The Role Of Mercury In Stress… And The Endocrine System…
There was no doubt that taking upon myself most of the responsibility for Zachary’s care had added a great deal of work to my life. Yet, had I not taken that responsibility and set out to understand him, myself, I knew that I would not have even one hundredth of the understanding of Zachary that I now had today. Yes, there had been more stress, but there had been many more rewards, too!
Stress… I thought I knew what that was when I worked in downtown Chicago for Ameritech – now SBC – a company – then, with close to 200,000 employees. Working in Ameritech’s headquarters in Chicago had indeed been a stressful job – the many hours – the many projects – the many deadlines - but it had been a job I had so enjoyed – then. Now – life was so different – so very, very different! All those things that had once mattered to me and all those things I used to get stressed out about - now - seemed so very, very trivial.
Then – I had put in so many hours. Now – I put in more. Then – I had been well paid. Now – I worked for free. Then – I met with corporate executives. Now – I played in the sandbox with my son. Then – I thought what I was doing was so important. Now – I knew - what I was doing – was - so important!
Then… and now…
The stress then, and - the stress now…
As much as I felt my life had been stressful, still, I knew that Zachary’s life had been one of even greater stress. He had been through so much – so young. My efforts now focused primarily on alleviating stress for Zachary and making life better for him. Much of what I had read about autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s seemed to indicate that stress could make these disorders even worse.
The endocrine system – that system in the human body that involved glands and hormones - was associated or affected by stress levels. It was also affected by mercury.
One thing I did know about science was the fact that so much in terms of concentration units was measured in “parts per billion”. When it came to hormones, they were so sensitive that they were actually measured in “parts per trillion”.
Interestingly, it appeared that the most potent and “sensitive” of hormones was – estrogen!
There had been a great deal of research indicating that estrogen therapy may help those with Alzheimer’s – although, as with so much in science – results were “mixed”. Yet, it was very interesting that things like hormones – something negatively impacted by mercury – for some appeared to be a good therapy. This was very much in line with the fact that exercise was also believed to be “good therapy” for those with Alzheimer’s. Interesting again, given that those with a sedentary or inactive lifestyle were more likely to develop diabetes – and I now knew that – insulin – was a hormone – and insulin levels were definitely impacted in these disorders, too!
Mercury had scientifically been shown to impact the endocrine system.
The endocrine system was associated with reproductive functions and sexual behavior. I could not help but wonder how many problems with sexuality and reproduction were associated with mercury poisoning. Miscarriages, infertility, and homosexuality – could all these also play into this issue of mercury poisoning and possibly also into issues of iron toxicity? I very much suspected that indeed, this could be the case. Certainly, I could already hear those in science and government agencies crying that these issues were now simply “better reported” and that they had been there “all along” – as had these “other disorders” – right? Well, there once would have been a time where I would have swallowed that hook, line and sinker – but not today!
I did not doubt that things such as homosexuality had always been a part of society. But, did that mean that “all” homosexuality had been completely a matter of choice? From a moral perspective – yes – everything we did was - technically - a matter of choice. But, could it be that “this choice” was made more difficult by mercury? Research now indicated that estrogen played a critical role in sexual differentiation. Estrogen. There was that same word again – estrogen – believed to be helpful in some with Alzheimer’s – and known to be one of the most sensitive of all hormones – thus, apparently, making it a hormone that could easily be tipped “out of balance” by mercury – a substance known to impact the endocrine system and reproductive functions.
Hormones in the human body were involved in matters relating to sexuality, metabolism, the immune system and so much more. Synthetic estrogen had been tied to cancer in young women in the early seventies along with birth defects and immune system problems.
Endocrine problems were also tied to both stress and mercury.
Research had also shown that the hippocampus – that part of the brain associated with memories – that part of the brain believed to be most impacted in Alzheimer’s – was also sensitive to stress. Anxiety disorders were associated with stress also.
If the endocrine system was so sensitive to stress… that seemed to indicate that “the more stress” - the worse the effect on the body. Zachary’s life had been one of tremendous stress – of not being able to understand so much – of constantly trying to break the code to everything in life – down to the most, minute level. Indeed, I suspected the life of all persons with mental illness involved a great deal of stress – and as such, only made matters worse. In coming to so understand Zachary, stress levels, I knew, had gone down tremendously for him. He still had “his moments”, but I could usually fairly easily bring him back under control now. Having the understanding I now did of my son had removed a great deal of stress from both our lives.
Certainly, I still had apprehensions when it came to that time when Zachary would reach puberty given I now knew about the gray matter loss at puberty in persons with schizophrenia, but, I still had a few more years to do research and a few more years to reduce iron intake. Orange juice or vitamin C, something known to increase iron intake, would continue to be diluted and taken separate from meals to lower iron absorption. Simple things like this, as well as proper supplementation had the potential to make a huge difference. I did not know what the future held for Zachary – or for the rest of our family, but the one thing I did know was that God was in control and I found great peace in that.
With Zachary, I had found that just being able to finally understand him and explain to him those things that were areas of frustration for him had helped tremendously in reducing his stress levels. Could not the same be true for persons with other mental illnesses – that just -understanding - a little more what was going on with them, could significantly help reduce stress levels?
It seemed to me that if indeed delusions were seizures, for example, as I very much suspected they could be, would simply “knowing that” not help reduce stress levels – even if still unable to control delusions? Perhaps persons who had delusions could somehow see themselves differently if they understood these were things beyond their control – that these things were not the result of their being “crazy”, etc. Persons with schizophrenia often suffered from delusions. I could not help but wonder what life must be like for a person who lost so much gray matter – a person who was so misunderstood by society – a person who was so often – just seen as crazy. Perhaps now, I understood a little more why forty percent of those with schizophrenia attempted suicide – with anywhere from ten to fifteen percent – completing. These were grim statistics indeed. Yet, perhaps in understanding these disorders more – there could be more hope for those suffering from these disorders.
Depression and schizophrenia had always been very closely associated. Although Zachary had been my primary focus in understanding so many of these issues, my desire to do so spanned far beyond Zachary. I had close family members who had experienced depression – more than once – and had told me they had contemplated suicide. Interestingly, one of these persons was borderline diabetic… the other had bipolar – both, like me, had gone through the normal immunization schedule as they had been growing up and both – like me - had a mouthful of mercury fillings – so deceptively referred to as “silver fillings”.
Depression… dental amalgams… mercury…. hum…