Dangers of Heavy Metal Toxicity
Chronic, low-level exposure can result in significant retention in the body that can be associated with a vast array of adverse health effects and chronic diseases.
Do you eat salmon? Do you drink water? Do you live in the city and breathe polluted air? Do you drive to work on congested roadways? Have you been exposed to cigarette smoke?
With the onset of the industrial revolution, our environment is FULL of toxic heavy metals. Unfortunately, we are all exposed to heavy metals from diet, to medications, to various environmental exposures at home or at work .
The major ones present are Mercury, Arsenic, Antimony, Aluminum, Lead and Cadmium. Heavy metals tend to accumulate in the body, specifically in the brain and other fatty tissues. . Chronic, low-level exposure can result in significant retention in the body that can be associated with a vast array of adverse health effects and chronic diseases.
In fact, as a single intervention, Dr Walter Blumer MD in Switzerland has shown a 90% reduction in cancer mortality when treating heavy metal patients, compared to 172 control patients in the same area. Heavy metals can cause damage to DNA both directly and indirectly. The net effect of DNA damage is sometimes uncontrolled growth cancer.
Which Heavy Metals are Considered Toxic?
From my perspective, the following is the four main heavy metals that you should be most attentive about for your health. They are mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium.
Though it’s common knowledge that fish today often have high concentrations of mercury, most people are clueless about how dangerous this metal actually is. Mercury tends to build up in your body’s fatty tissues, so avoiding mercury exposure needs to be a top priority.
Toxic to the nervous system and most of your organs, mercury exposure can lead to headaches, inexplicable dizziness, both drowsiness and difficulty sleeping, weight loss, loss of coordination, and digestive problems. Over time, it can lead to high blood pressure, depression, memory loss, and even organ failure. Pregnant women are especially at risk, as mercury exposure has been linked to birth defects.
You can be exposed to mercury in a variety of ways today, including shellfish, air pollution, pesticide-laced crops, fluorescent lights, and even dental fillings. In fact, a study from Norway found that 47 percent of dental patients with mercury-laced fillings suffered from major depression, a common symptom of heavy metal toxicity.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) lists arsenic as the number one cause of heavy metal poisoning, and for good reason. This highly prevalent toxic metal is common in groundwater that’s been contaminated by environmental pollution, and it’s released during the manufacturing process for metals like copper and zinc.
Arsenic is also a key ingredient in many insect repellants and is even used to improve the colour of commercial chicken meat. Common symptoms of arsenic poisoning include abdominal pains, red blood cell destruction, and even death at extreme doses.
The merit of avoiding lead paint is common knowledge, but there are other ways that you are inadvertently letting lead into your life. Even just one minute of exposure to high concentrations of lead can cause it to start attacking your brain cells in ways that can lead to long-term intellectual disability, attention deficit disorder, and even comas or death.
Children are especially at risk of lead exposure. The World Health Organization states that their bodies absorb four to five times more than adults do, putting their central nervous system and organs at risk. Signs of moderate lead exposure often include abdominal pain, constipation, dizziness, headaches, loss of muscle coordination, and low iron levels.
In the 1940s, this soft metal was used to solder pipes and drains together in home construction, and lead is present in a variety of daily objects. Look closely at what’s in your paint cans, water pipes, batteries, hair dye, and tobacco smoke. Lead can even be present in children’s rubber toys, making them an unsafe option for kids.
Your regular diet may be exposing you to one of the most toxic heavy metals, cadmium.
Many of the world’s agricultural regions rely on phosphate-based fertilizers or sewage sludge for fertility, which can put trace amounts of cadmium into the soil and water system for fish and plants to absorb. Other sources can include art supplies, air pollution, mining contaminants, welding fumes, and nickel-cadmium batteries.
Besides from the above, there are many other ways you get can heavy metal toxicity
The air we breathe (pollution)
Car batteries; rechargeable batteries
From our mothers (while a fetus)
Breast milk (while nursing)
Industrial work environments
Stainless steel pots, etc.
Common Symptoms of Heavy Metal Accumulation include:
Chronic musculoskeletal pain
Symptoms similar to OCD and anxiety
Chronic infections such as candida
Food allergies (sudden onset), issues with digesting foods you had no issues previously digesting
Burning in extremities, numbness, tingling, paralysis
If you think you have heavy metal toxicity or experiencing any of the symptoms listed above please make an appointment at Spectrum of Life. We offer a provocative toxic metals test for accurate analysis so that we can work together to determine what is causing your health problems.
More info about heavy metal test - HTMA: https://www.sol.com.my/hair-tissue-mineral-analysis
By: Ms Esther - SOL Senior Naturopath