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Heavy Metals

Over the 26 years of being in the healing profession I have noticed that heavy metal toxicity creates some of the worst and hard to diagnose and treat problems. The main ones that are affecting people are, Aluminum, Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, Nickel and Cadmium. Scientifically Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements that have a high atomic weight and a density at least 5 times greater than that of water.

Common signs of chronic heavy metal toxicity include: Chronic fatigue, digestive discomfort, brain fog, immune issues, headaches, and achy joints & rashes.

A few years ago I had treated a sister and brother that both had severe fatigue and headaches. I found that they both had lead exposure toxicity.
I have noticed that people who react to cheap jewelry like earrings are often people who are more sensitive to metals in general. For some even the snap on their jeans can produce a skin rash.

Let’s touch on some of the ways that heavy metals can enter into your body.

One is through tap water. It’s not just Flint, Michigan that has unsafe drinking water. Lead-contaminated drinking water is a problem that threatens the health of people nationwide. One report by USA Today explained that elevated levels of lead were found in almost 2,000 water systems in the United States. Another study found that over 3,000 communities in the U.S. have double the amount of lead in their water as the infamous Flint drinking water. That’s scary stuff. These high amounts of lead are primarily due to the fact that old lead pipes are still in use even though their installation is now banned. These old lead pipes are slowly rusting and corroding. As water passes through, lead particulates are released into the water.

Sometimes people pick up metals through beauty products. This includes products like lipstick, eyeliner, eye shadow, blush, moisturizers, hair dye, and even sunscreens. Whether it is lead in lipstick or aluminum in deodorant, these products are used daily and can be a significant source of heavy metal exposure. There are two websites you can go to to check your personal care products, one is Environmental Working Groups or EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database, the other is Campaign for safe cosmetics.

Pesticides and herbicides often contain heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, and arsenic.Pesticides are heavily used on most foods that aren’t organic, and can be particularly high in breads and processed foods. To avoid them, buy organic whenever possible. If organic isn’t always available or is too expensive, aim to buy the one’s listed on EWG’s list of the “clean 15” which have the least pesticides, which are often ones with thick peels. Avoid the dirty dozen unless organic.

Probably the one source I have seen and helped people with the most is from dental sources. You know those silver-colored dental fillings? They’re called amalgam dental fillings. And these bad boys are up to 50% mercury by weight. The problem is, amalgam dental fillings don’t just sit there in your teeth. They break down over time, slowly releasing mercury into your body. And if there’s any tooth decay near the fillings, even more mercury is released. If you want to get rid of them, however, use extreme care because the extraction process can cause the mercury to vaporize and enter your body. Holistic dentists are trained in methods to safely remove these fillings. Sometimes metal crowns must be replaced with ceramic, as they often have nickel and even gold ones have other metals as well. I have had many people remove the wire from behind their teeth as they can cause symptoms like headaches, it could be the nickel in the wire. For this reason I often recommend invisalign instead of metal braces.

Furniture is one of those things that nobody expects to be a common source of heavy metals. However furniture contains fire retardants, protective finishes, and fabrics that contain heavy metals such as antimony and cadmium.This includes mattresses, automobile seat covers, couches, and much more. The best way to avoid exposure is to support brands that offer products free of flame retardants. Other than that, it’s difficult to avoid this one.
Some pharmaceutical drugs have metals, sometimes used as binding agents.. Over-the-counter antacids are also a significant source of aluminum. Additionally, some vaccines also have heavy metals. The multi-dose flu vaccine still has the mercury-based preservative thimerosal in every dose. The other vaccines now contain aluminum.

One thing I just learned is that house and car keys often contain lead. Manufacturers often use it so they can easily shape the keys. By some estimates, brass keys are up to 2.5% lead by weight. So don’t handle them more than necessary and never let your small children play with them.
Unfortunately seafood used to be one of the healthiest foods, but now there is high levels of mercury in many fish. For that reason I have stopped eating tuna. Large fish that eat smaller fish allows metals to accumulate up the food chain. I once had a patient that was thought to have MS, I found it was her eating of grouper every day that caused a mercury build up. After she was detoxed, her so-called MS disappeared.

Finally air pollution and vehicle exhaust can be a source of exposure. A lot of these pollutants contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury. As a result, heavy metals are getting into our body with every breath we take. According to a publication in the Nato Science for Peace and Security book, “atmospheric heavy metals pollution is one of the most serious problems facing humanity and other life forms on our planet today.” And the exposure is even worse for those who live in the city due to high levels of vehicle traffic. That’s because car exhaust contains small amounts of lead. Diesel exhaust is also a source of nickel exposure. Researchers are finding that these toxins can create heart disease like high blood pressure, cholesterol build up and hardening of the arteries.

Unfortunately it has been found that rice has been showing up high in arsenic. This is thought to be from herbicides and pesticides that were in the soil where rice is now being grown. For this reason I rotate my grains and try not to have rice as much as I used to.

I have used several remedies to detoxify heavy metals over the years. Some complex homeopathics have trace amounts of gold, silver and copper, and these can push heavy metals off their binding sites inside cells. Then I would often use a heavy metal formula to pull the metals out. It has ingredients such as Vitamin C,. Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, Chromium, L-Cystine and L-Methionine. Some foods that can encourage metal detox are chlorella, spirulina, seaweed and alginate from seaweed. Cilantro is famous for pulling heavy metals out of the brain. Some people promote volcanic rocks called Zeolites. But I saw that Natural News has a lab and checks for heavy metals and found many of the zeolites on the market in fact have heavy metal themselves.

Fortunately coal is being used less for energy production, because it releases mercury into the atmosphere where it rains down and is often the source of the mercury in fish. Now that we have less manufacturing in the US we are having less pollution, but countries like China with more factories and less environmental laws will be seeing major levels of these contaminants. Let’s hope people wake up and that the government can get back to regulating the release of these toxins into our environment and thus our bodies and brains and those of our children.

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