(Part 2 of 4 of Why Be Concerned About Heavy Metals?

In Part 1, we discussed the difference between heavy metal “poisoning” and being heavy metal “toxic”.  To get a feel for the impact that heavy metal toxic accumulation might play on your health, read this article in its entirety and when you are done print out the sections for each heavy metal and re-read them. Highlight all sources of exposure that pertain to you and all symptoms or conditions for each heavy metal that pertain to you. Then sit back and take a look at the span of symptoms that heavy metal toxicity could be playing in your life in terms of sources of exposure.

Make a plan of action to eliminate or minimize those sources of continuing exposure. Take a look at the symptoms and conditions you highlighted and get a feeling for how heavy metal toxicity could be accelerating, contributing or causing your symptoms. This will give you new insight on causes for your symptoms that your average medical practitioner may have never discussed with you that are worth addressing now. Future articles will address the complex subject of heavy metal chelation and how it can be safely done and effectively monitored.


There is much concern in the medical literature about the effects of chronic accumulation of aluminum and the development of Alzheimer’s and pre-senile dementia. Heavy metals, and especially aluminum, are very “abrasive” to the outer coatings of our neurons (nerve cells of the brain). Think of it like an electrical cord. It has a plastic coating to insulate the electrical wire, which is similar to a nerve cell. The aluminum “rusts” away the outer coating via inflammatory processes and causes irritation and interference with nerve cell function. It’s similar to scraping a wire and exposing it. Eventually it will short out. The sad thing is that aluminum is given to newborn babies in their vaccinations. This aluminum is considered an immune stimulant!

Where do we get aluminum exposure?

Here are some main sources of aluminum exposure. There are many others; but these we have the most control over.

1)       Canned sodas. Switch to glass bottles and drink sparking mineral water instead.

2)       Antacids. Take a broad spectrum digestive enzyme to improve your digestion. What you do not digest because of insufficient digestive enzymes and those foods that you are immunologically sensitive to will cause symptoms of acid reflux. Antacids have a rebound effect of inhibiting your digestion by the effect of neutralizing stomach acid, causing a vicious cycle of bad digestion, acid reflux and more antacids. See our other articles about acid reflux for more information.

3)       Aspirin. Try using ibuprofen instead.

4)       Baking powder, beer, bleached white flour

5)       Cigarette filters. Quit! or at least have a plan to systemically cut back a certain number per day until you can.

6)       Nasal sprays, salt, tap water, toothpaste. Read the labels!

7)       Scratched Teflon cookware. Throw out any Teflon that has scratches. You do not need aluminum leaching into your food!

8)       Aluminum foil. Save your food but do not cook with it!

9)      Car exhaust, air pollution

10) Deodorants. Read the labels. Try natural alternatives  

     such as crystal type deodorants and mineral based

     sprays from your health food store.

11)    vaccines (you can insist on thimerisol free vaccines, but you will have to read the label if your doctor lets you to see if it is aluminum free)

Symptoms from elevated Aluminum:

The most severe symptoms are those associated with the development of ALS, Alzheimer’s, dementia, slow brain function, brain fog, chronic forgetfulness, episodes of mental confusion, inability to maintain mental focus, temporary memory loss, abrupt changes in mood and behavior, tremors and headaches. Aluminum inhibits enzyme function in the body. Enzymes drive thousands of metabolic processes in the body. As a result, symptoms can be wide ranging and will not point to obvious aluminum toxicity. Symptoms include but are not limited to: loss of appetite, anemia, dry mouth, dry skin, chronic fatigue, excessive sweating, leg twitching, tremors, neuromuscular aches and pains and numbness, stiffness, or episodes of paralysis, show intestinal activity, constipation, skin problems such as itchy skin, skin rashes, weak and achy muscles, insomnia, pains in stomach, spleen, or liver, heartburn, acid reflux, or gas.

The effects of high aluminum are slow and cumulative and become more serious with the build up of aluminum in our bodies, especially our brains.


Most patients are surprised to find elevated arsenic levels in their hair when they run a hair test. Most of us think of arsenic as being poisoned like in some thriller movie. However, arsenic is an ever present contaminant. Sources are:

1)       Burning of Coal

2)       Insect sprays, pesticides

3)       Gardening

4)       Shellfish, oysters, shrimp

Symptoms from elevated arsenic?

Arsenic accumulation, like most heavy metals is a slow accumulation taking years to become elevated. Brittle nails are common, skin problems such as dermatitis, drowsiness, garlicky odor to breathe, or stools, hair loss, headaches, hyper-pigmentation of nails and skin, muscle aches or spasms, weakness in limbs, nervousness, and a sweet metallic taste in the mouth. Arsenic in larger exposures can cause abdominal pain, anorexia, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, burning in the mouth, stomach and bowels, difficulty in swallowing, throat constrictions and convulsions. It is known to increase one’s risk of liver, lung, and skin cancers. One good thing however, is that arsenic is one of the easiest and first heavy metal toxins the body excretes during chelation.


When patients find elevated cadmium levels they always are astounded and ask “where did that come from?”.

1)       airborne industrial contaminants

2)       batteries

3)       cigarette smoke

4)       cola

5)       copper refineries, copper alloys, dental alloys

6)       drinking water

7)       electroplating

8)       fertilizers, food from contaminated soil

9)       fungicides

10) incineration of tires, rubber, plastic

11) instant coffee

12) iron roofs

13) marijuana usage

14) processed meats, oysters, evaporated milk, refined

      grains, flour cereals, cod, haddock, tuna

15) motor oil, paint, pesticides,

16) galvanized pipes, welding metal

17) rubber, rubber backed carpet,

18) soft water!

19) solders (in food cans)

20) tobacco

21) silver polish

Symptoms from cadmium accumulation

Cadmium is very bad and the symptoms affect many organ systems. Consider heavy metal detoxification if you have any of these symptoms because a reduction in your overall cadmium exposure can help reduce and might even eliminate your symptoms. As you will see, cadmium spans a wide list of disorders, diseases and symptoms, all of which can be improved by its elimination: alcoholism, alopecia, anemia, arthritis both osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, bone pain, cancers, cardiovascular disease, cerebral hemorrhage, cirrhosis, diabetes, digestive disturbances, emphysema, enlarged heart, flu like symptoms, impairment of growth, headaches, high cholesterol, hypertension, hypoglycemia, impotence, inflammation, infertility, kidney disease, learning disorders, liver damage, lung diseases, migraines, nerve damage, osteoporosis, prostate dysfunction, reproductive disorders, schizophrenia, and stroke.

Cadmium detoxification usually accompanies other heavy metal excretion. It will run its own course in terms of excretion in a curve with persistent chelation. As with most heavy metals you cannot aim for the detoxification of a single heavy metal. Part 3 will continue to discuss other common heavy metals.

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.


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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan