Untreated cases of heavy metal poisoning can cause irreversible symptoms, such as brain damage and kidney and liver failure. Your provider will closely monitor your symptoms and treatment. You'll need several blood and urine tests to make sure that toxic metals are leaving your body. The most common symptoms of heavy metal toxicity are gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach pain, fatigue, mental confusion, depression, anxiety, confusion, and joint pain.
Although specific symptoms vary, in our clinic, the most common pattern we see that indicates possible heavy metal toxicity is persistent mental confusion, fatigue, and depression or anxiety that do not improve with other treatments. Persistent autoimmunity is another key sign. There may also be a greater risk for postmenopausal women. The gut microbiome is important for our overall health and for eliminating toxins from the body, since a healthy gut lining prevents toxins from passing from the gut into the blood.
An imbalance in the gut, possibly due to SIBO or H. pylori, food sensitivity, or simply a less-than-ideal general mix of beneficial gut bacteria that can cause a leaky gut, can cause symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, and mental confusion. The simplest intervention to improve your gut is to add a high-quality probiotic while you work on your diet and sleep. Due to the debate over the accuracy of the tests and the levels of heavy metals that pose significant health risks, there are also questions as to whether chelation therapy improves symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, such as fatigue, confusion, skin conditions and stomach discomfort.
Most research has evaluated the effectiveness of the treatment only by analyzing the levels of heavy metals in blood and urine; no symptoms have been reported. For this reason, it's not clear if treatment will resolve common symptoms, such as fatigue, mental confusion, and gastrointestinal problems. In a study on the extraction of dental amalgam, participants not only experienced a decrease in lead levels in their urine, but they also reported a decrease in symptoms of memory loss, fatigue and stomach problems. This is the only study that indicates a possible reduction in common symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, but through the removal of dental amalgams, not through chelation treatment.
EDTA chelation therapy is FDA-approved for acute lead poisoning, but intravenous chelation for lower-grade heavy metal toxicity is more controversial. Cadmium is a highly toxic non-essential heavy metal that is well known for its adverse influence on cell enzyme systems, oxidative stress and for inducing nutritional deficiency in plants (Irfan et al. Remember to work with your healthcare provider to choose the best test for detecting the metals you are analyzing and processing in the most accurate laboratory. For example, inorganic arsenic has a half-life (the time it takes for the amount of metal to halve) in blood of 3 to 4 hours, while lead has a half-life in the blood of one to two months.