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Heavy Metal Toxicity
 
Jhan Views: 9,526
Published: 17 years ago
 

Heavy Metal Toxicity


For your information, I have cut and pasted from different readings on heavy metal poisoning. It is actually a cumulation of previous postings of mine, a while ago. Same good old stuff you might have read but will be useful to newcomers!

Ph Imbalance

Microorganisms tend to set up their housekeeping in the compartments of the body which are the most acid, the most oxidized and the most polluted with toxic metals.

By finding out which toxic metals are stored in your bones, nails, hair and tissue (I did it with hair analysis), you may better address the specificity of the specific type of acidity you have developed.

Heavy or toxic metals are trace metals with a density at least five times that of water. As such, they are stable elements (meaning they cannot be metabolized by the body) and bio-accumulative (passed up the food chain to humans). These include: mercury, nickel, lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, platinum, and copper (the metallic form versus the ionic form required by the body). Heavy metals have no function in the body and can be highly toxic.
Once liberated into the environment through the air, drinking water, food, or countless human-made chemicals and products, heavy metals are taken into the body via inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption. If heavy metals enter and accumulate in body tissues faster than the body's detoxification pathways can dispose of them, a gradual buildup of these toxins will occur. High-concentration exposure is not necessary to produce a state of toxicity in the body, as heavy metals accumulate in body tissues and, over time, can reach toxic concentration levels. Hence cleansing the organs responsible for detox pathway.


Heavy metal exposure is not an entirely modern phenomenon: historians have cited the contamination of wine and grape drinks by lead-lined jugs and cooking pots as a contributing factor in the "decline and fall" of the Roman Empire; and the Mad Hatter character in Alice in Wonderland was likely modeled after nineteenth-century hat makers who used mercury to stiffen hat material and frequently became psychotic from mercury toxicity.


Human exposure to heavy metals has risen dramatically in the last 50 years, however, as a result of an exponential increase in the use of heavy metals in industrial processes and products. Today, chronic exposure comes from mercury-amalgam dental fillings, lead in paint and tap water, chemical residues in processed foods, and "personal care" products (cosmetics, shampoo and other hair products, mouthwash, toothpaste, soap). In today's industrial society, there is no escaping exposure to toxic chemicals and metals.

In addition to the hazards at home and outdoors, many occupations involve daily heavy metal exposure. Over 50 professions entail exposure to mercury alone. These include physicians, pharmaceutical workers, any dental occupation, laboratory workers, hairdressers, painters, printers, welders, metalworkers, cosmetic workers, battery makers, engravers, photographers, visual artists, and potters.

The Effects of Heavy Metal Toxicity Studies confirm that heavy metals can directly influence behavior by impairing mental and neurological function, influencing neurotransmitter production and utilization, and altering numerous metabolic body processes.

THIS IS WHY Lecithin is an important supplement, to protect your nervous system from damages.
_________

Other systems in which toxic metal elements can induce impairment and dysfunction include the blood and cardiovascular, detoxification pathways (colon, liver, kidneys, skin), endocrine (hormonal: thyroid gland and other glands), energy production pathways, enzymatic, gastrointestinal, immune, nervous (central and peripheral), reproductive, and urinary.


Current studies indicate that even minute levels of toxic elements have negative health consequences, however, these vary from person to person. Nutritional status, metabolic rate, the integrity of detoxification pathways (ability to detoxify toxic substances), and the mode and degree of heavy metal exposure all affect how an individual responds. Children and the elderly, whose immune systems are either underdeveloped or age-compromised, are more vulnerable to toxicity.
Common Heavy Metals: Sources and Specific Effects Aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel are the most prevalent heavy metals. The specific sources of exposure, body tissues in which the metal tends to be deposited, and health effects of each metal are identified below.

1. Aluminum
Sources of exposure: Aluminum cookware, aluminum foil, antacids, antiperspirants, baking powder (aluminum containing), buffered aspirin, canned acidic foods, food additives , lipstick, medications and drugs (anti-diarrheal agents, hemorrhoid medications, vaginal douches), processed cheese, "softened" water, and tap water.
Target tissues: Bones, brain, kidneys and stomach.
Signs and Symptoms: Colic, dementia, esophagitis, gastroenteritis, kidney damage, liver dysfunction, loss of appetite, loss of balance, muscle pain, psychosis, shortness of breath, and weakness.
Among the clients I see in my practice, the highest aluminum exposure is most frequently due to the chronic consumption of aluminum-containing antacid products. Research shows that aluminum builds up in the body over time; thus, the health hazard to older people is greater.
D.R. McLaughlin, M.D., F.R.C.P. (C), professor of physiology and medicine and director of the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto, states, "Concentrations of aluminum that are toxic to many biochemical processes are found in at least ten human neurological conditions." Recent studies suggest that aluminum contributes to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, senile and presenile dementia, clumsiness of movements, staggering when walking, and inability to pronounce words properly. Behavioral difficulties among schoolchildren have also been correlated with elevated levels of aluminum and other neurotoxic heavy metals. 66

