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Do You Need a Heavy Metal Detox?

By December 26, 2019 No Comments

Toxic heavy metals are prevalent in our natural environment, living in the ground, waterways, our food and even in the air. Some can be prone to coming in contact with toxic metals through their occupation, smoking cigarettes or consuming food that is commonly contaminated either through the soil or irrigation system used to grow the food. Sometimes, people will mistake toxicity for aging and dismiss that their body might be harboring toxic metals that need to be released. You can determine if you have toxic metals in your system through a Hair Analysis Test or by getting blood work done. Certainly, talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Common Toxic Heavy Metals

Mercury

Mercury is found in the air, water and soil. You will see an excess of mercury in the environment in areas with volcanic activity, coal-fired power plants, residential coal burning and waste incinerators. If inhaled, mercury will affect the nervous system, digestive system, immune system, lungs and kidneys. Ingested, it will harm your skin, eyes, gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Mercury is most commonly found in people that consume fish or from inhaling it at their worksite.

Cadmium

Cadmium is most found occupationally, in cigarettes and contaminated foods. Foods like potatoes, leafy vegetables, and cereal grains have been known to be grown in contaminated soils. When consumed it is stored in the liver and kidneys. So, if you are eating animal liver, kidney or even shellfish you may be consuming cadmium indirectly from what was stored in the animals’ body. When cadmium is ingested you may experience stomach irritation, throat swelling or tingling hands. When inhaled, for example either by first or secondhand smoke, you might experience flu-like symptoms, muscle pain or lung damage. Cadmium is excreted through urination, however since it is a heavy metal it is likely that not all of it is being excreted. Other ways you could ingest or inhale Cadmium is if you work in battery manufacturing, welding, smelting, mining, paints and plastic manufacturing, jewelry making or work closely with stained glass. 

Arsenic

Arsenic is commonly found in water, whether it be for drinking, food preparation, or irrigation. It can also be found in different industrial processes, eating contaminated food and smoking cigarettes. Fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy and cereals can be contaminated with this heavy metal. Arsenic can have both short-term and long-term effects. Short term you may experience vomiting, abdominal pain and other like symptoms followed by tingling feelings throughout your body and muscle cramps. Longer term you can experience skin lesions, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Lead

Lead is stored in our bones and teeth and can affect our brain, liver, kidney and bones. All levels of exposure are harmful to your health. Ingestion of lead usually occurs when you are working around lead contaminated dust, consuming water that was transferred via lead pipes, or eating food that was stored in lead containers. The inhalation of lead can occur during smelting, recycling, stripping lead paint, or working around leaded gasoline or aviation fuel. Other sources of lead can include unregulated cosmetics and medicines.

Detoxing from Heavy Metals

Detoxing from heavy metals can be extremely beneficial. It will help reduce free radical damage and protect against disease. It can increase energy levels and improve immune, gut, and digestive health. You may also see an increase in mental performance and improved skin health after completing a detox.  

It is important during a detox to pay attention to your diet. Avoiding fish, allergens, non-organic foods, additives and alcohol is recommended. Adding foods to your diet like leafy greens, herbs and spices, Vitamin-C rich foods, garlic, onions, flax and chia seeds, and bone broth will help improve the effectiveness of the detox. As always, make sure you are drinking plenty water before during and after completion. 

As you detox, do not be alarmed if you start feeling worse before you feel better. You can likely experience symptoms such as bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, skin rashes, change in appetite, and low energy. Your body is leveling out and getting rid of heavy metals that may have been in your system for a long time. Supplementation may be helpful during your detox period to make sure your body is absorbing all the vitamins and minerals it needs to rid your body of heavy metals that have been stored for long periods of time.

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