Articles

Chronically Sick Reader Asks About Toxic Metals

The following is a reproduction of a Millennium Health Centre editorial article which appeared in the Seaway News newspaper in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. The content is shortened to accommodate a newspaper space allotment. As such, it is not academically cited with references. These are available, so please feel free to email your questions.

Regards,

Dr. Stephen F. Jones B.Comm., N.D.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Several readers have contacted my office since the national media reported on a study conducted by an environmental group. The group's medical staff found that the patients in their study all had elevated levels of various 'heavy' (or 'toxic') metals in their bodies, as determined by blood analysis. Lead, mercury and aluminum were all reported to be present at troubling levels in these people.

One reader emailed that she had never heard of 'toxic metals' until the news story, but was now worried that she may have a toxic level of either mercury or lead in her body. She was afraid of this possibility, as both of these toxic metals are know to induce symptoms similar to those from which she had been suffering.

In describing her circumstances, the reader indicated that she had been chronically "unwell" for over ten years with constant fatigue, muscle pains, headaches, a tingling in her hands and feet, memory problems and mood swings. Various doctors had examined her and told her that there was 'nothing wrong with her'. Accordingly, her question was whether or not a toxic metal could exist in her body and whether it could be the cause of her various undiagnosed health concerns. She also asked what laboratory testing is needed to properly assess the presence of such toxic metals and what treatment exists if they are, in fact, found to be present. The answers to these questions, unfortunately, are lengthy and beyond the space of this column. As such, an attempt will be made to merely give an overview.

Numerous 'heavy' or 'toxic' metals are known to exist in food sources, cooking equipment (pots, pans etc.), water / soil and air (especially in communities with industries that use these metals in their processing) and from a vast array of pollutions (industrial, auto etc.). Lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum and arsenic are but a few toxic substances of increasing concern in modern society.

The effects of these toxic metals if they accumulate in the human body can be varied and profound. The reason is that they can dramatically interfere with the normal chemical functioning of the body, altering the way in which nerves, organs and cells actually work. Elevated levels of these in the human body have been associated with a vast array of conditions including Alzheimer's Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, some cancers, Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, autism, dementias, some neurological conditions such as A.L.S. ('Lou Gerhig's Disease'), kidney disease and (much) more.

How one tests for the presence of these toxic materials is an area of much misinformation. Basic blood sampling is not the most accurate testing. Urine samples collected over 24 hours and analyzed in special laboratories using 'mass spectrometry' testing is the most advanced and most reliable testing to see if a patient has toxic metals in their body. Such testing as 'hair analysis' and 'live cell analysis', promoted by many practitioners, simply do not provide accurate assessments of toxic metals in the human body.

If toxic metals are found on 24 hour urine testing, the only way in which they can be safely and effectively removed is through intravenous 'chelation' therapy. As this chelation has been discussed in detail in past columns, I will direct readers to the "Links" page of my website (www.millenniumhealthcentre.com) to answer any questions. Oral chelation (ie. pill form), homeopathic medicine, various 'detox' diets or supplements simply will not remove a toxic metal from the body. A toxic metal must be bound onto (the meaning of the word chelation) and 'pulled' out of the body. Only a 'chelating agent' administered straight into the bloodstream will do this.

The topic of toxic metals is one that would require numerous columns to adequately review. As a doctor who treats an extensive number of chronically 'unwell' patients who have been found to have toxic metals in their body, I am pleased that the national media reported on this growing problem. Too many people suffer from undiagnosed illnesses without ever having a thorough examination of the very real possibility of toxic metals as a cause of their illness. Those living in eastern Ontario, especially in communities with plants that produce these toxic materials, need to take this consideration seriously.

Best of health to you.

Readers may write the EMC newspaper or email Dr. Jones at dr.jones@millenniumhealthcentre.com with any inquiries.