Heavy Metal Toxicity


Are you feeling depressed, fatigued or irritable? Have you become forgetful over the years or have clouded mental function? Or maybe you have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, anemia, Alzheimer’s disease or a mental disorder? If any of this applies to you, the root of your illness may be that you are suffering from heavy metal toxicity.  Heavy metal exposure has increased dramatically in the last several decades and affects an untelling number of people.  As toxic metals build up in the soft tissues of the body, they have a poisonous affect and can lead to permanent injury.

Metal poisoning is far more prevalent than most doctors or patients realize.  It is most often not tested for and remains undiagnosed.  Maybe you are thinking this doesn’t apply to you because you have never come in contact with heavy metals…

However, if fish is a part of your diet on a regular basis, if you’ve gotten vaccines, if you drink unfiltered tap water, if you eat conventional (non-organic) foods, if you have silver-colored dental fillings, or if you have ever worked in the industrial or agricultural fields, you have definitely been exposed to toxic metals.

It is possible to suffer from either acute or chronic heavy metal poisoning.  The effects of the toxic exposures can range from subtle symptoms to serious diseases. Since metals accumulate in the body over months and years, health problems are often mysterious or attributed to other causes.  Most often people never know that heavy metals are the cause of their ailment or they find out when it is too late to reverse all of the damage.

Acute Heavy Metal Poisoning

Acute toxicity can be easier to identify because the onset of the symptoms is usually very near to the time of exposure.  The symptoms tend to be severe in nature and include:

  • Nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramping
  • Pain
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Mania
  • Convulsions
  • Impaired cognitive, motor, and language skills

Chronic Heavy Metal Poisoning

Chronic exposure affects a great number of people suffering with various diseases.

Toxic metals cause bodily injury in numerous ways.  One mechanism blocks the absorption and utilization of essential minerals.  When nutritional deficiencies are created in the body, this leads to many other symptoms and disease processes that tend to gradually get worse over time. Symptoms of slower, repeated toxic metal exposures are often mistaken for effects of other illnesses.

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Chronic muscle, tendon or soft tissue pain
  • Chronic malaise — general feeling of discomfort, fatigue, and illness
  • Clouded mental function – forgetfulness and/or confusion
  • Chronic infections such as Candida
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal bloating
  • Gas
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Food allergies
  • Dizziness
  • Visual changes
  • Mood swings, depression, and/or anxiety
  • Nervous system malfunctions — burning extremities, numbness, tingling, paralysis, and/or an electrifying feeling throughout the body
  • Developmental delay
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Impaired cognitive, motor, and language skills
  • Learning difficulties

Once toxic metal poisoning is confirmed, it is possible for the resulting injuries to be reversed.  Unfortunately, this can be a difficult process with no guarantees.  For this reason, prevention is the best defense when it comes to metal toxicity.

Preventing Toxic Metal Exposure

Of utmost importance is to understand the most dangerous metals to avoid and where they are in our environment.

Mercury

Mercury is almost the deadliest element on earth, second only to plutonium. Nervous system and brain damage are both proven effects of mercury exposure whether the toxin is inhaled, eaten or even placed on the skin. Despite the fact that mercury’s toxicity has been known for decades, many people unknowingly come into contact with it daily.  How many people would knowingly have mercury injected into themselves or their child, allow it to be implanted in their mouth, or consume it on an regular basis?

Vaccines

Thimerosal is a vaccine additive that was developed by Eli Lilly in 1929. Thimerosal is a form of ethylmercury, and is 50% mercury by weight. In the 1980s and 1990s, the recommended vaccine schedule increased dramatically. Infants were being given multiple doses of mercury-laced vaccines. During this decade, babies were injected with mercury levels that exceeded the federal safety levels for dietary mercury by 87 times. Concurrently, childhood illness skyrocketed and evidence of mercury toxicity became apparent in multitudes of children born in this era. By 1999, the government had asked pharmaceutical companies to remove all thimerosal from vaccines. This was not the first time that vaccine producers were ordered to remove this harmful preservative. In the 1940’s many drugs were made using mercury and all vaccines contained thimerosal. In 1948, a Blue Ribbon Panel of doctors was commissioned by Congress to look at all forms of mercury in products for human use. After a review of research, the panel of doctors concluded that thimerosal was very harmful and that even one part per million could cause neurological injury. All forms of mercury were ordered out of medications. The drug company, Eli Lilly fought hard to keep their product, thimerosal, on the market and as a result, mercury-containing products were left in circulation. Again in 1956 the CDC received reports of the toxicity of thimerosal and mercury. Finally, many drugs were pulled off the market, including Mecuricome and Methialade, common over-the-counter mercury based disinfectants. However, thimerosal still remained in vaccines. In 2007, the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health stated, “The ubiquitous and largely unchecked place of Thimerosal in pharmaceutical products… represents a medical crisis in the modern day.”

