Cleansing Your Body of Heavy Metals
What Can Be Considered as Heavy Metal?
Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminum are present in our environment in surprising places and can have a number of harmful effects on the body. As an example they can prevent your body from absorbing and utilizing healthy minerals. They can tie up binding sites on cells so essential minerals, especially those with similar binding characteristics, can’t get in. This is like putting a broken key in a lock: it not only doesn’t open the door but prevents a good key from being used. Examples of this are mercury (the most common source is dental amalgam fillings) and cadmium (found in cigarettes and elsewhere). These both have similar binding characteristics to zinc, a beneficial mineral. It is like a 65 pound person (zinc) playing a game of musical chairs with a 112 pound person (cadmium) and a 200 pound person (mercury). The zinc is not going to win. These toxic metals can prevent zinc from being utilized, with resulting symptoms of zinc deficiency such as loss of appetite, smell and taste, PMS and other symptoms.
Here are some of the necessary and healthy minerals along with the symptoms of deficiency:
- Magnesium: Irregular heartbeat, osteoporosis, receding gums
- Iron: Anemia
- Copper: Anemia, thyroid dysfunction, impaired digestion, scoliosis
- Zinc: Anorexia nervosa, loss of taste, low libido, PMS
- Iodine: Thyroid dysfunction
The Effects of Heavy Metals
By taking up the binding space in the cells, heavy metals also can create a toxic accumulation of essential minerals. The body receives minerals through food and supplements. If it is unable to absorb them it can over burden the body with these minerals which in effect, become toxic metals at that point. The body cannot handle the overload of metals and minerals and uses the liver, kidneys and other tissues as waste deposit sites. The body also stores toxins in fat cells and not just unwanted fat cells but your brain, which is made up of fats as well. Heavy metal toxicity can cause fatigue and brain fog as well as chronic pain, mood swings, depression, dizziness, migraines and headaches, visual disturbances and in extreme cases burning sensations, numbness or tingling throughout the body. Some studies have linked heavy metals to Alzheimer’s disease as well.
What Can Be Done?
The first thing is to find a test that accurately measures the heavy metals in your body. There are labs that test the urine, the hair and the blood for heavy metal levels. The second thing is to have a way to help your body detoxify the heavy metal ions. There are several natural products designed to reduce the heavy metal load in your body such as Metalloclear from Metagenics. It’s been proven to detoxify heavy metals without harmful or uncomfortable side effects often found in other detox products. Also foods such as chlorella, cilantro, turmeric, grapefruit (Pectin), and garlic hold many heavy metal detoxifying properties. Do some research and talk with your Natural Medicine practitioner about diagnosis and treatment options.