2. Arsenic
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, Antibiotics given to commercial livestock, certain marine plants, chemical processing, coal-fired power plants, defoliants, drinking water, drying agents for cotton, fish, herbicides, insecticides, meats (from commercially raised poultry and cattle), metal ore smelting, pesticides, seafood (fish, mussels, oysters), specialty glass, and wood preservatives .
Target tissues: Most organs of the body, especially the gastrointestinal system, lungs, and skin.
Signs and Symptoms: Abdominal pain, burning of the mouth and throat, cancer (especially lung and skin), coma, diarrhea, nausea, neuritis, peripheral vascular problems, skin lesions, and vascular collapse.
The greatest dangers from chronic arsenic exposure are lung and skin cancers and gradual poisoning, most frequently from living near metal smelting plants or arsenic factories.

3. Cadmium
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, art supplies, bone meal, cigarette smoke, food (coffee, fruits, grains, and vegetables grown in cadmium-laden soil, meats [kidneys, liver, poultry, or refined foods), freshwater fish, fungicides, highway dusts, incinerators, mining, nickel-cadmium batteries, oxide dusts, paints, phosphate fertilizers, power plants, seafood (crab, flounder, mussels, oysters, scallops), sewage sludge, "softened" water, smelting plants, tobacco and tobacco smoke, and welding fumes.
Target tissues: Appetite and pain centers (in brain), brain, heart and blood vessels, kidneys, and lungs.
Signs and Symptoms: Anemia, dry and scaly skin, emphysema, fatigue, hair loss, heart disease, depressed immune system response, hypertension, joint pain, kidney stones or damage, liver dysfunction or damage, loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell, lung cancer, pain in the back and legs, and yellow teeth.
Current studies are attempting to determine if cadmium-induced bone and kidney damage can be prevented (or made less likely) by adequate calcium, protein (amino acids), vitamin D, and zinc in the diet.

4. Lead
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, ammunition (shot and bullets), bathtubs (cast iron, porcelain, steel), batteries, canned foods, ceramics, chemical fertilizers, cosmetics, dolomite, dust, foods grown around industrial areas, gasoline, hair dyes and rinses, leaded glass, newsprint and colored advertisements, paints, pesticides, pewter, pottery, rubber toys, soft coal, soil, solder, tap water, tobacco smoke, and vinyl 'mini-blinds'.
Target tissues: Bones, brain, heart, kidneys, liver, nervous system, and pancreas.
Signs and Symptoms: Abdominal pain, anemia, anorexia, anxiety, auto exhaust, bone pain, brain damage, confusion, constipation, convulsions, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, hypertension, inability to concentrate, indigestion, irritability, loss of appetite, loss of muscle coordination, memory difficulties, miscarriage, muscle pain, pallor, tremors, vomiting, and weakness.
Lead is a known neurotoxin (kills brain cells), and excessive blood lead levels in children have been linked to learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), hyperactivity syndromes, and reduced intelligence and school achievement scores.

