Heavy metal toxicity is a hidden epidemic

Sunday, April 27, 2014 by: Dr. David Jockers
Tags: heavy metals, detox, cancer prevention

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(NaturalNews) Heavy metals are completely ubiquitous in our modern environment. Industrial pollution, modern technology and consumer goods are the route of exposure for most individuals. Our bodies can typically handle small dosages of these metals but larger doses cause a very serious stress on the body.

It is impossible to completely avoid exposure to toxic metals. Many have occupations that expose them to high levels of metals while others are exposed through air pollution and food and beverages. It is possible to reduce exposure to these metals through proper lifestyle choices.

What are heavy metals?

Toxic metals are individual metals and compounds that negatively affect our health. In very small amounts, many of these metals are necessary to support life but in larger amounts they become toxic. The most common heavy metals our bodies are exposed to include arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, lead, copper, mercury, tungsten, aluminum, antimony, cesium, barium, uranium, thallium, nickel and many others.

Heavy metals toxicity caused by increasing levels of pollution and use of chemicals in industry is a growing threat to our health and development of our children. High levels of toxic metals deposited in body tissues and subsequently in the brain may cause significant developmental and neurological damage.

When do metals become a problem?

Acute metal poisoning is very rare but chronic low-level exposure to toxic metals can lead to a significant retention in the body and be associated with a vast array of health problems. The adverse health effects of heavy metals occur when the individual's net retention of metals exceeds physiological tolerance.

The key factor here is the individual's ability to detoxify and eliminate these metals. When the liver, kidneys and gut are healthy and functioning optimally they can eliminate most of these poisons. Chronic elevated exposure over time will wear out these systems and cause metal retention where assimilation exceeds elimination.

Who is vulnerable to heavy metal toxicity?

Occupational hazards for heavy metal toxicity include working with industrial chemicals, automobile repair, dental work, painting, construction work, etc. Also, many individuals have older homes with lead or copper pipes that can leach these metals into the water. Drinking city tap water can have a variety of these different metals as well.

Beyond exposure to the metals, the individuals who are most at risk for heavy metal toxicity are those who are suffering from pre-existing health challenges. These include leaky gut syndrome, liver damage, chronic infections, elevated mental/emotional stress, trauma and/or injury, blood sugar imbalances and micronutrient deficiencies. These issues can both contribute to heavy metal toxicity or be caused by the damaging effects of heavy metal toxicity.

The various symptoms of heavy metal toxicity include fatigue, neurological problems, digestive problems, chronic pain and inflammation, weight loss resistance, liver and kidney problems, insomnia, auto-immunity and cancer among others. Heavy metal toxicity is a very serious problem and must be addressed for optimal health.

Testing for heavy metals

There are many ways people have used to test for heavy metals. Most commonly are blood, hair and urine analysis. The best way to test for toxic metals is with a pre- and post-provoked urine challenge. This test compares heavy metals in the urine before and after taking a pharmaceutical metal detoxification agent such as EDTA, DMSA or DMPS.

These various compounds have different affinities for specific metals and they sequester metals from deep tissue stores and mobilize them to the kidneys for excretion in the urine. It is important to do both pre- and post-provocation urinalysis in order to determine ongoing exposure and what the body is regularly eliminating and what it has retained.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to

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