How Mercury Messes with the HPA Axis

Updated: Sep 20


My name is Rebecca Lee and I cowrote this book, The Mercury Detoxification Manual, with Andy Cutler, Phd. It explains, in a very clear and systematic way, how to get this terrible, total metabolic poison out of your body, without injuring yourself. It is very easy to injure yourself and get way worse than you are already, so be sure to check out this book before you follow any advice you might get from the internet, or even from your doctor for that matter. Andy Cutler’s work was such a profound gift to humanity that he deserved a Nobel prize. Which he did not get. In fact almost nobody has heard of him.


My last video was about the mechanisms by which mercury hurts you. Its main way of doing this is by oxidizing, or burning really, the walls that surround your cells and also those that separate different cellular compartments. It messes with your DNA, cripples your liver and poisons your immune system. The combo of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, an important part of your brain, is particularly susceptible as it sits outside of the protection of the blood brain barrier. These organs are targets for mercury.


One place I read described the hypothalamus as your body’s “smart control coordinating center.” It is only as big as an almond but it is responsible for keeping your body in balance. It is responsible for your body temperature, your blood pressure, your hunger and thirst and sense of fullness mechanisms, your mood, your sex drive, and how you sleep. It performs so many functions that it is difficult to diagnose diseases that originate in this organ system


All this is accomplished through chemical messengers called hormones. The pituitary produces or stores hormones and the hypothalamus instructs the pituitary to send these off as needed. The hormones go to various organs in the body and instruct them what physiological functions they need to perform. The hypothalamus varies the messages it sends according to signals it monitors from the internal and external environment such as hormone levels in the blood, body temperature, feelings of hunger, blood pressure and probably a whole lot of other things.


“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing - more complete information can be found in other sources,” Andy tells us. Nevertheless, he goes on to say, “Hormones tell your body to do a whole set of things that all go together. Be a man (testosterone). Be energetic (thyroid). Mobilize resources that can be used to fix things up (cortisol) – by breaking down certain tissues, etc.”


There is a chart on page 33 of Amalgam Illness that lists ten important hormones and how they affect the human body. Cortisol, it tells us, effects mood by making us clear headed, cheerful and able to concentrate, whereas norepinephrine produces anxiety fear or aggression. The first is for “rest and digest” and the second for “flight and flight,” is how I have heard it put.


The chart I really like is on the preceding page. (Andy put so much time and effort in to designing it that the publisher won't let me share it. If you want to see it you will have to buy Amalgam Illness.) It shows how the messaging process works starting with the brain, down through the hypothalamus, through the pituitary and to the various organs: the adrenals, the thyroid, the liver, the pancreas and the gonads. It also shows the places that mercury can interfere within this system.


For instance, it shows that stress sensed by the brain sends a message directly to the adrenal glands telling them to produce adrenaline (epinephrine). This is a straight shot and mercury does not interfere in the process anywhere. But it shows mercury able to interfere every step of the way in the process of a stress message starting out in the brain and making its way from the hypothalamus, through the pituitary to the adrenals to produce cortisol. “The brain can make lots of adrenaline come out,” he tells us. “But the other adrenal hormones may not be made in adequate amounts.” Which explains to me why toxic people often suffer so much from insomnia and anxiety.


On page 11 of The Mercury Detoxification Manual, we write, “A 2017 journal article about mercury poisoning states, ‘the resulting clinical picture can be differently associated to over 250 different symptoms….’” A whole lot of these come from its ability to poison the chemical messaging system the body uses to instruct the organs how to do their jobs.


The medical and scientific literature has been packed with information about mercury poisoning for the last 150 years, if not more. Yet huge swathes of the population go on suffering from all kinds of afflictions, particularly the subtle and complicated ones that originate from the HPA axis. Please like and share and all those good things. Wouldn’t it be nice if this information were better known and understood.





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