Toxic Metals and Their effect on Mineral Loss
by Veronica Worley
Guest Expert in Rooted in Science
I was asked recently to share my “expert” advice on toxic metals and their effects on the body and loss of minerals. So I decided to write about it in more depth as I share the link to the article where I am featured! Ellen Randolph, a Functional Medicine Health Coach and Health Tech entrepreneur working to reverse the autoimmune epidemic, has her own blog, called, Rooted in Science. She does a very thorough job explaining metals in our environment and our bodies. She even gives some tips at the end on how to detox from metals. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/3bMSNxK”
Toxic metals are everywhere, in our food, water, environment, even the air. Once exposed, these metals leave the blood and are either eliminated in a healthy person, or stored in other organs and tissues of the body, resulting in a mineral imbalance. When a person has a mineral imbalance, the body will accumulate specific metals that act as a displacement for that mineral. For example, as quoted by Dr. Lawrence Wilson, in Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, “Excessive iron can displace chromium, cadmium displaces zinc, lead can displace calcium in bones, copper can displace zinc in certain tissues.” Dr Wilson also states that toxic metals are frequently involved with glucose tolerance problems, and may be primary causes or secondary to other mineral deficiencies. However, this can be identified and corrected through the use of hair analysis.
Everyone is exposed to toxic metals through the air, cookware, water pipes, food, environmental toxins, make-up, cleaners, even tattoos. If one is healthy, the body usually can eliminate excess and harmful metals. But is someone has health issues or compromised immune system, these metals through sometimes daily exposure, can accumulate and build in the tissues where most reside in the organs, brain and soft tissue. Eventually metabolic chaos occurs, sending one into a downward spiral of health issues and disease. When one has a healthy diet, exercises regularly, and follows a healthy lifestyle, then detoxification naturally takes place every day.
Metals and Mineral Imbalance
When the preferred minerals are not available or are devoid in the diet, the body has to compensate, and so seeks a substance of similar properties, with less preferred abilities that will sustain the body temporarily, and maintain biological functions and homeostasis, such as toxic metals. These toxic metals include lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, and even fluoride, plus more. For example, when calcium is deficient or unavailable, it can be displaced by lead, zinc by cadmium, mercury or nickel, chromium by lead and cadmium, selenium by mercury, potassium by rubidium, boron by aluminum, and phosphorus by lead and arsenic, and iodine by fluoride.
- Calcium – displaced by lead
- Zinc – displaced by cadmium, mercury or nickel
- Chromium – displaced by lead and cadmium
- Selenium – displaced by mercury
- Potassium – displaced by rubidium
- Boron – displaced by aluminum
- Phosphorus – displaced by lead and arsenic
- Iodine – displaced by fluoride
For example, let’s take osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes weakening of the bones, or porous bones, as the meaning from Greek, making one susceptible to fractures, especially of the hips and limbs. It usually occurs more in women, especially after menopause, as estrogen levels begin to drop. We will discuss osteoporosis in more depth at a later date. But for now, let’s consider what happens with osteoporosis, mineral imbalance, and metals.
There are many reasons why one can get osteoporosis, but each cause boils down to a mineral imbalance. Assuming the cause is menopause and the lack of estrogen, this can then push the body into adrenal dysfunction. This causes great stress internally, and maybe externally, bringing with this stress a reduction in important minerals. The body uses more minerals, such as magnesium, when under a tremendous load. Stressors can come from medication creating havoc, chronic disease, and other internal triggers, such as parasites, inflammation, bacterial infections. External factors could be such as waiting in heavy traffic, working to get a report in by the due date, a fight with spouse, sleepless nights, divorce, death in the family or any other kind of medical condition. This creates a deficiency in magnesium, which them creates a deficiency in other minerals. Without the necessary magnesium, B6, zinc or other minerals, calcium then becomes biounavailable, meaning the body cannot put the calcium where it belongs; in the bones and teeth.
Thus, the body begins to accumulate toxic metals, such as lead, cadmium and mercury, as described above, and osteoporosis, as well as brain fog, arthritis, heart disease and more can set in. Many times, correcting this mineral imbalance, and catching the toxic metals that are accumulating and ridding the body of these metals can help the body bounce back and overcome these diseases.
When calcium is not released and the body can’t find enough of this important mineral for its uses, it accumulates metals, especially lead. Lead is extremely toxic especially to the liver and the brain. Here is an example of the dangers excessive lead build-up can cause.
Symptoms and Consequences
- Nervous and reproductive systems
- Liver and kidneys
- Most common consequence is high blood pressure due to lead accumulation in kidneys. Once lead is removed, blood pressure returns to normal
- Stored in bones in an effort for the body to protect vital organs
- Lead leaches slowly over time
- Menopause – have faster bone cell turnover due to lack of estrogen – leaching is faster creating symptoms of brain fog and fatigue
- Over 85 health issues associated with lead
When minerals become unbalanced, symptoms, disease, and illness can incur. And as the body shifts, and deficient minerals are displaced by toxic metals, the mineral levels shift, making a standard nutrition protocol difficult to maintain.
What can be done about metal toxicity?
The first thing I recommend is to run a hair mineral test to get mineral levels checked. Hair mineral analysis is a well-established and documented technique and laboratory procedure whose research to support findings are highly reliable. Hair is considered a soft tissue and provides a permanent record of activity occurring within the body during its period of growth. As a screening test, it is used to show imbalances, deficiencies and excesses of many essential minerals as well as toxic metals and can provide a comprehensive picture on how to develop an individualized nutritional therapy program.
This is why I recommend regular Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis testing regularly, every 2 – 4 months, so as to adjust the diet, supplementation, and lifestyle practices.
In order for the body to heal from any health condition, one must include the following four areas:
- a personalized diet and nutrition plan based upon HTMA results
- Healthy Lifestyle practices which usually involve habit change, such as stress reduction or better sleep
- Supplementation – jumpstarts the body to good energy by replacing lost minerals and restoring health quicker
- Detoxification program – the body naturally begins it’s own detoxification program as good nutrition, and needed minerals are replaced. As the body is strengthened, and health restored, following a specified process to allow for the opening the detox pathways can be huge for giving the body a much-needed boost into health
This is the basis for my Building Better Bones Program. Using your mineral test results a personalized diet and nutrition plan is developed, just for you. Healthy lifestyle practices are then added to your day (and night) to insure habit change, stress reduction and better sleep. Supplementation is added as needed, and is used to give your body a jumpstart giving you energy by replacing lost minerals. And when your body is ready, we instill a detoxification program encouraging waste, and metal elimination.
Want to see if mineral balancing is right for you? Go here to take the quiz: https://veronicashealthyliving.com/htma/
If you want to learn more about how you can work with me, then let’s set up a time to chat.