Living in the world today exposes us to many toxins that our ancestors weren’t in daily contact with. The air we breathe, soil our food is grown in, food we consume, and water we drink are all different than they were 100 years ago.
Our bodies have built in detoxification systems that help eliminate toxins naturally. When we are exposed to levels of toxins that are too high, our “buckets” can become too full, and we can start to feel negative effects from them.
Fortunately, we can make choices to help make sure we aren’t over exposed to things like heavy metals. Many people aren’t even aware that heavy metals can be toxic to the body, but the good news is if you’ve been affected by heavy metal toxicity, you can support your body and help it naturally detox to return to a state of homeostasis. If you feel you may be dealing with heavy metal toxicity, our staff at The Dempster Clinic is knowledgeable about protocols we can use to help you return to optimal health.
There are several ways your environment can lead to toxicity in your body. Here is a look at some of the sources of toxins:
In this article, we’ll be covering toxins from heavy metals that lead to heavy metal toxicity.
What is Heavy Metal Toxicity?
Heavy metal poisoning can happen when you are exposed to a high quantity of certain types of heavy metals. It affects the way your body works, and you can become very sick from it. Mercury, arsenic, and lead are all heavy metals you’re probably familiar with. They are in our water, soil, and products we use daily.
Small quantities of heavy metals are generally not harmful, but when our bodies are bombarded with high levels of heavy metals, they can become problemsome. Heavy metal toxicity can happen if you breathe in large amounts of contaminated dust or fumes, or even if you drink something tainted with heavy metals. People like welders who are exposed to heavy metals daily can absorb the toxins through their skin as well.
There are many different types of toxic metals, including:
Not all metals are dangerous to your health, and some of them our bodies require to stay healthy. We need small amounts of iron, copper, and zinc for our cells to function properly. Heavy metal poisoning generally occurs due to long term exposure of certain heavy metals.
For example, lead poisoning is one of the most commonly known forms of heavy metal poisoning, and is usually caused by exposure to lead-based paint. Lead is a highly toxic metal that can cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. Homes built before 1978 can contain lead-based paint, and people can be exposed to the lead when they try to sand, remove, or repaint.
Other sources are more surprising and not as obvious. For example, did you know that breast implants also have lead-based solder in them? Here’s a full look at the toxins in implants:
What Are Other Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity?
In addition to the list of symptoms above, there are other general symptoms associated with heavy metal toxicity. These can include: nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, abdominal pain, vomiting, shortness of breath, chills, weakness, and tingling in hands and feet. Children with heavy metal toxicity can also have unusually formed bones and suffer from developmental delays. There are symptoms specific to certain types of heavy metal poisoning, which can help narrow down a diagnosis.
Metal specific symptoms are as follows:
- Mercury poisoning can display as lack of coordination, muscle weakness, vision changes, trouble walking, hearing and speech difficulties, and nerve damage in your hands and face.
- Lead poisoning symptoms can range from constipation, aggressive behavior, sleep problems, irritability, memory loss, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, asthma, fatigue, and anemia. A loss of developmental skills in children can be an easily recognized symptom.
- Arsenic poisoning symptoms are usually: gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea), red or swollen skin, arrhythmia, and muscle cramping.
- Cadmium poisoning symptoms can be muscle pain, breathing problems, and fever.
One lesser known source of heavy metal exposure is improperly removed mercury amalgam fillings. When improperly removed, the removal can actually cause more harm than good.
During the removal of mercury fillings, the patient can be exposed to amounts of mercury which are a thousand times greater than the EPA allowable concentration. When removing mercury amalgam fillings, it’s important to find a dentist that knows the proper procedure to remove the fillings so you don’t end up with further mercury toxocity. My recommendation would be to work with a Dentist with training in Biological Dentistry.
Is Heavy Metal Toxicity Making You Sick?
If you’ve lived in an older house that you’ve renovated, have had mercury amalgam fillings improperly removed, or are in a profession that has large amounts of heavy metal exposure, heavy metal toxicity may be making you sick.
When you work with Dr. Dempster, he can help you come up with a safe plan to detox the metals and return your body to a state of optimal health. It’s important to follow proper testing and protocols when you’re dealing with heavy metals, because you can become sicker if the correct steps aren’t taken. Detoxing heavy metals can take time, but in the end is a rewarding process to ensure good health.
How Do I Find Out If I Have Heavy Metal Toxicity?
Testing for heavy metal toxicity can be complicated, but the functional medicine world has many different ways to diagnose.
Urine testing or blood testing are common options to help determine your heavy metal body burden and best treatment options as a result.
How Can This Affect Your Body?
Heavy metals disrupt metabolic functions in two ways:
- They accumulate and affect function of vital organs and glands such as heart, liver, kidneys, brain, bone, etc.
- They displace vital nutritional minerals from their original place, thereby hindering their biological function.
They cause cellular damage to the mitochondria and disturb ionic homeostasis. Suffering from symptoms of heavy metal toxicity can be miserable, and there can be a domino effect on your health. Not only can you suffer symptoms from heavy metal toxicity, but it can also trigger other medical conditions that your body could usually fight off, as heavy metal toxicity can suppress the immune system.
What Do I Do If I Have Heavy Metal Toxicity?
If you think you are dealing with heavy metal toxicity, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider that is knowledgeable in the correct process to remove heavy metals from your body. Heavy metals can be in your bloodstream, but also can accumulate in organs. Properly removing heavy metals from the body is generally done through a process known as chelation (using natural chelators), which contains proper steps to ensure the treatment is safe and effective.
Call Us Today to Schedule an Appointment
Our practitioners would love to help you if you suspect you are dealing with heavy metal toxicity, give us a call today. We can do a complete health assessment to see if that is something you may be dealing with. We’ll develop a plan to help you optimize your health properly, and you can go on living a happy, full life! Call our office today to schedule your first appointment, we are happy to help.