Heavy Metal Toxicity
Heavy Metal Exposure: heavy metal exposure is implicated in a variety of central nervous system disorders, including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease, and new research reveals its effects on cardiovascular disease and immune system disorders. When hair and urine analysis confirm the presence of heavy metals, clients are often puzzled by how they were exposed. About 80,000 chemicals are now registered in the US under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and industry adds 700 – 1,000 new chemicals every year!
Common Sources of Heavy Metals:
Mercury: Besides leaking from mercury amalgam fillings, mercury is also found in fish, seafood (especially tuna) cosmetics, pesticides, paint, plastics, fungicides, fabric softeners, adhesives, floor waxes/polishes, laxatives, suppositories, tattoos, hair dyes, batteries and of course broken mercury thermometers.
Associated Symptoms: Fatigue, muscle weakness, vertigo, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, nervousness, numbness, tingling in hands and feet, pain in the chest, irregular heart beat, gastric disturbances, chronic headaches, lack of coordination, restriction of visual field, ringing in the ears, hearing impairment, shallow or irregular breathing, speech disorders, tremors, metallic taste in mouth, parasites, frequent colds, fever, and forgetfulness to name a few.
Associated Diseases/Disorders: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS, AIDS, anemia, allergies, anorexia, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cancers, epilepsy, Epstein Barr, chronic fatigue syndrome, Candidiasis, hypertension, insomnia, kidney diseases, neuritis, paralysis and many more.
Lead: Lead is found in dyes, gasoline, lead based paint, old plumbing, pottery, insecticides, tobacco smoke, textiles, scrap metal, automobile exhaust, canned fruit juices, car batteries, crayons, hair colouring, air pollution, mascara, and smelting of lead.
Associated Symptoms: Abdominal pain, aching muscles and bones, blue-black line near gums, clumsiness, confusion, constipation and/or diarrhea, emotional instability, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, drowsiness, loss of appetite, metallic taste, muscle weakness, nervousness, queasiness, nausea and weight loss.
Associated Diseases/Disorders: ADD, ADHD, alcoholism, anemia, and gout.
Aluminum: Aluminum is found in soft drink cans, cookware, cheeses, baking powder, deodorants, white flour, tap water, stomach antacids, toothpaste, laxatives, aluminum foil, automotive parts, automobile exhaust, beer, cigarette filters, artificial food colouring, dental amalgams, milk products and vaccinations.Associated Symptoms: Constipation, hyperactivity, allergies, memory problems, ulcers and more.
Associated Diseases/Disorders: Rheumatoid arthriitis, autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s, memory problems, epilepsy, heart problems, kidney diseases, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, AIDS and more.
Cadmium: Cadmium is contained in cigarette smoke, tobacco, coffee, gasoline, steel cooking pans, metal pipes, tap water, rubber, fertilizers, dental alloys, batteries, candy, refined cereals, colas, copper refineries, fungicides, refined grains, plastics, marijuana, evaporated milk, motor oil, oysters, paint, pesticides, processed foods, soft drinks, pharmaceutical and recreational drugs.
Associated Symptoms: Headaches, heart problems, anemia, hypertension.
Associated Diseases/Disorders: Mental retardation, kidney diseases, bronchitis, cancer (bladder, esophagus, larynx, lung, mouth, pharynx, prostate and stomach).
Copper: Copper is found in mineral supplements, hard water, hot tubs and swimming pool chemicals, cookware, the birth control pill and other estrogen medications, copper IUD’s, dental materials, brackets and jewelry, cooking utensils, piping, fungicides, industrial emissions, insecticides, oysters, chocolate, refrigerator ice makers, some city water, and well water.
Associated Symptoms: Anemia, bitter taste, deposits in corneas of the eyes, depression, diarrhea, digestive disorders, eczema, excitability, hardening of the skin, high blood pressure, hyperactivity, insomnia, nasal irritation, nausea.
Associated Diseases/Disorders: Arthritis, atherosclerosis, kidney problems, liver dysfunction, mental disturbances, schizophrenia, and tuberculosis.
Additional Chemical Toxins:
Carbon Monoxide of course, comes from auto exhaust, cigarette smoke and smog.
Formaldehyde is found in nearly all indoor environments – foam insulation, particle board, pressed wood products, backings on carpet and grocery bags.
DDT is still found in soil and other substances, including carpeting.
Benzene is found in cigarette smoke, gasoline, inks, paints, plastics, detergents, pharmaceuticals and dyes.
Chloroform is found in cleaning solvents, floor polishes, artificial silk and lacquers.
Toluene is found in petroleum products, copy paper, carpet glue, and perfumes.
Trichloroethylene(TCE) is used primarily in dry cleaning and metal degreasers
Xylene is found in rubber, photo-processing products, paint and petroleum products.
Heavy Metal Detoxification: the best method to effectively eliminate toxic metals from the body appears to be the chelating agents such as DMPS, DMSA and EDTA. Studies of other substances such as chlorella, cilantro, garlic, and vitamin C indicate very little heavy metal elimination compared to the chelating agents. If one is reluctant or unable to use chelation, then the next best method appears to be high dose IV Vitamin C therapy. Oral vitamin C does not have the same effect as the intravenous method because you reach bowel tolerance before an effective dose is reached.
Infrared saunas are a useful adjunct in assisting the body in the elimination of toxic substances. Furthermore, detoxification of heavy metals is enhanced by the appropriate nutritional support. One of the main substances used by the body to detoxify heavy metals is the amino acid glutathione. Glutathione is made in the body from the amino acid cysteine. Adequate protein intake is necessary to assist the body in the detoxification of metals. Low-protein diets have been associated with decreased elimination of methyl mercury. It is difficult to absorb glutathione as an oral supplement due to breakdown by stomach acid; however, it is very effective when administered intravenously in conjunction with Vitamin C. Other nutrients that are essential during a heavy metal detoxification program are magnesium, potassium, selenium, taurine, and vitamins C and E.
It is essential that, in addition to detoxification of heavy metals, one must eliminate or reduce the source of the heavy metals—whether they are in the air, water, food, or drugs. This may mean to switching to purified water, eating organic foods, eliminating certain fish, using protective gear in occupational exposures, or moving away from heavily polluted cities. Detoxification through chelation will not work if you continue to be exposed to toxic metals.
It is apparent that heavy metal exposure and toxicity is becoming a global problem. We must strive on a social and an individual level to eliminate the use of substances that are highly damaging to the health of humans and the environment. Toxic heavy metals have been shown to affect the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems of the human body. The detection and elimination of heavy metals is a specialized field of medicine that is becoming recognized as essential to the prevention and treatment of critical diseases affecting humans in the twenty-first century.