4 min|Dr. Maya Kuczma
Heavy Metals - Why You Probably Have Them PLUS Your Treatment OptionsWellness, Nutrition, Mind Health, Health, Education, Gut Health, Heart Health
Heavy Metals Are All Around Us
Inevitably, our current environment exposes us to many toxins. One group of toxins that we are all exposed to are heavy metals; they are present in our environment, food, and water. We eat, breathe, and absorb them via contact with fertilizers, cookware, amalgam fillings, construction, seafood, tobacco, cosmetics, and medications. Due to the large amounts of metals in our environment, as well as individual deficiencies in detoxification pathways, many of us cannot clear these heavy metals from our system.
When these metals build up, they create toxicity and greatly impact our health, contributing to a variety of chronic health conditions such as mental health disorders, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, candida overgrowth, nervous system conditions, and behavioral disorders.
The removal of heavy metals requires an individualized treatment program, taking into account the current health status of an individual and their lifestyle. There are a variety of methods of heavy metal removal (known as chelation) that vary in aggressiveness and potential intensity. The best treatment plan involves a focused and safe approach to removing metals, lifestyle changes that decrease exposure to toxins, and supportive methods for the organ systems involved in detoxification.
Below, three of our practitioners discuss their approach to heavy metal detoxification:
The Naturopathic Doctor
If a patient’s health history and symptoms lead us to be suspicious of heavy metal toxicity, we use urine testing to determine their levels of heavy metals. If their results indicate that heavy metal levels are a concern, we create a treatment plan, taking into account the types of metals in their system, as well as their current level of health. ‘Slow and steady’ wins the race when it comes to chelation; depending on the patient we may recommend a course of intravenous therapy, during which a chelating agent is delivered to the bloodstream where it will bind to heavy metals.
Once bound, the body is able to naturally excrete the metals. Alternatively, we may dose chelators orally. No matter what chelation method we use, we ensure that mineral levels are supported throughout this process, as chelation inadvertently depletes our minerals. Additionally, we create a plan that provides support to our major detoxification organs – liver, kidneys, and large intestine – in order to ensure adequate elimination of the bound metals.
The Holistic Nutritionist
A well-rounded heavy metal detoxification plan addresses current metals in the system while being mindful to limit further exposure. The most important changes you can make to your lifestyle to avoid heavy metal exposure is to choose organic produce and meat, and ensure your water is filtered adequately. Additionally, choosing safe cookware options (cast iron or enamel) and natural home care and beauty products, as well as limiting larger fish species from our diet (tuna, mackeral, sea bass) that tend to contain high levels of mercury will help to reduce the heavy metals you are consuming and absorbing.
An easy, and delicious, way to promote heavy metal detoxification is to include certain foods that encourage detoxification such as cilantro, apples, and foods high in sulfur. Add cilantro to your soups and smoothies, juice organic kale and apples, and incorporate cabbage, broccoli, eggs, onion, and garlic into your stir-fry and salads. By making simple switches to our diet and lifestyle we can greatly reduce the amount of heavy metals we are exposed to; making the removal of heavy metals from the body that much easier.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor
TCM-guided treatment takes into account the individual energetic pattern of a patient to create a specific, customized plan that addresses the whole person. When detoxification is a concern, it is also important to provide further support to our liver, kidneys, lung, and large intestine energy channels in our bodies, also known as meridians.
Often, acupuncture is used to activate these channels, encourage energy flow through the organ systems, and treat sluggish circulation systems. Additionally, Chinese herbs and dietary changes may be incorporated to further promote detoxification and elimination. Even as toxins are removed, their energetic impact may remain; Traditional Chinese Medicine can help to balance the meridians and realign our bodies towards health.
Are you wondering if heavy metals may be contributing to your health concerns?
Contact us to make an appointment with one of our many practitioners. Once you’ve met with a practitioner, you may be referred to our in-house lab, where we offer heavy metal testing as well as intravenous chelation therapies.
Whatever your symptoms, our practitioners will guide you towards an individualized treatment plan that addresses all of your concerns.