(Naturalhealth365) The incidence of autoimmune disease, a condition in which the immune system produces antibodies that mistakenly attack tissues and organs, is currently soaring. According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 million Americans – a greater number than those affected by cancer and heart disease combined – suffer from some form of autoimmune disorder. And, the number is expected to increase by more than a third by the year 2030.
What could be behind this astonishing (and troubling) phenomenon? Some researchers believe that exposure to metal – which has increased exponentially over the past 100 years – could very well play a role in the surging modern rates of autoimmune disease. Of particular concern are the dental amalgams and metal implants utilized in ever-growing numbers by conventionally-trained doctors and dentists.
To learn how these common devices could trigger autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis – keep reading.
Autoimmune disease WARNING: 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 – 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 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.
15 percent of the population has a metal hypersensitivity that predisposes them to autoimmune disease
Experts say metals are most likely to influence the development of autoimmune disease when the individual is already hypersensitive.
An early clue to metal hypersensitivity is an intolerance to metal jewelry and watches, which can cause skin rashes, inflammation and pain. Other symptoms can include chronic fatigue, depression and sleep disturbances.
According to researchers from the Harvard School of Medicine, dermal hypersensitivity to metals can affect up to 15 percent of the population. Nickel is the most common sensitizer – affecting up to 10 percent of females and 2 percent of males – followed by mercury, lead and cadmium.
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.
Mercury-based (“silver”) dental amalgams can contain up to 50 percent mercury, in conjunction with copper, tin, zinc, cadmium and lead. (By the way, there is no “safe” threshold for exposure to mercury, which can cause damage even in trace amounts).
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.
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.’
As if the preponderance of metals in medical and dental products weren’t troubling enough, we are also exposed to heavy metals through everyday objects and activities – and through what we eat, drink and breathe. Coins, jewelry, cigarette smoke – both first-hand and secondhand – cookware, cosmetics, fish consumption, pollution, pesticides and well water can all add to the “toxic burden” – and help tip the scales towards autoimmune disorders.
Alert: Extensive, peer-reviewed studies attest to link with autoimmune disease
Dozens of studies have supported the link between metals and autoimmune disease, leading scientists to propose ASIA (or autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants) as a new entity encompassing a variety of illnesses, among them Gulf War syndrome and post-vaccination phenomena.
In a groundbreaking study published in Autoimmunity Highlights, the researchers reported on a case study of a 23-year-old woman with ASIA stemming from a chin implant. The patient began to suffer from high fevers, extreme fatigue, anemia, thrombocytopenia and other problems within a year after the nickel-titanium device was implanted.
While treatment with steroids and methotrexate (an anti-inflammatory medication) caused improvement, the patient’s symptoms recurred when the dosages were reduced. However, symptoms vanished upon removal of the implant.
The good news: Recovery is possible – with proper testing, removal and treatment
As indicated by the case study above, recovery from autoimmune disease caused by exposure to metals is possible, and often occurs within a year or two after removal of the offending device.
Of course, a qualified integrative physician can advise a protocol to enhance and promote safe detoxification. A proper regime of supplementation can also be invaluable.
If you opt to have mercury amalgams removed, make sure you use a biological dentist trained in the SMART (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) protocol advised by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
If you are concerned that metal implants are harming your health and predisposing you to autoimmune disease, you should obtain a clinical screening for metal allergy. You can also ask your doctor to test your blood for the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies to the ingredients used in dental products.
Remember, there are over 80 recognized varieties of autoimmune disease – which include such illnesses as thyroiditis, ALS, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. With autoimmune disease on the rise, it’s worth the effort to make sure that dental or medical implants aren’t raising your odds of developing a serious autoimmune disorder.
Editor’s note: Get INSTANT access to the Holistic Oral Health Summit and discover a safe way to avoid being harmed by your dentist.
Sources for this article include:
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