- Chelation Therapy for Metal Poisoning
- Flushing Out Lead, Metals With Chelation Therapy
- What Should You Eat To Start Your Heavy Metal Detox?
- Cysteine-Rich Foods
- Natural Chelators
- Foods Can Support the Body in Detoxing Heavy Metals
- Chelation/Heavy Metal Detox IV Therapy
- Benefits of IV Chelation Therapy at LotusRain Naturopathic Clinic in San Diego
- Conditions benefitting from Chelation Therapy
- IV Chelation at LotusRain Naturopathic Clinic
- How to Detox Heavy Metals (& Why You Should)
- Step 1: Mobilize
- Step 2: Bind and Eliminate
- Heavy Metal Blood Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
Chelation Therapy for Metal Poisoning
When metals lead, mercury, iron, and arsenic build up in your body, they can be toxic. Chelation therapy is a treatment that uses medicine to remove these metals so they don't make you sick.
Some alternative health care providers also use it to treat heart disease, autism, and Alzheimer's disease. But there's very little evidence it works for those conditions. In fact, chelation therapy can cause serious side effects — including death — especially if it's used in the wrong way.
Chelation therapy uses special drugs that bind to metals in your blood. You get the chelating medicine through an intravenous (IV) tube in your arm. It’s also available in pill form. Once the drug has attached to the metal, your body removes them both through your pee.
Metals that can be removed with chelation therapy include lead, mercury, and arsenic. Before you get this treatment, your doctor will do a blood test to make sure you have metal poisoning.
Some natural health care providers and supplement companies claim they use chelation therapy to reduce symptoms of autism, Alzheimer's disease, or heart disease. Yet this treatment is only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat metal poisoning.
Here's what the research shows regarding chelation treatment for these three conditions:
Autism. The use of chelation therapy to treat this condition is the idea that autism is caused by mercury in childhood vaccines. Studies have proven this idea to be false. But some health care providers also believe that removing metals from the body can improve autism symptoms.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there’s no evidence that chelation is an effective treatment for autism, and it may be dangerous. One child with the condition died after having this treatment. The AAP doesn't recommend using chelation therapy for autism, except in a clinical trial.
Alzheimer's Disease. In patients who have this, abnormal proteins called tau and beta amyloid build up in the brain and damage it. To date, no treatment can stop or reverse this disease.
Some researchers think that a buildup of metals copper, iron, and zinc might also play a role in Alzheimer's disease. If this is true, chelation therapy might have a place in treating it. So far, there's no evidence that it works.
Heart Disease. You get this when fatty deposits called plaques form in your arteries. These substances cause your blood vessels to narrow.
They also make them less flexible, so less blood can flow through them. Artery plaques contain calcium. The chelating drug disodium EDTA binds to this mineral.
The idea is that chelation therapy clears it the blood vessels. It removes plaques, too.
In 2002, the National Institutes of Health did a big study on chelation therapy, called TACT. It found that this treatment somewhat reduced the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other heart problems.
But it only worked in people with diabetes. The study didn't find enough proof that it treats heart disease. And so far, the FDA hasn't approved this treatment for the condition.
A new study called TACT2 may yield more information.
When chelation therapy is used the right way and for the right reason, it can be safe. The most common side effect is burning in the area where you get the IV. You might also experience fever, headache, and nausea or vomiting.
Chelating drugs can bind to and remove some metals your body needs, calcium, copper, and zinc. This can lead to a deficiency in these important substances. Some people who’ve had chelation therapy also have low calcium levels in the blood and kidney damage.
Today, chelation therapy is only FDA-approved to treat metal poisoning. There just isn't enough evidence to support its use for any other condition. And, as research shows, it can be dangerous if it’s used for an unapproved reason.
Beware of any online products or health care providers who try to use this treatment for other purposes — Alzheimer's or heart disease. Chelating products are also not approved for home use. They can only be used with a doctor's prescription. If you're thinking about trying chelation therapy, talk to your doctor.
National Capital Poison Center: “Chelation: Therapy or ‘Therapy’?”
Journal of Medical Toxicology: “Current Use of Chelation in American Health Care.”
