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A person diagnosed with mercury poisoning may be prescribed a drug that binds the mercury, and thus helps the body excrete it quickly. The body naturally excretes mercury in the urine even without treatment. A doctor may recommend that a person diagnosed with mercury poisoning avoid eating any fish or shellfish. Further monitoring of blood and urine can determine whether mercury levels are falling. The nervous system, mouth, lungs, eyes and skin, target organs for exposure, should also be periodically checked.
For adults, mercury poisoning is usually a reversible problem. The body can rid itself of mercury if the exposure to mercury is halted. Symptoms such as fatigue and memory problems seem to go away as mercury levels fall. However, for children and developing fetuses, mercury poisoning can cause long-term neurological problems. Mercury exposure before birth has been linked to lower intelligence and delays in learning motor skills.
Avoiding mercury is the best way to prevent mercury poisoning. Folk remedies that may contain mercury should not be consumed or rubbed on the skin. People should follow local guidelines about eating fish caught in local waters, and should follow federal guidelines for consumption of commercial fish. Much of the scientific literature on long-term exposure to mercury from fish is
Clark, Hulda Regehr, Ph.D., N.D. The Cure for All Diseases. California: New Century Press, 1995.
Null, Gary, Ph.D. Ultimate Anti-Aging Program. New York: Broadway Books, 1999.
Author Info: Ruth Ann Carter, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 2005
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