Exposure to toxic heavy metals is a serious problem and contributes to many adverse health conditions. If you work in an industry where heavy metals such as cadmium, aluminum, copper, nickel or lead are widely used, you wouldn’t be surprised to find out that that you have been over exposed. However, in our modern era, it’s virtually impossible not to take in a certain amount of heavy metals and the average person doesn’t realize the extent to which they are exposed on a daily basis.
Heavy metals are poisonous, and if they begin to oxidize, their chemical runoff will mutate and damage whatever cells are nearby. They are also prime food for bad bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and worms. That means these metals are likely to attract and serve as a feeding ground for Streptococcus A or B, E. coli and its many strains, C. difficile, H. pylori, and viruses.
Primary Sources Of Heavy Metal Exposure
You would think that avoiding toxic metals would be a simple process, but it really isn’t. The primary sources of heavy metal exposure listed below are by no means a complete list, but chances are you have been exposed to more than one of these sources at some point. Common exposure points include:
- Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides – if you have poisons on your lawn, garden and home.
- Copper water pipes
- Dental work – Silver-colored fillings are usually made with mercury amalgam, which may break down over time. If you have a lot of these fillings, you may want to talk to a holistic dentist about a plan to replace them.
- Old paint – Living in a home built prior to 1978 may have lead-based paint.
- Smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke
- Personal care products (i.e., deodorant, make up)
- Seafood – Large fish tend to have higher levels of mercury
- Cookware and soda cans
- Baking powder
- Environmental factors like work sites and chemtrails
- Pollution in our water and air – These can be a major source of harmful heavy metals. Steer clear of industrial areas when possible.
A long period of low-level exposure can result in the accumulation of heavy metals in the liver, gallbladder, fat stores and/or intestines, which cause symptoms including pain, fatigue, skin disorders, blood sugar imbalances, and digestive issues. They have even been linked to serious degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease; and may be at the root of common disorders like chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis. These metals accumulate in the body over many years, so the older you get, the more likely it is that you’ll experience worsening effects. You can read more about the specific sources and symptoms of heavy metal exposure in this document.
In my clinical experience, everyone has excessive amounts of some, or all of the toxic metals. – Lawrence Wilson, MD
The body has an intricate system of checks and balances which operate through the mineral levels and ratios. If you are deficient in one mineral, another mineral accumulates and can become excessive. This is a constant and complex dance of minerals going on in the body, and the body very specifically retains and releases minerals in order to control certain body functions.
With ongoing imbalance, the body starts using metals that it retains as a substitute for the proper minerals. Lead can substitute for calcium in the bones, weakening them and causing osteoporosis. It can also replace calcium in the blood cells which damages the blood and can cause a severe form of anemia.
Cadmium very readily substitutes for zinc in the arteries, which causes them to become stiff and inflexible, raising the blood pressure as the condition worsens. Aluminum seems to substitute for just about everything. Although the substituted metals cannot do the same jobs in the body, the body will preserve those metals in the tissues, serving as placeholders for the proper nutrients.
Signs You May Have Heavy Metal Toxicity
Although the signs may seem vague, it would be a good idea to consider heavy metal toxicity as a potential reason for the following symptoms:
- Chronic pain in the muscles and tissues of the body
- Chronic discomfort, fatigue and illness
- Brain fog – confused and forgetful
- Chronic candida infection
- Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, heartburn and indigestion
- Food allergies
- Headaches and migraines
- Mood swings, depression and anxiety
- Nervous system issues such as burning extremities, numbness, tingling and paralysis
- Skin problems
- Sensitive teeth
How To Avoid Heavy Metal Toxicity
Unfortunately, much of the damage is done by heavy metals beginning in the early stages of life as extreme vaccination schedules and mercury fillings have become a part of almost everyone’s life from birth to early teens. Add in the toxins you come in contact with during the normal course of your day, and the possible result of career choices and it’s easy to see how the body can become toxic.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to rid your body of these toxins and minimize your risk of exposure going forward. The most obvious solution to avoiding heavy metals is to stop doing the things (or take precautions) that introduce them to your body! Things you can do include:
- Stop smoking or hanging out in areas where it is in the air
- Use aluminum-free personal care products – Replace your toothpaste, face and body lotion, makeup, soaps, deodorant and household cleaning products with non-toxic alternatives.
- Recognize the occupational hazards that are included in plumbing, auto repair, metalworking, welding, and others.
