In 1974 the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that 80% of all world disease could be attributed to heavy metal toxicity, and yet nearly four decades later the full significance of this statement has been largely overlooked. The medical profession tend only to consider even investigating this option if there has been a recent known acute exposure or a history of accidental or occupational exposure and yet, it is extremely common.
For most, the accumulation of heavy and toxic metals occurs in microscopic amounts from a variety of sources daily over a period of decades. As such, this cause of illness is often overlooked and un-investigated by conventional medical methods – or mistaken for another disorder. Metal toxicity leads to profound physical and psychological problems which are both extremely persistent and resistant to most treatments.
The good news is that once you start addressing the underlying metal toxicity your mind and body can start to heal and function properly. For more information on the topic of identifying and treating metal toxicity, please refer to my book: Chronic Fatigue, ME and Fibromyalgia: The Natural Recovery Plan.
I hope that the information in this article will be of great benefit to both you and those you love and care about – because I (and many others) believe that metal toxicity is a hugely underestimated cause of chronic mental and physical disease, suffering and ultimately death.
What are toxic metals?
Nearly three-quarters of the hundred or so known elements are metals. Of these there are 35 metals to which many people are exposed through environment or occupation and 23 of these are classed as ‘heavy metals’ including cadmium, lead, manganese and mercury. Acute exposure to these metals is acknowledged to cause poisoning, but what we are interested in is low level exposure from a number of environmental and occupational sources over decades. However, not all metals are detrimental – some metal elements are required for proper function of the body and these substances are known as essential minerals.
Toxic metals cause problems in a multitude of ways including:
- Binding securely to proteins
- Blocking mineral binding sites
- Occupying oxygen transport sites
- Causing massive free radical damage including to DNA
- Substituting for essential minerals and
- Poisoning energy production processes.
Metal toxicity and disease
It is possible that occult metal toxicity plays a causative role in nearly all serious and chronic illness and is certainly a significant cause of fatigue related syndromes. Many metals have profound and persistent psychological and physical effects and this one factor alone could account for many of the modern illnesses that we are witnessing as the body is poorly equipped to deal with toxic, and particularly, heavy metals. A hallmark of metal toxicity is fatigue combined with a lack of motivation, mood disturbances, poor memory and concentration.
Several home urine tests for metal toxicity are available. However, please note that whilst these tests may indicate an issue with heavy or toxic metals, a negative test specifically does not rule out the possibility of metal toxicity as these urine tests are an indirect measure of toxic metals in circulation and tend to indicate only recent exposure.
The body however, is very efficient at storing toxic metals in various body compartments in order to remove them from circulation and prevent them damaging the vital organs such as the heart and brain and so these tests may only partially be helpful. See the article Testing for Toxic Metals for more information on this topic.
In my experience, nearly all seriously and chronically ill people have some element – often significant – of metal toxicity, so treating metal toxicity is nearly always a good place to start recovery. Also, metals are highly synergistic with other metals and other toxins so that detoxifying metals can prove to be the key to restoring health.
Also, many of these metals are passed from mother to child in both the womb and breast milk, so much of your body burden of metals may have been handed down from maternal exposure. If either you or your mother had any amalgam fillings and/or vaccinations (both contain mercury) and/or any exposure to metals through either a hobby, occupation or, for instance, from living in a house with lead water piping, the odds are good that metal toxicity is playing a role in your condition, especially if you have:
- Any fatigue related syndrome and/or any serious, degenerative, chronic or autoimmune disease
- Any condition that is failing to respond to treatment or that is getting worse instead of better
- Any ‘mystery’ or ‘invisible’ illness that the doctors cannot identify and where test results come back ‘normal’
- Chronic or recurrent candidal infections and/or any frequent or chronic infections and
- Any contact sensitivity to metals.
Continued in Metal Toxicity 2