Unfortunately, our water, food, and environment are filled with toxins like heavy metals and chemicals that can severely affect our brain/body health.
Let’s just look at three heavy metals that pose the most significant potential threat to human health and our brains and how we can take the most important step: REDUCE EXPOSURE.
Lead: You have probably heard as a result of the Flint, Michigan lead water crisis that children are very vulnerable to lead and even low levels of lead can increase neuro-developmental risk, including IQ loss and learning disabilities. But lead toxicity does not just apply to children. Adults with exposure to lead can also experience cognitive decline and a host of other health issues as well.
Women need to be especially aware as lead is stored in bones. If lead is present in the bones, then bone loss during menopause will leach any lead into the blood. Tip: If you are menopausal and your blood pressure shoots up, make sure to test for whole blood lead as excess lead in the blood leads to hypertension!
Where is lead found? The biggest sources are drinking water contamination, leaded cans, home remodeling (lead paint dust), older lead pigment paints, many herbal products from India, China, Southeast Asia, toys and other products from China, glazes on ceramic dishware from China and Mexico, wine, and lipstick and makeup.
Avoid lead by choosing a water purification system that filters out lead (see my recent blog on water), wear lead-free makeup, buy lead-free dishware, and be cognizant of how much wine you drink!
Mercury is another heavy metal player that at low levels can lead to difficulty concentrating, memory loss, fatigue, mood swings, sleep disturbance, tremors, and brain fog. And this is just a partial list.
Sources of mercury include fish, high fructose corn syrup, amalgam fillings (vapor outgassing from amalgam fillings), broken fluorescent light bulbs, broken thermometers, cement plants, and coal-powered electric generating plants.
To lower your exposure to mercury avoid eating larger ocean fish which accumulate more mercury (esp. tuna, swordfish, halibut, sea bass), avoid foods containing high fructose corn syrup, and consider amalgam filling removal. However, amalgam filling removal must be done safely by certified biologic dentists!
Arsenic is a known carcinogen and chronic exposure can also lead to Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and decreased cognition! Arsenic slows down your body’s ability to produce ATP, your energy currency. Data from almost 50,000 utilities showed that arsenic contaminates more than 7,230 water supplies serving 70 million people and that mercury contaminates more than 280 water supplies serving 2.5 million people. EWG Know Your Environment. Protect Your Health.
Where is arsenic found? In drinking water, seaweed and shellfish, chicken, rice, and soil.
To avoid or lower your exposure to arsenic, invest in a good water system that filters out arsenic, eat only organic chicken, and reduce consumption of rice and shellfish.
In summary, one of the best ways to avoid these top heavy metal players is to invest in a water system that filters them out!! Again, please refer to my recent blog on water! If you just do this one thing, it will make a significant impact on your health and brain!
Testing for metals in your body is a bit more complicated as different heavy metals are stored in different areas of the body. Testing the blood usually only indicates acute or recent exposure to heavy metals. If you would like to assess whether or not heavy metal toxicity is contributing to your fatigue, mood swings, high blood pressure, blood sugar issues, or decreased cognition, please set up a complementary strategy session with me.