Toxic Metals: From Exposure to Burden
A travelogue of toxic metals in the human body
This post is part of a series on the facts and effects of heavy metal toxicity and/or burdens. If you missed the first post, you can read it here.
In a recent post, we talked about some of the different ways that we are being exposed to toxic metals. If you read it, you now know that you might be exposed to toxic heavy metals through food, water, soil, cleaning products, cosmetics, and even cookware.
But what happens next? How do we go from exposure to burden?
Mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum wreak their havoc in different ways, but they all have in common that they are stubborn, persistent, and they don’t want to leave. They accumulate over a lifetime, and enter the body more quickly than they leave.
Heavy metals are systemic toxins, meaning that they have the ability to spread out throughout the body, affecting any number of organs and systems from the brain to the immune system to the cardiovascular system, liver, and kidneys. Although our bodies do their best to defend us against toxins and intruders of all kinds, toxic metals present a significant challenge because of their ability to make themselves at home in our fatty tissues, where they are harder to eliminate.
And, once they’ve made their way into our bodies, toxic metals are essentially competing for space with good and vital minerals. The lower your intake of vital minerals such as zinc, the more your body will make use of heavy metals, which it will see as the next best thing.
High levels of heavy metals have been linked to conditions and disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s to autism to heart disease to ADHD and cancer, as well as symptoms with no clear cause such as fatigue, brain fog, and joint pain.
Toxic metals can disrupt our hormones, impair the immune system, harm a developing fetus, interfere with communication between organs, cause oxidative stress, and destroy neurons in our brains.
So what is there to be done? A proactive approach to reduce future burden or toxicity from heavy metals is to avoid exposure to these toxins whenever possible (find a list of common sources here), and ensure an adequate intake of vital minerals, which will help in discouraging heavy metals from getting too comfortable.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from symptoms or an illness brought on by heavy metals, click here to book a consultation with Dr. Gannage, who has extensive experience with heavy metal detoxification.
This post is part of a series on the facts and effects of heavy metal toxicity and/or burdens. Make sure to follow Markham Integrative Medicine on Facebook and never miss a post.