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, Chelation or removing toxic metals from your body 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 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
Symptoms of Chronic Toxic Metal Accumulation:
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 Metal Accumulation
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.
The Role of Chelation in Removing Toxic Metals from the Bod
Chelation is a well-established procedure, based on solid biochemical principles, that aids in the removal of toxic metals from the body. It’s a complex yet safe and gradual process, employing chelating agents, supportive natural remedies, and targeted nutrition over a prolonged period (often 3-9 months).
How Does Chelation Work?
Chelating agents, either taken orally or administered intravenously, have a particular affinity for toxic metals in the body. They bind with these metals to form a compound that can be excreted, primarily through urine. This process helps to pull out toxic metals that have been accumulated in the body over time.
The key to effective chelation therapy is the incremental and monitored application of the chelating agents. This allows the body to safely process and eliminate the toxic metals without overburdening the system.
Natural Supports and Targeted Nutrition
While chelation removes toxic metals, it’s also essential to support the body’s natural detoxification pathways and replenish necessary nutrients. This can include liver support through botanical medicines, antioxidant supplementation, and ensuring a diet rich in necessary minerals. Since chelating agents can sometimes remove beneficial minerals, these nutritional interventions are critical to maintain overall health during the detoxification process.
Safety and Efficacy of Chelation
Chelation therapy, when done correctly and under the guidance of an experienced Naturopathic Doctor, is generally safe with few side effects. It’s essential to be monitored during treatment to ensure a healthy response to the therapy.
The efficacy of chelation is remarkable. We’ve seen patients experience significant improvement and, in some cases, complete resolution of chronic symptoms, including migraines, yeast infections, anxiety, chronic digestive pains, and fatigue. It’s important to note, however, that results can vary based on individual health profiles and the extent of toxic metal accumulation.
Chelation isn’t a quick fix, but a long-term commitment to better health. It’s an investment in your well-being that can yield substantial returns over time. If you suspect you have a toxic metal burden and are interested in exploring chelation as a method for removing toxic metals from your body, we recommend you consult with a Naturopathic Doctor who can guide you through the process. At Empower Health, Naturopathic Doctors and Naturopathic Interns are available to assess your needs and guide you on your journey towards a toxic-metal-free life.
To determine if you have a toxic metal burden and discover the most effective method for its removal, we invite you to visit the esteemed Naturopathic Team at Empower Health. Supervised by Dr. Caleb and Dr. Giselle, who oversee the Naturopathic Medical Students, our experts are here to assist you. Learn about our reduced-cost Integrative Health Assessment and take the first step towards optimal well-being.