Heavy metals, like mercury, can contribute to, or be a root cause of, symptoms like low energy, cognitive decline and mood disturbances. It’s also one of the favorite fuels of viruses. Some of these can be a root cause of autoimmune conditions. You get the idea, heavy metal toxicity isn’t good.
Sources of heavy metals can include contaminated water, canned foods, cosmetics, fabric softeners, talcum powder, baking powders containing aluminum, antiperspirants, plastic toys, antacids, dental work, farmed fish, contaminated meats and dairy, household products (like aluminum pans and containers) as well as contaminated air (especially near a freeway) and some vaccinations. These metals are bioaccumulated meaning that they get stored in our fat cells as well as organ tissue. This is true for us just as it is for any living creature on this planet.
Toxic metals are all around us and have no beneficial role in our bodies. They also contribute to chronic diseases. These metals include mercury, nickel, cadmium, lead, uranium, aluminum, arsenic and thallium. Symptoms of heavy metal toxicity can include chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, high viral loads, skin irritations, neurological disorders, brain for, dementia, depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, insomnia, IBS, tremors, anemia, impaired hearing, speech, vision and a heart disease.
Certain foods can help remove heavy metals from our bodies. These can include green veggies, herbs (like cilantro), spices, algae and bone broth.
There are also detox therapies and supplements that can help support heavy metal detox. It’s good to start with heavy metal testing by your doctor or naturopath. But even if you don’t start there, there are some diet and lifestyle changes that can be beneficial.
One treatment protocol is chelation therapy. This is available through your doctor or naturopath. This can be done through an IV chelation therapy or a take home prescription of DMSA.
Another way to detox the body from heavy metals includes dietary changes and supplements which can help break down metals into smaller parts to they can be removed from urine, feces, sweat and breath.
Dietary changes to help metal detox include; foods rich in vitamin C, herbs and spices (like cilantro, ginger, parsley, turmeric and cinnamon), flax and chia seeds, water, bone broth, garlic and onions. Meanwhile try to remove farmed fish, non-organic foods, food allergens, processed foods and alcohol from your diet.
Supplements that can help support your detox include chlorella, vitamin C, cilantro (tincture form), milk thistle and probiotics (i prefer soil probiotics).
Heavy metal detox can make you feel like you have the flu especially if you opt for a more aggressive treatment like chelation therapy. For most of us, detoxing gradually is much better as most of us are too busy to take time out of our week to treat flu like symptoms. I recommend starting with dietary changes first. Then add in supplements. If you have a naturopathic doctor, I recommend working out a plan with them so you can track your progress.
Please note, that you may feel worse before you feel better. With a gentle approach recommended here be sure to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, drink plenty of water, manage stress, eat nutrient rich foods and don’t embark on heavy exercise routines.
You can also add in some sweating, like an infrared sauna, to help purge some of these toxins a bit quicker. This has been a nice review for me as well as it’s been some time since I’ve done a targeted heavy metal detox!