5. Mercury
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, batteries, cosmetics, dental amalgams, diuretics (mercurial), electrical devices and relays, explosives, foods (grains), fungicides, fluorescent lights, freshwater fish (especially large bass, pike, and trout), insecticides, mining, paints, pesticides, petroleum products, saltwater fish (especially large halibut, shrimp, snapper, and swordfish), shellfish, and tap water.
Target tissues: Appetite and pain centers in the brain, cell membranes, kidneys, and nervous system (central and peripheral).
Signs and Symptoms: Abnormal nervous and physical development (fetal and childhood), anemia, anorexia, anxiety, blood changes, blindness, blue line on gums, colitis, depression, dermatitis, difficulty chewing and swallowing, dizziness, drowsiness, emotional instability, fatigue, fever, hallucinations, headache, hearing loss, hypertension, inflamed gums, insomnia, kidney damage or failure, loss of appetite and sense of smell, loss of muscle coordination, memory loss, metallic taste in mouth, nerve damage, numbness, psychosis, salivation, stomatitis, tremors, vision impairment, vomiting, weakness, and weight loss.
The primary source of exposure to mercury is "silver" dental fillings (approximately 50% mercury when placed); over 225 million Americans have these fillings in their teeth. Mercury fillings release microscopic particles and vapors of mercury every time a person chews. Vapors are inhaled while particles are absorbed by tooth roots, mucous membranes of the mouth and gums, and the stomach lining.
In people with mercury Amalgam fillings, measurements of the mercury level in the mouth ranges between 20 and 400 mcg/m3. Keep in mind that this is continuous exposure. The National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health places the safe limit of environmental exposure to mercury at 20 mcg/m3, but that is assuming a weekly exposure of 40 hours (the work week) and the mercury involved is outside the body. The Environmental Protection Agency's allowable limit for continuous mercury exposure is 1 mcg/m3 but, again, that is based on mercury sources outside the body. Neither figure addresses 24-hour-a-day exposure from mercury in one's mouth.
Hal Huggins, D.D.S., a specialist in the effect of mercury Amalgams on health, reports that 90% of the 7,000 patients he tested showed immune system reactivity from exposure to low levels of mercury. In 1984, the American Dental Association (ADA), without providing scientific evidence, claimed that only 5% of the U.S. population is reactive to mercury exposure, and that this figure is insignificant. Meanwhile, the ADA mandates that dentists alert all dental personnel to the potential hazards of inhaling mercury vapors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) goes further, instructing dentists to treat mercury Amalgam as a toxic material while handling before insertion, and as toxic waste after removal.
Mark S. Hulet, D.D.S., who conducts research on Amalgam fillings, wrote a pamphlet for his patients, in which he cites five categories of pathological reaction to mercury fillings, as identified by dentists, doctors, and toxicologists. The categories are:
- Neurological: emotional manifestations (depression, suicidal impulses, irritability, inability to cope) and motor symptoms (muscle spasms, facial tics, seizures, multiple sclerosis)
- Cardiovascular problems: nonspecific chest pain, accelerated heart beat o Collagen diseases: arthritis, bursitis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosis
- Immune system diseases: compromised immunity
- Allergies: Airborne allergies, food allergies , and "universal" reactors. One of the keys to mercury's effects on health may be its ability to block the functioning of manganese, a key mineral required for physiological reactions in all five categories, notes Dr. Hulet.

6. Nickel
Sources of exposure: Appliances, buttons, ceramics, cocoa, cold-wave hair permanent, cooking utensils, cosmetics, coins, dental materials, food (chocolate, hydrogenated oils, nuts, food grown near industrial areas), hair spray, industrial waste, jewelry, medical implants, metal refineries, metal tools, nickel-cadmium batteries, orthodontic appliances, shampoo, solid-waste incinerators, stainless steel kitchen utensils, tap water, tobacco and tobacco smoke, water faucets and pipes, and zippers.
Target tissues: Areas of skin exposure, larynx (voice box), lungs, and nasal passages.
Signs and Symptoms: Apathy, blue-colored lips, cancer (especially lung, nasal, and larynx), contact dermatitis, diarrhea, fever, headaches, dizziness, gingivitis, insomnia, nausea, rapid heart rate, skin rashes (redness, itching, blisters), shortness of breath, stomatitis, and vomiting.
The greatest danger from chronic nickel exposure is lung, nasal, or larynx cancers, and gradual poisoning from accidental or chronic low-level exposure, the risk of which is greatest for those living near metal smelting plants, solid waste incinerators, or old nickel refineries.
How Can We Protect Ourselves from Heavy Metals?
Logic dictates that, once the potential harm from heavy metals is understood, their production and use should be phased out and toxic storage heavily regulated. As is obvious from the list of exposure sources above, logic is not the guiding principle here, except in the case of lead, the use of which has been curtailed.
Even if all heavy metal production were to stop today, however, enough heavy metals have been released into our environment to cause chronic poisoning and numerous neurological diseases for generations to come. There are presently 600,000 toxic waste contamination sites in the United States alone, according to the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Of these, less than 900 have been proposed by the EPA for Superfund cleanup and approximately 19,000 others are under review. While some of these toxic messes were likely caused by accidents or ignorance, the majority came from illegal dumping by hazardous product or waste distributors, manufacturers, transportation companies, or waste management companies. Such practices have not ceased, as focus on profit continues to override concerns about health, the environment, and a more promising future for all of our children.
With the government doing little or moving very slowly to protect the public from the hazards of heavy metals, it is up to individuals to take measures to protect themselves. According to conventional medicine, there is nothing a person can do to address aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, or nickel exposure, aside from avoiding known sources. Given the prevalence of these toxins in our lives, this is impossible.


HOW DO WE CURE HEAVY METAL POISONING?