- Limit seafood consumption
- Don’t use aluminum in cooking or for drinking
- Avoid work sites or areas that produce fumes or smoke containing heavy metals (which is nearly all of them)
- Use aluminum-free baking powder
- Get your mercury fillings removed by a holistic dentist
- Avoid further vaccinations or flu shots
- Get your home tested (if built prior to 1978) for lead, and take appropriate action based on the results
Things That Can Help Remove Heavy Metals From Your Body
Simply avoiding heavy metals is only one part of the equation, however. Preventing your exposure to them will significantly reduce your risk of toxicity, but you must also get rid of the toxins that you have already accumulated over the years.
You cannot eliminate toxins without having good adrenal function, because the adrenal glands have such a big part in the proper handling of metals in the body. When the adrenal glands are not working normally, you start to retain all kinds of metal. Once you reach a certain point, the metal itself becomes one of your major adrenal stressors. Now your body is in a constantly stressed, poisoned state and the adrenals are getting weaker and weaker. Even if you are trying everything in the book…you are eating well and you are getting a lot of rest, you cannot get well because by now you have toxic metal poisoning in the body, taking all your energy.
Heavy metal toxicity is one of the most difficult conditions to treat in modern medicine and one key to solving it is understanding that many people cannot eliminate toxic metals very well. The worst problem is not necessarily the presence of a toxic metal, but rather an inability to eliminate them. However, recovery is possible with the right nutritional balancing protocols and has helped many of my clients recover both physical and mental health.
My Balanced Healthy Living Program is a highly sophisticated system involving nutrition, supplements, detoxification, and lifestyle changes. These all work together to rebuild the body’s own ability to eliminate heavy metals and other toxins. It balances body chemistry with adequate amounts of bio-available nutrients and restores metabolic function allowing the cells to release toxins that are hidden deep in the tissues. Once the body has the proper minerals and has improved cellular energy production, it will let go of the metals it has been substituting for them. The basis for the nutritional balancing program begins with a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA).
Hair mineral testing is one method used to detect toxic metals in the body, because hair is an excretory tissue. Some people show heavy metals right away and often this indicates a current exposure, but others may have little or no toxic metals showing in the hair and still have a significant metal burden in the body. Assume you have heavy metals hidden and stored in your body – everyone does today.
HTMA is a way to identify mineral imbalances and is also a way to identify if someone is a poor eliminator or detoxifier. This provides a roadmap for a corrective plan to help their body chemistry and metabolism improve so they can actually get rid of the toxins in their body. Often the heavy metals are hidden in hard to reach places such as the brain, bones, joints, lungs, liver, or places with poor circulation such as the fatty tissues.
The Nutritional Balancing Program begins to address the most critical areas revealed and is further adjusted as the body begins to heal. Repeated hair mineral tests will show changes in the mineral levels as the toxins in the deeper tissues begin to be eliminated through the hair.
Whether you are on a Nutritional Balancing Program or not, you really should be doing something every day to help your body gently detox. Besides preventing or limiting your exposure to any kind of toxins, the following methods (plus others not mentioned) are used in conjunction with the balancing program and are beneficial for everyone.
- Sleep & rest more! Detoxification takes place at night and during the day the body is focused on daily activities, not eliminating poisons from the body. Resting and sleeping more conserves the body’s energy for healing.
- Reduce Stress – Many people live in continual stress. This causes the sympathetic nervous system to be overactive and exhausted which impairs detoxification.
- Eat a varied, excellent quality diet. Eat plenty of organic vegetables, and grass-fed, organic meats. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition measured the mineral content of organic versus commercial food. Results indicated that food labeled “organic” had an average of twice the mineral content of standard supermarket food.
- Support the eliminative organs. Make sure your bowels move daily as this is important to eliminating toxins. Drink plenty of spring water or carbon filtered water daily (one-half of your body weight in ounces). Near infrared sauna therapy, coffee enemas and foot reflexology can also support the eliminative organs.
These four recommendations for living a healthier life are a great place to start. Taking these actions will certainly have a positive effect on your overall health, but if you have any of the symptoms previously mentioned, you could be suffering from heavy metal toxicity.
If you want to balance your body chemistry, improve your metabolism, discover the root cause of your symptoms and how to resolve them or just take your health to the next level, I highly recommend a hair mineral analysis and a complete nutritional balancing program. Get started with a complimentary call.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not to be construed as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition. These statements made have not been approved by the FDA, nor should they be taken as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician.
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