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Heavy Metal Toxicity
Heavy metal poisoning is caused by the accumulation of certain metals in the body due to exposure through food, water, industrial chemicals, or other sources.
While our bodies need small amounts of some heavy metals - such as zinc, copper, chromium, iron, and manganese - toxic amounts are harmful.
If your body’s soft tissues accumulate too much of heavy metals, the resulting poisoning can cause serious damage.
Lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium are the metals most commonly associated with heavy metal poisoning in the United States.
Source of heavy metals
Here are some of the heavy metals causing toxicity in our modern environment and their common sources:
- Lead (auto exhaust, root canals, building materials, water, some teas
- Mercury (dental fillings, vaccines, contact lens solution, seafood
- Cadmium (cigarettes, batteries, hydrogenated oils, coffee)
- Arsenic (conventional poultry and eggs)
- Thallium (added to gasoline)
- Bismuth (makeup, medicines)
Limiting heavy metals exposure is just one of the reasons to consume meats and seafood from good sources, use holistic dentistry, make natural deodorant and beauty products, and avoid hydrogenated oils.
Heavy metal poisoning prevention
The following tips may help you prevent heavy metal poisoning:
- Wear masks and protective clothing if you work around heavy metals
- Since many metals accumulate in dust and dirt, keep these out of your home as much as possible
- Pay attention to local fish advisories regarding mercury levels
- Be aware of potential sources of lead exposure
- Heck for any heavy metals listed on the labels of products you bring into your home
How to test for heavy metals
Assessing your heavy metal status is not easy. Questioning and a thorough investigation into our past and present provide some indication of exposure. However, exposure does not indicate how much heavy metals stayed in your body. A DNA test gives us another angle of understanding, by assessing your detoxification capacity and thereby assessing how capable your body is of removing these harmful metals. However, we still do not know for certain whether treatment is required until we directly test for heavy metals. Unfortunately testing for heavy metals is not that simple.
There are many tests available on the market to check your levels. The most common tests include examination of urine, whole blood, serum blood, and hair. I would recommend to see a naturopathic physician or a certified nutritionist to run the metal toxicity test.