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Detoxification Therapies / Heavy Metals

Today the question is not “Are you toxic?”, but “How toxic are you?” Toxicity is quickly becoming a growing concern as more and more chemicals and toxins are used in products that increase the “convenience factor” of our daily lives.

So, how do you know that you are harboring toxins in your body?  Because toxins are an unavoidable part of modern life, you can be sure that you have toxins in you right now!

Lifestyle choices increase your risk of building up bodily toxins. Eating fast food is one quick way, as is choosing highly processed foods from the grocery store.  Living in the city exposes you to numerous environmental toxins that you might avoid if you lived in the country.  If you take medications or recreational drugs you are exposing your internal organs to a range of toxins that they may not be able to handle.  Even beauty remedies such as moisturizers, chemical peels, hair dyes and make-up can wreak havoc on your body by introducing excessive levels of toxins.

Toxins can be introduced to our bodies both externally and internally.  We inhale toxins from cigarettes, air pollution, mold spores from sick buildings, and from many other sources around us.  We ingest toxins in our food, in our water, in recreational and prescription drugs.  We inject toxins through vaccinations, and cosmetic changes such as piercing and tattoos.  We absorb toxins from the clothes we wear, from spray-on pesticides and herbicides, from beauty products, and from paints and glues.  We expose ourselves to irradiation from medical x-rays, the residual radiation from power plants and lines, cell phones and other radio-wave technology, and even from our microwave ovens.  In addition some toxins are internally formed, such as that from improperly digested food, from dehydration and poor nutrition, and even from toxic thought patterns and self-abusive emotional cycles.
Toxins affect our bodies in a variety of ways.  Since many of the symptoms of toxicity are mild or irritating, they may be dismissed as due to an “off” day.  However, toxic symptoms persist, making us feel drained, and generally unwell.

Symptoms typical of toxins include: lack of energy, excess weight, skin conditions like acne, food sensitivities, increased allergic reactions, congestion, bloating, constipation, aching muscles and joints, headaches, poor memory or concentration, moodiness, mood swings or a general sense of not being healthy.

As your body becomes clogged with toxins the number of symptoms you experience will increase, leaving you feeling miserable and unready to meet the day.

There has been a staggering increase worldwide in diseases such as cancers, childhood cancers such as leukemia, asthma autism ADD/ADHD, and chemical sensitivity. It can also result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy levels, and damage to blood composition, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. Long-term exposure may result in slowly progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that mimic Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis. Allergies are not uncommon and repeated long-term contact with some metals or their compounds may even cause cancer.

Heavy metals are found in everyday existence and are frequently hard to avoid entirely. Heavy metal toxicity may affect the body through various sources. These sources include water, air, food, or absorption through the skin when in contact with those exposed to toxic farming, chemical and toxic exposure in industries, etc.

There are 35 metals that are of concern because of occupational or residential exposure; 23 of these are the heavy elements or “heavy metals”: antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tellurium, thallium, tin, uranium, vanadium, and zinc. Interestingly, small amounts of these elements are common in our environment and diet and are actually necessary for good health, but large amounts of any of them may cause acute or chronic toxicity (poisoning).

Most people can excrete toxic heavy metals from the body successfully. However, some people—especially those who suffer from chronic conditions—cannot excrete them efficiently enough and a build-up occurs. Recent research also reveals that those who cannot excrete heavy metals efficiently appear to be genetically predisposed to this condition.

Symptoms of Toxicity and Heavy Metal Toxicity

Over exposure to heavy metals and toxicity can lead to a number of diseases and repercussions at various stages. Some of the symptoms associated with toxicity are problems leading to permanent damage of the nervous system, cardiovascular system, blood production, gastrointestinal system, reproductive system and kidney functioning.
Some of the prominent symptoms of toxicity are

  • pain in muscles and joints
  • mental confusion
  • headaches
  • gastrointestinal upsets
  • food allergies
  • vision problems
  • chronic fatigue
  • short-term memory loss
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Speech difficulties
  • Hypertension


Exposure to toxicity and heavy metals may include:

  • Having mercury amalgams (“silver fillings”) in teeth
  • Living in a home built prior to 1978 that has lead-based paint
  • Smoking and/or inhaling second-hand smoke
  • Eating foods (such as contaminated fish) that contain high levels of heavy metals
  • Living near a landfill
  • Working in an environment where exposure is prevalent, such as at a dentist’s office where amalgam is used to fill cavities
  • Receiving vaccinations that contain thimerosal (mercury preservative)
  • Contaminated water
  • Consuming fish contaminated in mercury
  • Mercury contamination from badly fitted dental fillings or silver amalgams.

Our Integrative Approach

Remove, Repair and Revitalize!

The Liver and Kidneys as well as the Gallbladder and Lymphatic System are major “filters” of the blood system, removing toxic wastes and debris. The kidneys especially aid in ridding the body of excess “acids” while rebalancing critical pH.

Initial steps in treating heavy metal toxicity involve identifying of the toxic elements that are causing the problem and then begin the removal process of these metals from the body. A urine collection with the use of a chelating drug or challenge is often used to identify the toxicity and the body burden. Neurotransmitter analysis, food sensitivity testing, comprehensive stool testing and Candida antigen testing may be recommended by our medical staff.

Once the problem is identified, treatment is individualized. For many patients, the treatment involves the use of metal chelating drugs or intravenous DMPS and EDTA chelation.  Typically 20-30 treatments of I.V. Chelation may be needed to bring down the body burden. For some patients an oral protocol using captomer may be recommended. Support with nutritionals and herbs are often used to nourish the liver and kidneys which are used in detoxification.

Amalgam Removal Support

For support before and after the removal of dental amalgams, we recommend intravenous Vitamin C and replacement mineral infusions that support the body through the metal removal process. I.V. Glutathione may also be used as well as antioxidants.

Pesticides, PCBs and Solvents

We can test for and treat for chlorinated pesticides that are absorbed across the gut and interfere with nerve impulse transmission. PCBs can cause impairments in the brain, childhood development, nervous system, endocrine system, immune system and may cause fertility issues. Solvents can cause muscular weakness and atrophy, problems with eyesight, blood disorders, cancer, leukemia and chromosomal aberrations.

Detoxification is more than a one-time affair.  It is a lifestyle change, which allows your body to clear out the current toxins and prevent the build-up of additional ones.  You may need to change your eating habits, and adjust your lifestyle so that you exercise regularly, and take better care of yourself.

Other treatments you may require include:

  • Infrared Sauna
  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • General lifestyle changes
  • Vitamin and Mineral supplementation
  • Oral and intravenous chelation
  • Massage or Acupuncture therapies
  • Herbal supplementation of your diet
  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Liver support and castor oil packs
  • Homeopathics

Detoxification is an ongoing process, which requires a full commitment for it to work.  It may not be easy at first, but in the long run you will find that you feel more energetic, can think more clearly, may lose excess weight, and will generally feel healthier on a day-to-day basis.

It is very important to note that treatment regimens vary significantly and are tailored to each specific individual’s medical condition and the circumstance of their exposure. During the consultation, we obtain a complete history, including occupation, hobbies, recreational activities, and environmental exposures as these are all critical in diagnosing heavy metal and other  toxicity. A possible history of ingestion often facilitates a diagnosis, particularly in children. Findings from physical examinations vary with the age of the person, health status of the person, amount or form of the substance, and time since exposure.

Our team at The Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine will regularly monitor your progress and track the effectiveness of your program making adjustments if necessary. Our goal is to support you and advise you every step of the way.