Heavy metals are all around us. Unfortunately, because our bodies have become overwhelmed with the level of toxins in our world today, they are inside of us too. Some of the exposure sources to heavy metals include:
Water (lead, arsenic, and more)
Consuming fish (mercury)
Food cooked in metal (aluminum, nickel, and more)
Food grown near airports and highways (cadmium)
Dental fillings (mercury)
Vaccinations (mercury and aluminum)
Processed grains (tin, cadmium, and more)
Toothpaste (tin, lead, and more)
Makeup (aluminum, lead, and more)
This list is just the beginning. They are truly everywhere. While acute symptoms are usually more noticeable, such as vomiting and nausea, the chronic symptoms of toxic metal exposure are often overlooked. Here are some of the top signs to look for.
When toxic metals are being stored in the body, they impair our normal body functions. Imagine the effort it would take to swim through a thick sludge versus clean water. That is essentially what your cells have to do when your body is a toxic environment. Your body has to exert more energy just to keep your necessary processes running day in and day out. That is why chronic fatigue becomes a major problem. When you consider just how toxic these metals our to our bodies, it might be more appropriate to say that we are swimming upstream in this river of sludge.
Headaches and migraines can have many causes, including the presence of heavy metals. As our bodies expend energy trying to work through the sludge, even the nerves and blood vessels in the brain can become stressed and express signs of dysfunction. This is where chronic headaches or migraines come in to play.
Since our digestive system is our first line of defense for any of the metals that come in through our food and water, it also becomes one of the first areas to be damaged. The lining of our digestive tract is designed to filter what gets into our bodies. Ideally, it should keep undigested food particles and harmful substances out of the rest of the body. However, when that lining is damaged by toxic metals, not only do those metals find their way in, but so do other toxins that would have normally been trapped in the digestive system. This just adds insult to injury. So many digestive disorders come down to a leaky gut that has been impaired.
Though commonly seen as a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, the imbalance itself can be caused by the presence of toxins, such as heavy metals. As destruction from metals increase, more and more systems are affected. Whether it is our cell’s damaged serotonin receptor sites, the inability to properly produce serotonin, or something else altogether, having a poisonous substance stored in your body is going to affect how well your body can function on all levels.
Reproductive issues from painful and heavy periods to polycystic ovarian syndrome, low sperm counts, and even infertility can be the direct result of metals in the body. Heavy metals put your body in fight or flight mode. When your body is preoccupied with survival, having to grow, birth, and raise a baby is the last thing your body is ready to do. Even if the metals don’t affect your reproductive organs directly, your body will likely shut down this function itself because it knows your energy stores are needed elsewhere.
Eczema, allergies, asthma, hashimotos, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, lupus, arthritis…the list goes on an on. In an autoimmune disease, the body is fighting against itself. Something has confused the body’s ability to differentiate between self and invader. Heavy metals, which are excellent at binding to our cells, do just that because they have become so tightly bound that the body can’t tell the difference. The body knows that something is wrong though. It stimulates the immune system to kick into gear and begin attack mode. However, the enemy isn’t so clearly defined because the enemy has become part of us, thus creating a chronic state of autoimmune disease.
Our brains use a lot of fuel and energy. Our brains are responsible for overseeing and regulating so many of our internal processes. This is our command center, our hard drive. In an optimal state, the toxins we encounter are excreted through one or more of our elimination pathways, and the brain’s work runs smoothly. However, as our elimination pathways become overwhelmed, the sludge thickens. When your body needs to focus on survival, you don’t have the brain capacity or energy to think about much else. Items not immediately needed for survival, including many of our higher thought processes, become sluggish. Before we know it, brain fog sets in.
Keep in mind that this is certainly not an exhaustive list. Some people may not even have any symptoms at all. Sometimes when the metals are so deeply stored in our cells, our bodies can go about their daily functions without any indication that something is wrong. Just because they are being stored doesn’t mean they aren’t harmful though. Just because you aren’t experiencing symptoms doesn’t mean that you don’t have toxic metals in your body. Unless your toxic burden is light and your elimination pathways are open, there is cause for concern.
Once they enter the body, metals can be extremely difficult to get rid of because they bind with our own cells so well. Our regular elimination pathways may not be able to handle the load. The process of getting rid of stored metals is one that should be considered with great care because while most of us need to work on detoxifying, taking those metals out of storage before the body is able to effectively get rid of them can cause even more illness. You have to make sure your body is prepared to escort the metals completely out the door before you want them circulating inside.
In our world today it is impossible to completely eliminate our exposure. However, with a healthy body that has the ability to detoxify adequately, these metals don’t have to cause disease. The key to remember is that we can’t overwhelm our bodies with toxins and expect them to be able to eliminate all of them. If you suspect that you might have heavy metals built up in your body, it might be time to consider testing and working on a protocol to clear the sludge.
If you are ready to get started, I am here to help.
Olivia is a Certified Nutritional Herbalist and not a medical doctor. Any information published by Herbs By Mama is for informational purposes and not to be taken as medical advice. Information is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent disease. Please discuss participation in any health-related program with your healthcare professional. Herbs By Mama encourages you to take responsibility for actions pertaining to your health.