Heavy Metal Poisoning
Heavy metals: an ever increasing threat in our modern world
Heavy metal poisoning: ever heard of it? You probably have heard little about it if you get most of your info from the main stream media. It’s true that some news reports do air on the subject, but overall this subject is ignored in favor of updates on the latest celebrity sex tape. This is unfortunate. There can be no doubt in the eyes of anyone informed on this subject that the gradual poisoning of people living in America with toxic metals is a serious and sometimes devastating problem.
Unlike chemicals (another health threat to the modern human), toxic metals do not degrade. They don’t break down. That’s because once inside the body the molecular bonds of man made chemicals such as pesticides will eventually break down into their basic atomic components. These poisons will then be rendered harmless, but toxic metals are atoms or basic elements. They are not complex molecules so there is nothing for them to break down into. Because of the increasing demand in the past century for toxic metals like mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, uranium, cadmium, nickel, tungsten and others, these have been aggressively mined throughout the Earth. They are also released when fossil fuels are burned. They have made their way into our bodies via food supply, air, and water.
Getting sicker quicker because of toxic heavy metals
Basically, human beings living in industrialized countries are absorbing a much greater diversity and concentration of toxic metals into their bodies than ever before. This is one of the issues making people of our generation sicker than our previously healthy and robust grandparents and great grandparents. As mentioned, once heavy metals are introduced into the environment, they don’t go away. They just keep getting recycled in our environment and our bodies in increasing amounts. The simple truth is that to protect your health and your family’s health you need to learn how to avoid cumulative heavy metal poisoning.
You may think that you are protecting yourself and your family if you eat organic, take high quality nutritional supplements, and live a natural lifestyle. This is not always the case. Organic foods, some superfoods, and certain fresh juices can be quite high in various dangerous heavy metals. The interesting work done by Mike Adam’s, the “Health Ranger”, has proven this. He created a forensic food laboratory for testing many foods and products we consume. The results are alarming!
Toxic metals like the ones mentioned above wreck health in more ways than I could begin to discuss here. They do so primarily by destroying enzymes in the body. Enzymes are the work force in the body. Toxic metals often times displace healthful minerals like zinc, selenium, calcium in the enzymes, thus “killing” the enzymes for all practical purposes. By damaging so many enzymes and throwing a monkey wrench in normal biochemistry, heavy metals can cause or contribute to just about any diagnosed disease. They are linked with cancer, degenerative brain and nerves diseases, headaches, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, severe GI distress, adult mood disorders and suicidal depression, Autism, ADD and ADHD, and many other life damaging conditions. Or they may just cause you to suffer a hodgepodge collection of symptoms that do not fit into any particular diagnosis. (Not yet anyway!)
Heavy metal poisoning: an often unrecognized condition
This could cause you to go from doctor to doctor looking for that elusive “diagnosis”. True, there is a diagnostic code for poisoning by each individual toxic metal, but what if you are suffering from a gradual accumulation over many years from a plethora of various toxic metals? What if you have no history of “known exposures” that a doctor could zero in on? What if you got this mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and other toxic metal poisoning just from eating a “typical” American diet, or from other typical exposures. What if your symptoms are too bizarre and diverse to really fit one particular diagnosis? This is sadly the condition many are in. Keep in mind that the nature of heavy metal accumulation is often slow and insidious. It can happen over many years, or even decades, and it can wreck your health once it occurs.
You do not have to be exposed to a specific event to get poisoned by heavy metals, as if getting into some unfortunate lab accident like a super villain in a comic book! All you really have to do is eat, drink, breath, and do all the other normal things American’s do. In the last few years there has been more attention to this subject given by individuals like Doctor Mehmet Oz, and others. They have revealed the risks of arsenic in apple juice and brown rice, mercury in fish, nickel in Kale and so forth. As private individuals and media outlets do more and more food testing the results are becoming alarming! There are more toxic metals of all kinds in our food than anyone imagined! Our foods are being grown in soil that contains heavy metals. They are in irrigation water, and being pumped into the air by nearby factories. Much of it ends up in all our waterways and ultimately the oceans. This is our new 21st century reality.
Believe me when I tell you that the tests that these practitioners and activists are doing and the occasional report that makes it to the public eye are just scratching the surface of this problem. In my view, these are like little bits of information that occasionally make it onto our radar screen of daily consciousness, but they don’t necessarily let one grasp the bigger picture of this issue. This is not just an issue that affects some other person or poor slob. This is a serious issue affecting all our health. It is making everyday people sick. People like you and I.