To take an herb for a migraine headache is no different than taking an aspirin; you are treating a symptom, not dealing with the cause. Neither has cured anything. I have said elsewhere how detox the past few weeks have brought back joint pain that had disappeared. The pain is a part of my body telling my brain’s autonomic system that some action needs to be taken. My uterine used to be sore too but now I got rid of toxicity there and I am currently having my second ‘normal’ menses in years.

For cure - cause must be addressed.
YOU TREAT THE
WHOLE BODY
BY FIRST DEALING WITH:


· ACID BASE imbalance which almost always is metabolic acidosis (adequate water, exercise, diet, baking soda, getting rid of Metal residues)
· OXIDATION/REDUCTION STATUS (how rusty you are due to ph imbalance / you need to slow down the oxidation of oils and far with antioxidants : Vitamin A, C, E, Zinc [skin problems and eye problems require vit. A)
In addition, you want to supplement with good oils : flax oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil
· TOXIC METAL RESIDUES
(avoidance of pesticides, prescription drugs and elimination of heavy metals). Here you wish to address the specific metal. Yet, in general you want to drink plenty. I keep trying to drink 10 glasses of water a day (so as to avoid fasting) I usually take a glass of juice followed by one of water: between meals and again half an hour before meals. And even so, I keep waking up at night thirsty as can be, 2 or 3 times and I drink some more water.
· MICROORGANISMS in our case, mostly Candida (Garlic, yogurt) Avoid constipation with the use of fibers, enemas, colonics, or 3 cloves of garlic eaten whole.


Breathing heavy metal particles, even at levels well below those considered nontoxic, can have serious health effects. Virtually all aspects of animal and human immune system function are compromised by the inhalation of heavy metal particulates. In addition, toxic metals can increase allergic reactions, cause genetic mutation, compete with "good" trace metals for biochemical bond sites, and act as Antibiotics , killing both harmful and beneficial bacteria.
Much of the damage produced by toxic metals stems from the proliferation of oxidative free radicals they cause. A free radical is an energetically unbalanced molecule, composed of an unpaired electron, that "steals" an electron from another molecule to restore its balance. Free radicals result naturally when cell molecules react with oxygen (oxidation) but, with a heavy toxic load or existing antioxidant deficiencies, uncontrolled free-radical production occurs. Unchecked, free radicals can cause tissue damage throughout the body; free-radical damage underlies all degenerative diseases. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E curtail free-radical activity.
Heavy metals can also increase the acidity of the blood. The body draws calcium from the bones to help restore the proper blood pH. Further, toxic metals set up conditions that lead to inflammation in arteries and tissues, causing more calcium to be drawn to the area as a buffer. The calcium coats the inflamed areas in the blood vessels like a bandage, patching up one problem but creating another, namely the hardening of the artery walls and progressive blockage of the arteries. Without replenishment of calcium, the constant removal of this important mineral from the bones will result in osteoporosis (loss of bone density leading to brittle bones).



Nutrients Known to be Protective Against Heavy Metal Toxicity:

Aluminum: magnesium

Arsenic: Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, iodine, selenium, vitamin C, zinc.

Cadmium: Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, vitamin C, zinc.

Lead: Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc.

Mercury: Amino acids (containing sulfur), pectin (alginate), selenium, vitamin C. 67



A FEW MORE HINTS ON HEAVY METAL DETOX

Furthermore, the body detoxification process takes place at nighttime. Like me, you might have spent the past years being proficient in your professional and personal life and, sometimes, cutting down in your sleeping time? Now it’s time to pay back, relax and sleep a lot to allow the heavy metals out.
Sleeping is important. You might have chronic fatigue, well your body knows what’s good for you. You might also have experience the occasional fever at night. This is a form of natural defense of your body, you want to reproduce:

BY being warm at night when you sleep,

BY sweating while exercising (abdominal exercise is also a good massage for your intestine) Well, yes, I went all the way down to chronic fatigue and, back then, my exercise sessions consisted in a few stretches. This STILL IS EXERCISE and its important. [To help you sweat while exercising, wear an extra layer of clothing. Sweating is another way to let toxic waste out.]

BY going to the sauna, or better the steam room of a spa.


I let myself sleep as much as my body needs. A few months ago - along with fasting, Liver Flushes and enema treatments - I would constantly need 12 hours sleep. At some point you will reduce your sleeping time NATURALLY and, I admit, it feels great to have all this time back.
Exercises helps reduce sleeping time.



WHY IS ORGANIC FOOD A WISE CHOICE?


Because most pesticides are actually heavy metals that are going to kill the insects. SO IF YOU DO NOT USE ORGANIC FOOD. Make sure you peel off veggies and fruits before consumption to avoid assimilation of the heavy metals on its surface.

Hope this is useful
Jhan
 

 
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