Largely unknown until recently, heavy metals are part of our daily lives, present in everything from beauty products to the foods that we consume. With a wide range of signs and symptoms including everything from headaches to neurological disorders, it is important that we educated ourselves on the risks and what we can do to protect ourselves against heavy metal poisoning!
Common Signs and Symptoms
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish symptoms of heavy metal poisoning from those of any number of other health conditions including fibromyalgia, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome or liver and kidney disease.
If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms it is recommended that you speak with a medical professional to have a hair mineral analysis test completed. This test will measure the levels of the various toxic heavy metals that are currently present in your body, allowing your doctor to either confirm or eliminate a diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning.
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Alcohol intolerance
- Allergies (both food related sensitivities and environmental)
- Anxiety or feelings of being irritable
- Black spots along the gums
- Brain fog
- Chronic unexplained pain
- Coated tongue
- Cold hands and feet
- Colds and flus (frequently and hard to shake)
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Digestive issues
- Extreme fatigue
- Inability to lose weight
- Intolerance to medications and/or vitamins
- Loss of memory and forgetfulness
- Low body temperature
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Mood swings
- Muscle tics, twitches or tremors
- Night sweats
- Sensitive teeth
- Sensitivity to scents (including tobacco smoke, perfumes, paint fumes and chemical odors)
- Sore or receding gums
- Tinging in the extremities
- Unsteady gait
Where Are We Being Exposed to These Metals?
The first step to protecting ourselves is to be aware of where we are being exposed to the most common of the heavy metals: aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury. While some of these sources are commonly known, others may surprise you.
Although aluminum is not technically a heavy metal, heavy exposure to this metal poses a serious risk to your health, like that of the other metals listed. Excessive exposure to aluminum has been connected with both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Aluminum is found in: baby formula, deodorants, over the counter and prescription antacids, aluminum pots and pans, shampoo and skin creams.
Cadmium exposure carries serious implications for the brain as well as the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients such as iron, zinc and calcium. Deficiencies in these nutrients can result in bone and immune system disorders. Sources of Cadmium include: automobile seat covers, black rubber, burned motor oil, ceramics, cigarettes, evaporated milk, fertilizers, floor coverings, fungicides, furniture, white flour and silver polish.
Lead poisoning is linked to a number of different ailments including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, learning disabilities, seizure disorders, hyperactivity and aggression. It can be found in: canned food, cigarette smoke, colored, glossy newsprint, some ceramic dishes, lead paint in older homes, lead water pipes in older buildings, refined chocolate and vehicle emissions.
Mercury is one of the better known heavy metals that you need to be aware of. It is connected with neurological, psychological and immunological disorders, including diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been connected to heart arrhythmias, headaches, blurred vision and weakness. Sources of mercury include: dental fillings and some immunizations.
There are several effective ways to detoxify your body and help to lower the level of these heavy metals within your system. Some great steps that you can take include drinking a significant amount of purified water, getting plenty of sleep and cleaning the body regularly of dead skin cells. Both bentonite clay baths and infrared saunas have also been found to be beneficial.
A combination of education, efforts to eliminate exposure and detoxification practices will help you to keep yourself, and your family, safe and healthy!
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