Mayo Clinic: “Heart Disease.”
American Academy of Pediatrics: “Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.”
U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Challenges Associated with Metal Chelation Therapy in Alzheimer’s Disease.”
NIH, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Chelation for Coronary Heart Disease.”
FDA: “Questions and Answers on Unapproved Chelation Products.”
© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. Cupping Therapy
Flushing Out Lead, Metals With Chelation Therapy
Sherri Oliver lives in a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It's a two-hour bus ride to get to the Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore — and she has brought her daughter, Katie Dail.
Katie has dangerously high levels of lead in her blood.
She's a fast-moving first-grader with copper-colored hair. Katie has bright brown eyes but has trouble making eye contact. She also has autism — and she doesn't really speak, but she makes a kind of whooping sound when she's happy.
But Katie is not here for autism treatment. The treatment she has been getting — chelation therapy — is to get her lead levels down. Although hospitals offer the treatment, some desperate parents are turning to home-based chelation kits and over-the-counter pills, which doctors say can be more dangerous.
Lead can cause serious behavioral problems in kids and lower their IQs. When Katie's lead levels are high, she gets irritable and has more trouble learning, her mom says.
“She takes all my time,” Oliver says.
Katie was first diagnosed with an elevated lead level at age 2.
Lead in the body is notoriously hard to get rid of. It seeps into the bones to hide, and sneaks across the blood-brain barrier, affecting mood, focus and sleep.
Last year, Katie stayed in the hospital for 19 days while nurses worked to bring her lead levels down through chelation.
Chelation puts a special chemical into the body that binds to lead and other heavy metals, and helps flush them out. But it's not pleasant. And it has to be given repeatedly over the course of the hospital stay.
“It's nasty stuff. But it had to be done,” Oliver says.
Nasty, Katie's mom says, because the chelation pill smells really bad.
A nurse applies a numbing cream to Katie's arm so she can draw blood to check her lead levels. Katie's levels have gone down since her last visit, but as she grows, her bones release more lead into her blood.
“You ever been near a building when they're getting their roof done, you know, and the smell just gets in your mouth? That's what it smells ,” she says.
They had to grind up Katie's pills and hide them in apple juice. She still won't drink apple juice, Oliver says.
But nurse practitioner Barbara Moore, who runs the lead clinic at Mount Washington, says getting past the smell is just one of the challenges of chelation.
“A child during chelation needs close monitoring to make sure their kidneys are able to handle the lead burden as it's being metabolized in the body, make sure their liver is OK, make sure their white blood cell count is OK,” she says.
Plus, the chelation process doesn't clear all of the metal out at first — it only brings it out from the bone to the blood. Some people test higher for lead after the treatment until it flushes from their system.
And, importantly, it doesn't cure the damage the metal has already done to the brain.
“What we try to do is prevent any further damage,” Moore says.
Less Common Today
In the U.S., about 250,000 kids a year under age 5 have high levels of lead in their blood. Only a small percentage of them test high enough to need chelation.
While the overall numbers of lead poisoning and chelation therapy are going down, it's still a problem in cities with old homes Baltimore, and when people get secondhand toys that may contain lead. It's also a problem in some rural areas where lead persists in the soil, Moore says.
Moore sees between five and 10 chelation patients a year in her hospital.
“Things that we look at is how long had they been exposed to lead, and how high was their lead level,” she says.
She says kids who put a lot of non-food items in their mouths have an increased chance of developing the classic symptoms of lead poisoning: behavioral problems, headaches and sleeplessness.
The clinic helps educate families on what to do to decrease their risk of lead poisoning.
“We really do a lot of education on cleaning toys, cleaning household items … using vacuums that have HEPA filters,” Moore says.
Extra Challenge With Special-Needs Kids
Moore says it's especially hard to keep an eye on the symptoms of kids with learning disabilities Katie. Katie puts nearly everything in her mouth, from the coffee cup that a stranger left on a table to the corners of walls in her home.
When Moore brings Katie and her mom into an exam room, Katie watches TV while Moore listens to her breathing and reads her chart. Moore talks to Katie's mom.
Moore suggests giving Katie ice cubes to keep her mouth busy and says Katie's blood count is slowly going down.
