife has since made a full recovery.
I recently learned about a rare disease known as Young’s syndrome, which was named after Donald Young, the urologist who first observed signs of the disease in 1972. One of the most prominent symptoms of Young’s syndrome is significantly reduced fertility in men, also known as azoospermia. Other symptoms include bronchiectasis, which is an obstructive lung disease not unlike bronchitis or emphysema, and rhinosinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses.
The most alarming part of Young’s syndrome is that it is commonly not properly diagnosed until later on in a man’s life, even though its causes have directly been linked to events that occur in childhood. It seems that the cause of Young’s syndrome is related to early childhood mercury poisoning. This is simply more evidence that there are many different types of diseases and syndromes that can ultimately be linked back to mercury poisoning.
Betsy, a neighbor of mine, is pregnant with her first child. As is expected, she is both nervous and exciting about becoming a parent for the first time. I have three little ones of my own, so Betsy asked me some questions about pregnancy, particularly about diet.
I pointed her to a website that gives expectant mothers great advice on how to get all their nutrients in each day. I also tipped her off about not eating tuna fish during pregnancy because of the high levels of mercury. The effects of mercury poisoning on a fetus can be devastating, so I recommended she try sardines if she really need a fish fix.
Carrying a pregnancy to term can be an overwhelming experience. It seems that every day there are new guidelines published as to what pregnant women should and should not eat; activities that are encouraged or to be avoided. It can be difficult to know what is right and what is wrong.
One area the scientific community is starting to rally around is the need for pregnant women to avoid certain environmental risks. For instance, to lower the risks of birth defects mercury poisoning women are advised to limit the amount of fish they eat while pregnant, with tuna fish being a big no-no. Pesticides are to be avoided, too, as there is some evidence that pesticides can lead to low birth weight. Organic foods can be expensive, but eating right is well worth the extra money.
When I was a young kid we didn’t know much about the dangers of mercury poisoning. A broken thermometer was just about the coolest thing in the world. You could make the mercury that leaked out do all sorts of “neat” things.
We didn’t know what it was called at the time, but one of the little boys in the neighborhood who had been caught playing with mercury suffered from desquamation. It’s one of the mercury poisoning symptoms in which the skin peels and flakes off the body. His hands looked like snake skin. Thank goodness we have so much more awareness today!
Our kidneys are vital to our health and well-being. They process our waste, manage our salt and water levels, and regulate electrolytes. Mercury poisoning can wreak havoc on our kidneys.
When kidneys are damaged by mercury it can be difficult to urinate. Blood pressure becomes difficult to manage, too. If the kidneys shut down, then dialysis becomes necessary or else death could be imminent.
Thousands of people become victims of mercury poisoning each year. Unfortunately, not nearly enough people know what the signs or symptoms of mercury poisoning. This results in patients not seeking medical treatment in time. Here are some effects of mercury poisoning to look out for:
Are you experiencing physical symptoms like unexplained itching, burning or pain? Are your fingers and toes discolored or swollen? Are you experiencing muscle weakness, difficulty with coordination, numbness in the extremities, or mood swings? If you answered yes to the aforementioned questions, then you may want to talk to a medical professional who can determine if you have mercury poisoning.