We are exposed to heavy metals through food, medications and the environment. While probable that we all have heavy metals in our bodies, when the level of these metals becomes too high, symptoms of heavy metal poisoning begin to appear.
Toxic metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are ubiquitous, have no beneficial role in human homeostasis, and contribute to noncommunicable chronic diseases. While common drugs for chronic disease are often sought, potentially helpful agents that aid in detoxification of toxic elements has largely been restricted to overt acute poisoning. Chelation, that is multiple coordination bonds between organic molecules and metals, is very common in the body with a metal cofactor such as copper or zinc. Enhancing natural chelation detoxification pathways, as well as the use of pharmaceutical chelators against heavy metals are reviewed. Adverse outcomes with chelators, lessons learned from using them, and success using chelation to cardiovascular, and neurological conditions emphasize the need for simple, safe, inexpensive interventions that offer the potential to control debilitating, expensive chronic disease.
Symptoms of heavy metal intoxication can include changes like depression, mood changes, brain fog, insomnia, fatigue and loss of memory. They can also include changes in the nervous system such as tremors or gait changes. Other symptoms can include changes in circulation that result in cold hands and feet, inflammation, and decreases in immune function resulting in frequent colds and cases of flu, muscle, and joint pain and headaches. Many other symptoms of heavy metal have also been documented.