Heavy Metal Toxicity is a real health concern. They can accumulate in the body and can impair how your body functions. Heavy metals are naturally found throughout the earth. They are abundant in the earth’s crust, volcanic eruptions and spring water. They are also found in our food and within our environment through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we eat and the products we use. Many personal care products as well as cosmetics contain heavy metals. Heavy metals enter our body through the skin and through inhalation. It is true that our body needs a small level of certain heavy metals in the right form to survive. These would include iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, silver, and selenium. However, heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury are considered to be the most toxic and cause the most serious health concerns.
Your body is usually able to get rid of the extra metals through its own natural detoxification process if you are giving your body enough nutrients to allow it to properly detoxify, like eating a healthy diet full of nutrient dense foods. It is important to know that heavy metals have a high molecular weight which makes them hard for your body to absorb. Sometimes however your body can struggle with properly detoxifying, especially if you have more exposure due to working in an industrial or agricultural setting or your overall health or gut health are compromised. If your body can’t detoxify the metals, you can become at risk for heavy metal toxicity or poisoning. Environmental toxicity is a concern.
Acute and Chronic Heavy Metal Toxicity
Acute Heavy Metal Toxicity, especially from lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury is a serious medical condition that should be treated by yout doctors. If you feel your symptoms could be related to heavy metal toxicity see your doctor and he can do blood tests or liver and renal function tests. The level of overall toxicity depends on the type of metal, your age, and how much you have absorbed / been exposed to.
Many people who have been exposed to heavy metals, may notice the following symptoms:
- Abdominal Pain, Nausea and Vomiting, Diarrhea
- Dehydration / Sweating
- Trouble Breathing
- Confusion, Impaired Motor Skills and Language Skills
- Changes in Behavior
However, Chronic Heavy Metal Poisoning can be more difficult to diagnose. It tends to develop slowly over months and is often linked to other causes. The symptoms also tend to come and go. Symptoms may include the following:
- Confusion, Impaired Motor and Language Skills.
- Neurological Disorders
- Emotional Changes
- General Weakness
- Increased Inflammation
- Immune Deficiency
Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Mercury
When we look at lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury, lead is the most dangerous, especially for children. Lead is so dangerous because it is tasteless, odorless and colorless. Remember when they found lead in Michigan’s drinking water from lead pipes? It took time for them to figure out what was going on. In fact many pipes used to made of lead, especially prior to the 1950’s. Lead can affect the nervous system and kidneys, increase your risk for cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and often can damage the brain.
Mercury is liquid at room temperature and easily absorbed through its vapors. It is most known for being found in silver amalgam fillings as well as certain types of fish. In fact, it is recommended that you not eat these types of fish more than 2 times per week and to avoid eating them when pregnant or nursing. Mercury can also be found in thermometers, certain batteries, jewelry, and Thimerosal in certain vaccines. Mercury can also be harmful for your nervous, digestive and immune systems.
Arsenic & Cadmium
A variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, grains and fish contain arsenic. Recent tests show arsenic in rice and some juice products, as well as apple seeds and apricot seeds. Long term exposure can lead to stomach issues as well as heart disease and cancer.
Cadmium is found in the earth’s crust and is often found during the extraction process along with other metals. It is found in some foods, coal and oil, cigarettes and is a byproduct when burning garbage / waste. If you are exposed to cadmium over a long period of time it can lead to cancer and toxicity of organ systems including your skeletal, urinary, cardiovascular, nervous and respiratory systems.
What to Avoid
The first thing you can do to help your body is to avoid certain things. Limit your exposure to as many chemicals as you can, especially those items known to contain heavy metals. You also need to reduce your intake of certain types of fish like swordfish, grouper, and mackerel. Avoid using toxic products in your home and on your skin, as well as pesticides and herbicides in your yard. Make sure to wear protective gear if you do work around chemicals or use them at your home. It is also very important that you drink clean water. Avoid drinking tap water and bottled water and considering adding a water filtration product in your home for the water you drink and bathe in. I use Aquasana Water Filtration Products to ensure my water is free from impurities, chlorine, and heavy metals.
Natural Tips to Help Detoxify
What Foods to Eat for Heavy Metal Toxicity
There are certain foods and herbs that help bind to heavy metals in the body making it easier for the body to get rid of them. These include cilantro which is helpful for mercury and algin which is a great mucilaginous fiber used for all metals especially cadmium demonstrated by a study done in Japan.
Make sure to eat foods high in antioxidants including blueberries, green tea, lemon water, and chaga mushrooms.
Eat a healthy diet overall full of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean meats, and whole grains. Eliminate processed foods and foods high in sugar.
Cleansing and Liver Support
You may want to consider beginning with colon cleanse. Especially if your bowels are not regular. It is also important to start focusing on gut health. Our guts love to eat lots of plant foods, foods high in fiber and fermented foods. Also, add a probiotic to your daily regimen, studies are showing some probiotics help bind to heavy metals. Ultrabiome DTX is a wonderful product for helping to eliminate heavy metals and promoting overall gut health.
Support your liver which is a huge part of detoxification. Foods include garlic, and greens full of chlorophyll like spirulina, chlorella, barley grass juice, dulse. Milk thistle and beet root are huge antioxidants that protect and support your liver.
More Wellness Support
Take a detoxifying bath using bentonite clay and / or epsom salt to help draw our impurities.
Use natural products like an Ionic Foot Bath or a device that provides FIR or Far Infrared Therapy. Ionic Foot Baths help the body detoxify, improving overall energy and restoring an overall feeling of well-being. Far Infrared Therapy products are known for helping the body detoxify, promoting circulation and engaging your body’s own innate healing capabilities. A study form Japan showed that the sweat of individuals using FIR Therapy actually contained more heavy metals than the sweat tested and obtained through regular exercise.