Modern-day society has undergone massive development, both in terms of technological advances and the materials used to facilitate this progress. All this has had a fundamental impact on our environment, causing an increased danger to our health. This is especially the case with regard to the various chemicals that our bodies ingest without us even being aware of them.
Heavy metals are included in this group and these are particularly dangerous to health. These metals are, for instance, lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum. When ingested into our bodies in small amounts, these metals do not tend to have much of an impact on our health. However, when these chemicals are allowed to accumulate in greater quantities, they can have a serious impact on cell and organ function, potentially affecting the cardiovascular system, brain, kidneys, liver and the endocrine system.
Heavy metals can enter the body in numerous ways, including eating, breathing and even by coming into contact with the skin. The toxins contained in these heavy metals can result in acute toxicity or chronic toxicity for the contaminated person.
The most common symptoms are frequent idiopathic headaches, aches and pains, exhaustion, feeling easily fatigued, numbness in the ends of fingers and toes, frequent muscle cramps, or coming out in allergy-related rashes and hives. When heavy metals have had the chance to accumulate in the body over a long period of time, it can lead to oxidative stress, which is dangerous to the body’s cells. This is due to the heightened risk of developing chronic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Those at risk include people who reside close to industrial factories, who work outside, who like to eat out regularly, who enjoy dying their hair or painting their nails, who regularly eat seafood that is sourced from waste-contaminated areas, those with amalgam-based dental fillings and people who regularly eat fruit and vegetables that may have been contaminated with insecticides.
If you suspect that you may be at risk of heavy metal contamination, you can consult a doctor who will carry out a thorough assessment of your situation. In cases where heavy metal contamination is identified, subsequent treatment can then be carried out as appropriate.
The Second Class Honors M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University .1994-20