But there's still a chance that Katie might have to go into the hospital for more chelation if things don't improve.
Recently, a new challenge has cropped up for Moore and her staff — chelation kits for sale on the Internet. These products — which run the gamut from clay baths to pills to test kits — claim to let consumers cure autism or Alzheimer's or hardening of the arteries without professional medical help.
One website claimed its chelation product corrects neurological damage and gets rid of mercury. Some autism advocates say mercury causes autism, but there is no scientific proof of that. Experts say chelation is not an effective autism treatment.
Moore says the products aren't safe.
“I don't recommend the oral chelation that you can get over the Internet or over the counter. We don't know what the safe level is of administering to a child or to anybody else, really,” she says.
These products haven't been properly tested for any diseases other than heavy metal poisoning. In fact, the National Institutes of Health halted a study of chelation as an autism treatment, citing too much patient risk. But the NIH is studying chelation for hardening of the arteries. Results are expected to be announced in 2012.
Recently the Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to eight companies that were selling illegal chelation therapies. FDA labeling compliance chief Michael Levy says the agency is cracking down.
“We are very concerned that the marketers of these products are preying on the most vulnerable of consumers,” he says.
He's talking about consumers Sherry Oliver who have very sick kids without many treatment options. The FDA is concerned that people will put their health at risk by using the therapies and delay seeking appropriate medical treatment.
'Can't Risk It'
Before Oliver left the clinic, I asked her if she ever considered one of those online chelation kits.
“I actually looked into that and, no, absolutely not. Most of them — I couldn't find out what was in them, where they were from, who made it, nothing,” Oliver says.
She doesn't want to give her daughter something she can't check out, and she doesn't want to make Katie's developmental problems worse.
“I can't risk it,” she says.
Katie and her mom bundle up for the long ride home. They'll be back to the hospital in a month to get Katie's lead levels checked again.
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What Should You Eat To Start Your Heavy Metal Detox?
In our daily lives, we are exposed to toxic heavy metals through the air, water supply, and food pollution. Considering their prevalence in our environment, researchers are raising questions about their impact on human health.
In emerging research, scientists are now beginning to connect the dots.
The growing body of scientific literature on heavy metals suggests these toxic compounds may be implicated in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders.
They also have an affinity for the brain, which can cause brain fog and other cognitive impairments. Knowing this, it’s clear that properly detoxifying these compounds is a pillar in supporting optimal health.
So, how can these toxins be removed?
The primary route of heavy metal detoxification is via intensive chelation therapies disodium or calcium EDTA. While this is often successful, it has to be done under the strict supervision of a doctor.
On the other hand, there are more gentle food chelators, binding agents that suppress chemical activity by forming chelates, to help support the body in naturally disarming the toxicity of heavy metals.
Best of all, taking this more moderate dietary approach can be safely completed at home.
In addition to acting as natural, non-toxic metal chelators, foods can also combat the negative effects of heavy metals and provide the precursors for the body’s natural defense systems.
In toxicity. However, there is conflicting evidence — studies show that although heavy metals are released from storage tissues, they may accumulate in other tissues as a side effect.
Anti-Inflammatory FoodsAnti-inflammatory foods can help down-regulate inflammatory pathways activated by heavy metals.
Some of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods are fatty fish and seafood due to their high omega-3 content. Of these omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA are the main anti-inflammatory fatty acids.
As the levels of these healthy fats are optimized in the diet, they can replace omega-6 fatty acids which produce proinflammatory eicosanoids.
As the composition is altered in favor of omega-3s, these fatty acids release anti-inflammatory eicosanoids and resolvins.
Cysteine is a sulfur-based amino acid that acts as a precursor for metallothionein, a protein that can bind to heavy metals for proper detoxification. It can also further combat the toxicity of heavy metals by neutralizing free radicals, reducing oxidative stress, and down-regulating transcription factors that promote inflammation.
By consuming cysteine-foods, metallothionein levels can, in theory, be optimized. Whey protein from undenatured whey protein powder is one of the most important sources of cysteine in the diet.
