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Mercury Exposure Increases Diabetes Risk

Diabetes linkBy Teresa Conrick

The damage that mercury can cause to a body, continues to grow.  This recent study, Mercury Exposure in Young Adulthood and Incidence of Diabetes Later in Life: The CARDIA trace element study shows us the insidious nature of this poisonous toxin. Mercury compounds are known for their acute effects but less has been studied on long term effects.  This study did just that and the results are alarming, yet not surprising to those of us who have been sounding our own alarm about mercury's danger here, at Age of Autism.

Some caveats from the abstract:

-   Laboratory studies suggest that exposure to methylmercury at a level similar to those found in fish may induce pancreatic islet β-cell dysfunction.

-   We examined whether toenail mercury levels are associated with incidence of diabetes in a large prospective cohort.

-    A prospective cohort of 3,875 American young adults, aged 20-32 years, free of diabetes in 1987 (baseline), were enrolled and followed six times until 2005.

-    A total of 288 incident cases of diabetes occurred over 18 years of follow-up.

-    ....toenail mercury levels were positively associated with the incidence of diabetes.

The full study is only available with a subscription/purchase so I was able to read that for more information.  The authors do describe how mercury is a toxin with widespread effects in both the organic and inorganic form.  They also commented that it is fish consumption and amalgam fillings that are the major sources of exposure.  They further elaborated that the mercury in fish consumption are at levels that can induce oxidative stress.  That seems very significant and they do say that is the reason for the pancreatic islet b-cell dysfunction. They actually showed in a mouse that even low levels of mercury can cause pancreatic islet b-cell dysfunction.  This should be national news as the devastating health effects have been shown.

That got me thinking.  My daughter, who has an Autism diagnosis, also has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder by antinuclear antibody testing.  Further labs showed GAD 65 was high.  Gad 65 is 65-kD isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase, which is a major autoantigen in type 1 diabetes. This is a devastating marker for a possible future diabetes diagnosis.  Let's look at both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to clarify:

 Type 1 Diabetes:

1.  Type 1 was formerly called juvenile onset diabetes.

2.  It usually occurs typically before the age of 20.

3.  Individuals with type 1 diabetes are usually thin.

4.  The cause of type 1 diabetes is that the pancreas, the organ that secretes insulin, is destroyed by autoantibodies.

5.  People with type 1 diabetes always need insulin, either injected or through an insulin pump.

6.  GAD65, one of the primary target antigens of the autoimmune disease process, seems to play a pathogenic role in the development of type 1 diabetes

7.  Type 1 diabetes occurs in about 10-15 percent of cases here in the United States.

Type 2 Diabetes:

1.  Type 2 was formerly called adult onset diabetes.

2.  Individuals are usually heavy and often diagnosed after the age of 35.

3.  The cause of type 2 diabetes is a medical condition called "insulin resistance."

4.  To treat type 2 diabetes, usually lifestyle changes are necessary, like diet and exercise.

5.  Oral medications may be needed, and it is not uncommon for someone with type 2 diabetes to eventually need insulin.

6.  Type 2 diabetes is associated with heart disease.

7.  Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 85 to 90 percent of the cases in the United States.

Megan is not the only one with GAD65 antigens and an Autism diagnosis as I had written about that l last year:

  Presence of GAD65 autoantibodies in the serum of children with autism or ADHD.  

"Antibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) have been detected in the serum of patients with several neurological disorders....GAD65 antibodies were detected in the serum of 15% of children with autism (N = 20), 27% of children with ADHD (N = 15) and of none of the controls (N = 14).....Serum anti-GAD65 antibodies may be a common marker of subgroups of patients with autism and ADHD. Reactions of serum antibodies with the cells in the cerebellum in these patients suggest direct effects on brain function. The subgroup of children with autism and ADHD that tests positive for GAD65 antibodies needs further characterization in a larger study."

Are there connections here?  Could there be a higher incidence of diabetes in those identified as having an Autism diagnosis?  This study shows that could be the case:

"Our data suggest that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in children with type 1 diabetes attending the Diabetes Clinic at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, may be greater than that in the general population....... reported findings that suggest that an imbalance of Th1- and Th2-like cytokines may be important in the pathogenesis of autism."

Megan, like many of her peers diagnosed with Autism, had Thimerosal in most of her childhood vaccines.  Is there a concern for her now in an autoimmune path?

