Heavy Metal Testing

Studio shot of urine sample

Heavy metals are all around us – in our water and our environment. Homes built prior to 1978 have increased incidence for lead paint and pipes. Many beauty products are not regulated by the FDA and have a variety of chemical and heavy metal toxicants present. If you have a silver filling in your mouth, it has mercury, silver and other metals. Lastly, mercury has been found in around 50% of all high fructose corn syrup products, due to mechanical processing which uses mercury (see my blog post on Mercury in food to learn more)

Today I’m going to discuss mercury and lead because they are two common metals that are high in the American population.

Heavy metals are naturally found in the environment but cause disequilibrium when inside body above detectable levels. 

Lead is associated with ADHD, decreased neurocognitive function, developmental delays, anxiety, depression and general toxicity. It was banned from gasoline in the 1970s but can still be found in older homes that used leaded paint. Lead can also make its way into water, because of corrosion from old water pipes. Lead is also used in a variety of products like industrial paints, car batteries and wheel weights. In the Midwest, we have a lot of old lead mining towns and most of my patients will have lead off the charts when tested. Slowly getting lead out of a toxic body can have a great impact on the patients overall health and well-being. 

To reduce lead exposure: Test your water for lead. Make sure if you are in an old home you are not exposed to lead paint or old lead pipes.

Mercury is associated with central nervous system effects including personality changes, irritability, fatigue, tremors, ataxia (loss of control of body movements), difficulties with memory and concentration, sleep disturbances and neuropathies. It can also affect the developing fetus and lead to neurocognitive problems after birth (think of maternal heavy metal toxicity as source of exposure to this developing fetus).

The general population is primarily exposed to mercury vapour from dental amalgams (silver fillings) and to organic mercury from fish consumption. Mercury bioaccumulates up the food chain; therefore, large predatory species such as tuna, halibut, shark and swordfish tend to have high concentrations of mercury in their tissue. Thimerosal, is a mercury-containing preservative, and a component of some vaccines. Occupational exposure to mercury is generally to mercury vapour found in industries such as dentistry, mining, and the manufacture of electrical equipment and medical instruments.  Once absorbed, mercury is distributed primarily to the central nervous system and the kidneys. 

To reduce mercury exposure: Limit seafood intake – opt for wild caught fish up to 2-3x/month. Remove heavy metals with safe biological dentist (find one near you: https://iaomt.org), look at vaccine inserts to make sure “thimerosal” is not active ingredient, and complete heavy metal urine testing. 

Remove Heavy metal via Chelation

At Vive IV Therapy we offer heavy metal chelation therapy services. Heavy metal chelation binds heavy metals and removes them from the body. IV chelation is most commonly done by using calcium EDTA. This infusion takes around 1.5-2 hours to receive. It is recommended that a patient get 14 treatments prior to re-testing levels. Depending on labs, patients will get a mineral repletion bag between every 1-3 chelations to replace the minerals that were lost during chelation (EDTA and other chelators like minerals as well as heavy metals). People receiving treatment usually come 2-3x/week for 6-8 weeks.

Who should be tested and treated?

Anyone with cancer (or prior history of cancer), chronic diseases, autoimmune disease and anyone interested for optimal health, should be screened. All my patients exhibiting neurological symptoms are tested for heavy metals. If the patient has a past or current history of heavy metal exposure, I will obtain levels on them as well.