Toxic Heavy Metal Exposure
Test, Don’t Guess
Hair is one of the tissues the body deposits metals in after exposure, and it’s non-invasive to test. The average hair sample represents 3 months of hair growth and metals elimination, so if you do a hair tissue mineral analysis and heavy metals are elevated, it’s good to repeat it 3 months later to monitor progress if you’re trying to detox.
The Dirty Eight
I’d like to go through the top 8 heavy metals found in our bodies, and where you most commonly come in contact with them. All except nickel are neurotoxins and they can be a root cause of neurologic illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue, and even Peripheral Neuropathy.
- Mercury is found in dental amalgams (fillings), fish, seafood, high fructose corn syrup, vaccines, coal and hydroelectric power plant emissions, fossil fuels, mining and paper mills. It gets in the air then it settles in lakes, streams, ocean, and our water supply. As I mentioned in a previous article, my health improved a lot once I had all my dental mercury properly removed.
- Aluminum is commonly found in drinking water, cookware and utensils, coffee pots, aluminum cans and foil, deodorant, antacids, infant formulas, processed cheeses, table salt, baking powders (and baked goods), bleached flour, cake mixes, pickled foods, and non-dairy creamers. Aluminum can also show up high on hair testing when dental work has recently been done. Replace your aluminum pans with porcelain finish, enamel, glass or cast iron. Certain types of stainless steel used in cookware contain nickel, which you want to avoid.
- If you’ve read many murder mysteries, then you’ve probably heard of arsenic being used as a poison. Arsenic is in drinking water, rice, chicken, infant formula, treated wood and old plastic toys.
- There is no safe level of lead exposure. Lead is found in drinking water, soil, paint, cosmetics, some herbal and Ayurvedic remedies, batteries, bullets, solder, lead-glazed pottery, window blinds, crafts and old furniture.
- If you are a sushi lover, then it’s a good idea to have your Cadmium levels checked with HTMA. Nori seaweed, the wrap around sushi rolls, is high in cadmium. Other sources include pesticides used on produce, rice from China, bolts and nuts, batteries and industrial pollution. This is why you choose organic produce over conventionally grown, so you can bypass the pesticides and heavy metals and still get the nutrients you need from the fruits and vegetables.
- Do you use dry shampoo? One young lady tested very high in uranium, and the source was her dry shampoo. Uranium is also found in drinking water, root vegetables, and nuclear testing residue in the soil. Yet another good reason to eat organic produce and drink filtered water.
- Tin is one of the metals used in dental amalgams and can register very high after a visit to the dentist. It’s also found in cans, rodent poisons, and dyes.
- Nickel is everywhere, from snaps on baby clothing to drinks and foods like chocolate and nuts; from cigarettes to diesel fumes. It’s in batteries, jewelry and dental materials. Nickel makes the immune system hypersensitive, so it overreacts and causes allergies, sensitivities and rashes to a variety of foods and other substances.
Heavy Metal Detox
Once you know you’ve been exposed and your levels are high, there are a lot of options to support healthy detox and ongoing elimination of heavy metals. When my teeth were being repaired and I realized heavy metals were an issue for me, I created my own detox program from alpha lipoic acid (ALA), bentonite clay, an organic green powder with chlorella, a lot of organic leafy greens and fiber in my diet, infrared sauna, sweating, exercise (regular walking), and plenty of good quality water. Other good additions include S-Acetyl Glutathione, NAC, probiotics and cilantro.