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Are Heavy Metals Weighing Down" Your
If you're chronically ill, heavy metals may be causing your health problems!
learning disabilities, neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue
and even cancer can involve heavy metal toxicity!
Rome was not in a day, but it was destroyed by heavy metal poisoning in its water supply! The Roman aqueduct system and the plumbing in it's famous public baths and in the residences of Rome's ruling class were incredible for their time. However, the lead pipes in the civic water system caused neurological disorders that led to the decadent behavior that caused the Roman Empire to collapse. Read on, and you'll understand why lead, and other heavy metal poisoning is so serious.
Today, heavy metals and other toxic substances in our environment are bringing about a similar 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.
Make sure your water pipes have no lead; avoid lead-based painted objects; don't 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.
It's always helpful to "know your enemy," so here are some important facts about the major heavy metals we're being exposed to, what symptoms they cause and how they are being introduced into our lives. These are not the only heavy metals, but they are the most common sources of heavy metal poisoning.
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 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 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 can't 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 isn't technically a heavy metal, but it is a neuro-toxin all the same as it can cross and alter the blood-brain barrier. Possible symptoms are 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, weak, and aching muscles.
Trace amounts of aluminum are not toxic, but we are exposed to excessive amount in modern society. We can be exposed be exposed through cookware, baking powder, toiletry items like antiperspirants and cosmetics, dental amalgams, medications, fertilizers and unfiltered water.
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.
Heavy Metal Detoxification
If you are concerned that heavy metals could be a problem for you, one way to verify this possibility is to have a hair analysis done. High levels of heavy metals in hair are a good indicator of heavy metal exposure. You may also wish to talk to your health care provider about other options. In the meantime, here are some general indicators to consider.
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's 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's 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 Heavy Metal Detox 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. Another option is to take a foot spa bath.
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 2-4 capsules LBS II at bedtime and/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's 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.
Here's what each of the supplements in the program does.
Flax Seed Oil or Omega-3 EPA
One of the reasons why heavy metals are so hard to eliminate is that they are not naturally water soluble. Good fats are required in order for the body to bind and move heavy metals out of the system. These supplements also help reduce the inflammation heavy metals cause.
Heavy Metal Detox
This product is specifically designed to help the body bind heavy metals and remove them. The key ingredient, cilantro, has the ability to bind to, detoxify and clear heavy metals and other neurotoxins from bones, the brain and the central nervous system. Other ingredients include N-Acetyl-Cysteine and I-methionine (amino acids that help clear heavy metals from the body and improve the immune response), sodium alginate and kelp algae (for binding toxins for elimination) and alpha lipoic acid (a powerful antioxidant which helps heavy metal detoxification in the liver).
Algin or Nature's Three
Algin (sodium alginate) is a gelatinous substance extracted from certain brown algae. It binds heavy metals in the intestinal tract and carries them safely out of the body. Algin also prevents tissues from absorbing radioactive materials and protects tissues from toxins and carcinogens. Nature's Three is a fiber supplement which can do the same thing, but is not as strong as algin.
Bentonite Clay Baths
Bentonite is natural clay that comes from volcanic ash. It has been used internally and externally for its absorptive properties. When hydrated, it has a large surface area and carries a negative charge that can safely absorb and lock on to a large amount of toxins, including heavy metals, which are then eliminated. It can be taken internally, but when used in a bath, it pulls heavy metal contaminants out through the skin. This accelerates the detoxification process.
Other Supplements to Aid Heavy Metal Detoxification
Alpha Lipoic Acid is often called the universal antioxidant. It has both fat- and water-soluble properties and can cross any membrane in the body. It helps the liver remove toxins, including heavy metals.
Mega-Chel is designed to help remove the build-up of mineral deposits (arterial plaque) in the circulatory system, but it also has the ability to help the body eliminate heavy metals. It is particularly helpful for getting lead out of the system. Simply add 1-2 tablets of Mega-Chel taken twice daily to the basic program.
N-Acetyl Cysteine, also known as NAC, is essential for the body to mount a defense against free radicals, and it supports the natural elimination of harmful toxins, including heavy metals. This nutrient is a precursor to glutathione, one of the body's most powerful antioxidants. Heavy metals deplete glutathione, but NAC helps remove them.
Bowel Detox aids digestion and elimination and can be a helpful addition to a heavy metal cleansing program. The blend contains enzymes, fiber, bentonite clay, charcoal and herbs which support the liver and intestinal function.