Heavy metals drive our body to develop certain diseases. They make us susceptible to developing other diseases, and therefore play a significant contributing factor to whether we develop a certain condition or disorder. Part of the problem in traditional western medical diagnosis is that the focus is on the disease and not so much on the cause. There is even less focus on how multiple causative factors push one into developing a disease and little to no concern about how eliminating some significant factors such as heavy metals can significantly diminish symptoms and in some cases reverse the course of one’s disease! This article will help to enlighten you to a new understanding of how this one aspect, heavy metals, can play a significant part in your risk to developing certain disorders, how an accumulation of certain heavy metals can be causing or making your symptoms worse, and how the effects of heavy metals is involved in more diseases and disorders than you possibly imagined.

There are two ways of thinking about heavy metals, one is heavy metal poisoning such as lead or arsenic poisoning, which can be the result of acute or chronic exposure. The symptoms of heavy metal poisoning are restricted to the effects of that particular heavy metal, i.e. lead. The other way of thinking about heavy metals is in terms of heavy metal toxicity. This is always a slow chronic accumulation of heavy metals and the accumulation may consist of principally one significant heavy metal, such as methyl mercury from contaminated fish, but is also associated with the accumulation of a host of other heavy metals such as lead, cadmium etc… Therefore when we speak of heavy metal toxicity, we are looking at a complex blend of different heavy metals whose cumulative effect spans and magnifies the individual toxic effect of each heavy metal!

The symptoms from generalized heavy metal toxicity can be quite different from a specific heavy metal poisoning. For example, a person suffering from lead poisoning can suffer severe intestinal and neurological symptoms. However that same person that has a high degree of lead toxicity can have more subtle symptoms still caused by lead toxicity such as advanced arteriosclerosis from the accelerated plaque formation caused by the calcification of lead in the lining of one’s arteries. This is why heavy metal toxicity in traditional medicine is so difficult to address unless it is seen as “poisoning” per se.

The silent damage and catalysts that heavy metal toxicity plays in a host of disorders and diseases makes heavy metal toxicity a global concern for us all. We live in a toxic industrialized world where toxins from one nation have documented effects from air currents on another nation. We are slowly poisoned by the gradual accumulation of heavy metals. We need to change how we think about the risks and effects that heavy metal “accumulation” plays upon our developing common conditions that Western medicine currently does not recognize as having any connection with our heavy metal toxic load.

Conditions such as alopecia, arthritis, diabetes, acid reflux, chronic fatigue, brain fog, osteoporosis, prostate and reproductive disorders, learning disorders, hypertension, a host of nervous disorders and neurological disorders, weakened immune system function, muscle weakness, pains, cancer, and skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and skin rashes. Many of these conditions can manifest because of the catalyst of heavy metal toxic accumulation. Existing symptoms can also become aggravated by their aggravating presence in the body. Their elimination should be a route part of anyone suffering from a chronic disorder or symptom and a regular part of an optimized health care program even for those in apparent good health because the effects of heavy metal toxicity accumulation are silent until the body breaks down and gets out of balance.

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 the causes for your symptoms that your average medical practitioner may have never discussed with you before that are worth addressing. Future articles will address the complex subject of heavy metal chelation and how it can be safely done and effectively monitored.

How do heavy metals affect us?

Heavy metals are especially damaging to our nervous system and brain. Once in the body they tend to stay deposited there. The cumulative heavy metal burden over time increases our free radical damage in addition to the specific damage that particular heavy metal causes. The effect of heavy metals in our body depends upon multiple factors:

1)      the age of initial exposure

2)      the dose of initial exposure

3)      the duration of exposure

4)      the type of metals exposed to

5)      the state of immune health at the time of exposure

6)      the state of liver detoxification efficiency

7)      the available mineral stores the liver has to drawn on to fuel additional heavy metal detoxification pathways

8)      the presence of other microbes in the body that bind heavy metals making their elimination impossible until we eradicate the pathogens

Age of Initial Exposure

The most damaging effects of heavy metal exposure are to the newborn because their immune systems take 2 years to mature. Newborns have brains and nervous systems that are undeveloped. Their neurons are growing. The presence of heavy metals from vaccines (thimerisol, aluminum), from mother’s mercury stores mobilized into her breast milk, and from what was transferred to the developing fetus while in the womb can overwhelm the immune system and act as an immune catalyst to begin an inflammatory attack on the baby’s digestive system and brain and nervous system.

Methionine, an essential amino acid that the liver needs to detoxify all toxins, especially heavy metals, is also the same amino acid that is needed to help the body make myelin, the sheath that coats the nerves of the brain and nervous system. Any heavy metal toxic burden robs the body of this much needed amino acid. Therefore, depletion of methionine stores that result from heavy metal toxicity, plays a part in causing slower neuron synthesis and repair! This is one mechanism for developmental arrest seen in autistic and Asberger’s infants that result from heavy metal toxic exposure. 

State of Immune Health & Detoxification Pathways

As adults, our immune health dictates how well we will react to an abrupt exposure to heavy metals such as a vaccination or removal of dental mercury amalgam. If we are already in a state of high immune alert, with multiple inflammatory processes in place such as leaky gut, low grade chronic pathogenic infections, and localized inflammation in tissues in the body such as skin, lung, mucous membranes etc., then the heavy metal will act as fuel to fire. It will heighten all inflammatory processes.

Inflammatory processes can also cause immune recognition to key metabolites in the detoxification pathways of the liver. Future articles will discuss the specifics and how they can be treated and bypassed. A heightened state of alert causes more metabolites to be recognized by the immune system and thus the immune system begins to run interference in the efficiency of the liver’s ability to bind and excrete toxins. This complicates and accentuates the toxic effects of heavy metal accumulation.

If we are already in a state of high extracellular toxicity from microbial metabolites, digestive metabolites, and metabolic metabolites, then the added heavy metal toxicity places an additional burden on our body’s mineral stores. These minerals are essential catalysts that fuel the binding process of capturing and excreting toxins in the liver. Deficiencies in these minerals cause the entire detoxification process to slow down and stall to a significant degree. The result is that these toxins then become deposited into tissue as the body attempts to protect the brain from circulating heavy metals.

In summary, how an acute or chronic exposure affects your body is a dynamic process. It depends on what the exposure is, how toxic you already are, how well you excrete toxins (your drainage), how much minerals stores you have available to fuel the liver detoxification pathways, and how much your immune system may interfere with all of your metabolic processes, including the liver detoxification pathways, as to how your body will respond. Part 2-4 will go into detail on the common types of heavy metals and their specific effects on the body.

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