Observation of cysteine levels in humans show that the highest levels of cysteine consumed are in omnivore diets, indicating that including meat, eggs, and dairy in the diet may be essential for cysteine levels.
Research also suggests that cruciferous vegetables which are rich in plant-based cysteine may boost metallothionein levels.
|Cysteine Content of Foods (g/100g)|
|Ground Beef, 97% lean, cooked||0.27|
|Whole egg, fried||0.29|
Flavonoids can detoxify heavy metals by acting as natural chelators. By binding to heavy metals, flavonoids form benign chelate complexes that prevent heavy metals from forming free radicals. Moreover, flavonoid-metal chelate complexes have higher antioxidant activity than flavonoids alone, meaning they can further reduce oxidative stress.
|Total Flavonoid Content of Foods (mg/100g)|
|Fuji Apple, raw with skin||12.41|
|Wild Blueberries, raw||133.11|
|Green Tea, brewed||121.27|
Interestingly, blue-green algae may also detox metals from the body. In animal studies, chlorella enhances heavy metal excretion in rats with mercury toxicity.
Researchers have identified metallothionein- proteins on chlorella that may explain its ability to detox heavy metal poisoning.
Un chlorella, spirulina contains a phytochemical called phycocyanin which may bind to and detox heavy metals.
Foods Can Support the Body in Detoxing Heavy Metals
By neutralizing oxidative stress, lowering inflammation, acting as natural chelators, and boosting metallothionein expression, food truly can support the body in detoxifying heavy metals and countering their detrimental effects brain fog, neurodegenerative disorders, and more.
However, diet-based heavy metal detox also isn’t a substitute if you have heavy mercury poisoning or exposure to other toxic metals, nor are they a cure for any disease.
As with any diet change or toxin detox regimen, it’s important to consult your doctor before implementation. However, foods and nutrients that detoxify heavy metals can be a part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutrient-dense diet and a consistent fitness routine.
Sophia Ruiz is a health and wellness freelance writer & blogger. As an Instagram influencer, she uses her platforms to promote consumer empowerment through education. http://www.instagram.com/curvewellness
Chelation/Heavy Metal Detox IV Therapy
What is Chelation Therapy?
Chelation therapy is a highly effective treatment for clearing heavy metals, excess calcium and artery clogging chemicals from the blood. Chelation therapy was first used to treat outright heavy metal poisoning. Over time chelation has proven to be effective for lower levels of chronic heavy metal poisoning that can lead to heart disease and other circulation and vascular disorders.
Chelation is a treatment by which a small amino acid called ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) is slowly administered to a patient intravenously over several hours. It is always prescribed by a licensed physician and can be done in an outpatient or clinic setting. The EDTA infusion bonds with unwanted metals in the body and quickly caries them away through the urine.
Benefits of IV Chelation Therapy at LotusRain Naturopathic Clinic in San Diego
Chelation therapy enables the chelating substances to “grab” onto toxic metals and chemicals allowing these substances to then be excreted from the body via the urine.
The advantage of the intravenous route as administered at LotusRain Naturopathic Clinic in San Diego is that is bypasses the digestive system and goes directly to the blood, arteries and to the organs where the toxic chemicals reside.
IV chelation of heavy metals enables the flushing the metals from the organs where they are stored and binding to them, thus enabling them to safely be excreted. The accumulation of heavy metals in organs and tissues can lead to many deleterious long-term effects and impact health in many different ways
Chelation therapy also enhances blood flow by reducing atherosclerosis or the narrowing and stiffening of arteries due to the accumulation of plaque-forming chemicals in the arterial walls.
Atherosclerosis is a primary cause of heart attacks and chelation therapy is a nonsurgical way we can stop the process of vessel narrowing to restore healthy circulation.
Chelation therapy is giving heart disease patients an alternative to invasive heart surgeries and enabled patients with intermittent claudication to increase their walking distance. Chelation has been used to alleviate angina, reduce high blood pressure and prevent the need to amputation in diabetic patients.
Chelation therapy can greatly benefit those found to have a heavy metal toxic load or atherosclerosis but can also benefit just about anyone. There are more and more chemicals being produced every day that enter our environment, whether it be our food, water, air or soil and can affect health.
