Toxic Metals Factsheet

Summary

 

  • Toxic metals is an umbrella term for some chemical elements that are present in the human environment and cause poisoning (toxicity)
  • The most common toxic metals are Aluminium, Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury and Nickel.
  • Acute poisoning with these metals is rare. However, if that occurs, a person becomes very unwell and needs hospital care urgently.
  • Chronic, sub-acute poisoning with toxic metals is more common. It is creeping in slowly causing confusion, tiredness, muscle weakness, bone pain, deformities and fractures, seizures, speech problems, slow growth—in children, swollen skin, skin changes, such as new warts or lesions, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, muscle cramps, tingling of fingers and toes, kidney damage, fragile bones, infertility, miscarriages, low sperm count, mood disorders, high blood pressure, memory and concentration problems, shakiness (tremors), pathological shyness, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, depression, memory and concentration problems, trouble walking and vision, hearing and speech problems, contact dermatitis and death. 
  • Testing for toxic metals poisoning often leads to a discovery of roots and the location of the health problem.
  • Risk factors for metal toxicity include:
    • exposure to some household items and paints that were produced with the use of toxic metals.
    • living in the areas contaminated with some toxic metals.
    • working in the industries like metallurgy, technology hardware, chemical manufacture.
    • consuming contaminated food and water, often without knowing it. An example is Mercury poisoning from sea products due to biomagnification.

 

Optimal Health

 

  • Testing for toxic metals is essential if there are any suspicious symptoms present.
  • Should any toxicity be identified, an investigation should be launched to determine and eliminate the causes.

 

Symptoms of metal toxicity

 

  • Aluminium: confusion, tiredness, muscle weakness, bone pain, deformities and fractures, seizures, speech problems, slow growth—in children
  • Arsenic: Long term exposure to arsenic may result in darkening skin, constant sore throat, persistent digestive issues. Later on, a person is exposed to red or swollen skin, skin changes, such as new warts or lesions, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, muscle cramps, tingling of fingers and toes.
  • Cadmium: kidney damage, fragile bones, persistent fatigue and death.
  • Lead: infertility, miscarriages, low sperm count, mood disorders, persistent fatigue, joint and muscle pain, high blood pressure, memory and concentration problems.
  • Mercury: shakiness (tremors), pathological shyness, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, depression, memory and concentration problems, trouble walking and vision, hearing and speech problems.
  • Nickel: contact dermatitis.

 

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