By Dr. Catthie Lippman, MD
I’m going to talk with you about heavy metal toxicity. What is all this stuff about heavy metals? The metals that we’re talking about include aluminum, mercury, cadmium, lead, bismuth, arsenic, just to name a few. The federal government actually has standards for how much of these metals is too much in our bodies. The problem is many people run around with less than that amount, but it still affects their health. Let me give you some examples of what these ailments are from the heavy metals.
Let’s take lead, for example. There’s no safe level for lead in the human body. Some of the ailments from lead include reduced intelligence, poor growth, poor bone development, and poor muscle coordination, irritability and anxiety, high blood pressure, even ringing in the ears. Cadmium. Some of the ailments associated with excess cadmium include fatigue, learning disabilities, skin disorders, even increased risk of infection and cancer.
Mercury affects every system in the body. For example, the cardiac system: people experience irregular heartbeats and palpitations. The nervous system: people experience depression, irritability, anxiety. They can also experience nightmares, seizures, even. The immune system: people are more vulnerable to infection. Skin: people get acne and rashes. The gastrointestinal system: people can experience colitis, heartburn, bloating, and even nausea.
So how does a person become exposed to these metals? Many ways. Amalgam fillings are a source for mercury and nickel. Smoking is a source for cadmium. Using ceramic and glass containers that are glazed with lead paint is a source for lead. Hair dyes are a source for lead. Using aluminum cooking utensils, a source for aluminum. Antiperspirants contain aluminum. Many body lotions and creams contain cadmium. Eating a lot of fish is a source for mercury. Though mercury has been removed from many vaccines, it’s still found in the flu vaccine. Vaccines can contain aluminum or mercury.
You’re probably wondering how a person finds out if they have heavy metal toxicity. If you have amalgam — those are the silver fillings in your mouth — I can guarantee you, you have heavy metal toxicity. If you had those amalgam fillings removed but did not do the special detoxification for heavy metals, chances are you still have heavy metal toxicity. Even a fetus can become toxic with heavy metals if the mother is toxic because the metals pass through the placenta.
Well, how does a person find out if they have heavy metal toxicity? There are tests: tests of the stool, tests of the urine, tests of the blood, and even tests of the hair that will show heavy metal toxicity. One gets these tests through a knowledgeable health practitioner like a medical doctor, a naturopathic doctor, an osteopath, a chiropractor, and an acupuncturist.
There’s a special kind of therapy for getting rid of heavy metals. It’s called chelation therapy because it pulls the heavy metals out of the body. The therapy involves the use of medications like DMSA, DMPS, and EDTA. Those are abbreviations for longer names. The therapy can be given orally, intravenously, transdermally, which means it’s put on the skin, and rectally.
The treatment can last weeks, months, or even years, depending upon how toxic the person is and their response to treatment. There are other remedies available for removing heavy metals from the body. These include herbs and homeopathics. I do recommend that any treatment be done under the supervision of a knowledgeable health practitioner like a medical doctor, a naturopathic doctor, an osteopath, chiropractor, or an acupuncturist.
Let me give you a couple of examples where chelation therapy has been helpful. Jane is a 35-year-old woman who had severe eczema. We discovered that she was toxic with heavy metals, especially mercury, through urine testing. With chelation therapy, we reduced her mercury level significantly in her body. As a result, her eczema improved by 80 percent, her mood got better, her food allergies diminished significantly, and Jane felt much better overall.
Another example is Michael, a 10-year-old boy brought to me for learning difficulties and slowed speech development. Michael, as it turns out, was toxic with lead. After chelation therapy, Michael no longer had his learning difficulties, his speech was normal like his peers, and he felt much better about himself, as did his parents.
In summary, you can see that heavy metal toxicity is associated with a wide variety of health problems. If you have health problems, consider consulting a knowledgeable health practitioner like a medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, osteopath, chiropractor, or acupuncturist who can assist you with the testing for heavy metals and also with the chelation therapy to get rid of them.
If you want more information about wellness topics, consult my handbook “Staying Healthy In a Challenging World.”
Visit Dr. Cathie Lippman, MD for more information.