Imagine this: you’re sitting in a coffee shop researching for a new project you’ve taken on. You hate to admit it, but this week hasn’t been your best. If you were in college again (you wish) your teacher would grade your mental and physical performance a C at best. While that coffee is trying so hard to get you that C+, you can’t shake your fatigue.
You’re staring at your computer, experiencing extreme brain fog sprinkled with moments of clarity offset with slight confusion. The weather man would call this climate change– your goofiest teacher would’ve called this a brain fart.
Was that easy to imagine? Did I just describe your exact situation at your local coffee spot yesterday?
It’s not an everyday occurrence, but it’s enough to make you say to yourself, “Goodness, I’m getting old!”
But what if I told you that this type of brain fog isn’t caused by passing years but rather what has been passed down to you through the years–and what continues to pass through you?
That’s quite the riddle.
Question: What has been passed down to you and continues to pass through you that causes brain fog? Answer: Toxic heavy metals.
(In my defense, they don’t technically pass through you until you detox, but for the sake of the riddle- you know what I mean)
In today’s day and age, it’s virtually impossible not to take in a certain amount of heavy metals. From the soil our food is grown in, to those old-school dental amalgams, toxic heavy metals haunt our daily lives. And they cause more than just brain fog.
Do you want the bad news or the good news first?
Ok. Bad. Here’s the bad news: Heavy metals are poison to our bodies. They can cause damage to every system and organ, including our brain, liver, digestive system, and immune system–even at low levels of exposure (1,2).
Here’s the good news: there is something we can do about it! So, to all those Debbie Downers who are thinking, “Great! Everything causes cancer and now everything has toxic heavy metals in it- I should just give up!” DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.
In this article, I’m going to scare the crap out of you— then I’m going to wrap you up in hope and calm you down because there are things you can do to detox.
Symptoms of Toxic Heavy Metal Exposure
If we continue to burden our bodies with heavy metals without detoxing, our health will look like worsening of symptoms throughout a lifetime.
What that means is if we don’t take charge and detox, the anxiety and depression we experience now or the memory loss we’re getting increasingly frustrated with- will only get worse.
Remember that brain fart I was talking about at the beginning of this article? Well, that brain fart could be caused by heavy metals like aluminum and mercury that oxidized and created metallic runoff saturating brain tissue, resulting in electrical impulse burnout and neurotransmitter damage. Those brain farts will continue to transform into deteriorating brain health.
But here’s the thing that we need to understand, everyone experiences a diversity of symptoms at varying degrees caused by toxic heavy metals. This is because different blends of heavy metals reside in different parts of our bodies- wreaking havoc on those organs. For example, while someone may have heavy metals residing in their right temporal lobe, another person may have a pocket in their pituitary gland resulting in different symptoms and issues (2). Here are some symptoms you and your family members could be experiencing:
- Aches and Pains in neck, knees, and back
- Anxiety Disorders
- Abdominal Pain
- Bacterial Overgrowth
- Concentration and Focus Issues
- Memory Loss Issues
- Mood disorders
- Numbness and Tingles
- Viral Infections
- Yeast infections
I know, that’s a long list, but honestly, it’s just a good umbrella to start with at best. Let’s break it down a little more.
Toxic heavy metals are also a feeding ground for bacteria like streptococcus A and B, E. Coli, and H Pylori. When these bacteria feed off heavy metals, they result in issues like SIBO, yeast infections, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
Shingles and Epstein Barr also love toxic heavy metals and can cause tingles, numbness, fatigue, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and aches and pains.
Get Acquainted with the Enemies
Meet the heavy metals: mercury, aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, cadmium, and barium. These heavy metals have been around since the beginning of time. And they may have even been inside you since the beginning of your time.
Yup. You read that correctly. Heavy metals are passed down from generation to generation to generation TO GENERATION! Up to 80 generations! Heavy metals can be passed down from mom to baby (especially if mom has amalgam fillings – this is one of the main exposures to heavy metals). That’s why some babies’ livers already hold a heavy burden of toxic heavy metals when they are born. But just because heavy metals have been lurking through our bloodlines for centuries doesn’t mean that it should be normalized—for a couple of reasons (2).
Number 1: more than ever, we are being exposed to heavy metal sources daily. This includes pharmaceuticals, water pipes, city water, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, metal kitchen appliances, and jet fuel that falls from the sky!