From a 2009 study, Heavy metals, islet function and diabetes development

"According to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a 49% increase in prevalence of diabetes in Americans during 1991 to 2000.  Diabetic population now is about 150 million globally and the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts it will double by 2025  Thus, attention is needed to investigate and prevent the possible factors which may induce hyperglycemia or diabetes."

Then a few paragraphs away......"Mercury is present in three forms in the environment, including elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic mercury and organic mercury....Thimerosal (ethylmercurithiosalicylic acid) is a mercury-containing compound and a preservative for the vaccine and biological products for more than 70 years. Thimerosal dissociates as 49.5% ethylmercury by weight and thiosalicylic acid and may possess higher cytotoxicity on renal cells. Thus it must be noted that mercury is a common environmental pollutant, and imposes a rather high risk to our health."

WHO did look at mercury,  and with the seal of approval from the American Academy of Pediatrics, decided that mercury is a bad thing, unless it is in a vaccine.  Looking at this mechanism of fish mercury causing diabetes should cause a new vote on this issue, as vaccine mercury may have the same process --

"The reactive oxygen species(ROS) have been demonstrated to promote the progression of islet cells dysfunction.  Because of anti-oxidative defense systems in pancreatic islet cells are weakness, islet cells are highly sensitive to oxidative stress." 

Organic or inorganic mercury compounds are well known to induce cellular damage in various cell types, such as renal cells, astrocytes, lymphoma cells, human gingivival fibroblast cells, alveolar epithellial cells, and pancreatic islet cells. Except for organic and inorganic forms of mercury toxicity, many studies focus on the vaccine preservative-thimerosal.  The ethylmercury was the metablite of thimerosal.  According to previous studies, ethylmercury could be converted to the inorganic form of mercury to induce cell membrane damage and DNA breakage.  In primary cultures of mouse pancreatic islet cells, mercuric chloride altered the intracellular calcium homeostasis and insulin secretion.  A report has shown that Minamata disease patients, who suffered from organic mercury poisoning from 1986 to 1994 (mean age: 63 years), had significantly elevated urine glucose levels.  The authors suggested that increased mercury levels in Minamata disease may enhance an incidence in diabetes.  The toxicity of mercury in islets is highly related to oxidative stress.

More evidence of both organic and inorganic mercury causing pancreatic islet dysfunction:

Inorganic mercury causes pancreatic beta-cell death via the oxidative stress-induced apoptotic and necrotic pathways  

Mercuric Compounds Induce Pancreatic Islets Dysfunction and Apoptosis in Vivo 

The Role of Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase/Akt Signaling in Low-Dose Mercury–Induced Mouse Pancreatic β-Cell Dysfunction In Vitro and In Vivo

Methylmercury induces pancreatic beta-cell apoptosis and dysfunction. 

Consider too that last year, we were inundated with the media reporting: Maternal Obesity, Diabetes Associated With Autism, Other Developmental Disorders 

or in more scientific terms from the AAP:  "Maternal metabolic conditions and risk for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders"  Their conclusion:

"The prevalence of obesity and diabetes among US women of childbearing age is 34% and 8.7%, respectively. Our findings raise concerns that these maternal conditions may be associated with neurodevelpmental problems in children and therefore could have serious public health implications."

Depressing and does seem to put blame to the mothers rather than look for an environmental cause.  No talk of why mothers might develop diabetes and/or obesity and if there is a way to stop this.  In light of the research on mercury inducing pancreatic islet β-cell dysfunction, it would be important to look not only at fish consumption, neighborhood mercury [Proximity to point sources of environmental mercury release as a predictor of autism prevalence] exposure, dental mercury amalgam fillings, but also mother's exposure to Thimerosal in flu shots.  If the mother was exposed to mercury, could she then develop diabetes and her child then develop oxidative stress, a hallmark of Autism?

"Mercury can accumulate in mitochondria and causes granular inclusions, which are visible with a scanning electron micrograph (Brown et al, 1985).  Oxidative stress occurs in vitro and in vivo from both organic and inorganic mercury via their high affiity for binding thiols (sulfur-containing molecules."

It has been danced around, the issue of ALL mercury being able to cause pancreatic islet β-cell dysfunction or diabetes.  People, the consumers of fish, dental amalgam fillings and the recipients of influenza and other vaccines given around this globe, have a right in knowing this and to decline buying them.

Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.


kelli baths

From the pain that I was having to figure out might be able to cure it with a little research. And the video that brought me here, I feel like I have a chance to lead some type of normal life. When its all said and done I just want to feel normal again. Two months into the restricted diet, supplements, and detox, their blood sugar was normal and wheezing was gone, inhalers ditched. I'm Happy

cherry sperlin misra

thankyou Teresa for your useful information. Recently I have been reading about the many health problems created by mercury in dental amalgams. Meanwhile my husband became distressed that suddenly his type 2 diabetes was clearly worse and it had happened within two months. I said, " Well, what has happened to you during those two months?" the answer was- Went to the dentist ( this usually involves removing old mercury fillings- which liberate mercury vapour as the dentist's drill hits them.) The people who write information about dental amalgams affecting health have listed diabetes as one of the disorders that may improve after removal of amalgam fillings.


Did you see this Tereasa in the Zebra article below:

"As I mentioned earlier I’ve had several bouts with adrenal crisis. I do have a little tanning going on, but it’s mild and it is splotchy"

As in going back to your article you wrote in tanning?


Here is something else that I wonder about.
If bipolar can be part of vaccine injuries - and I believe it is
Then there is a swing. I swing from deep depression to mania. Bipolar has something to do with pituitary - they are enlarged in young poeple with bipolar.

Then there is the swinging of thyroid. How often have I had friends that have for years a low thyroid, but some times they give off enough heat to fog up the car windows, and have a rapid heart beat. Years later they go from hypo thyroid to HYPER thyroid and the medical community is quick to radiate that thyroid.
SO swings between hypo thyroid to hyper thyroid.

So my next question is:
Are there swings between Cushings and the opposite disease Addisons?

Here is a little article

It says:
"Addison’s disease is the mirror image of Cushing’s syndrome, so why write about it in a Cushing’s blog? In my case my cortisols swing so low I’m actually Addisonian for periods of time as evidenced by a presentation in an ER in a state of adrenal crisis and some labs I have documenting cortisols in that range. I recently met two other folks in the same situation on Facebook so there are folks out there in the Cushie community for whom this is a relevant subject. So let’s give it a whirl.

As I mentioned in the opening, Addison’s disease is the mirror image of Cushing’s syndrome and Cushing’s disease. It is a condition where the cortisols are too low and is lethal if left untreated. The pathology may be autoimmune disorders and it is often associated with them, trauma, or infection. The symptoms may include:

· Changes in blood pressure, generally a lowering of the blood pressure.

· Chronic diarrhea, vomiting, nausea resulting in loss of appetite and weight loss.

· Darkening of the skin in places causing a splotchy look.

· Paleness

· Extreme weakness fatigue and sluggishness.

· Mouth lesions inside the cheek.

· Salt craving.

· The patient may also develop vitiligo, an abnormal whitening of the skin in patches.

The lab values associated with Addison’s are:

· Abnormally low cortisols.

· High potassium levels

· Low sodium levels.

The victim of Addison’s disease may also suffer from autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s disease and may also suffer from pernicious anemia. Addison’s is also more common in frequency than Cushing’s.

Sufferers of Addison’s may also go into adrenal crisis, which I wrote about here:

Adrenal Crisis

For the person whose cortisols swing both ways this means we get the worse of both worlds. I have pernicious anemia and the compromise to bodily healing which takes place when the cortisols are so low makes my back situation even worse. I also suffer from a very rare manifestation of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Recurring posterior scleritis, an autoimmune disease. As I mentioned earlier I’ve had several bouts with adrenal crisis. I do have a little tanning going on, but it’s mild and it is splotchy.

Those with Addison’s have to be very careful because their immune responses are compromised, so they need to contact their doctors in any of the following cases:

· Infection.

· Stress.

· Injury.

· Surgery.

Their medications may need adjusting. It goes without saying that a cyclical Cushie or Addisonian with extreme cycles needs to do the same.

Although I did mention that Addisonians are more common than Cushies, they are rare as well. Their situation is serious and they need all the help and support they can get from family and friends. Just as with Cushing’s, family and significant ones should become familiar with the nature of the disease. In the case of the extreme emergency which constitutes a crisis it is especially necessary for family, friends and coworkers to know the symptoms."

Could that be what is happening -- swings?


I was looking up a list of pituitary disorders. So far I ahve not found one but I did find on one website this question and answer

Why are these tumors so common?

Why are these tumors so common?

