Exposure to toxic heavy metals is considered a contributing factor, if not a root cause, of symptoms such as low energy, mood disturbances and cognitive changes. Heavy metals first enter the bloodstream through exposure to farmed fish, contaminated water, dental fillings, household products, etc. These metals then travel throughout your body and enter the cells of various tissues and organs, where they can remain stored for years!
Heavy Metal Dangers: Signs of Heavy Metal Poisoning
What exactly are “heavy metals”? Heavy metals are elements that can be toxic and very dangerous, even at low concentrations. Heavy metals that can cause toxicity (or “poisoning”) include:
- – Mercury
- – Arsenic
- – Cadmium
- – Aluminum
- – Nickel
- – Uranium
- – Thallium
- – Lead
- – Other definitions include manganese, iron, lithium, zinc, copper.
Heavy metal poisoning leads to a number of health problems caused by exposure to environmental metals that accumulate in the body. Toxic metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury are ubiquitous, have no beneficial role in human homeostasis and contribute to chronic non-communicable diseases.
Researchers have identified that significant exposure to at least 23 different environmental metals (called “heavy metals”) can contribute to acute or chronic toxicity. These metals are described as heavy because they stay in the body, especially in fat cells.
They are difficult to eliminate, which makes them similar to fat-soluble toxins. Body fat tries to protect organs by trapping certain substances, including certain metals, in them, causing them to persist. This is one reason why weight loss can sometimes lead to heavy metal detoxification, as fat cells shrink and release dormant toxins.
There is virtually no way to totally avoid exposure to heavy metals, since metals are natural elements found all over the world in food, water and soil. Metals in the environment are problematic because over time they can build up in body tissues, often without the affected person realizing it.
Heavy metal toxicity can lead to deterioration or reduction of central mental and nervous functions, as well as damage to vital organs such as the liver, heart, endocrine glands and kidneys.
Long-term exposure to heavy metals can lead to physical, muscular and neurological degenerative processes. When severe, symptoms of heavy metal poisoning can even mimic symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Because heavy metal poisoning symptoms mimic those associated with natural aging (such as memory loss and increased fatigue), many people blame natural aging as the cause of their emerging symptoms, not realizing that exposure to heavy metals is a major contributing factor.
What are the signs and symptoms of heavy metal poisoning?
The most common signs of heavy metal poisoning are:
- – Chronic fatigue
- – Autoimmune diseases, including Lyme disease
- – Poor recovery after physical exercise and weakness
- – Skin irritation
- – Neurological disorders
- – Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, learning difficulties and failing memory
- – Depression, manic depression and/or anxiety
- – Dementia
- – Insomnia
- – Digestive problems, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- – Chronic pain, such as that associated with fibromyalgia
- – Tremors
- – Impaired motor control, hearing, speech, vision and gait
- – Anemia
- – An increased risk of heart attack
Where do heavy metals come from?
Mercury poisoning is one of the most common types of heavy metal poisoning. Almost every person in the world has at least traces of mercury in their body. Why ? Some of the factors that can cause mercury poisoning (and other types of heavy metal toxicity) include:
– Exposure to environmental pollutants, such as car exhaust, air pollution, food contaminants, cigarette smoke.
– Having metal amalgam dental fillings (silver fillings slowly release mercury into the body).
– Eating a poor quality diet (for example, eating farmed fish that contains high levels of mercury). The most common way to be exposed to mercury is by consuming fish that contain heavy metals that are dangerous to your health, such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tuna. A diet that includes processed foods, especially those grown in metal-rich soil.
– Drinking water contaminated with trace metals (such as aluminum).
– From birth (heavy metals can be transmitted in utero from the mother to her offspring).
– Exposure to or use of household substances containing mercury, such as adhesives, air conditioning filters, cosmetics, fabric softeners, markers, floor waxes and varnishes, and talc.
– To tattoo.
– Exposure to substances containing lead, such as canned foods, toothpaste, old paints, insecticides, ceramics and certain pottery, and welded pipes.
– Use or exposure to other household items, such as antiperspirants, plastic toys, antacids, aluminum foil, some metal pots and pans, coins, and some cosmetics .
Mercury: The Most Dangerous Of The Bunch
In large quantities, mercury is one of the deadliest metals in existence. Some studies have shown that when nerves are exposed to mercury, the myelin sheath (the fatty substance that surrounds the axon of some nerve cells and helps in the flow of electrical impulses) can be severely damaged, interfering with the how nerves communicate.
What are the warning signs and side effects associated with mercury poisoning?
These include central nervous system changes, irritability, fatigue, behavioral changes, tremors, headaches, hearing problems, skin damage, and cognitive loss.
Eliminate heavy metals from the body
Following a heavy metal detox program is one of the best ways to start clearing the symptoms. Be aware, however, that while you are working to get rid of metal poisoning, you may actually notice that some symptoms get worse before they get better. Potential symptoms of heavy metal detox can include fatigue, loss of appetite, and digestive issues.
What foods can help remove heavy metals from the body?
Foods to include in a heavy metal detox are leafy green vegetables, other non-starchy vegetables, herbs, spices, seaweed and other superfoods, and bone broth. Detox treatments and certain supplements can also be incorporated into a natural heavy metal detox regimen to help support your brain, nervous system, liver, and other vital organs.