This info was taken from Why Can’t I Get Better?

We breathe them, eat them, drink them, and absorb them though our skin.

Metals, industrial compounds and chemical by-products like plasticizers, pesticides, pollutants and additives in our food and cosmetics are some of the toxins that slowly accumulate in our bodies. Like Lyme, overloads of these substances can imitate just about any illness.

Metals as toxins

  • Infectious diseases seem to overlap with heavy metal exposure.
  • High levels of mercury, lead and cadmium cannot be metabolized effectively. As a result, various physiological functions may become impaired and vital minerals are depleted. If you have dental fillings, neuropathy, cognitive difficulties, tinnitus or neuropsychiatric symptoms, consider heavy metals as a possible contributor.

Heavy metals have become abundant in the environment:

  • 84 percent of New York rain samples exceeded the EPA’s human health standard for mercury in lakes.
  • The CDC published a study regarding 116 pollutants, including 13 heavy metals found in a sample of 2,500 citizens.
  • The Environmental Working Group in DC found 167 chemicals, including flame retardants, in the breast milk of women living healthy (organic) lifestyles in California.
  • A 1997 Mercury Study Report to Congress reported that 158 tons of mercury were released in 1994 alone.
  • The EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances estimates that 4 billion pounds of pesticides are used annually in the US.

Mercury

  • This toxin’s effects on your health depend on how much of it you have, your nutritional status, your immunity and your detoxification pathways.
  • Mercury binds to sulfhydryl groups in the body, increasing oxidative stress and cytokine production.
  • It can bind to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain needed for memory (think Alzheimer’s symptoms) and neurological health.
  • It can cause denervation of nerve fibers in the peripheral nervous system, as is seen in MS and peripheral neuropathy.
  • This toxin is also associated with ADHD, autoimmune disorders, and fibromyalgia.

Other metals

  • Lead can cause encephalopathy, anemia, poor memory, GI problems, insomnia, anxiety and peripheral nerve dysfunction. It can raise blood pressure, causing hypertension.
  • Arsenic is now found in rice products and can cause peripheral neuropathy, paresthesia, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Cadmium can cause toxic brain syndrome, hypertension, vascular disease, emphysema, osteopenia, prostate cancer and renal dysfunction. It competes with zinc.
  • Aluminum can cause neurofibrillary tangles and brain degeneration; these are found in people with Parkinson’s and ALS. It can also impair speech.

Testing for heavy metals

  • You can do a 3-hour, 6-hour, or 24-hour urine test with an FDA-approved chelator, DMSA.
  • DMSA binds to metals in the tissues so they can be excreted via urine.
  • Metametrix and Doctors Data both provide heavy metal testing.

Some toxins are produced internally

  • Quinolinic acid is a neurotoxic metabolite produced by the brain that is involved in Neurogenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, ALS, Huntington’s, MS, and Alzheimer’s.
  • Lyme increases quinolinic acid.
  • You can suppress the production of quinolinic acid with antioxidants or COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex.

Removing metal toxins

  • Requires chelation along with detoxification and nutritional balancing
  • DMSA
  • Cuprimine
  • IV EDTA and DMPS
  • NAC, ALA, chlorella
  • Malic acid, found in apples and grapes for aluminum, which doesn’t bind well to DMSA
  • Horowitz recommends mineral replacements of calcium, magnesium, zinc and trace minerals on the days you are not chelating
  • Glutathione or its precursors, NAC and ALA
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