Conditions benefitting from Chelation Therapy
Peripheral vascular disorders
Slow healing wounds
IV Chelation at LotusRain Naturopathic Clinic
EDTA is the primary chelation agent used at LotusRain Naturopathic Clinic. EDTA or is a powerful antioxidant that enters the bloodstream and attaches to heavy metals such as lead, iron, and cadmium that cause free radical damage to arteries.
a magnet EDTA attracts and attaches to these heavy metals and caries them the body through the urine. EDTA reduces the body’s toxic metal burden helping to slow the process of atherosclerosis.
EDTA also removes excess calcium from artery walls making them more responsive and accommodating to physiological changes in the body. Since calcification of arteries is a major factor in atherosclerosis this is another way in which chelation restores the integrity of the arteries and enhances blood flow.
As an added benefit EDTA chelation has some blood-thinning effects and discourages the formation of potentially dangerous blood clots from forming and leading to stroke or pulmonary emobolism.
Chelation therapy benefits the flow of blood through every vessel in the body, from the largest to the tiniest capillaries and arterioles, the vast majority of which are too small for surgical treatment or deep within the brain where they cannot be safely reached by surgery.
In many patients, the smaller blood vessels are the most severely diseased, especially in the presence of diabetes.
The benefits of chelation occur simultaneously from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet, not just in short segments of a few large arteries which can be bypassed with surgical treatment.
Is Chelation Therapy Safe?
Chelation therapy is much, much safer than bypass surgery. IV chelation is relatively non-toxic and low-risk. Occasionally patients suffer some minor discomfortaat the site where the needle is inserted into the vein. Some patients experience temporary mild nausea, dizziness or headache during or just after treatment.
We suggest having a high protein meal or snack within 20-30 minutes before your IV to prevent side effects. When properly administered by an expert physician chelation is safet than many other prescription medications.
If chelating agents are given too rapidly or in too large a dose it has the potential to cause harmful side effects just as tan overdose of any other medication can be dangerous.
Before beginning treatment we will always get a baseline level of metals in your body and test your kidney function to ensure that chelation therapy is safe for you.
Using the lab results the doctors at LotusRain will suggest a series of chelation IVs to reduce the metal burden in your body.
Once the series of IV chelation is complete we typically wait one full month then test the levels of heavy metals again to ensure the toxic metal burden has been reduced.
For some patients with severe kidney disease chelation therapy is not indicated.
How was chelation therapy discovered?
EDTA chelation therapy was originally designed as treatment for heavy metal poisoning in the 1940s.
As World War II veterans affected by lead poisoning from painting battle ships underwent chelation to reduce lead levels physicians started noticing that those with chest pain (angina) and leg pain due to atherosclerosis were experiencing remarkable improvement in these cardiovascular symptoms.
During the past 50 years over a million patients have undergone chelation therapy for a wide range of circulatory problems. Chelation provides heart disease patients an alternative to invasive heart surgery.
Chelation therapies are not only safe. They are also effective.
In a review of 40 published research studies 87 percent of patients undergoing chelation therapy experienced benefits and improvement in their symptoms.
How to Detox Heavy Metals (& Why You Should)
“Detox” is one of the most popular buzzwords in the health world these days. It can mean anything from eating extra greens and sipping apple cider vinegar to fasting and taking a pile of supplements. In addition, external detox methods I’ve tried and love are epsom salt baths, detox foot soaks, and dry brushing.
I’ve tried plenty of ways to detox but never considered more serious regimens designed to detox heavy metals. I mean, isn’t that serious stuff that only happens to people living next to a chemical plant?
First of all, scientists debate the exact definition of a heavy metal, which depends on several factors density, atomic weight, and chemical makeup. In a nutshell, heavy metals are dense metallic or semi-metallic elements naturally occurring in the earth. They occur naturally in the soil and leach into water sources, but there are plenty of man-made sources as well.
Certain heavy metals aren’t a problem in small doses and are even necessary to the body, but the harmful ones lead, mercury, and the lesser known (but just as problematic) cadmium can bioaccumulate in the body faster than our bodies can detox them.
