“Detox” is one of the most popular buzzwords in the health world these days. It can mean anything from eating extra greens and sipping apple cider vinegar to fasting and taking a pile of supplements. In addition, there are external detox methods like epsom salt baths, detox foot soaks, infra-red saunas and dry brushing.
There are plenty of ways to detox and you may have tried them just because you haven’t been eating so healthy and feel a bit sluggish.
What Are Heavy Metals? Heavy metals are dense metallic or semi-metallic elements naturally occurring in the earth. They occur naturally in the soil and leach into water sources, but there are plenty of man-made sources as well. Certain heavy metals aren’t a problem in small doses and are even necessary to the body, but the harmful ones like lead, mercury, and cadmium can bio-accumulate in the body faster than our bodies can detox them which can lead to health issues and complications.
Sources of Heavy Metals Heavy metals are causing toxicity in our modern environment:
Limiting heavy metals exposure is just one of the reasons to consume meats and seafood from good sources, use holistic mercury free dentistry, use natural deodorants and beauty products, and avoid hydrogenated oils.
Why Are Heavy Metals a Problem?
Why are heavy metals so bad for the body?
There are over 20 heavy metals in total that can be especially toxic. These substances actually “intrude” and interrupt normal cellular processes by binding with protein sites and replacing the metals that naturally occur in the cell. This affects the functioning of mitochondria, or the energy makers of our cells, leading to symptoms like fatigue (and much worse with long-term exposure).
Doing all we can to limit exposure is half of the battle, but there are certain steps we can take to help our body process and eliminate heavy metals by doing a detox.
Do We Need to Detox Heavy Metals?
Heavy metals toxicity isn’t isolated, many doctors and holistic practitioners believe that toxic metals are a primary driver of disease today. We are seeing health issues and diseases we just didn’t see 30 years ago, due to the increasing introduction of toxins into our environment.
Clearly, heavy metal poisoning goes beyond acute exposure via chemical spills!
Of course, our bodies have amazing detoxification mechanisms that allow us to take in a certain amount of heavy metals without harm.
However there are individuals like children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with conditions that impair detoxification are especially vulnerable to heavy metal exposure.
Not all our bodies are able to detox just fine on their own. Some people have compromised liver function, the compromised ability genetically to detox, and a lot of other mitigating factors that cause them to accumulate toxic metals and chemicals that require them to take a more aggressive approach to detoxification.
Signs of Heavy Metal Toxicity
While signs of acute toxicity are easier to spot (severe cramping, vertigo, vomiting, difficulty breathing, impaired motor and cognitive skills, etc.), more subtle signs that you need to detox heavy metals are:
Left unchecked heavy metal toxicity can cause serious disease including Alzheimers, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and cancer.
Heavy metal toxicity can lower energy levels and damage the functioning of the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, blood composition and other important organs.
Long-term exposure can lead to gradually progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that imitate diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and muscular dystrophy. Repeated long-term exposure of some metals and their compounds may even cause cancer (Jarup, 2003).
The toxicity level of a few heavy metals can be just above the background concentrations that are being present naturally in the environment. Hence thorough knowledge of heavy metals is rather important for allowing to provide proper defensive measures against their excessive contact (Ferner, 2001). (Jaishankar 2014)
Should You Detox?
There are ways to detox heavy metals that enter the bloodstream and help flush them out before they cause chronic disease.
Basically, if you generally live a healthy lifestyle but still experience many of the above symptoms, it may be time to dig deeper.
How to Test for Heavy Metals Toxicity
Testing is needed to find out if heavy metals actually are the culprits behind your symptoms.
A hair mineral analysis test is a great place to start. In addition to toxic metal levels, this test can give clues to overall health factors like metabolic rate, inflammation, blood sugar levels, and more.
Is It Dangerous to Detox Heavy Metals?
Yes, detoxing heavy metals out of the body requires special caution, but there are safe ways to help our bodies’ natural detoxification processes along. However, since different heavy metals require different methods to get them out of the body, professional testing and supervision is definitely recommended for the safest and most effective detox.
Basically, you don’t want to get heavy metals moving around in your body unless you also have a way to make them exit or they can cause even more serious problems. There are two important steps in the process when it comes to ridding the body of heavy metals:
Step 1: Mobilise
Certain supplements and detoxification methods “unlock” heavy metals where they are accumulating and get them moving. However, releasing heavy metals can cause even worse problems without incorporating step two.
Step 2: Bind and Eliminate
This grabs on to heavy metals and ensures they are supposed to exit the body as quickly as possible.
Rachel is the founder and principal dentist at Evolve Dental Healing with over 25 years experience, practicing holistically since 2001. Not your typical dentist, Rachel is a passionate opinion leader, challenging convention to empower people to make better dental and health choices, helping thousands to have healthy natural smiles. A respected writer and presenter on holistic dentistry, health and wellness it is Rachel’s mission to revolutionise the way people look at their dental health.