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Are These Heavy Metals Causing Your Brain Fog & Memory Loss?

If brain fog, memory loss, confusion, tiredness or pain are dragging you down, you may have a build-up of heavy metals. 

In fact, heavy metals are now also strongly linked with serious chronic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Some heavy metals, like fluoride, have also been shown to cause brain damage and over 50 scientific studies have linked heavy metals to a lower IQ.

The accumulation of heavy metals in our body takes place over the years so the older we get, the more likely our symptoms increase.

And according to new research millions of people are currently experiencing symptoms related to heavy metal toxicity.1

Symptoms such as low energy, mood disorders and cognitive changes are believed to be related to or the direct result of exposure to toxic heavy metals.

Exposure to heavy metals may come in a variety of ways. 

It can be through fish, contaminated water, dental fillings or in different household products. And once in your blood stream these metals travel throughout the body and penetrate the cells of various tissue and organs where they can remain trapped for years!

Treatment Options For Heavy Metal Toxicity

One of the best ways to deal with the symptoms of heavy metal toxicity is by following a heavy metal detox plan. 

However, keep in mind. Many people often start to feel worse before they feel better as the toxins are rereleased back into the blood stream.

Some common symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite and digestive disturbances. 

Foods That Help Remove
Heavy Metals From The Body

As you’re about to learn, certain foods can help you detox from heavy metals.

They include leafy green vegetables, other non-starchy vegetables, herbs, spices, algae and other superfoods as well as bone broth.

In addition, certain detoxification supplements and treatments can also be added to a well-rounded heavy metal detox plan to help support your brain, nervous system, liver and other vital organs affected by the toxic heavy metals.

If you’re ready to start purging your system of heavy metals and other chemicals. Then the following detox diet and plan can help.

Dangers Associated With Heavy Metals
(aka Heavy Metal Poisoning) 

So, what are “heavy metals” exactly? Heavy metals are elements that even in low concentrations can be very dangerous and very toxic. 

Here are the heavy metals that can lead to toxicity:2

  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Aluminum
  • Nickel
  • Uranium
  • Thallium
  • Other potential toxic metals include manganese, iron, lithium, zinc and calcium (very high levels of even essential minerals can become toxic).3

The term heavy metal poisoning refers to a number of health issues caused by direct exposure to certain metals that over-time can accumulate inside the body.

In an article published Scientific World Journal the author stated, “Toxic metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are ubiquitous, have no beneficial role in human homeostasis, and contribute to noncommunicable chronic disease.”4

Over the years, researchers have identified at least 23 different environmental metals (aka heavy metals) that can contribute to acute or chronic toxicity. 

The term heavy is used to describe metals that stick around in the body, especially in fatty tissue. These types of metals are very hard to get rid of because your body naturally tries to protect you from them by trapping them inside your fat cells. 

That’s why some people will often feel ill as they lose weight. Because, as the fat cells shrink, they release stored toxins.

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid heavy metal exposure entirely, mainly because metals are natural elements found all over the world in our food, water and in the soil.5 

One of the biggest problems associated with environmental heavy metals is the fact that over time they can accumulate within body tissues, without you ever knowing.

And exposure to heavy metals can take its toll on the brain. Often leading to damaged or reduced mental or central nervous system function.

And long-term exposure to heavy metals can lead to a variety of physical, muscular and neurological problems. 

Severe toxicity can even mimic the same symptoms often associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. 

And because the symptoms are so similar including things like memory loss and fatigue, people will often be diagnosed with early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s simply assume old age is the root cause of their symptoms when all along it’s exposure to heavy metal that is to blame.

