Heavy metal poisoning isn’t all that common, but it’s definitely one condition you’d do well to avoid, which can be tricky since these materials exist most everywhere in our environment. That said, there are steps you can take to avoid toxic buildup of heavy metals in your body.
At HealthFirst, Dr. Jonathan Singer is a leading expert in heavy metal poisoning, and he understands the serious health consequences that can accompany this condition. While we offer chelation therapy for patients who already have heavy metal poisoning, our goal is to help prevent the problem in the first place.
If you want to avoid accumulating toxic levels of heavy metals in your system, there are a few steps you might consider.
Heavy metal poisoning basics
Heavy metals exist almost everywhere in our environment and, believe it or not, our bodies do need small amounts of some of these substances to function.
To give you an idea about we’re referring to when we say heavy metals, here are a few examples:
As you can see, certain items on this list do have health benefits, such as iron, zinc, and copper. Even if a heavy metal isn’t essential for function, your body generally does a good job of processing and flushing the substance, as long as the amounts are small.
Where you can get into trouble is when you absorb too much of the heavy metal and your body is unable to flush out the excess, leaving it to build up to unhealthy levels in your tissues. This buildup can lead to heavy metal poisoning, which can create a wide range of health issues, from chronic pain and headaches to cognitive difficulties. For more detail on the symptoms for each metal, click here.
Avoiding heavy metal poisoning
If you want to limit your exposure to heavy metals, there are a few good rules of thumb.
For example, you may have heard of the dangers of mercury in seafood. Most fish and shellfish naturally contain mercury, and your body generally has no problem processing these small amounts.
Where eating fish can get tricky is with fish and seafood that contain higher levels of mercury. The primary culprits are those fish that prey on other fish, which increases the amount of mercury in their systems. As well, shellfish that filter water might also contain more mercury.
The health benefits of eating fish are large, and we don’t want you to avoid this food group altogether, but we suggest that you follow local fish advisories regarding mercury levels.
If you work around heavy metals, we highly recommend wearing masks that filter the air while you’re working. As well, you can bring home heavy metals on your shoes and clothes, so we suggest you leave these garments outside the home or in the laundry room. You should also shower at work before coming home or shower immediately once you get home, as heavy metals can be on your skin and in your hair.
These same steps hold true if you’re working with pesticides and fertilizers.
Pay close attention to lead, which used to found in paint. If you have an older home, you should have the paint tested for lead and take the necessary steps to get rid of any potentially hazardous paint.
These are general steps you can take, and we’re happy to sit down with you to review your life in more detail to find areas where you might proceed with more caution. To learn more, contact one of our locations in Greenwood Village, Colorado, or Cheyenne, Wyoming, to set up an appointment.