Heavy metal toxicity is a major problem that most humans are suffering from whether they realise it or not. There are many ways that we come into contact with heavy metals. As well as consuming them through our diets, the overload of environmental pollutants that exist today mean that heavy metals can be breathed in and absorbed through the skin (including through rainfall). As the skin is the largest organ in the body, it can soak up heavy metal-laden shower and bath water, taking the metals straight into our blood.

Common heavy metals include mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminium, barium, silver and the metalloid arsenic. They can have a seriously negative impact on our health, including damage to the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine and central nervous systems; the lungs, liver, kidneys and bones can also be affected. Heavy metals are food for candida, which is already endemic due to poor diet among other things.

Mercury and lead

Lead and mercury, like many of the other metals, are considered to be dangerous neurotoxins. They impair our cognitive function, causing fatigue and brain fog at the very least.

Mercury is one neurotoxin we all wish to avoid. Warnings come with energy-saving light bulbs that if they break, you must open all windows immediately, leave the room and do not touch any of the breakage with your skin. They must be carefully disposed of and should not be put in normal refuse. Fluorescent strip lights also contain small amounts of mercury.

Some fish and shellfish contain methylmercury, so it is advised not to eat too much of these. Amalgam fillings can lead to mercury poisoning, which is why they have to be carefully removed by a holistic dentist with a rubber dam so that you don’t breathe I the toxic vapour. We have to ask ourselves why such a toxic metal is a standard part of dental procedures in the first place.

Foods grown in lead-rich soil can pollute the body, and lead pipes can carry this metal into the water supply. Lead-based paints in old buildings can also cause lead poisoning. Even flat screen televisions contain chemicals and mercury and lead, as well as arsenic, barium, and cadmium. Disposing of these pollutes groundwater.

Barium and aluminium

We can come into contact with barium through smoking occupational exposure, groundwater and environmental pollution, and some medical procedures. There is evidence to support that excess barium and aluminium are in the atmosphere.</p>

Barium salts and sulfates are in solutions that medical patients must drink to improve x-ray imaging and some radiological procedures. Barium poisoning has been linked to muscle twitching, low blood potassium, high blood pressure, respiratory failure, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and cardiac arrhythmias. In severe cases, paralysis, kidney damage, degenerative diseases (including MS) and even death.

Aluminium is found in food, cosmetics, skin ‘care’ (like deodorants) and allopathic medicines (like aspirin), as well as home cookware, processed foods, and drinks such as tea, wine and fizzy drinks. It is though to cause Alzheimer’s disease as it accumulates in the brain, causing contamination.

Signs of heavy metal poisoning

Because the symptoms often mimic those caused by other health conditions, they are not always attributed to heavy metal poisoning. If you experience anemia, nausea and/or vomiting, abdominal cramps, pains or diarrhea, heart problems or central nervous system dysfunction, it could be down to a bodily overload of heavy metals.

It is possible to find out what your levels look like by getting a blood, urine, hair or nail test. You can also do so by getting an Oligo mineral test done, which offers detailed instant results.

Tattoos and heavy metal poisoning

Tattoos are incredibly popular in this day and age. Having art on your skin is considered more or less normal now, but one of the side effects people rarely consider is heavy metal poisoning.

A lot of tattoo inks can contain metals such as cadmium, iron, mercury, arsenic, and lead. These help to colour the ink and make it permanent. Cadmium levels often show up as very high in mineral tests, but this can also be down to tobacco smoke and even foods like grains, leafy vegetables and fish; electric batteries and solar panels also contain it.

Black ink also contains carbon black and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; these are pollutants that are similar to soot and they have been known to turn people’s lymph nodes black.

Even though a heavily tattooed person might feel relatively normal, a stool analysis hair analysis, or routine blood work might reveal liver enzymes commensurate with liver failure and a burdensome toxic load within the body. This can be the case even when somebody has lived an otherwise healthy life.

The liver is placed under a great deal of pressure by these metals and pollutants, but liver enzymes might return to normal if a dedicated detox process is undertaken, including cessation of alcohol consumption, chelation, and liver support.

Those planning to get a tattoo should find out from the artist which ingredients are in their ink, and find one that is prepared to use non-toxic ink, such as vegetable based pigments. These might be derived from colourful spices, such as turmeric.

How to deal with heavy metal toxicity

Chelation is the most popular way to remove heavy metals from the body. It enables the elimination of metals from the body.

It is also wise to adopt a healthier lifestyle, which means better diet (less fish, fizzy drinks etc.), addition/supplementation of healthy vitamins and minerals, elimination of toxic habits like alcohol consumption and smoking, choosing natural, chemical-free cosmetics and skincare, and holistic removal of mercury (amalgam) fillings.

Using vitamins and chelating products can also help to remove some of the toxic build up. Vitamin C scavenges free radicals and can reduce levels of lead, as can garlic. Selenium inhibits mercury and arsenic accumulation while promoting their excretion.

MSM powder or gel, zeolite liquid or powder, Bentonite clay and cilantro are also great chelators, as are milk thistle and dandelion. Alpha-Lipoic Acid and glutathione have also been known to help reduce toxicity, as can folate, which may lower blood mercury and cadmium levels.

As most people’s heavy metal test results show up a high level of heavy metals due to modern life, it is necessary for all of us to take chelation seriously, incorporating it into our everyday lives as a normal part of our health routines. The risks are simply too high to ignore.