Our environment is filled with potential contaminants called heavy metals that can harm our bodies. While small amounts of certain metals are actually beneficial for our health (think iron, zinc and manganese), large amounts of any of these common metals can be toxic, and we can be exposed to metals like lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium due to pollution, food, medicine and household products.
Heavy metal poisoning can cause a number of serious problems to your health. Lower energy levels, damage to blood composition, reduced mental function, decreased central nervous function and damage to the lungs, kidneys and liver are all potential side effects of this illness. Researchers have even found that chronic exposure to certain metals could increase an individual’s risk of developing cancer.
Heavy metal toxicity can interfere with your quality of life, and unfortunately it is often a condition that goes undiagnosed for some time. There are two different types of metal poisoning that everyone should be aware of: acute toxicity and chronic toxicity:
- Acute toxicity is often easy to diagnose because the symptoms happen quickly, often as a result of environmental exposure or ingestion. Symptoms can include cramping, nausea, headaches and difficulty breathing.
- Chronic toxicity occurs when an individual becomes ill from heavy metal poisoning due to long-term exposure. The symptoms are similar to those of acute toxicity, but without the rapid onset. It may be difficult to directly attribute the cause of the symptoms to heavy metal, as health conditions and symptoms could develop over the course of months or even years.
If you believe you’re suffering from heavy metal poisoning, it is important to consult a physician who is specialized to treat heavy metal poisoning with chelation in Rochester Hills. Chelation therapy introduces a compound that binds to toxic metals and forces them to exit the body through urination or a bowel movement.
However, you can also minimize your chances of being exposed to heavy metals by:
- Keeping your home dust-free and removing your shoes upon entering. Heavy metals often collect in dust and dirt, so vacuuming and dusting regularly can reduce your exposure.
- Staying aware of mercury levels in the fish you eat. Due to environmental pollution, shark, swordfish, king mackerel and other types of fish often contain high levels of mercury. Seafood options that are generally lower in mercury include canned light tuna, salmon, catfish, pollock and shrimp. You can also check out local seafood advisories and advice on avoiding mercury on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
- Checking labels. Whenever you bring a new product into your home, check the label to see if it contain heavy metals. Paints, dyes, soaps, light bulbs, electrical fixtures and some other household products are frequent sources of heavy metal exposure in the home.
Heavy metals may not be the most talked-about threat to our health, but it’s important to remain aware of how they can affect us and how they can be avoided.