Could Heavy Metals Affect Your Health?

Learning disabilities, neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue and even cancer can involve heavy metal toxicity!

Excerpts from Sunshine Sharing...

Today, heavy metals and other toxic substances in our environment are bringing a decline in the mental (and physical) health of society. Learning disabilities and behavioral problems are rampant, and a new set of diseases, autoimmune disorders, have been increasing at an alarming rate.

These include rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, type I diabetes, fibromyalgia, lupus, Lou Gehrig's disease, myasthenia gravis and multiple sclerosis. Heavy metals and other environmental contaminants are likely a major factor in these (and other) modern health problems.

The heavy metals that we're addressing here are those that are on the periodic element chart that settle into the body and mess with our health. They're not called 'heavy metals' because they weigh a lot. A 'heavy metal' is actually a metallic element that has a specific gravity (a scientific measurement of the element's mass as compared to the mass of water or hydrogen) higher than 5.0.

Our environment is full of ways that heavy metals make their way into our bodies. We can breathe them, eat them, drink them, and even absorb them through our skin. Ideally, we should do all we can to avoid them, so here are some important tips for reducing our exposure to these health-destroying elements.

Purify your water! Nature's Spring reverse osmosis water purification system is one of the best ways to purify your water (or drink Celtic water or Evian).

Make sure your water pipes have no lead; avoid lead-based painted objects; do not store liquids in lead crystal containers.

   • Buy and prepare fresh, organic food as much as possible.
   • Keep the chemicals in your life, especially cleaning chemicals, to a minimum.
   • Avoid cooking with aluminum pans or using anything that is aluminum with your food, especially acidic
     foods like citrus.
   • Insist on composite fillings from your dentist, not mercury/silver amalgams.
   • Of course, we can also periodically do a "cleanse" to pull heavy metals from the body. This is especially important for people who work around a lot of chemicals or are starting to develop signs of neurological problems. We'll cover how to do a "heavy-metal cleanse", but first, let's learn a little more about some of the major heavy metals.

Know your enemies

Mercury

Mercury is one of the most toxic substances we can be exposed to and we are exposed to it on a fairly regular basis. It is found in fungicides, pesticides, dental fillings, contaminated seafoods, thermometers and a host of products, including various cosmetics, fabric softeners, inks, tattoo ink, latex, medications, paints, plastics, polishes, solvents and wood preservatives.

Mercury can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. It passes through the blood-brain barrier and is attracted to and absorbed by nerve endings. This neurotoxin lodges inside neuron cells disrupting cellular communication. It can cause autoimmune disorders, arthritis, blindness, candidiasis, depression, dizziness, fatigue, gum disease, hair loss, insomnia, memory loss, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, paralysis, lupus, food and environmental allergies, menstrual disorders, miscarriages, behavioral changes, depression, irritability, hyperactivity, allergic reactions, asthma, metallic taste in the mouth, loose teeth and more.

Remember those silver fillings that dentists put into your mouth? Well, they are really 50% mercury! Although the American Dentist's Association will do everything they can to deny that amalgam fillings can affect health, many European countries now completely outlaw the use of silver/mercury amalgam fillings! According to the World Health Organization, amalgam dental fillings are a major source of mercury exposure. Mercury fillings may be a contributing factor to many chronic, degenerative and autoimmune conditions, because many people with these conditions have had significant improvement to their health when they have been removed. It is important to note that a mercury detox program is usually needed after fillings have been removed.

Arsenic

Arsenic is famous as a toxin used to poison people as illustrated in the play "Arsenic and Old Lace." Considering this fact, it's a concern that arsenic is found in pesticides, laundry aids, cigarette smoke, table salt, seafood and contaminated drinking water. Acute arsenic poisoning creates symptoms such as confusion, convulsions, drowsiness and headaches. Toxic levels of arsenic can cause coma and death. Arsenic can also cause cancers. People working around pesticides, mining and metallurgical work are at high risk of developing high levels of arsenic toxicity.

Lead

Lead is one of the most toxic metals known. It's been many years since our society was made aware of the damage that exposure to lead-based paints was doing to our health, especially to young children who suck on and chew anything they can get their hands on.

