You are exposed to toxic metals every day through food, water and air. The most common toxic metal exposures we see in Vancouver are mercury, lead and arsenic. Your specific exposure to these metals depends on where you work because a factory or garage will have higher levels than an office. Also what you eat matters. Big migratory fish like tuna, swordfish and marlin have high levels of mercury and other toxins so are best to eat rarely, or not at all. Finally, how you eliminate these toxic metals depends on your overall health and individual genetics.
What’s the difference between toxic and heavy metals?
You may be more familiar with the toxic metals, such as mercury and lead, being referred to as heavy metals. Most heavy metals are toxic to the body. However, iron is a heavy metal, which you require to carry oxygen in your blood so it is essential to you. Aluminum is toxic to your brain, nervous system, and gut, but it is not a heavy metal. You know from holding an aluminum can that it is quite light. To encompass the heavy metals and lighter toxic metals like aluminum, we shall refer to all of these metals as toxic metals.
Why are these metals toxic to us?
Your body is a complicated clockwork of biochemical reactions which requires over 20 essential minerals (such as magnesium, zinc, and selenium). These minerals are like little gears. Toxic metals will displace them, binding up the delicate clockwork of your body. For example, acute lead toxicity bumps iron off of your red blood cells and decreases your ability to carry oxygen from your lungs to your tissues. The result is you suffocate on a cellular level.
However, the major problem we face is not acute metal toxicity. All of our bodies now have an increasing burden of chronic toxic metal exposure that we accumulate over a lifetime. We absorb these toxic metals from the ever-polluted environment.
Does everyone have a Toxic Metal problem?
Sorry to say, but every one of us has been exposed to toxic metals. Toxic metals are in our air, water and food, and for those of you with amalgam fillings, you have mercury in your mouth and coats your digestive tract. However, it is your individual level of exposure to these metals and how your own body is able to eliminate them that determines if these toxic metals are a health problem for you. Not everyone has metal toxicity; however, most of us could benefit from periodically clearing out toxic metals from our body.
What are the key symptoms of chronic Toxic Metal accumulation?
Toxic metals can cause many symptoms and contribute to or cause many health conditions. Here are the most common ones that I recommend you test for toxic metals in your body:
- Weak and aching muscles
- Muscle twitching,
- Poor mental function
- Memory loss
- Hair loss
- Chronic headaches
Conditions that may be caused by or worsened by Toxic Metals:
Heart disease, arrhythmia, poor immune function, chronic yeast infections, chronic sinus infections, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and autoimmune diseases (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease).
Testing for Toxic Metals
The standard medical test for toxic metals is a blood test. Blood tests only show acute exposure and do not reflect what amounts may be accumulated in your body. The accumulated levels of toxic metals are what cause chronic symptoms and conditions because they cause ongoing interference and sometimes damage in the body. To test for accumulated levels of toxic metals a urine test is best. These urine tests are available at Empower Health.
Chelation is the process of removing toxic metals from the body. The process is gradual and optimally includes chelating agents, natural supports, and targeted nutrition over the course of months. Toxic metals typically accumulate over years and decades so their safe removal can take months.
The benefits of chelating toxic metal burdens in my patients have been dramatic for some. We have seen a specific patient with 3 years of daily severe migraines stop completely. We’ve seen another patient with nearly weekly yeast infections stop. Also, we have seen anxiety, chronic digestive pains, chronic fatigue and nerve pains improve and resolve with the removal of toxic metals.
To find out if you have a toxic metal burden and what is the best way for you to remove it, come see Dr. Patrick at Empower Health.