The Link Between Mercury and Women With CIDP
Exposure to high levels of mercury has been associated with nerve damage and autoimmune diseases. Even what is considered currently safe levels of mercury is showing to be problematic. Those who have CIDP neuropathy should pay close attention.
By Shiraz Abbas
Mercury is a metal that is naturally found in our environment, including our food. If it is consumed at high levels, it may potentially cause health problems.
Mercury can either enter soil or water. It can often be transmitted to us via fish that consume the mercury that is in water. We know that consuming mercury at high levels can lead to brain and kidney damage as well as having harmful effects on pregnancy.
But in a new study, consuming high levels of mercury through fish can put women of reproductive age at a higher risk of developing an autoimmune disorder such as CIDP neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis and even multiple sclerosis.
How did they come about this finding? Researchers analyzed hair and blood samples and found that the higher mercury levels women had in their bodies, the higher the amount of “autoantibodies” in their bodies (proteins associated with autoimmune diseases). Although the autoantibodies do not necessarily cause autoimmune diseases, their presence are signs that predict the onset of an autoimmune disease like CIDP.
The study found that methylmercury (the product of converted mercury in organic compounds) was the most powerful driver in bringing about these autoantibodies.
Women should pay particular heed as three quarters of all people with autoimmune diseases are women which makes them roughly three times more likely to develop an autoimmune disease.
Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574.