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Heavy Metal Toxicity Symptoms You Should Know About

test sheet highlighting lead level for heavy metal toxicity symptoms

Heavy Metal Toxicity Symptoms You Should Know About

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While your body needs small amounts of some heavy metals, such as iron, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc, to function effectively, your health is at risk if these accumulate to an excessively high level. In this article we’ll take a look at the heavy metal toxicity symptoms you should be aware of, how you could come into contact with them and how we test for heavy metals.

How Can Heavy Metal Poisoning Occur?

Poisoning can occur if your body’s soft tissues absorb too much of a particular heavy metal that it’s unable to metabolise or excrete. The most common metals that people can absorb in toxic amounts are lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium and there are a number of ways that you could be exposed to them.

Heavy metals toxicity can be caused by exposure to pollution, chemicals and poisons. They may be absorbed into your skin, you may inhale tiny particles or you may ingest heavy metals from food or water. 

For example mercury poisoning can occur through contaminated seafood, certain cosmetics or the breakdown of old metal dental fillings. Lead is most commonly found in lead paint and lead pipes in older homes which may contaminate drinking water. 

Arsenic poisoning can occur through excessive exposure to insecticides, herbicides and pesticides, eating contaminated water or seafood and through paints or enamel. Cadmium can be found in cigarette smoke, fertilisers, batteries, PVC plastics and paint pigments.

What Are The Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity?

The symptoms of heavy metal toxicity vary depending on the type of metal, the amount ingested, and the duration of exposure. However, some common symptoms include:

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms and stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps and joint pain
  • Skin rashes or discoloration
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Anaemia
  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Cognitive and motor function changes, including memory loss and tremors

Heavy metal toxicities can lead to numerous health conditions including those affecting the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, muscle, skeletal, skin and nervous systems.

In severe cases, chronic exposure can lead to heavy metal toxicity causing a range of rare diseases, brain damage and organ damage, such as kidney failure, and can even be life-threatening. If you suspect that you have been exposed to high levels of heavy metals, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

How Do We Test For Toxicity To Heavy Metals and Minerals?

There are a number of tests that we can use to determine the level of heavy metals present in your system. Following a consultation with your practitioner at Perpetual Wellbeing and whether you are displaying specific heavy metal toxicity symptoms, we may test via a blood sample, urine, saliva, hair sample or take a stool sample. With access to the most advanced technology in assessing minerals and metals through a variety of collection methods, the team at Perpetual Wellbeing can undertake heavy metal testing to help you get to the bottom of your symptoms. If you’re concerned that you may have been exposed to high levels of heavy metals or you’re displaying a number of the above symptoms make an appointment with one of the team today.

We offer Naturopathy and Nutritional Medicine consultations

at 2 convenient locations, Brisbane CBD and Graceville