“According to researchers, not since the Roman Empire has human exposure to heavy metals been greater than now.”
When I say “Heavy Metal Toxicity” or “Heavy Metal Burden” what image conjures up in your head… a heavy metal rock concert with a decibel level that would crumble a Roman coliseum? Rome may not have been built in a day, but its fall was in part due to heavy metal poisoning.
According to researchers, not since the Roman Empire has human exposure to heavy metals been greater than now. Today, heavy metals and other toxic substances in our environment appear to be bringing about a similar decline in the mental and physical health of society. Learning disabilities and behavioral problems are rampant. Autoimmune disorders continue to increase at an alarming rate. These include rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, type I diabetes, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis. Heavy metals and other environmental contaminants are likely a factor in these and other modern health problems.
The heavy metals that are affecting us are those on the periodic element chart that settle into the body and cause health problems. They’re not called “heavy metals” because they weigh a lot. The term “heavy metal” refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density, are toxic and even poisonous at low concentrations.
Our environment and lifestyle allows for heavy metals to make their way into our bodies. We can breathe them, eat them, drink them, and even absorb them through our skin. It’s always helpful to “know your enemy,” so here are some important facts about the major heavy metals we’re being exposed to. If you are chronically ill, heavy metals may be causing your health problems! Learning disabilities, infertility, Alzheimer’s, a variety of neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue and even cancer can involve heavy metal toxicity! Let’s take a brief look at a couple.
Mercury is one of the most toxic substances we can be exposed to and we are exposed to it on a fairly regular basis. The World Health Organization position on mercury is: “Recent studies suggest that mercury may have no threshold below which some adverse effects do not occur.” Mercury is found in pesticides, dental fillings, contaminated seafood, various cosmetics, and some fabric softeners. Mercury can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. It can cause chronic candidiasis, depression, dizziness, fatigue, gum disease, hair loss, insomnia, memory loss, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, food and environmental allergies, menstrual disorders, miscarriages, behavioral changes, 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! 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. It is important to note that a mercury detox program is usually needed after fillings have been removed.
Lead is also 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. “Lead concentrations in the blood as low as 2.07 µg/dL likely represent a public health hazard.” According to published literature, 38% of U.S. adults had a blood lead level above this threshold. Lead 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 affected most severely. Possible symptoms of lead poisoning include anxiety, arthritis, confusion, chronic fatigue, behavioral problems, juvenile delinquency, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, liver failure and death. Exposure to lead can come from food that is grown near roads or factories, certain hair products, food from lead-soldered cans, imported ceramic products (especially from Mexico and China), ink on bread bags, batteries in cars, bone meal, insecticides, and lead solder in the water pipes.
Aluminum isn’t technically a heavy metal, but it is a neurotoxin all the same as it can cross and alter the blood-brain barrier. Possible symptoms are Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and aching muscles. Trace amounts of aluminum may not be toxic, but we are exposed to excessive levels in our modern society. We can be exposed through cookware, baking powder, toiletry items like antiperspirants and cosmetics, dental amalgams, medications, fertilizers and unfiltered water.
Dr. Godo can help you determine if heavy metal toxicity or heavy metal burden is the root of your chronic health problem and prescribe safe, effective methods to eliminate it. He can alert you to foods which are high in heavy metals and offer natural strategies for reducing your exposure to them, and improving your health.
Dr. Jason Godo, DC