Signs And Symptoms
Of Heavy Metal Poisoning

If you’re concerned about heavy metal poisoning here are some of the most common warning signs:

  • Brain Fog/Memory Issues – the feeling that you just aren’t thinking clearly or are you’re having trouble with your memory.
  • Pain – mostly in your joints or recurring headaches.
  • Tiredness and fatigue – the overwhelming feeling that you want to lay your head down, or have trouble carrying out normal everyday tasks.
  • Trouble concentrating– problems focusing or dealing with things in your day to day life.
  • Breakouts, redness and other skin disorders – our body also gets rid of toxins through the skin, so when we’re full of toxins, we can experience rashes, redness, acne or spots.
  • Mood swings and energy crashes – the feeling of dizziness, tiredness or irritability between meals.
  • Bloating, gas and other digestive issues -things like abdominal pain, infrequent bowel movements (can also include constipation and diarrhea). 

Where Do Heavy Metals Come From?

Heavy metals are hard to avoid, but here are some of the main culprits:

Cadmium – Exposure usually comes in the forms of Cigarettes and E-cigarettes, chemical fertilizers, it can also be found in many cacao and coffee products.

Lead – Most exposure to lead comes from soil and water, especially places that have been known for some sort of environmental pollution problems. Some cacao products. Certain protein powders, and many conventional lipstick products.

Arsenic – Exposure comes from cigarette smoke, pesticides used in agriculture, foods especially rice, some protein powders and underground water sources.

Mercury – This highly toxic metal can be found in amalgam dental fillings, vaccines, fish and seafood. 

Fluoride – Fluoride can be found in tap water (dependent on your area), take-out coffees, restaurant food and toothpaste.

Aluminum – Exposure comes from medications, vaccines, antiperspirants, foil, canned food.

What Is A Heavy Metal Detox
And How Can You Benefit?

If you think you may be suffering from exposure, heavy metal testing in the form of hair analysis or a blood test is now widely available for confirming suspected toxicity. 

Even if you decide that you’d rather not be tested, many of the dietary and lifestyle recommendations outlined below will still help boost your immune system, improve your gut health and rejuvenate your brain and liver.  

The initial goal of a heavy metal detox is to remove metals that have accumulated in your brain and nervous system. 

Other organs like your kidneys, liver, heart, lymphatic system and respiratory system will also benefit from detoxification.

Just How Are Toxins Removed?

Chelation is probably the most common way. Chelation therapy is a medical procedure (although it can also do it at home) that involves the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. They accomplish this by binding to molecules and allowing them to be dissolved and excreted in the urine.

There are other ways to detoxify too, including specific dietary changes and the use of herbs and other supplements.

Here’s What Doing A Heavy Metal Detox
Can Do For You: 

  • It reduces free radical damage/oxidative stress
  • It improves your energy levels
  • It enhances your immunity as well as your gut health
  • It improves your digestive function
  • It improves your mental performance (attention, memory, learning, etc.)
  • It improves the health of your skin
  • And it provides protection against diseases, cognitive disorders and autoimmune disease

Heavy Metal Detox Diet

Before you do anything else, the first step in your detox should be, changing your diet.

Here are some foods you should include while doing a heavy metal detox:

  • Leafy green veggies — Greens are powerful heavy metal detox foods. Try to include some type of bitter greens each day, like kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens, mustard greens, arugula, spinach or beet greens…
  • Herb and Spices —herbs and spices like basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and cilantro can help remove heavy metals, in addition they can also help with inflammation and are powerful antioxidants. Cilantro is a great herb for detoxifying and can help reduce the buildup of heavy metals like mercury and lead in the body.8 
  • Foods High In Vitamin C– Fruits and vegetables with high vitamin C levels can help reduce the damage caused by heavy metal toxicity through their antioxidant benefits. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruit, leafy greens like spinach and kale, all types of berries, broccoli and cruciferous veggies, kiwi, papaya, guava and bell pepper.
  • Garlic and onions – The sulfur in these vegetables helps detoxify your liver of heavy metals like lead and arsenic.
  • Water – Drinking at least 8 ounces of water or vegetable juice every two hours helps you stay hydrated and flushes out toxins.
  • Flax and chia seeds – These supply omega-3 fats and fiber which can help detoxification of your colon and reduce systemic inflammation. 
  • Bone Broth— Bone broth also helps you stay hydrated, but in addition it provides important minerals and supports healthy liver function by providing glutathione. In addition, bone broth provides amino acids that help strengthen the organs. You can drink bone broth by either making your own and sipping on it throughout the day, or you can use protein powder made from bone broth.

