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Heavy Metal Detoxification

This topic is starting to come to the forefront of medical circles as we are finding more and more cases of metal overloads. The ease and inexpense of new tests are one of the reasons that the overloads are being picked up. Another is the ever increasing numbers of people with autism, aspergers syndrome, ADHD, and neuromuscular disorders.By far the most frequent of the metals found in excess is mercury, with lead, arsenic, and aluminum running second.

Mercury is most commonly found in the body due to dental fillings, vaccines, fungicides, pesticides, batteries, electrodes, large fish, and the paper industry. Most recently vaccines have been made without mercury due to medical concerns. Also pesticides and fungicides are being made without mercury due to environmental concerns, but the residue is still in the soils and water tables of the lands that they were sprayed with.

To put the mercury level into perspective, if one mercury filling were put into a ten acre lake, the EPA would have to order a fish advisory for the lake. All fishing, swimming, bathing, and boating would be off limits.
Early signs of mercury contamination include: decreased senses of touch, hearing, vision and taste, metallic taste in mouth fatigue or lack of physical indurance, and increased salivation. Symptoms of chronic or increased exposure may include: anorexia, numbness and paresthesias, headaches, hypertension, irritability and excitability, and immune suppression or immune dysregulation(auto-immune disease).  

Advanced disease of mercury toxicity include: tremors and incoordination, anemia, psychoses, manic behaviors, autoimmune disorders,  and renal dysfunction or failure. There has been recent research linking mercury toxicity to ADHD, Asberger's syndrome, autism, chronic bowel polyps and more. I feel in the future we will uncover the true detriments to our society from this deadly chemical.

Lead is accumulated in the bones of the body and inhibits formation of heme and hemoglobin. Sources of lead include: old lead-pigment paints, batteries, some solders, some ceramic glazes, leaded fuels, bullets, fishing sinkers, some artist paints, leaded joints or lead pipes in some water systems. Most absorption takes place orally by children mouthing sources of lead. Decreased amounts of zinc, calcium, or iron may increase lead uptake as well as an empty stomache at time of lead ingestion.

Low toxic levels of lead cause: impaired vitamin D metabolism, decreased nerve conduction rates, and developmental problems for children ancluding: loss of IQ, hearing impairment, delayed growth, and behavior disorders. Transplacental transfer of lead can occur at very low lead concentrations in the body. Also at low levels lead can participate in synergistic toxicity with other elements such as mercury and cadmium.

Arsenic sources include: contaminated foods(esp.seafood), water or medications. Industrial sources are from ore smelting/refining/processing plants, galvanizing, etching/plating processes, tailings from or at river bottoms near gold mining areas(past or present), insecticides, fungicides, orchard sprays(past) in water tables or soil,  and pressure treated wood.
Arsenic binds to sulphur, phosphorus and selenium which makes tissue sources higher. It can inactivate lipoic acid which is needed for metabolism of pyruvate and alpha-ketoglutarate(very important in sugar metabolic pathways).

Mild to moderate arsenic exposure can cause fatigue, malaise, eczema or allergic-type dermatitis, and garlic-type breath, and increased salivation.Aluminum is accumulated in the body but  also passes through the blood brain barrier(a tissue surrounding the brain that limits certain substances from passage through it). Unfortunately once through this barrier it cannot come back out accumulating in the brain.
Sources of aluminum come from foil, packaging of foods, cookware, antipersperants, food additives, processed cheese, baking powder, medications(maloox, gaviscon, mylanta, buffered aspirin, tums), over-the-counter medicines with aluminum binders such as basogel, amphogel, alucap, and alutab.

Symptoms may be anemia, osteomalacia(bone softening), glucose intolerence(severe reactions after ingestion of sugars), and dementia.There are many more heavy metals that can be toxic but by far these four are the most common. How can one tell if they are accumulating or showing deleterious effects from heavy metals. A consultation with a knowledgeable physician along with the proper laboratory tests should allow an easy diagnosis of heavy metal toxicity. Any laboratory that does hair analysis along with pre- and post-chelation urine challenge screens will do.

I use Doctor's Data(1-800 323-2784) and find them to be extremely competent, professional, inexpensive, and take insurance. Their website is also an information site and proves very useful on a variety of topics.Once a toxic level has been established I immediately use a chelation agent such as  Calcium EDTA. If there is no emergency crisis then I skip the IV infusions which are  faster but more expensive and much more time consuming for both patient and physician.

Rectal suppositories are used for the mild to moderate cases and have proven to be both less stressful, have better patient compliance, and even though a little slower acting, much less expensive. I use Detoxamin from World Health Products(1-877 656-4553 ext 131 )  Distributor ID# 186-593.  They come in a childrens size 375mg per suppository, or an adult size 750mg per suppository, and come packaged 30 per box. This would be a months worth using one every night and it usually takes 2-3 months to totally detoxify from these metals. There are two things one needs to watch for while utilizing EDTA. One is the chelation of minerals that we need in our bodies such as Calicum, Magnesium, Chromium, Iron, Copper, Zinc, and Maganese. It is absolutely essential to supplement with daily doses of a multiple mineral. Also EDTA is excreted via the kidney and so the proper kidney function must be established both prior to and during chelation with creatinine clearance tests. I hope I have shed some light on this very broad and troublesome problem. Everyone should be thinking about heavy metal toxicity that has symptoms described above with no permanent solutions offered by their medical care givers.  Read labels, use care when buying medications, cosmetics, cookware and utensils.  

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
They are the sole opinion of Dr. Schwartz and are not intented to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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