You are probably ingesting heavy metals on a regular basis without knowing it.  From the “silver” fillings in your teeth and the swordfish steak on your dinner menu (both sources of mercury), to the lead pipes in your house that supply your drinking water, heavy metals are all around you, and you ARE being exposed!

What are heavy metals?
Heavy metals – so called because they are literally the heavier elements (as measured by their atomic weight) – include lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, aluminum, and many others.

Which metals are toxic and where have I been exposed?
The more prevalent toxic metals are:

  • Lead- commonly used in paints until 1978, is still found in the wall pain coatings in many homes. Children may pick at old paint chips while playing; sanding off old paint also releases lead-containing particles. Lead pipes, still present in many households, allow the metal to leach into drinking water, rendering the water toxic. Paint glazed china may yet be another source of lead.
  • Mercury- a metal found in some fish, especially tuna, orange roughy, swordfish, halibut, cod, catfish, and sea bass. It is also found in the silver-colored amalgam fillings used for teeth; over time these fillings release toxic mercury into your mouth.  Each amalgam filling can exude 17 ug of mercury vapor per day.  This can have an accumulative effect over time.
  • Cadmium- often used as a paint pigment, though now it’s use is declining. Still, McDonald’s recently had to recall twelve million “Shrek” drinking glasses because they had cadmium-containing paint. Aside from paint, a major cause of environmental cadmium exposure is cigarette smoke.
  • Arsenic- occurs naturally in the earth, sometimes seeping into groundwater. Arsenic compounds are used as wood preservatives, insecticides, and herbicides. They are also commonly used in animal feed. Shocking, undoubtedly, but true!  Recent studies have shown high levels of Arsenic in rice.

What do we mean by heavy metal burden or heavy metal overload?
Acute exposure to large doses of heavy metals is known as heavy metal toxicity. This exposure often causes severe symptoms requiring hospitalization and detoxification treatment (in the form of chelation therapy). However, because heavy metals build up in the body over many years – unable to be excreted by the body normally – exposure to smaller doses of these metals over a prolonged period of time results in heavy metal overload (also called heavy metal burden). The toxic burden of heavy metals can be considered a cumulative poisoning.

What are the symptoms of heavy metal burden?
The symptoms of heavy metal burden may resemble those of other common disorders, so they may often be overlooked. But if you have any of the following symptoms on an ongoing basis, heavy metal burden should be seriously considered as a root cause:

  • Digestive disorders (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, and constipation)
  • Headaches, muscle aches (fibromyalgia), fatigue, thyroid and adrenal disorders
  • Hair loss and brittle nails
  • Skin rashes and dermatitis
  • Metallic taste
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Depression and mood swings, anxiety, confusion, memory problems and brain fog, and sleep disorders

Diagnosis
Dr. Lalezar conducts a six-hour urine toxicology screening after administering DMPS, as a provocative chelating agent, which binds to heavy metals. DMPS is then followed by infusion of Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant which supports the liver and enhances detoxification. Glutathione also prevents redistribution of heavy metals and makes DMPS much safer.  The amounts of heavy metals present in the urine are then measured. This is one of the most useful diagnostic tests for evaluating heavy metal burden.  It measures the amount of hidden metals stored in fat cells.  Often patients ask about a hair analysis or a blood test for measuring heavy metals.  Both these measures are not an accurate indicator of what is stored at a cellular level. The blood and hair tests only indicate what has been excreted into the blood or hair and not what is stored at a cellular level.

Treatment approach
At the Health and Vitality Center, Dr. Lalezar, well-known for educating the public on the dangers of heavy metal burden, will use intravenously-administered chelating agents such as DMPS or caEDTA, which bind to heavy metals, forming a water-soluble complex that is eliminated harmlessly through the urine. This is a clinically-proven, highly effective treatment. IV glutathione is also given to enhance detoxification. Both treatments are given in our comfortable, relaxing infusion room. During your IV treatment, you can read, listen to music, and work on your computer.

How can I find out more information about Heavy Metal Burden/Heavy Metal Overload?
Contact the Health & Vitality Center at 310-477-1166. Our founder and medical director, Dr. Shiva Lalezar, is certified in chelation therapy and has extensive experience treating patients with heavy metal overload. Our practice is a leading center for Chelation therapy, health and wellness in Los Angeles.

A Note to Medical Professionals:

We often collaborate with a variety of physicians’ practices on puzzling, challenging, and complex medical conditions, and we welcome the opportunity for CROSS-REFERRALS.

Internists • Dentists • Dermatologists • Gastroenterologists • Rheumatologists • OB/GYNs • Urologists • Infertility Specialists

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