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How Heavy Metal Overload Impacts Our Health


A buildup of heavy metals in the body can have serious health implications. Some of the most frequently encountered toxic metals include aluminum, lead, arsenic, iron, cadmium, and mercury. They enter the human body through inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Over the last five decades, environmental exposure to heavy metals has become a growing problem across the world due to increased usage of these metals in products and industrial processes.

Impacts of Heavy Metal Overload
Exposure to heavy metals, even those that are non-toxic, can pose adverse health impacts. The highly reactive characteristics of metals create complexes with other compounds including chloride, sulfide, and oxygen by which toxicity is exerted. With continued internal imbalance and exposure, the body begins retaining the metals and utilizing them as an alternative to vital elements. For instance, lead can substitute calcium, aluminum any trace elements, and cadmium can be an alternative to zinc. The stored metals are locked in the tissues and disrupt metabolic processes, change the antioxidant or pro-oxidant balance, and connect to liberate the sulfhydryl groups, leading to inhibition of enzymes, glutathione metabolism, as well as hormone function.

Heavy metals are antagonistic to trace elements and tend to compete with elements for nutrition for the storage and transport of proteins, receptors, and metallic enzymes. When nutritional balance and metabolism are disrupted, it can result in significant abnormalities in the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, hormones, neurotransmitters, and increase exposure to infections. This can damage the function of the central nervous system or even the cognitive function by directly influencing the production and utilization of neurotransmitters. Energy levels in the body can drop due to the alteration of some metabolic body processes as well as damage to the liver, blood composition, lung, kidney, liver, and other important organs.

Heavy metal overload can disturb the biochemical processes stimulating oxidative damage, which is the main component of inflammatory illnesses and cancer. Long-term exposure to heavy metals can result in gradual degenerative muscular, physical, as well as neurological processes.

In the adrenal glands, heavy metal overload can diminish hormone production, which gives rise to stress, early aging, reduced sex drive, and exacerbation of menopausal symptoms. Furthermore, this can result in unresponsiveness to medications amongst diabetic individuals, and neurological diseases, including loss of mental power and depression, and aggravate conditions, including hypothyroidism and osteoporosis.

Toxic metals are linked to allergic reactions, trigger genetic mutation, function as antibiotics, eliminate beneficial bacteria. Most of the damage generated by toxic metals originate from the production of oxidative free radicals.

Heavy metal overload can likewise increase the blood’s acidity. The body withdraws calcium from the bones to assist in the restoration of the blood acidity. Moreover, toxic metals establish conditions that result in inflammation in tissues and arteries, leading to more calcium being transported to the area. Eventually, this gives rise to the hardening of the arterial walls with progressive osteoporosis and arterial blockage. The vascular impacts of heavy metal overload include thrombosis, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, immune dysfunction, dyslipidemia, mitochondrial dysfunction, and vascular smooth muscle dysfunction. 

The clinical results encompass coronary heart disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, renal dysfunction, and atherosclerosis. For adults, symptoms of low-level heavy metal overload in tissues can lead to a decline in productivity, energy, as well as the quality of life, cardiovascular disease, total debilitation, and premature dementia. Chronic symptoms linked to an excessive buildup of heavy metals include musculoskeletal pain, depression, fatigue, neurological disorders, allergic hypersensitivity, and failing memory.      

How to Diagnose Heavy Metal Overload
Heavy metal overload can be diagnosed by taking the medical history of the person, including recreational activities, hobbies, occupation, and environment. Physical findings differ according to health status, sex, and age of the person, form or dose of the metal present, as well as the time lapse of exposure.

Testing for the presence of toxic metals in blood, hair, or urine offers clues for the diagnosis of cadmium, mercury, lead, and arsenic overload. A test called Provocative Challenge through the use of a 6-hour or 24-hour urine collection can mobilize toxic substances in the body and determine the toxic element levels in urine. On the other hand, hair analysis can be utilized as a screening examination for the presence of heavy metals.

Final Words
Heavy metal overload in the body can trigger various diseases and damage to vital organs in the body. Detection and elimination of these heavy metals (Link article to heavy metal detox article) are essential in regaining the body’s healthy state. Diagnosis of heavy metals in the body can be conducted using diverse methods such as taking the medical history, urine or blood examination, and hair analysis. 

TimeWaver offers an in-depth heavy metal analysis as well as different solutions for heavy metal detox.

Call us today for an appointment.

 

 
   
 
 
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