Heavy metals are all around us. From business industries to the natural environment, these metals are prevalent in our surroundings. You will even find heavy metals in our bodies, some of which act as essential nutrients for our bodies. However, metals like zinc, iron, copper, and others can also be harmful to our health when there are excessive quantities.
The heavy metals enter our bodies through food, air, water, and other contaminated sources. For example, our lunchboxes or water bottles may inadvertently leak metals into the foods and water that we consume. When this exposure to heavy metals persists over time, we increase the risk of heavy metal poisoning. In toxic amounts, our tissues absorb too many heavy metals, resulting in chronic conditions and debilitating symptoms.
How to test for heavy metals in the body is very simple. It’s essentially a urine test. With heavy metal testing kits, you can check your first morning urine and examine for metal toxicity. There may be additional testing methods, such as hair analysis, blood tests, x-rays, and electrocardiograms. However, the at-home testing kits are easier, faster, and less invasive. Plus, you’ll know instantly about the status of heavy metals in your body.
Do you want to learn more about the effects of heavy metal in the body? Here is more information about the toxicity, the symptoms, and how to detox heavy metal from the body:
Heavy metal poisoning symptoms
Some symptoms of too much heavy metals in your body are immediately noticeable. Nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are common heavy metal poisoning symptoms. In addition, you may experience chills, physical weakness, shortness of breath, along with a tingling in the hands or feet.
There are more individualized symptoms of toxicity relating to specific metals. For example, mercury poisoning can cause muscle weakness, lack of coordination, speech and hearing troubles, and nerve damage in the hands. Likewise, lead poisoning can involve constipation, sleep problems, headaches, fatigue, anemia, and irritability.
The range of heavy metal poisoning symptoms is very wide, so many people are unaware that they have been impacted by the toxicity. ‘Toxicity’ may sound like an extreme word, but all it means is that the rate of heavy metals in the body has exceeded the recommended allowance. There’s a spectrum of toxicity. While small amounts of heavy metals may not impair your health outright, your bodily systems are still compromised by the poisoning.
Long-term effects of heavy metals in the body
If left untreated, heavy metals will continue to build up in your body at an unhealthy level. They accumulate in your vital organs and glands, which can slowly cause chronic functioning issues. Heavy metals are believed to accumulate around areas such as the heart, brain, kidneys, bone, liver, and others. Your health will be significantly impacted if the heavy metal toxicity is not removed.
The long-term effects of heavy metals in the body include:
- Chronic pain
- Increased irritability
- Memory issues
- Changes in vision or hearing
Heavy metal toxicity can be difficult to diagnose since their long-term effects mimic other illnesses, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. A patient may not even realize they have heavy metal poisoning, so their treatments won’t address the underlying cause. The best confirmation is to perform an at-home heavy metal test, which will determine any sort of toxicity in your body. The results will either give you peace of mind or prompt you to take medical action.
What causes heavy metal poisoning?
There are some common culprits for heavy metal poisoning. The most frequently found heavy metals in the body include aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Other metals that could be discovered at toxic levels consist of cobalt, copper, chromium, iron, nickel, silver, thallium, and zinc.
Once you have performed the heavy metal testing, you will learn about the toxicity levels in your body. Some of these results may come as a surprise, leaving you puzzled about how certain metals entered your body. Your next step is to understand the source of where these metals came from. Did the heavy metals enter your body through a regular habit, or was it initiated by a recent change to your daily routine?
Here are some common sources of heavy metal toxicity:
- Any insecticides, pesticides, or herbicides
- Using certain types of cosmetics or hair dyes
- Contaminated seafood or algae
- Polluted water sources
In addition, there may be an increased risk of heavy metal poisoning based on where you live or work. For instance, working near an industrial zone or hazardous waste site can lead to a higher exposure of heavy metals. Similarly, living near an area with large amounts of rock, water, or soil is also an influential factor. Your long-term environment plays a big role in heavy metal toxicity.
How to detox heavy metals from body
A heavy metal detox is designed to find and remove excess heavy metals. This can involve medications such as dimercaprol or penicillamine. The detox may also recommend certain dietary changes, using foods and nutritional supplements to move heavy metals out of the body.
A great place to start the heavy metal detox is by managing your diet thoughtfully. You may not be aware that some of the most popular foods are high in heavy metals. For example, lots of seafoods have excessive amounts of mercury, especially saltwater species like fish. Other foods with heavy metals include brown rice (which contain arsenic), chocolate (which contain cadmium), and unfiltered water (which contain lead).
Fortunately, there are numerous foods that can effectively flush the toxicity from your body. Some of the best heavy metal detox foods and drinks include:
- Green tea
- Lemon water
In addition, your detox should include cutting back on alcoholic beverages, which are notorious for transferring heavy metals into your body. Similarly, both cigarettes and electronic cigarettes will expose users to toxic metals. If you are a regular drinker or smoker, consider cutting back on your habit to decrease the heavy metal toxicity. With care and discipline, your heavy metal detox will ultimately be successful!