We don't know because funding for benign brain tumor research is virtually nonexistent. That's about to change. In October 2002, Congress passed the Benign Brain Tumor Cancer Registries Amendment Act, which will force hospitals, clinics and doctors to report pituitary tumor incidence rates in the data collection of cancer registries. The problem remains diagnosis. No report of incidence rates is possible without it.
Could diabetes begin with a damaged pituitary?
Kids with bipolar have an enlarged pituitary.
Thyroid trouble begins with a damaged pituitary.

Post and anterior pituitary has different functions -- in just a pea size organ that is a lot of storage in one area.

How would mercury or aluminum affect the pituitary surely there are lab rats that they have tested all this on?

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, as always, for highlighting informative research and connections with the autism epidemic. "Autism awareness month..." I can't help thinking that if we had a general true awareness of what this epidemic should be teaching us, we would be beyond aware and actively working to eliminate deliberate dissemination of immune pollutants, seeing the rising of a much healthier generation, and likely seeing much more progress in reversing many of today's chronic ailments.


We bought a dog, a blue heeler some time back. We got those puppy shots, and then the rabies shot and then it started to itch. It had the mange??? A well cared for dog did not have the immune system to fight off the mange. Not a half starved stray!

During one treatment at the vets for the mange, the vet said it was time for the "Yearly" rabies shot. In my defense - I was not there to say, "NO" . It was all on my husband's head this time.

Yeah, our sick kids are on my head, but the dog is on my husband's head.

Thank goodness, I don't think I could live with much more guilt

So in a few months the dog starts limping on its hind legs- it is so weak that the high grass becomes a barrier to the poor thing.

It is cushings. It is easy to find on the internet. Just type in a few symptoms and there it is. Not hard at all.

The dog by the way is very fat. Everyone laughs and says you feed that dog well, don't you.

Well, I have feed a lot of dogs in my life time and no - not really - not all that much!

It has also had some pancreatitis too - in the past.

Cushings is not exactly a new idea around here. I have been thinking on this now for almost seven years. I have a young adult that went from a size 5 to a size 16 in less than a year, and there has been some trouble with her pituitary in the past, as in a non stop monthly.

She developed a hump on the middle of her back, a clear sign of Cushings.

People with Cushing's disease usually (not always) have something going wrong in the pituitary- such as a tumor causing too much ACTH. ACTH stimulates the production and release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Too much ACTH means too much cortisol.

Cortisol is normally released during stressful situations. It controls the body's use of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It also helps reduce the immune system's response to swelling (inflammation). It has something to do with hyper pigmentation.

Well if it causes too much pigment could it also cause the opposite? Could it also cause the opposite in more inflammation?

Is this disease really all mapped out?

Maybe what we got is a new form of cushings?

You see my faith in modern medicine understanding the endocrine system is - well - zero.

Children with cushings are slow to grow up, but not out! And they will develop diabetes

It can cause fatigue, mental problems, such as depression or psychosis. It can also interfere with sleeping too. I know my kids had night terrors and sleeping through the night was hard.

The Atkins diet does help though, as well as the removal of the tumor on the pituitary gland.
That is if modern doctors think to ever test for it. That is; if it is not some new form of pituitary damange.

Pregnant women that have cushings have been reported to develop high blood pressure and gestational diabetes.

And what of the dogs with cushings. Well, the vets say there is not much they can do. But sometimes you get lucky and the dog can simply get better on its own.


Thank you so much for this article.


Great report, thanks. My kids had suspiciously high blood sugar when diagnosed with autism six years ago-- also asthma symptoms. Biomed seems to have fixed both blood sugar and asthma symptoms even faster than it recovered their autism: two months into restricted diet, supplements and detox, their blood sugar was normal and wheezing was gone, inhalers ditched. Connection?


The increase in pediatric Type 1 diabetes is caused by people becoming excessively clean starting in 1985. Smithsonian magazine says so. And if people aren't excessively clean then it's for some other reason that's not a vaccine. The fix will actually be a vaccine--for diabetes. (I'm not kidding; that's what's in the works.)


Well I guess Bill Gates and GAVI etc. like it for kids in Africa and India. They should be studying diabetes prevalence there, especially since the decision to not remove thimerosal from vaccines, even if that is just one source.


But now they have taken all the mercury out of childhood shots.

SO, no big deal - get over it.

Never mind about everyone that now has diabeties or those that has been damaged in the last 40 years.

They will pass - no big deal. No one is going to pay for this.

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