Are Heavy Metals Making You Sick?
Author: iHealth Date Posted:18 March 2015
One thing that amazes me is how many people are suffering from heavy metal toxicity and didn't know about it. Today, the effects of the build up of toxic metals is only just being widely accepted as a major contributor to health problems. The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic.
Cigarette smoking is a major source of cadmium exposure. In non-smokers, food is the most important source of cadmium exposure. Recent data indicate that adverse health effects of cadmium exposure may occur at lower exposure levels than previously anticipated, primarily in the form of kidney damage but possibly also bone effects and fractures.
The general population is primarily exposed to mercury via food, fish being a major source of methyl mercury exposure, and dental amalgam. The general population does not face a significant health risk from methyl mercury, although certain groups with high fish consumption may attain blood levels associated with a low risk of neurological damage to adults. Since there is a risk to the foetus in particular, pregnant women should avoid a high intake of certain fish, such as shark, swordfish and tuna; fish (such as pike, walleye and bass) taken from polluted fresh waters should especially be avoided.
The general population is exposed to lead from air and food in roughly equal proportions. During the last century, lead emissions to ambient air have caused considerable pollution, mainly due to lead emissions from petrol. Children are particularly susceptible to lead exposure due to high gastrointestinal uptake and the permeable blood–brain barrier. Blood levels in children should be reduced below the levels so far considered acceptable, recent data indicating that there may be neurotoxic effects of lead at lower levels of exposure than previously anticipated
So, How Do You Know if you’re suffering from metal toxicity?
Acute metal toxicity is a lot easier to diagnose than that of chronic exposure. Indications of acute toxicity include: Sudden, severe cramping and/or convulsions, nausea, vomiting, sweating, headache, difficulty breathing, impaired cognitive and motor and language skills. Symptoms of toxic build-up due to chronic toxic metal exposure, however, are much more subtle, in large part because these symptoms are so “common,” such as: Fatigue, digestive distress and reduced ability to properly assimilate and utilise fats, aching joints, depression, impaired blood sugar regulation and Female reproductive problems such as menstrual difficulties, infertility, miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension and premature birth. Sound like anyone you know? Add to that your exposure to toxic fluoride in your local drinking water, which actually increases your body’s uptake of aluminium, in addition to all the other health damaging effects it has in and of itself, and it’s no wonder you may be feeling less than great.
Why is Diet and supplementation so Important When it Comes to Toxic Metal Detox?
In addition to limiting your exposure to toxic metals, which I will go over shortly, you need to focus on eating a healthy diet and targeted supplements.
The Weston A. Price diet recommendations, which were written in 1920 and still, like all truths, hold true today, includes these timeless guidelines:
- Eat foods that are natural, unprocessed, and organic (and contain no sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup).
- Eat foods that grow in your native environment. In other words, eat locally grown, seasonal foods.
- Eat unpasteurised dairy products (such as raw milk) and fermented foods. ( Almond Milk, Rice milk as dairy free alternatives )
- Eat at least one-third of your food raw or lightly steamed.
- Make sure you eat enough healthy fats, including those from animal sources like omega-3 fat, and reduce your intake of omega-6 from vegetable oils.
Guidelines for Reducing Your Toxic Metal Exposure
It may seem like a fight you’re destined to lose, however I firmly believe you can reduce you exposure to toxic metals quite dramatically, thereby giving your body a fighting chance to eliminate accumulated toxins and restore health.
These guidelines can help limit your exposure:
- Use glass, cast iron, carbon steel, titanium, and enamel cookware. Both aluminium and non-stick cookware are well known for their toxic dangers, and stainless steel can expose you to carcinogenic nickel.
- Minimise consumption of restaurant food as restaurants are required to use stainless steel pots and vats.
- Avoid stainless steel thermoses; the glass lined kinds are best.
- Avoid cosmetics with aluminium bases, mineral powders that contain bismuth, and aluminium-laden antiperspirants, which have been shown to increase your Alzheimer’s risk by as much as 300 percent!
- Avoid costume jewellery if you are sensitive to metals.
- Avoid smoking and second hand smoke as it causes cadmium poisoning.
- Avoid conventional household cleaning products.
What Supplements do I take?
Cellfood Oxygen Concentrate is great for a heavy metal detox. The special blend of minerals and enzymes help the body to rid itself of these debilitating toxic elements. Use 8 drops 3 x a day in 250 mlx water (before each meal).
Natraprac Plus A complete Superfood blend that will tempt even the most fussy eaters. Natraprac was formulated as a synergistic blend of raw foods all of which have been selected for their amazing healing qualities. The plant proteins from rice and yellow peas provide a full broad spectrum protein that can even be used as a meal replacement. Chlorella and Spirulina and the addition of Apple Pectin, have all been shown to liberate heavy metals from the body.
Are there any Tests I can take to see if I have toxic metal exposure problems?
Yes, there are. A HMA/TMA Hair Tissue Minerals Analysis is a great tool for testing metals. Please contact your Naturopath or GP and ask if they can provide you with a Hair Analysis. The test shows what levels of exposure you have as well as looks at more than 30 other vital minerals and their role in homeostasis. Blood tests will also reveal to some degree how much toxicity you have.
PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to seek out competent Medical advice as in some cases, heavy metals can be particularly complex and difficult to remove and if your exposure is suspected to be high, you will need a closely supervised program to remove the metals safely.