Heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic,
can enter the body via the food, water, and air we breathe.
Heavy metals are present all throughout our environment, and some are required for good health. However, heavy exposure to any number of them can lead to toxicity. If you work in an industry where many of these metals are readily available, chances are you have been exposed on some level. But many can hide in unlikely places, which makes early diagnosis rather difficult. In acute situations, toxicity usually results from lung and skin exposure.
Unfortunately, sources of heavy metal exposure are far spread, as they can be found in dental fillings, fumes, vapors, diet, and even in the home, particularly in old paint, glass, and plumbing. Every year, United States chemical companies release 6.5 trillion pounds of chemicals into the environment, 48 tons of that being mercury.
If heavy metals are not properly excreted through natural detoxification pathways, they may buildup in various tissues. But with the correct tests and treatment methods, it is possible to prevent further exposure, minimize side effects, and remove years of toxic accumulation.
Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Neurological disorders
- GI & kidney dysfunction
- Thyroid problems
- Developmental delays
- Respiratory issues
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Skin disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
- Loss of memory/brain fog
- Mood swings
- Muscle tremors
Heavy Metal Toxicity Root Causes
- Soldering materials
- Cable coverings
- Old paint
- Dental amalgmas
- Fish/Shellfish consumption
- Chemical/glass manufacturing
- PVC plastics
Heavy Metal Common Culprits
Mercury - Mercury toxicity, even in small amounts, can cause serious nervous, immune, and digestive problems. Considered as one of the top ten chemicals for major public health, mercury is a deadly metal. In the organic, mercury is usually accumulated through fish/shellfish consumption.
Lead - Lead toxicity is widespread, and overexposure affects the neurologic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and renal systems. Children, who are extremely vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead, are generally at high risk. Lead expsure goes after the nervous system, and lower levels can still affect a persons health status. Lead can interfere with hormones, such as vitamin D. It can even increase the risk for hypertension.
Cadmium - When addressing cadmium toxicity, prevention is key. Most of the cadmium that builds up in individuals bodies comes from diet, but smoking, nutritional deficiencies, and inhalation can affect overall levels. Chronic exposure to cadmium negatively impacts the kidneys and bones.
Arsenic - Overexposure of arsenic causes skin, lung, and internal cancers. Anemia, skin lesions, and neuropathy are all trademark signs of chronic overexposure. Even though its naturally occurring, arsenic is carcinogenic. In regards to gastrointestinal health, arsenic toxicity increases gut permeability, which leads to fluid loss, alterations in mucosa, loss of vitamins, elevated liver enzymes, and bloody diarrhea.
Heavy Metal Toxicity Diet & Lifestyle Changes
- Eat organic, unrefined, low sugar foods. Normalizing insulin levels is an important step in healthy detoxification.
- Get lots of rest and establish healthy sleeping patterns.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, and other illegal drug use.
- Limit dust exposure in the home.
- If you eat fish, make sure you are aware of local advisories regarding mercury levels.
- Read all food labels and product labels that enter the home, which can determine how toxic they are.