How to protect yourself
So what can we do? You probably know if you have read previous articles I have written on this subject that I do not believe in living in fear. It runs the gamut from being in dread to the other extreme of completely burying our head in the sand and pretending the problem will go away. Alarming as it may seem, there is a balanced, middle ground approach to this issue. A two-pronged approach is our best bet for both prevention and recovery from heavy metal poisoning.
The first is avoidance! Make sure that you do all that you reasonably can do to avoid the intake of toxic metals in your diet, water, environment, and food (more info forthcoming on that subject.) Keep in mind that there are many foods being sold in the U.S. that we eat daily that would be illegal in other countries due to the amount of toxic metals in them, I.E. canned tuna/mercury content. Even when our regulatory agencies do test and find toxic metals above their stated acceptable levels, the most likely outcome will be inaction. Bottom line: It’s mostly up to you to protect yourself and your family. Natural Health Sciences of Arizona is committed to educating individuals on how to eat healthily, and avoid heavy metals in their diet.
The second thing to consider in an increasingly metal poisoned world is the importance of detoxification. To have a balanced view of this subject, it is valuable to keep in mind that many people will be able to tolerate this present situation and remain relatively healthy. Human beings are pretty robust. The deciding factor often times boils down to an individual’s ability to detoxify and excrete these harmful toxic metals at a pace about equivalent to how much is being taken in. This is something that varies widely among individuals. If you do not have a strong biochemical detoxification system, you may in all reality become a statistic of toxic metal poisoning and end up on the treadmill that takes you from doctor to doctor trying to figure out why you feel so awful!
How we get rid of heavy metals
Heavy metals primarily exit your body through the bowel. Toxic metals go through a process called Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification. In this process your liver processes these metals and excretes them in a bound form into the bile to be dumped into the intestine for elimination. This process can fortunately be improved and sped up. Other avenues for toxic metals to exit the body are through chelation therapies or sweating them out. Chelators bind directly to toxic metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury and pull them out into the systemic circulation to be eliminated by the kidneys and urine. There are also ways to increase natural excretion through the skin.
Some of the primary ways that we assist our clients to detoxify cumulative stores of toxic metals are homeopathy combined with laser, and ozone sauna for sweating them out (see Laser Energetic Detoxification, and the Oxygen Therapies pages on this site.) Liposomal glutathione can assist every cell in the body to conjugate and excrete toxic metals.
Supporting normal liver detoxification and bile flow is important since as stated, this is the route that toxic metals exit the body. Using products like chlorella and powdered Zeolite helps to bind and sequester these toxic metals secreted from liver into the bile duct, and then into the gut. These products aren’t absorbed. They stay in the gut and prevent re-absorption by functioning like magnets that draw in positively charged heavy metal ions. Once the heavy metals your body is trying to get rid of are bound to these binders, they pass out into the toilet where they belong. Making sure that the bowels are moving is also important in this process.
There is no cookie cutter method to assist toxic metal detoxification that works perfectly for everyone. This is why we spend hours with individual clients before making recommendations for natural health protocols. Heavy metal detoxification often is an important component of these holistic protocols, simply because the modern decline in health so often has this as a root cause.
After the storm: what to do after you recover from heavy metal poisoning
In closing here, I just want to state that I am someone who has both recovered from a diagnosed condition of severe toxic metal poisoning, and who also works as a traditional naturopath practitioner helping others to do so. One word of advice is that you shouldn’t become complacent after getting well. It’s true, getting your health back can be a joyous experience. To wake up every day feeling good and with a feeling of well being that you worked hard to attain can be amazing. But once anyone recovers their health after eliminating toxic metal poisoning, they should never stop doing something for heavy metal elimination. In other words, don‘t stick your victory flag in the ground and go back to a “normal life” as soon as you can. Sure, enjoy the fruit of your labor, but be conscientious of avoiding foods high in toxic metals.
Also follow a strategy of A.B.C.D.E. “Always Be Chelating and Detoxing Everyday.” Once you learn how to do simple and easy detoxification therapies, you will want to do some maintenance after getting well. It’s really not hard, expensive, or time consuming. It can become a daily habit, like brushing your teeth. It can also have profound payoffs for future health.
A future article will show what maintenance detoxification and chelation therapies to prevent heavy metal poisoning might look like for you. Keep in mind that individual biochemistry differs greatly as previously stated. If you became poisoned with heavy metals in the past, it could very well happen again. You have a slow excretion process and very likely this is your basic nature. Respect it. Protect yourself from the dangers of our modern toxic world.
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