Autoimmune Disease and Metal Exposure: What You Need to Know

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Researchers have identified that autoimmune disease can be caused by:

1) a combination of genetic components
2) Metals (including those used in medical and dental implants and devices), pharmaceutical drugs, pollen, infectious agents, molds, and food allergies (such as gluten).

There are now over 80 recognized autoimmune diseases, with some of the most common being diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.

Introduction to autoimmune diseases and metal implants and devices

There are over 80 recognized autoimmune diseases, with some of the most common being diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease. In the United States, estimates of people afflicted by these debilitating health conditions range from 14.7 million to 50 million. 

The majority of those suffering from autoimmune diseases are women, and the consensus among health groups and researchers alike is that autoimmune diseases are on the rise, with more and more people being stricken with these illnesses each year.

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Metal exposure and Autoimmune disease

There is no longer any doubt that excessive mercury exposure can cause a long list of health problems in children and adults; recent research has even drawn a causal connection between exposure to mercury and autism. Since silver fillings, or dental amalgam, contain approximately 50 percent elemental mercury, we avoid using them at our holistic dental practice.

For the many adults who received dental amalgam fillings in the past, we safely and carefully remove mercury-filled dental amalgam and replace them with healthier bio-compatible and non-toxic white composites. Mercury is, of course, a metal.

On top of the array of established issues with mercury, a new study suggests that metal exposure can be a contributing factor to autoimmune disease.

Metals used in medicine and dentistry can cause serious harm

Experts believe that the development of autoimmune disease is influenced by genetics, as well as by other factors such as infections, pharmaceutical drugs and environmental toxins.

Aluminum and mercury

Aluminum and mercury both neurotoxins with no biological function in the human body are used extensively in medicine and dentistry. Now, new evidence shows that exposure to these heavy metals can also play a role in triggering autoimmune disease.

Metal ions

Metal ions released from dental (and medical) implants have been shown to cause systemic inflammation and immune reactions. These dangerous ions are produced by a variety of means –including normal, mechanical “wear and tear,” cellular processes, and corrosion from contact with body fluids such as blood, sweat and saliva. In a study published in Neuro Endocrinology Letters, researchers reported that “mercury-based dental amalgams are a risk factor for autoimmune disease in susceptible individuals.”  The scientists noted that mercury from dental amalgams caused increased production of autoantibodies.

Occupational exposure

In addition to aluminum, which is both a neurotoxin and an immune stimulator, these include gold, mercury, nickel, palladium, platinum, silver, and titanium. Mercury is recognized as being toxic to humans even in low doses, and researchers have identified chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tin, vanadium, and zinc (among others) as metals of concern due to residential and occupational exposure.

Delayed onset of symptoms

An issue with calculating the number of patients who have adverse reactions to metals is that the onset of symptoms can be delayed and therefore might not be associated with the implant, device, or vaccine adjuvant.  Another issue is that there may not be any local reaction on the skin or in the mouth to help the patient and doctor identify the metal as the culprit in ill health. Even if hypersensitivity reactions are noticed, they can be misdiagnosed as infection. In some genetically susceptible individuals, metals can trigger allergies, and recent studies and reports tend to agree that metal allergies are on the rise.  Clinical screening for metal allergy has been recommended, but the importance of patients reporting reactions to metals to their doctors has also been emphasized.

Genetics and environmental factors

In spite of this growing problem and the increasing burden it carries for patients, their families, the medical community, and society at large, there are still massive gaps in scientific knowledge about autoimmune diseases. However, it is generally agreed that these illnesses are related to genetics and environmental factors. (“Environmental factors” is a phrase that encompasses all aspects of the environment with which humans interact, including bacteria, viruses, chemicals, etc.).

Metal implants, dentures and fillings can all be culprits in triggering autoimmune disease

Dental restorations including bridges, crowns, dentures and implants can contain an amazing variety of metals, among them mercury, aluminum, cobalt, gold, platinum, silver, titanium, nickel and even lead. Coronary stents, pacemakers and implantable defibrillators along with hip replacements, skull plates and prostheses can all be problematic, containing substantial amounts of aluminum, nickel, titanium and gold.

Antacids and deodorants can contain aluminum

Even common medications and inoculations can contain toxic metals. Antacids and deodorants can contain aluminum, while many common vaccines feature aluminum and mercury as adjuvants – or ingredients intended to make the vaccine more ‘effective.’

Removal of medical and dental implants and devices

Removal of medical and dental implants and devices that contain metal is an obvious course of action when adverse effects occur. Indeed, the scientific literature is abundant with studies and cases of individuals improving or recovering from autoimmune disease usually within a year or two after removal of the offending metal. In addition to metal-containing dental implants and devices, examples of materials containing metal removed include the copper IUD, nickel tubal ligation clips, and titanium screws and skull plates.

Health conditions related to metal implants

Examples of health conditions related to metal implants, devices, and vaccine adjuvants that improved (or from which patients even recovered) upon removal of metals in the body include autoimmune thyroiditis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, oral lichen planus, Sjögren’s syndrome, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Reference: PRNewswire-USNewswire

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