Heavy metal poisoning is a toxic accumulation of heavy metals in your soft tissue. Since your body cannot break them down, they’ll accumulate and cause healthy functioning interference and nervous system damage.
Some heavy metals have no known health benefit, while others are required in small amounts. For example, zinc, copper, chromium, iron, selenium and manganese are essential for good health, yet toxic in large quantities. The nonessential heavy metals that typically cause toxicity are lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and thallium.
Metal poisoning symptoms vary widely because of their individual nature and quantity of retention. A myriad of potential symptoms due to heavy metal toxicity include:
- weight loss
- metallic taste
- abdominal pain
- nausea & vomiting
- cognitive impairment
- blue-black gum lines
Albeit, these symptoms are vague and can be easily mistaken for causing some other health issue.
Heavy metal toxicity can lead to other health conditions, like:
- renal failure
- lung cancer
- chronic fatigue
- bladder cancer
- Wilson disease
- pulmonary edema
- pulmonary fibrosis
- reduced sperm count
- peripheral neuropathy
- nasopharyngeal tumors
- Parkinsonian syndrome
If heavy metal poisoning is unrecognized or treated improperly, the poisonous exposure can cause significant morbidity and mortality.
Some metals are used therapeutically, such as:
Any one of these metals can cause poisoning effects when taken in too large a quantity or if your elimination process is impaired.
Because heavy metal poisoning can cause long term effects, notably nervous system and digestive tract damage, consider it a medical emergency if you have a sneaking suspicion of any type of toxicity.
In some cases, when heavy metal toxicity is suspected, the only treatment required is identifying and removing the source. And a full dietary and lifestyle review helps reveal the point of origination.
Bear in mind, heavy metals gain entry via food, water, air or skin absorption. Therefore, your toxicity exposure may occur by means of diet, medications, environment, work or play.
Otherwise, metal poison treatment is chelation therapy. A chelating agent specific to the problematic metal is given orally, intramuscular or intravenously. These agents bind to the metal, which releases it from your tissue into the bloodstream to be filtered out by the kidneys and excreted in urine.
Chelation therapy is effective in treating lead, mercury and arsenic poisoning. But it’s not a cadmium nor thallium poisoning treatment method.
Acute cases of mercury, arsenic or thallium ingestion may have induced vomiting and gastric lavage as a useful treatment component. And you may receive intravenous fluids to prevent potential complications of shock, anemia and kidney failure.
Chelation therapy treatment only halts further poisoning damage. It doesn’t reverse any neurological damage that’s already been done.
Chelation is promoted as an alternative therapy, and may be claimed to treat:
- heart disease
- multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Nevertheless, at this time, chelation therapy has only been a proven health benefit for treatment of heavy metals poisoning.