According to the National Library of Medicine (NIH), “although several adverse health effects of heavy metals have been known for a long time, exposure to heavy metal continues, and is even increasing in some parts of the world¹.” The problem of heavy metal exposure is not a new issue. It has existed since the start of industrialization in the late 1800s when machinery and manufacturing replaced hand labor. While this period introduced new railways, factories, vehicles, and barbed wire to benefit the American economy, it also invited unwanted toxins into the air of the environment.
During this time, environmental toxins were not as prevalent, therefore it was not recognized as a health threat and very little research had been thoroughly conducted to discover its potential hazards. It was not until doctors noticed a strange pattern of coal miners and other industrial workers coming down with new diseases (such as polio, diphtheria, smallpox, tuberculosis, influenza, and pneumonia) that led to more research developments. As of today, heavy metals such as mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, phosphorus, arsenic, coal, thallium among many others are more widespread. Coincidentally, common conditions such as cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease, infertility, and cognitive development problems (such as Alzheimer’s, Autism, and ADHD) also seem to be at an all-time high.
Even though people are now more aware of the issue, heavy metal toxicity is an invisible entity that many do not realize is in their body until they experience a variety of symptoms such as mood swings, digestive issues, night sweats, skin problems and parasites. It is possible for more than one metal to corrupt the human body; therefore, it is recommended that patients stay vigilant on the different side effects of each metal and receive a diagnostic test to help the practitioner plan out a proper detoxification treatment plan. Hence, it is important for one to know the side effects of different heavy metals in order to be aware of it, effectively treat it and learn what could be done to prevent it in the future. Listed below are some of the most common metal toxins found in people and their side effects.
Aluminum is known to be the most widespread metal on earth with about 8% of it making up the Earth’s core mass and the third most common chemical element on the planet². It can be found in water, cosmetics, cookware, and medicine and it is also a key metal used by engineers in the production of automobiles, airplanes, trains, cell phones and other daily products. While small doses of exposure to this metal is not harmful, high levels of it can result in serious health complications. Some major indications include:
- Muscle Weakness
- Speech Problems
- Joint Pain
- Impaired iron absorption
Mercury is generally found within the earth’s rock and coal deposits. It is often used by dental hygienists during teeth cleanings or a root canal procedure. Because it is prevalent within the earth’s rock, this chemical can also be found in the ocean and seeps into the fish that we consume. This is a very common metal that affects the lungs, kidneys, brain, and skin if too much is ingested. Examples of obvious mercury symptoms include:
- Nerve damage
- Vision changes
- Lack of coordination
- Hearing and Speech difficulties
While being an extremely useful metal, it is also extremely dangerous to humans. Along with aluminum, lead was one of the major metals used during industrialization and was used in a variety of products such as paint, cosmetics, and pipes. Eventually, 20th century scientific advancements revealed its dangerous effects on humans, and its health concerns led to the ban of lead-based paint in 1978. Serious health risks that are caused by lead include:
- Memory Loss
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep Problems
- Fertility Issues
Arsenic is used in the production of pesticides to help keep crops and farms protected from bacteria. The World Health Organization (WHO) explained that “people are exposed to elevated levels of inorganic arsenic through drinking contaminated water, using contaminated water in food preparation and irrigation of food crops, industrial processes, eating contaminated food, and smoking tobacco³.” Large amounts of arsenic consumed at a rapid rate can instantly kill an individual, meanwhile smaller amounts ingested over a long period of time can cause prolonged death and the following symptoms:
- Skin Lesions
- Irregular Heartbeats
- Muscle Cramps
Treatment for Heavy Metal Toxicity
When it comes to heavy metal toxicity, conventional doctors will usually prescribe medications that either cover up the symptom or irritate the infected area, thus causing inflammation and making the condition worse. At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we treat the root cause of the issue by offering a variety of detox treatments such as chelation, ozone therapies, supplement options, and dietary plans to cleanse the body and eliminate all symptoms. If you are suffering with heavy metal toxicity or wish to learn more about our treatment methods, please call to schedule an appointment at 727-466-6789 or contact us online.