But Hasn’t Thimerosal Been Removed From Vaccines?

Congressional Hearings in 2000 – 2004 revealed the immense dangers of thimerosal and public pressure caused vaccine producers to finally take action. The amount of thimerosal was reduced in several vaccines leaving a “trace” amount. This has led many parents and pediatricians to believe that vaccines no longer contain mercury. However, what must be realized is that “trace” amounts can still be in excess of one part per million. Furthermore, when multiple vaccines are given at once, the cumulative mercury levels are significant and dangerous. When a child receives numerous vaccines in a single day, trace + trace + trace still equals a toxic exposure. Furthermore, numerous vaccines still contain up to 25 micrograms of thimerosal. The vaccines containing the highest levels of thimerosal include inoculations against the flu, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal disease, Japanese encephalitis, and Pertussis. Many combination vaccines like the DTaP, also contain thimerosal.

Over the past decade, the prevalence of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit disorder have been exploded to epidemic proportions.  A growing number of doctors, researchers and parents believe that mercury from vaccines plays a major role.

But even with supposed “mercury-free vaccines”, mercury isn’t the only toxic metal in childhood shots to be worried about.

Dental Amalgam Fillings

Silver fillings have been used in dentistry for the last 100 years.  Over the decades, millions of Americans who have received silver dental fillings.  What your dentist probably did not mention is that mercury comprises about 50 percent of every amalgam dental filling.  For years and years the American Dental Association has been defending it’s support of mercury-based fillings.  Just recently, recommendations were altered to discourage the placement of amalgam fillings for children and pregnant woman.

Vapors from amalgams are released on a continuous basis, and even more when a person chews gum, drinks hot liquids and brushes his  teeth.  Studies show that silver fillings lead to mercury vapor concentration 10 times higher than normal exposure.  Then the mercury enters the bloodstream and is delivered to all parts of the body, including the brain.

It is alarming that 95 percent of people with disorders of the central nervous system such as Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, paralysis and migraines also have silver dental fillings.  This begs the question, would you want mercury, one of the most powerful neurotoxins on the planet, embedded in your mouth, only inches from your brain? The answer is obvious.

A study in Canada has shown that pregnant sheep with new silver amalgams have elevated levels of mercury in their fetuses within two weeks of placement of the fillings. Further studies on monkeys showed the same findings. Reports from the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe confirm many adverse effects of amalgams. On February 18, 1994, mercury fillings were banned in Sweden for children and youth 19 years of age because evidence showed them to be a trigger of autoimmune disorder.

At this time, there are many safe, alternate materials to use for dental fillings.  If you have already have amalgam fillings you should consider having them replaced with a non-toxic material.  While any dentist can remove your silver fillings, it is extremely important to use a dentist who can replace them safely.  Without proper precautions, the filling-removal process can release very high levels of mercury and be more dangerous than keeping the fillings.  In addition, realize that even with a highly qualified dentist, you will likely be exposed to some mercury during the procedure.  The best recommendation is to prepare by optimizing your health and nutrient levels before the removal.   Click HERE to search for a MERCURY-FREE DENTIST

Fish

In 2009, researchers from Harvard University and the U.S. Geological Survey reported that mercury levels in the Pacific Ocean will rise by 50 percent within the next few decades as emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources increase. In addition, the ocean’s mercury levels have risen about 30% over the last 20 years. Combined, the findings mean the Pacific Ocean will be twice as contaminated with mercury in 2050 as it was in 1995 if the emission rates continue.

As a result, we are all increasingly exposed to mercury from eating fish and other seafood. The type of mercury in fish is methylmercury.  It has been shown to alter brain development of fetuses and has been linked with learning problems and reduced IQs in children.  Big fish tend to contain the highest levels of mercury because they eat numerous mercury-containing smaller fish.

Even the conservative Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration have issued warnings about the dangers of mercury in fish and caution pregnant and breastfeeding women.  It is known that mothers transfer mercury to their newborns, with devastating consequences.

Aluminum

Aluminum has been considered a toxic metal for decades. It is advised to avoid ingesting it, to avoid cooking with aluminum cookware and to eliminate all exposure possible.  Aluminum exposure is known to cause osteoporosis, extreme nervousness, anemia, headache, decreased liver and kidney function, memory loss and speech problems. Aluminum has also been directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. People who have died from Alzheimer’s disease have been found to have up to four times the average amount of aluminum accumulated in the brain’s nerve cells.

