The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that we cannot metabolize most of these chemicals and metals. So what happens to them once we have been exposed? They accumulate in our fat cells, in our organs such as the liver, kidneys and brain, in our glands such as the thyroid and adrenals, and in the central nervous system.
Together, these chemicals and metals result in a chronic toxic overload condition in our bodies. As these toxins build up, they block the receptor sites for essential minerals, so that minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium cannot be utilized and absorbed. This causes enzyme dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, neurological disorders, damages brain chemistry, and can even lead to auto-immune disorders, cancer, and other debilitating chronic conditions.
A Genetic Predisposition to Toxic Overload?
So why do some people who have been exposed to these toxins go on to develop neurological disorders while others don't? For some, it may be a question of degree - the more toxins you are exposed to in the course of your life, the more they build up in the organs and fatty tissues of the body, until eventually the body experiences a toxic overload.
Others have suggested that some people may have an inborn (genetic) error in "metal metabolism", meaning they cannot detoxify harmful metals like others do, and so these toxins keep accumulating in the body. Ninety-five percent of autistic children, for instance, lack the protein metallothionein, which detoxifies heavy metals, and without this protein, the toxins build up in their tissues. It is conceivable that other people may have this metal-metabolism disorder as well, resulting in neurological challenges and other disorders.
The Most Common Sources of Metal and Chemical Toxicity
The heavy metals that most commonly cause poisoning are iron, lead, cadmium (found in cigarettes), arsenic and mercury.
Others include aluminum, antimony, chromium, cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, selenium, tin, thallium and uranium.
Other sources of poisoning include pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, chemical warfare, radiation and common chemicals such as benzene, carbon dioxide, chloroform, dichlorobenzene, DDT, formaldehyde, hexane, toluene, trichloroethylene (TCE) and xylene.
Take Control of Your Environment
In this report I focus on a common, but not well understood, phenomenon of the toxic effects of environmental chemicals and pollutants, and how they can affect your body's health.
So if you are experiencing neurological symptoms, check out the common toxins that you may be exposed to, both at home and at work, and take steps to reduce your exposure. And last but not least, detoxify your body of these heavy metals, chemicals and other toxins that may be lurking in your body tissues. By following these steps, you will go a long way in saving your health.
Stay Away From Toxins
If you are experiencing symptoms of ALS or any other neurological disorder, from this point on:
1. Don't smoke.
2. Don't use recreational drugs.
3. Don't drink alcohol.
4. Use environmentally safe household cleaners and pesticides.
5. Use protective equipment to reduce exposures to workplace hazards.
6. Detoxify your body.
To read an in-depth report on the sources of toxins in your environment, including your workplace, click here.
Treatments for Toxic Overload
The primary detoxification therapy treatment for most heavy metals is chelation therapy. Chelating agents are substances that go through the body to attract and bind heavy metals. The metals are then excreted. Chelating agents are usually given in pill form but may also be given intravenously, by suppository, or by injection. It usually takes from many months to many years for chelation therapy to remove toxic metals, and can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Though chelation therapy has been considered to be generally safe for most people, new information has surfaced that suggests these substances may not be as benign as once believed. The chelating agents used by the medical profession are drugs, and they do have side effects, sometimes severe ones.
Two of the most important factors in determining chelation safety are dosage and frequency. Too much can be extremely dangerous, and too little is ineffective. Respected toxicologists have stated that synthetic chelators should be used only in cases of acute metal poisoning, or as a last resort when other methods have been exhausted. Natural methods should be tried first.
Natural chelating agents include combinations of herbs, amino acids and other nutritional supplements. The drawback to most of these is the time it takes to really clear the body of toxic metals and chemicals. For instance, certain toxic elements can be removed by taking specific combinations of minerals and vitamins. A daily regimen of six magnesium oxide tablets plus one teaspoon of calcium/magnesium powder taken with fresh lemon juice is said to rid the body of arsenic - eventually. But at this rate, it could take years to clear all the chemicals and metals from the body.
Chemicals and heavy metals are not removed by fasting!
A Closer Look at the Chelators
The most common chelators prescribed by the medical profession are EDTA, DMPS, and DMSA. These chelators are life-saving drugs in cases of ACUTE metal poisoning. Of these, the DMSA and DMPS especially carry risks of harm, and should only be used as a last resort.
EDTA is usually given intravenously, though it has recently become available in pill form. Typically, twenty to thirty or even more IV treatments are needed to eliminate toxins from the body, and the sessions last anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. Side effects may include dizziness, headache, mild nausea, or irritation at the IV site.
Oral EDTA given in pill form is easier and more convenient than the IV version, but large amounts must be taken for it to have a beneficial effect. Unfortunately, taking these large amounts can cause side effects in sensitive individuals, so it needs to be used with caution, and should only be used for a prescribed period of time. Mainly these oral chelation products with EDTA are designed to remove cholesterol and calcium deposits in the arteries, and remove toxic metals only as a secondary function.
DMPS can also be taken orally, intravenously, or as a suppository, though it is most commonly given as an infusion or injection. It is an experimental drug, and has NOT been approved by the FDA. Its primary usefulness is for severe metal poisoning when all other detoxification methods have been exhausted.
There have been reports of serious and devastating side effects with DMPS, since it works quite rapidly at excreting the toxic metals into the bloodstream and from the bloodstream into the kidneys. Some scientists believe that the severe side effects experienced by some people are the result of too much mercury or other metals being dumped into the bloodstream at once, which overwhelms the organs of excretion, namely the liver and kidneys. Instead of being properly excreted, these toxic metals are redistributed and reabsorbed by the vital organs, where they poison the immune system and central nervous system.
Side effects in people who have generally tolerated DMPS include dizziness and weakness, the lowering of blood pressure, and flu-like symptoms.
It is NOT RECOMMENDED for people who still have their amalgam fillings, as DMPS can quickly enter the saliva and begin to dissolve the metals in the mouth, resulting in acute poisoning.
Contra-indications to DMPS:
1. Amalgam fillings
2. Allergy to sulfa drugs or sulfites
3. Elevated cadmium, iron or selenium levels
4. Elevated copper levels
If you do consider DMPS, make sure you don't have any of the risk factors above. Make sure your gastro-intestinal system, liver, and kidneys are functioning properly. If you can't eliminate the toxins, you will reabsorb them.
Before you undertake any DMPS treatments, I highly recommend you visit the web site www.dmpsbackfire.com.
This highly informative web site gives in-depth information on the various chemical chelators, as well as case histories.
DMSA comes in capsule or suppository form and is considered to be much safer than DMPS. In research studies, DMSA was proven to be three times less toxic than DMPS. It's trade name is Chemet.
DMSA is commonly prescribed orally. Oral administration is generally safer, because a patient can monitor the dose and test for side effects. The side effects of DMSA include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss and rashes. As with other chelating drugs, kidney and liver function needs to be closely monitored.
The above well-known chelators need to be taken in fairly high doses to be truly effective. Because of this, side effects are virtually unavoidable. Accordingly, these potent pharmaceuticals cannot be taken for an extended period of time (Goodman & Gilman).
As well, because of the high doses needed with these chelators, essential minerals are almost always chelated out of the body as well. Minerals most commonly lost include zinc, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum and selenium, which then need to be replaced.
Toxic metals are often stored in the brain, and none of the above mentioned chelators cross the blood/brain barrier.
And last but not least, a concern has been that the metals loosened by the chelating agents are not always properly excreted. Instead, they may be reabsorbed in different parts of the body, causing more damage to the immune system and vital organs. This is why some individuals can remain just as sick after chelation as before, sometimes for years after their detoxification therapy.