Every day we are exposed to natural elements including metals that, in order to survive and regulate bodily functions, we need certain amounts of such as chromium, iron, and zinc. However, excessive exposure of those metals can lead to toxicity, which is when the body is not able to metabolize the amount of metal substances ingested or absorbed. Heavy metal toxicity may have the potential to cause damage to the vital organs, neurological and muscular degeneration, cancer, allergies, and even death.
While occupational exposure is said to be the most common way people are exposed to heavy metals, you can be exposed to certain types of metals from the air, cigarette smoke, water, household products, contaminated foods and drinks, by taking metal based supplements at unnecessary levels, and more. Some signs and symptoms of metal poisoning may include:
- Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Nervous system symptoms such as numbness, tingling of hands and feet, weakness
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Irritation in the lungs
- Brain dysfunction and memory loss
- Changes in behavior
- Weakened bones
- In pregnant women – miscarriage or premature labor
Our Heavy Metal panel may be ordered to screen for or detect the presence of heavy metals in your body and help diagnose recent or acute heavy metal exposure, or monitor levels in people that have prolonged and/ or repeated exposure to heavy metals.