Vaccines

Can you imagine that every day, thousands of pediatricians inject aluminum directly into children? Consider these frightening facts about the aluminum levels in vaccines:

  • The consequence of injecting aluminum-containing vaccines has never been tested to learn the long-term effects for infants and children. Only one aluminum study was ever done on infants. In this case, intravenous nutrition containing significant levels of aluminum was given to premature babies. The study demonstrated that anything over 10 micrograms (mcg) of aluminum is toxic to the kidneys and can build up in the blood leading to neurological developmental delays that became apparent usually around 18 months of age.
  • The first vaccine recommended for all infants born in the US is the Hepatitis B vaccine given right after birth in all hospitals contains 250 mcg of aluminum.
  • At the 2 month well-baby-visit, infants are given several multi-vial vaccines containing a total of 1,225 mcg of aluminum.
  • At 18 months, a fully vaccinated child has received 4,925 mcg of aluminum.

Other Sources of Aluminum

  • Antiperspirants and deodorants
  • Drinking water
  • Aluminum cookware
  • Aluminum foil
  • Over-the-counter medications –  many antacids, anti-diarrheal, pain and inflammation drugs

Lead

Lead is #2 on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) “Top 20 List” and is the cause of most of the recognized cases of pediatric heavy metal poisoning. Lead is a very soft metal that was used in pipes, drains, and soldering materials in the construction of millions of homes built before 1940.  Even though lead paint is outlawed now, it is estimated that 64 million homes in the United States still contain lead-painted walls, which can either be ingested in flakes or inhaled as a microscopic dust.

Yearly, approximately 2.5 million tons of lead is also produced for batteries, cable coverings, plumbing, ammunition and fuel additives and paint pigments. Lead is also uses in PVC plastics, x-ray shielding, crystal glass production, and pesticides.

Nearly 500,000 U.S. children under age 6 have blood lead levels greater than the CDC recommended level of 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, according to the CDC.

Lead poisoning targets the bones, brain, blood, kidneys and thyroid gland and can affect the nervous system, gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system, blood production, and reproductive system.

Arsenic

According to the ATSDR, arsenic is the most common cause of diagnosed heavy metal poisoning. Humans are exposed through environmental pollution, ingestion of insecticides, skin contact, and our worldwide water supply, which has contaminated shellfish, cod and haddock that are later eaten.

Roxarsone, an arsenic-based additive that is fed to chicken to promote growth, kill parasites and improve the color of  the meat. Commercial, non-organic chicken is a serious source of arsenic exposure for American families.

Other Sources of Arsenic:

  • Paints
  • Rat poison
  • Pesticides
  • Fungicides
  • Wood preservatives
  • Well water

Arsenic targets the blood, kidneys, central nervous system and skin.  Known arsenic toxicity consequences include cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver and prostate.

Exposure to even small levels of arsenic can cause nausea and vomiting, reduced red and white blood cell count, abnormal heart rhythm, blood vessels damage, and a sensation of “pins and needles” in hands and feet.  Chronic arsenic exposure can cause darkening of the skin and the appearance of small “corns” or “warts” on the palms, soles, and torso.

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Garlic odor on breath
  • Excessive salivation
  • Headache
  • Vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • Paralysis
  • Kidney failure
  • Progressive blindness
  • Dementia
  • Anorexia

Cadmium

A person can be exposed to cadmium through food, air, water and cigarette smoke. Smoking may be one of the most serious risks but doubling the normal daily cadmium exposure.  Second hand smoke also contains this toxic metal. It is a known cancer-causing agent that has two different mechanisms of injury: it directly damaged DNA and also disrupts a DNA repair system that helps to prevent cancer.

Cadmium is emitted into the environment from mining, industry, burning coal and household wastes.  It then binds to soil particles and dissolves in water. Fish, plants, and animals accumulate cadmium from the environment, as such there are low levels of the metal in most all foods.  Shellfish, liver, and kidney meats contain the highest levels of cadmium.

Low levels of cadmium exposure contribute to kidney disease, lung damage and fragile bones. Animal studies also suggest that it may lead to liver disease, high blood pressure, and nerve or brain damage.

Protecting the Body From Heavy Metals

Since all human beings are exposed to various levels of heavy metals, promoting healthy detoxification is imperative.  Nutritional supplements can help. For example, chlorella, a single-celled organism that has been used for many years, has been shown to flush mercury from the body. In research, mice fed methylmercury were given chlorella, and the amount of methylmercury excreted in their urine and feces was approximately twice the amount excreted by mice not treated with chlorella. Another alternative is eating fresh cilantro is known to help the body eliminate heavy metals.If the human body is functioning properly, it can eliminate small, normal exposures.  However, larger or more chronic metal exposures can actually halt the body’s natural defenses.  In this case, more intensive treatments are necessary.

If you or a family member seems to be suffering with heavy metal toxicity, find a health care provider who will perform the proper tests to determine if indeed metal poisoning as occurred.  Only then can the proper care be given to restore health.