Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How's Your Mercury Level?

Today the front page of the SF Chronicle warned that most of California's top fishing locations are brimming with nasty toxins such as mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). Here's the report -- the most comprehensive survey ever of pollution in our lakes and reservoirs.

I feel like my worlds are converging: my passion for optimizing women's health and my passion for living green and detoxing whenever we can. For many years, I've felt "too busy" to focus on the pollution we encounter, but then mercury got my attention when I tested in the toxic range for mercury in 2006. Maybe this is not an issue just for the Rachel Carlson types, and my husband, David Gottfried, founder of the US Green Building Council and World Green Building Council.

David also happens to be an avid fisherman.

So if you are feeling like heavy metal and other toxic exposure doesn't affect you, think again. Test yourself to be sure. There is an easy screening test that you can get through my office for $59. It tests your hair for toxic metals. It's not the gold standard, but it's a good screening test to see if you're exposed.

Another issue is that these heavy metals get deposited in tissues as we age, and then periods of hormonal flux, such as the perimenopausal craziness I'm in right now myself, liberate large amounts of the stored heavy metals, especially in BONE, my friends, and can add to the hormonal chaos.

Why do I need to worry about this, you may ask? Here are some of the common symptoms of mercury toxicity:
  • fatigue in 50%
  • headache in 35%
  • poor memory in 30%
  • hair loss in 25%
  • constipation in 15%
  • low libido
  • underactive thyroid
  • difficulty losing weight

Oy. More in a moment - gotta go fetch the kids from school!

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I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.