(Part 4 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. 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 about what could be causing 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.


Savvy women know that nickel in jewelry will make their skin itch. Nickel is found as an alloy even in gold jewelry to help make the gold harder. While nickel does cause many skin allergies to jewelry, from rings to earrings and watch bands; inside the body, it causes other damage. It can cause kidney dysfunction, imbalance our hormones, headaches, heart attacks, cancer especially of the intestines and mouth, and muscle tremors.

Nickel isn’t something that is generally tested for with standard heavy metal chelation. However, it does become excreted along with other heavy metals and is generally considered a minor player in heavy metal chelation. Patients generally find that their sensitivity to jewelry decreases significantly over time with effective heavy metal chelation.

Sources for Nickel Accumulation

1)    butter, processed food, hydrogenated fats and oils, imitation whipped cream, margarine, oysters, tea

2)    tobacco and cigarette smoke

3)    stainless steel cookware!


Mercury is a huge health hazard and political hot potato. The political concern is that if the powers admitted the dangers of mercury toxicity, lawsuits might explode. The downside to failing to admit the dangers is to allow our bodies to be poisoned by default.

Sources of mercury accumulation:

The three most important sources of exposure are:

1)    mercury amalgams (dental fillings)

2)    contaminated seafood (farm raised salmon, wild tuna, swordfish)

3)    vaccines containing thimerisol

Additional exposures include:

4)    algaecides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, antiseptics, germicides, body powders

5)    broken thermometers

6)    burning newspapers

7)    fabric softeners

8)    some cosmetics, skin lightening creams

10)floor waxes

11) paints

12) photoengraving

13) over the counter medications, some suppositories and creams, contact lens solutions, diuretics, laxatives

14) tattooing, dyes

15) wood preservatives

The Long Term Effects of Mercury Toxicity

This article cannot come close to giving the attention it deserves in emphasizing the vast scope that mercury toxicity affects our body. The best way to think about mercury toxicity is to understand that mercury is very inflammatory to our nervous system, especially the coating of our nerve cells. Think of it like rust, eating away at the coating. When the nerve cell’s outer coating, its myelin sheath, is damaged, the abrasiveness of the metal does its damage like an electrical chord whose outer plastic insulation is abraded away, the wire becomes exposed and shorts out. Communication between nerve cells is hampered and the nerve cell itself dies from the damage to its myelin sheath.

Where in the body are we more susceptible to nerve damage from mercury toxicity? The brain and our peripheral nervous system, and our extremities suffer the most symptoms. Symptoms include: anxiety, poor coordination, jerky movements, hearing loss, deafness, depression, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, migraine, forgetfulness, hyperactivity, insomnia, irritability, joint pain, memory loss, cognitive and language processing disorders, brain fog, metallic taste in mouth, numbness, tingling, pain in the limbs, speech disorders, loss of memory, developmental arrest in children, suicidal tendencies, mania, tremors of eyelids, lips, tongue, fingers, and limbs, impaired vision. Other symptoms non-neurological included: adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, allergies, leaky gut, hair loss, alopecia, birth defects, cataracts, dermatitis, eczema, skin rashes, excessive saliva, bleed and sore gums, hypothyroidism, immune dysfunction, joint pain, kidney weakness and damage.

Eliminating Heavy Metals

Much is known in the field of chelation among medical practitioners treating autism, Asberger’s and the few dedicated specialists to lyme disease treatment. For purposes of this article, understand that one cannot simply seek and eliminate mercury or any one single heavy metal like a target for one’s chelation therapy! There is a hierarchy of order of excretion that the body prefers to undergo that tends to be little understood among many medical practitioners who chelate their patients.

The fallacy is to assume that if a patient’s mercury excretion is low on urine toxic metals or fecal metals (and its rare that both are tested together!) that it must mean the patient does not have much in the way of mercury to excrete. This is so far from true it can do a huge disservice to a patient. Future articles will go into greater detail the pitfalls and things anyone attempting to chelate heavy metals via prescription or non-prescription should become aware of. However, understand this, each metal in the body will be excreted on a curve, that can be plotted weekly or bi-weekly with urine or fecal labs (depending on the chelator used of course!) As one metal declines you see a gradual increase in the excretion of another. It can take the excretion of arsenic, cadmium, and lead in significant degrees before mercury becomes significant in chelation excretion.

Heavy metal detoxification is a marathon and not a sprint. Patients and parents of autistic children should not be in a rush to detoxify heavy metals. The availability of the heavy metal to be mobilized by the body depends on where it has been stored. The easiest metals to eliminate are those in the digestive track, intracellular matrix, and extracellular matrix, muscles and connective tissues. Those metals stored deeper in the brain, organs and bone take months to years to eliminate! And do not forget that every day you live and breathe on this planet you accumulate more heavy metals, especially lead from the car exhaust we breathe in.  Therefore, a regular chelation program is highly recommended for your long term health. Future articles will discuss in depth the subject of safe chelation and how an understanding of our liver detoxification pathways will help us to metabolize vitamins, and excrete toxins.

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