Here Are Foods You Should Avoid
While Detoxifying:

  • Farm Raised Fish - Farmed fish, often contains heavy metals, dioxins and PCB’s which are highly toxic. Stay away from tilefish, swordfish, shark, king mackerel and bigeye tuna in particular. You can continue to eat fish up to several times per week — just choose fish that are low in mercury and only purchase wild-caught fish, preferably from a local source.
  • Non-organic foods – Foods grown with the use of pesticides and other chemicals should be avoided. Some of the worst are conventional apple juice and brown rice products. 
  • Foods with additives – Consuming foods with additives can aggravate toxicity symptoms and inhibit your body’s ability to detoxify.
  • Alcohol – Drinking alcohol in excess is toxic to the body and can make it more difficult for your liver to process other toxins.

Here Are Supplements That Can
Help You Detoxify:

  • Vitamin C (3000 milligrams daily) — Is a great antioxidant and helps reduce free radicals.
  • Cilantro (preferably taken as a tincture 2x per day)
  • Shilajit (between 100-500 milligrams daily, typically in powder form) – Shilajit is an adaptogenic plant that shares things in common with activated charcoal, especially the fact that it contains a lot of carbon. It’s high levels of fulvic acid and humic acid bind to toxic molecules making it a great natural chelator.9 
  • Milk Thistle - (150 milligrams taken 2x daily, or milk thistle tea 1-3 times daily) — This is one of the most proven liver detoxifying herbs. Silybin is a component with strong antioxidant properties. It may act as a toxin blockade agent by inhibiting binding of toxins to cell membrane receptors. Silymarin also reduces liver injury and is used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis and toxin-induced liver diseases.10  
  • Probiotics – (soil-based, 50 billion units one time daily) — Can aid in the detoxification of the gut and help boost immunity. 

Here Are Some Treatment Methods
You Can Incorporate:

Chelation therapy— By far one of the best heavy metal detox products out there is chelation therapy. Especially for metals like lead, mercury, aluminum and arsenic. Chelation involves the injection of a solution called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). EDTA helps eliminate heavy metals by attaching to them. Once attached they move together through the kidneys where they are eliminated through the urine. 

Activated charcoal -  This treatment works to eliminate metals and toxins through absorption, or a chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface. Activated charcoal contains a porous surface that has a negative electric charge which causes positive charged toxins and gas to bond with it. Charcoal is so powerful that it’s used as an emergency treatment for fast removal of poisons from the body.11 If you use activated charcoal, it’s crucial to drink 12–16 glasses of water per day.

Bentonite clay —clays are great for absorbing toxins because they act like a sponge or a magnet for chemicals or metals inside the body.12 Typically clays are only meant for topical use (they are not meant to be ingested). 

Triphala - made from the dried powder of three different fruits this Ayurvedic herbal formulation contains strong antioxidants called gallic acid, ellagic acid and chebulinic acid.13 Consuming triphala can help to cleanse your digestive tract and improve regularity which is important for removing metals, bacteria, and excess fatty acids from the body. It’s best to take it about two hours before bed on an empty stomach.

Dealing With The Symptoms
Of Heavy Metal Detox 

When you begin the process of heavy metal detoxification, there are certain symptoms you can expect. At first you may actually feel worse for a period of time. This is a sign that things are changing within your body.

Overtime, you’ll begin to feel much better. 

What symptoms should you expect?

Here are a few of the symptoms of heavy metal detox you may temporarily experience while you’re cleansing:

  • Bloating and Gas
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headaches
  • A skin rash
  • Changes in appetite
  • Low energy
  • Metallic or sour taste in the mouth

For some people these symptoms may be a bit too overwhelming, which is a clear sign that they may have been too aggressive.

For best results and to minimize side-effects, it’s best to detox slowly and gradually. Start with the dietary changes first, next add the herbs and supplements and finally the treatments. And give yourself several weeks or months to complete your detox.

If you follow the simple detox plan laid out above and stick with it your results will be worth it. To minimize your symptoms, make sure you stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep and don’t push yourself too hard at least until you begin to regain your energy.

The overall length of your detox will vary depending on how high your heavy metal levels are, what you were exposed to and what efforts you’re willing to take to get rid of them.

Heavy metal exposure is cumulative and takes place over the course of several years, so getting rid of them will take some time.

It could take several months or maybe even longer, but the important thing is to stay focused and stay on track with your detox.

Precautions While Doing
A Heavy Metal Detox

Due to the wide variety of health issues caused by heavy metal toxicity, toxicity can be easily confused with other health conditions.

If you’re concerned about your heavy metal levels, it’s not a bad idea to see your doctor for testing. If you have amalgam dental fillings, talk to your dentist about available options.

Parting Thoughts On Heavy Metal
Poisoning & Detoxes

Exposure to Heavy metals can be very dangerous, they are highly toxic even in low concentrations. Specifically, the heavy metals mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic can pose the most threat.

Heavy metals can mimic brain related diseases like Alzheimer’s. If you start to experience signs of forgetfulness and brain fog it’s a good idea to get your level tested.

There are several ways of exposing yourself to heavy metals including, environmental pollution, food contamination, water contamination, metal dental fillings and use of household/beauty products that contain trace amounts of metals.

When doing a heavy metal detox you’ll use foods, herbs, supplements and treatments designed to excrete metals from the body via the urine, feces, sweat and breath. 

You may have an increase in symptoms at first, but it will get better as your body transitions and the heavy metals leave your system. 

Most Popular

References:

1. Sears, Margaret E., and Stephen J. Genuis. "Environmental Determinants Of Chronic Disease And Medical Approaches: Recognition, Avoidance, Supportive Therapy, And Detoxification." Journal of Environmental and Public Health 2012 (2012): 1-15.

2. Sears, Margaret E., Kathleen J. Kerr, and Riina I. Bray. "Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, And Mercury In Sweat: A Systematic Review." Journal of Environmental and Public Health 2012 (2012): 1-10.

3. "Metal Toxicity." En.wikipedia.org.

4. Sears, Margaret E. "Chelation: Harnessing And Enhancing Heavy Metal Detoxification—A Review." The Scientific World Journal 2013 (2013): 1-13.

5. "A Metals Primer - Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program." Dartmouth.edu. N.p., 2012.

6. "Mercury Levels In Commercial Fish And Shellfish (1990-2012)." Fda.gov. N.p., 2006.

7. Bernhoft, Robin A. "Mercury Toxicity And Treatment: A Review Of The Literature." Journal of Environmental and Public Health 2012 (2012): 1-10.

8. Kosnett, M J. "Chelation For Heavy Metals (Arsenic, Lead, And Mercury): Protective Or Perilous?." Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 88.3 (2010): 412-415.

9. Carrasco-Gallardo, Carlos, Leonardo Guzmán, and Ricardo B. Maccioni. "Shilajit: A Natural Phytocomplex With Potential Procognitive Activity." International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 2012 (2012): 1-4.

10. Abenavoli, Ludovico et al. "Milk Thistle In Liver Diseases: Past, Present, Future." Phytotherapy Research 24.10 (2010): 1423-1432.

11. "Activated Charcoal (By Mouth) - National Library Of Medicine - Pubmed Health." PubMed Health.

12. MOOSAVI, Maryam. "Bentonite Clay As A Natural Remedy: A Brief Review." PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., 2017.

13. Pranoti Belapurkar, Preeti Tiwari-Barua. "Immunomodulatory Effects Of Triphala And Its Individual Constituents: A Review." PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., 2014.

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