Here are some of the heavy metals causing toxicity in our modern environment and their common sources:
- lead (auto exhaust, root canals, building materials, water, some teas)
- mercury (dental fillings, vaccines, contact lens solution, seafood)
- cadmium (cigarettes, batteries, hydrogenated oils, coffee)
- arsenic (conventional poultry and eggs)
- aluminum (deodorant, vaccines, cookware, some teas)
- thallium (added to gasoline)
- bismuth (makeup, medicines)
The list certainly goes on, but these are a few of the key players.
Limiting heavy metals exposure is just one of the reasons to consume meats and seafood from good sources, use holistic dentistry, make natural deodorant and beauty products, and avoid hydrogenated oils.
Unfortunately, we may not have as much control over other things on the list.
So why are some heavy metals so bad for the body?
There are about 23 heavy metals in total that can be especially toxic. These substances actually “intrude” and interrupt normal cellular processes by binding with protein sites and replacing the metals that naturally occur in the cell. This affects the functioning of mitochondria, or the energy makers of our cells, leading to symptoms fatigue (and much worse with long-term exposure).
Doing all we can to limit exposure is half of the battle, but there are certain steps we can take to help our bodies process and eliminate heavy metals.
You guessed it … detox!
Unfortunately, heavy metals toxicity isn’t isolated to a few acute cases. Take this rather stunning statement from my podcast interview with Wendy Myers, detox expert and founder of Liveto110.com, on the topic of heavy metals:
Definitely I believe that toxic metals are a primary driver of disease today. We’re seeing health issues and diseases we didn’t see 30 years ago, and it’s because of the increasing introduction of these toxins into our environment.
Primary driver of disease today? Clearly, heavy metal poisoning goes beyond an Erin Brockovich scenario!
Of course, our bodies have amazing detoxification mechanisms that allow us to take in a certain amount without harm. I’m not suggesting we invent health problems that aren’t there. Still, kids, pregnant women, and those with conditions that impair detoxification are especially vulnerable.
More from Wendy in our podcast conversation:
I’m definitely not a believer at all that our bodies detox just fine on their own. …Some people do have compromised liver function, the compromised ability genetically to detox, and a lot of other mitigating factors that cause them to accumulate toxic metals and chemicals that require them to take a more aggressive approach to detoxification.
How can we tell if we have a problem with heavy metals? There are some signs to look for:
While signs of acute toxicity are easier to spot (severe cramping, vertigo, vomiting, difficulty breathing, impaired motor and cognitive skills, etc.), more subtle signs that you need to detox heavy metals are:
- poor digestion/bloating/gas
- compromised ability to digest fats
- female problems (hormones, infertility, preeclampsia)
- excess sweating
- gaining weight just around the waist
- severe food cravings
- middle-of-the-night insomnia
- aching joints
- mood swings
- and the list goes on …
Left unchecked heavy metal toxicity can cause not only misery but serious disease including Alzheimers, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and cancer. A 2014 article in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology explains:
Heavy metal toxicity can lower energy levels and damage the functioning of the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, blood composition and other important organs.
Long-term exposure can lead to gradually progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that imitate diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and muscular dystrophy.
Repeated long-term exposure of some metals and their compounds may even cause cancer (Jarup, 2003).
The toxicity level of a few heavy metals can be just above the background concentrations that are being present naturally in the environment. Hence thorough knowledge of heavy metals is rather important for allowing to provide proper defensive measures against
their excessive contact (Ferner, 2001). (Jaishankar 2014)
Not much good news here, but not to despair … there are ways to detox heavy metals that enter the bloodstream and help flush them out before they cause chronic disease.
Basically, if you generally live a healthy lifestyle but still experience many of the above symptoms, it may be time to dig deeper.
Granted, this list probably sounds pretty familiar to other issues thyroid disorders, or autoimmune disease, even leaky gut and many others. Testing is needed to find out if heavy metals actually are the culprits.
A hair mineral analysis test is a great place to start. In addition to toxic metal levels, this test can give clues to overall health factors metabolic rate, inflammation, blood sugar levels, and more. Wendy Myers covers the ins and testing for heavy metals in this informative post.
