Sounds scary, right? Well not really. We all have the ability to process and eliminate a reasonable amount of these metals and have been doing this for as long as humans have existed. What seems to be the problem in some people is a combination of higher than normal burden of these metals in conjunction with other toxic substances. Also, weakened processes in the liver and kidneys can contribute to higher than normal storage of these toxic substances.
Testing for heavy metal burden is a complex process. It involves looking at both an unprovoked urine sample and a chelation provoked urine sample. The unprovoked sample shows your current exposure while the provoked sample gives us an idea what is being stored in your tissues. By using chelating agents we can pull toxic metals from tissues such as the bone, fat and brain to show the storage of these metals. When testing for heavy metal burden in the body, we are looking for a level that would be associated with your symptoms, not necessarily just low levels that the majority of the population would have in their bodies.
Often it can be difficult to pinpoint where the exposure occurred because it may have happened many years ago or had been a low level exposure that occurred over many years. Some of the most common sources of exposure are:
- Amalgam or silver fillings
- Water sources especially well water
- Foods such as fish, soy, rice, seafood, kale salads
- Food storage or cooking materials: Tin cans, aluminum cookware, baking pans
- Pressure treated lumber
- Paints and ceramics
- Cigarette smoke
- MRI imaging
- Industry and construction exposures
- High fructose corn syrup
Toxic metals can impact a number of systems within the body including: gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiovascular, central nervous system, renal and hepatic systems. In addition, many health issues can be associated with elevated toxic metals including: cancers, skin conditions, neurological conditions and general feelings of fatigue and pain sensitivity. Often the burden can also cause patients to become more sensitive to other toxic substances such as perfumes, herbicides and pesticides.
Treatment of heavy metal toxicity involves chelation therapy as well as supportive nutrient therapies designed to prevent side effects associated with treatment. Most side effects can be managed by supporting the mineral depletion associated with chelation therapy and optimizing liver and kidney function.
Please contact the clinic if you’d like to further investigate heavy metal toxicity as a cause of your health issues. Ensure you specify you’d like to see Dr. Coombs for investigation into heavy metals:
Momentum Health Westbrook 403-454-1600
Momentum Health Creekside 403-239-6773