When the lead reaches toxic levels in the body, it can damage the kidneys, liver, heart and nervous system. The body cannot tell the difference between lead and calcium, so pregnant women, children and other people who are deficient in calcium absorb lead more easily, with infants and children effected most severely. Possible symptoms of lead poisoning include anxiety, arthritis, confusion, chronic fatigue, behavioral problems, juvenile delinquency, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, metallic taste in the mouth, tremors, mental disturbances, loss of memory, mental retardation, impotence, reproductive disorders, infertility, liver failure and death.

Exposure to lead can come from food that is grown near roads or factories, lead-based paint, hair products, food from lead-soldered cans, imported ceramic products (especially from Mexico and China), lead crystal glassware, ink on bread bags, batteries in cars, bone meal, insecticides, tobacco, lead pipes, and lead solder in the water pipes. If you suspect you could have lead pipes or lead solder in your water system, have the water tested.

Aluminum

Aluminum is not technically a heavy metal, but it is a neurotoxin all the same as it can cross and alter the blood-brain barrier. Symptoms are the same as Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis. Anemia, poor calcium metabolism, forgetfulness, gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, liver and kidney function problems, memory loss, nervousness, speech disturbances, softening of the bones, and weak, aching muscles are some symptoms of possible aluminum toxicity.

Trace amounts of aluminum are not toxic, but we are exposed to an excessive amount in modern society. We can be exposed to aluminum through cookware, baking powder, toiletry items like antiperspirants and cosmetics, dental amalgams, medications (antacids), fertilizers and unfiltered water.

Cadmium

Cadmium accumulates in the body, replacing zinc, an essential mineral, in the liver and kidneys. Toxic levels of cadmium may cause anemia, loss of appetite, hair loss, high blood pressure, joint soreness, dull sense of smell and dry, scaly skin. Also, cadmium weakens the immune system by lowering the levels of T-cells (white blood cells that protect the body from foreign invaders and cancer cells) causing kidney disease and liver damage, cancer, emphysema and shortened life span. Cadmium can be found in cigarette smoke, plastics, nickel-cadmium batteries, drinking water, fertilizer, fungicides, pesticides, soil, air pollution, refined grains, rice and soft drinks.

Learn How To Detoxify From Heavy Metals

Heavy metal detoxification is important for anyone who has worked around a lot of chemicals in their job (including painters, beauticians, lab technicians, dry cleaners, carpet cleaners, farmers and factory workers in many industries). It is also a good thing for people suffering from any kind of chronic inflammatory disorder or problem that involves nerve damage. Another important time to do a heavy metal cleanse is after dental work that involves the removal of amalgam fillings from the mouth.

Specific diseases may also signal a need for heavy metal detoxification. These include autism, autoimmune disorders, cancer, parasites, chronic yeast or fungal infections, hardening of the arteries and chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Neurological disorders like Alzheimer's or dementia often involve heavy metals, although by the time these diseases are diagnosable, irreversible damage may have already been done. Because of this, it may be wise to periodically do a heavy metal cleanse for prevention.

Basic Heavy Metal Cleanse

If you know or suspect you have heavy metal poisoning, it is probably a good idea to work with an experienced doctor, naturopath or herbalist to custom design a program for your individual needs. However, as a starting point, here's a basic mercury and heavy metal detox program.

* 1 Tablespoon of Flax Seed oil or 2 Super Omega-3 EPA twice daily

* 1 Heavy Metal Detox twice daily

* 2 to 4 Algin three times daily or 1 Tablespoon Nature's Three in a glass of water or juice twice daily

Once or twice a week take a drawing bath with Hydrated Bentonite (1/2 bottle) or a cup of any other fine clay (Click on this link for details).

When doing this program, make certain the bowels are moving at least two to three times per day. If not, you may wish to take some LBS II at bedtime or 2 Magnesium Complex twice daily. You may wish to do a general cleanse before starting the heavy metal detox program. This ensures that all eliminative channels are open.

The program should be continued for at least four to six weeks and up to three to four months. If one develops a strong cleansing reaction to this program, it is best to stop or slow down and focus on some general cleansing procedures for a few days. Then resume the cleanse at a slower place.