Number 2: the longer heavy metals lurk in our bodies, the more toxic they become. For example, here is how mercury works. Mercury likes to stick together. It gathers in the body. So, whether you’ve inherited it or been exposed to it during your lifetime because you ate a piece of fish, it collects together, becoming more toxic over time. The same goes for the other toxic heavy metals.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), heavy metals are classified as “probable” or “known” human carcinogens in regards to studies that found an association with exposure and cancer incidence in both humans and animals (1).
Studies also found that metal ions interact with DNA and nuclear proteins causing conformational changes and DNA damage that can cause cell cycle modulation, apoptosis, or carcinogenesis. It has been reported that heavy metals affect cellular components from cell membranes to mitochondria and some enzymes involved in damage repair, detoxification, and metabolism (1). Below I’ll explain the most common ways we come into contact with them.
Exposure: amalgam fillings (improper removal of amalgam fillings); eating high mercury fish; taking fish oil supplements that are sourced from high mercury fish (that’s why it’s essential to know your supplement company); foods sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides; handling batteries in devices; playing with mercury as a child
Mercury is the heavy toxic metal that is most easily passed down through your bloodline—meaning the mercury in your liver could run deep. Keep reading to learn how we can flush this bad boy out.
Exposure: lead paint; water flowing through lead pipes; pipes with lead sealers; food grown in lead saturated soil; food grown with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
Exposure: cans; foil; kitchen tools – particularly pots and pans; sunblock; makeup; tap water; pesticides, fungicides, herbicides
Exposure: drinking water; bathing water; pots, pans; pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
Exposure: polluted air; pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
Exposure: pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
Exposure: pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
Exposure: medical imaging; polluted air; water supply
The Dangers of Toxic Heavy Metals Overtime
Heavy metals are a form of neurotoxin–a poison that messes with nerve function and confuses our immune systems. If we don’t detox, over time, toxic heavy metals can oxidize, promoting inflammation and causing damage to surrounding tissue (1,2,3).
These neurotoxins are destroying our electrical impulses and short-circuiting our neurotransmitters resulting in brain fog, lack of motivation, frustration, irritation, and confusion. This is why it is necessary to detox!
5 Foods that Help Detox Heavy Metals
I’ve had a lot of experience over the last 10 years with heavy metal detox. I have worked with numerous clients all over the world and have detoxed myself and helped members of my family detox from heavy metals as well. In all of my clinical experience I will say that you cannot do a full detox of heavy metals just from food. It requires a specific protocol and should be done under the care of a health practitioner. So, if you’re dealing with heavy metals toxicity these foods can support the body, but they are not sufficient for a full detoxification.
Think of these foods like a supplement that you can use to stimulate your detox pathways and keep you functioning well.
Spirulina is that edible blue-green algae that created big buzz 5 years ago. The buzz is back (if it even ever left) and drawing your heavy metals out from your central nervous system, brain, and liver. Mix 2 teaspoons in water, coconut water, put it in a capsule or a smoothie.
2. Barley Grass Juice Powder
The nutritive grass pulls heavy metals out of your intestinal tract, spleen, pancreas, thyroid, and reproductive system! It also prepares mercury for full absorption by spirulina. Stir 1-2 teaspoons in water daily.
3. Wild Blueberries
Nope, not regular blueberries- the wild ones! Wild blueberries have unique phytonutrients that draw heavy metals out of your brain tissue and HEAL GAPS. Make a yummy morning smoothie with these magic makers. You can find wild blueberries in the frozen section of most grocery stores.
If you’re one of those people that think cilantro has a soap taste, throw a cup into your smoothie, and you won’t even taste it! Sprinkle it on a salad, mix it into your Tuesday guac- whatever you do, include cilantro in your heavy metal detox. Cilantro will go deep into hard to reach places where heavy metals have been hiding out since birth. Try Cilantro essential oil for enhanced benefits. Dilute a drop in the palms and inhale or mix 3 drops with a carrier oil and massage into the bottoms of the feet.
5. Atlantic Dulse
You might be thinking “doesn’t this seaweed contain mercury” yes- but it will never release it! Atlantic dulse goes deep into your gut and digestive tract never releasing mercury, but instead, binding to copper, nickel, mercury, and aluminum! Seriously incredible.
- William, Anthony. Medical Medium Liver Rescue: Answers to Eczema, Psoriasis, Diabetes, Strep, Acne, Gout, Bloating, Gallstones, Adrenal Stress, Fatigue, Fatty Liver, Weight Issues, SIBO & Autoimmune Disease. Hay House Inc, 2018.