With all of the toxins in our world today, heavy metal toxicity seems to be epidemic. This post is our story about how we learned that we seemed to have heavy metal poisoning and what we did about it.
One thing I never really thought I would deal with is Heavy Metal Poisoning.
Just the concept of heavy metal toxicity sounds alarmist, doesn't it?
I almost can't believe myself that I am writing that title.
But then--life has a way of teaching us lessons that we really didn't want to learn.
Metal poisoning is one of them for me.
I Was Wrong
In my younger, more naive days, I used to think things like:
- life threatening food allergies were all in someone's head
- autism and Asperger's were just being over-diagnosed
- heavy metal poisoning or chronic fatigue was an excuse for someone who just was feeling tired and didn't eat well or something and really had something else wrong with them
It's hard for me to admit that, but it's true.
There's something about younger, full of energy years that makes one think that these things just aren't real.
But they are.
I found out the hard way.
I've shared a lot with you all already about autism and Asperger's, like in the following posts:
And though I haven't shared our whole story about life threatening food allergies, believe me---they are real.
I'll share more in the future.
But heavy metal toxicity? That's just a little too weird to be true, right?
Well, I'm going to share with you just a little bit today about our path with heavy metals, with more to come.
When my oldest son was born, we knew he was very sensitive. His poor little body was covered (literally) with horrible eczema at 3 months.
I went to great lengths to continue to breastfeed, including doing trials to figure out what he was allergic to and adjusting my diet accordingly.
But when his health took another big downturn at age 6, we knew our work with him needed to go beyond food elimination.
Heavy Metal Toxicity in Our Family--the Beginning
My son was super anxious and had obsessive behaviors that were almost impossible to handle.
Basically we were trapped in our home for a year. And mom went into overdrive trying to figure out what was wrong with him.
Finally, we arrived at a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome (a form of autism) for my son, and I ended up with candida and adrenal burnout (see my post on a test for adrenal fatigue).
That's when the visits with alternative practitioners and the heavy metal questions began.
There's a lot of info about heavy metals and health issues on the internet.
Some of them are fascinating.
Did you know, for example, that:
- Babies with autism have less mercury in their hair than neuro-typical babies. This seems to be due to the fact that the babies with autism don't detox the mercury so it is staying in their bodies. Source
- Aluminum is used in medicine in many ways, typically as a preservative
Possible Results of Heavy Metal Toxicity
According to the CDC and WHO, there are many reasons to be concerned about exposure to heavy metals. Following are some possible health concerns that can result:
Our Heavy Metal Poisoning Evidence
When I was starting my health path, I started talking with a man who had overcome mercury poisoning. I considered doing chelation therapy, but was concerned about the health problems that I had heard can be connected to this.
He recommended several immune boosting supplements as well as liquid zeolite (a supplement that makes a small cage to trap toxins and heavy metals and the releases them in your urine) to remove toxins and metals from my body.
So, on his recommendation, I tried some of these things in addition to purified liquid zeolite drops in my water as a detox supplement.
What happened to me was, well -- very interesting.
This might qualify as the current expression "TMI" for "too much information", but in the interest of sharing what I think is important health information with my readers, here goes.
I first tried a normal dose of the zeolite in each glass of water, but it was too much for me, apparently. I had fatigue that was like a cloud in my brain.
So, assuming I was having a herxheimer reaction (detox symptoms such as flu-like symptoms, fatigue, headache, or uneasiness, that occur when toxins are flooding your body faster than you can deal with them), I cut back to 1 drop per glass of water. If you'd like more information on what a herxheimer reaction is, or how to manage one, you can see this post on candida die off.
I tolerated that dose. And my urine smelled.
Like metal. For over 2 months.
Now I had to rethink what I originally thought about heavy metal poisoning.
My husband started taking the liquid zeolite as well.
As for his urine--well--he now describes it as "glow-in-the-dark Mountain Dew" (not that we ever drink that stuff, mind you :-)).
At that point, I was introduced to a Nutritional Balancing practitioner whom I mentioned in my post on Adrenal Fatigue.
We didn't get much progress with this method or this practitioner, but this particular situation was very interesting.
I mentioned my husband's urine color to her and she replied that cadmium is bright yellow, but she said that it was uncommon for cadmium to be released this easily.
However, months later when we had my whole family's hair tested, guess what came up on my husband's hair test?
I was a believer. The metals were there and they needed to come out. We literally had heavy metal toxicity. I was shocked!
I'll share more later about zeolite, what it is and how I use it now. Also, I'll share about other metals that have impacted our family.
Metal toxicity, along with many other toxic concerns, is a huge problem in today's world.
Detoxing from Heavy Metals
The CDC discusses chelation of heavy metals if there is a toxicity issue. (source) However, this should be done with caution as there can be a removal of minerals as well that can lead to health complications. (source)
There are many things that have been used to support the body to excrete heavy metals includes:
- lipoic acid
- liposomal glutathione
- sweating (source)
Current Thoughts on Heavy Metal Detox
There are so many different thoughts on how to detox from Heavy Metals. Some people do IV chelation (I have concerns about that) and others use prescription detoxifiers.
Of course, there are varying thoughts about who needs to detox from heavy metals and who doesn't. Most mainstream sources would say that one doesn't need to do this unless facing a very serious situation.
I currently use Liquid Zeolite on an ongoing basis as an "insurance plan" to continue to keep toxins out of my body. Some say that Diatomaceous Earth can be used for this. I'm still researching this. However, again, many sources state that your body's systems can remove toxins just fine, without any assistance.
There are other ways that one might consider addressing heavy metals in the body including some food sources. (source)
Natural vs Synthetic Zeolite
I get questions now and then about what brand of zeolite to use. Please do your own research about safety, etc.
I personally prefer to use natural zeolite. From my limited research into zeolite, there are some companies marketing synthetic zeolites and saying that they are superior, but I have a concern about that. There is a study using synthetic zeolite on chickens and the results were not encouraging–reduced chicken weight and reduced bone ash, egg weight, egg production and more. We aren’t chickens, but natural is typically better. (source)
What I'm Doing Now for Heavy Metal Detox (and where is part 2?)
Since publishing this post I have continued to work on my health. I'm working with practitioners on and off and we plan to address more things, including possibly some more detox.
I didn't do a follow up post quickly to this one since things changed. I didn't feel my practitioner at the time could handle other issues that showed up and I needed other answers.
We still use zeolite and I'm working on what to do next.
But I can add that this liquid zeolite is one that I am trying out and think is working well. The company seems to have integrity, they use natural zeolite, and are well respected in the natural health community.
I'm seeing real progress in my son as well (he has Asperger's). He's noticing things too like better social interaction, emotional stability, and even better coordination--and all of this in just 1 week!
So--have you thought about heavy metal toxicity before?
What are your thoughts?