Yes, detoxing heavy metals the body requires special caution, but there are safe ways to help our bodies’ natural detoxification processes along. However, since different heavy metals require different methods to get them the body, professional testing and supervision is definitely recommended for the safest and most effective detox.
Basically, you don’t want to get heavy metals moving around in your body unless you also have a way to make them exit or they can cause even more serious problems. There are two important steps in the process when it comes to ridding the body of heavy metals:
Step 1: Mobilize
Certain supplements and detoxification methods “unlock” heavy metals where they are accumulating and get them moving. However, releasing heavy metals can cause even worse problems without Step 2:
Step 2: Bind and Eliminate
This second step grabs on to heavy metals and ensures they are supposed to exit the body as quickly as possible!
There are some things we can safely do at home to improve our body’s detoxification mechanisms and lessen our chances of ending up with a more serious problem:
Here are two safe supplements Wendy recommends for anyone concerned about heavy metal accumulation:
Important note: This is a two-part recommendation: don’t take one without the other!
Ultimately, while testing and supplements aren’t inexpensive, these supplements might be a lifesaver and prevent some terrible (and even more costly) health issues down the road.
Heavy metals exposure is unavoidable, so I think it’s best to remember why we’re striving for health in the first place (and not worry too much!). Being educated is the first step to knowing what to do if problems arise for you or a loved one.
For other ways to detox heavy metals and other detox supplements recommended by Wendy Myers, take a listen to her Wellness Mama podcast episode about toxic metals or see her Mineral Power Detox Program. I might do a hair mineral analysis just curiosity and I’ll be sure to share the results if I do!
Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 7(2), 60–72.
Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue, 2017.
, Patlolla, A. K., & Sutton, D. J. (2012). Heavy Metals Toxicity and the Environment. EXS, 101, 133–164.
Heavy Metal Blood Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/heavy-metal-blood-test/
A heavy metal blood test is a group of tests that measure the levels of potentially harmful metals in the blood.
The most common metals tested for are lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. Metals that are less commonly tested for include copper, zinc, aluminum, and thallium.
Heavy metals are found naturally in the environment, certain foods, medicines, and even in water.
Heavy metals can get in your system in different ways. You might breathe them in, eat them, or absorb them through your skin. If too much metal gets into your body, it can cause heavy metal poisoning.
Heavy metal poisoning can lead to serious health problems. These include organ damage, behavioral changes, and difficulties with thinking and memory.
The specific symptoms and how it will affect you, depend on the type of metal and how much of it is in your system.
Other names: heavy metals panel, toxic metals, heavy metal toxicity test
Heavy metal testing is used to find out if you have been exposed to certain metals, and how much of the metal is in your system.
Your health care provider may order a heavy metal blood test if you have symptoms of heavy metal poisoning. The symptoms depend on the type of metal and how much exposure there was.
Your symptoms may include:
Some children under the age of 6 may need to be tested for lead because they have a higher risk for lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is a very serious type of heavy metal poisoning.
It is especially dangerous for children because their brains are still developing, so they are more vulnerable to brain damage from lead poisoning. In the past, lead was frequently used in paint and other household products.
It is still used in some products today.
Young children get exposed to lead by touching surfaces with lead, then putting their hands in their mouths.
Children living in older houses and/or living in poorer conditions may be at an even higher risk because their environments often contain more lead. Even low levels of lead can cause permanent brain damage and behavioral disorders.
Your child's pediatrician may recommend lead testing for your child, your living environment and your child's symptoms.
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
Some fish and shellfish contain high levels of mercury, so you should avoid eating seafood for 48 hours before being tested.
There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may experience slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.
If your heavy metal blood test shows a high level of metal, you will need to completely avoid exposure to that metal. If that doesn't reduce enough metal in your blood, your health care provider may recommend chelation therapy. Chelation therapy is a treatment where you take a pill or get an injection that works to remove excess metals from your body.
If your levels of heavy metal are low, but you still have symptoms of exposure, your health care provider will ly order more tests. Some heavy metals don't stay in the bloodstream very long. These metals may stay longer in urine, hair, or other body tissues. So you may need to take a urine test or provide a sample of your hair, fingernail, or other tissue for analysis.