Let’s talk heavy metal toxicity

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In the spirit of Spring and detox, I though I’d share a topic not commonly discussed: the burden of heavy metals in the body.  Heavy metals are dense elements such as mercury, aluminum, arsenic, nickel, cadmium and tin, to name a few that occur naturally in nature. They become toxic in the body when injected, by inhalation, consumed (intentionally or not) or handled. They interfere with the normal functioning of the body. 

Heavy metals can bind to cells in place of needed minerals and other cellular materials causing an altered metabolic process. This can cause the body to experience symptoms such as: 

  • neuropathy (problems with nerves that go to the legs and arms which may cause numbne or weakness),

  • neurological damage,

  • anemia,

  • diabetes,

  • skin rashes,

  • leaky gut,

  • brain fog, 

  • achy joints, 

  • chronic fatigue, 

  • brain fog, 

  • immune impairment and more…

There are a few common ways heavy metals can enter the body.

  • pollution (particularly if you live or spend a lot of time near a highway or flight path)

  • cosmetics

  • drinking water

  • cookware/dinnerware 

  • dental appliances/amalgam (silver) dental fillings

  • some pharmaceutical drugs (such as mercury or aluminum additives in vaccinations) 

  • pesticides and herbicides

Once inhaled, absorbed or consumed heavy metals can find their way into the body’s tissues. You can do all the healthy things you can think of but if a significant heavy metal burden exists, you may fall short on health and wellness.

It can be tricky to test for heavy metals but here are a few ways: hair mineral analysis, urine and blood tests.  

Some functional holistic dentists are now doing mercury tests with programs to remove silver amalgams/fillings and may also recommend a detox. 

By helping you get to the bottom of your health issues, naturopaths and functional health practitioners may consider heavy metal toxicity as a possibility.

Traditional, Western medicine still doesn’t put much validity in the prevalence of heavy metal toxicity. 

On your own, there are a few things you can do to lower your exposure to heavy metals:

  • Use a high quality air filter that ensures heavy metals are captured.

  • Use non toxic cosmetics.  I like to check the how clean my products are by checking the rating on the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group), Skin Deep web site.

  • Install a high quality water filter for your home.

  • Use 100% stainless steel silverware and non-toxic dinnerware, as well as 100% stainless steel, glass, cast iron or ceramic cookware.

  • Check to see if your dental appliances may be toxic to your system. Biological dentists can be a good resource and some will replace silver amalgams for resin, porcelain or other materials.

  • Ask your naturopath or functional health provider about supplements to counteract the possible effects of additives in medications or take a natural approach when possible. 

  • Chose organic produce and foods whenever possible or grow your own produce from organic seeds in organic soil.

I’ve personally benefited from many of these steps.  It’s always great to take the healthiest approach possible.

I hope this has been helpful to you.  

Until next time…