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Lead Toxicity


Sources of Lead:

Sources of lead include: tobacco smoke, eating leaded paint, lead based ceramic glazed cookware. especially with hairline cracks, leaded gasoline, eating contaminated liver, inner city living, canned food (lead soldered cans), some bone meal supplements, some insecticides, batteries, plumbing, pencils, crystal glass production old, using lead-pigment paints, industrial smelting and alloying, some types of solders, ayruvedic herbs, some toys and products from China, Chinese teas, bullets and fishing sinkers, artist paints with lead pigments, and leaded joints in some municipal water systems. Most lead contamination occurs via oral ingestion of contaminated food or water or by children mouthing or eating lead containing substances. The degree of absorption of oral lead depends upon stomach contents (empty stomach increases uptake) and upon the body’s mineral status. Deficiency of zinc, calcium or iron may increase lead uptake. Transdermal (skin) exposure is slight.  Inhalation has decreased significantly with almost universal use of non-leaded automobile fuel.

Symptoms and Illnesses:

Symptoms of high body lead can be: poor bone growth, learning disabilities, fatigue, poor task performance, irritability, anxiety, high blood pressure, weight loss, susceptibility to infections, headaches, ringing in ears, lack of concentration, gastrointestinal problems, constipation, muscle and joint pain, tremors, decreased immune functions, insomnia, hallucinations, birth defects, autism and colic. Lead accumulates extensively in bone and inhibits formation of heme and hemoglobin in erythroid precursor cells (blood cells). Bone lead can be stored in bones for many years and is released to soft tissues with bone remodeling that can be accelerated with growth, menopausal hormonal changes and osteoporosis. Lead has physiological and pathological effects on body tissues that may be manifested from relatively low lead levels up to acutely toxic levels. In children, developmental disorders and behavior problems may occur at relatively low levels such as: loss of IQ, hearing loss, and poor growth. In order of occurrence with increasing lead concentration, the following can occur: impaired vitamin D metabolism, initial effects on erythrocyte and erythroid precursor cell enzymology, increased erythrocyte protoporphyrin, headache, decreased nerve conduction velocity, metallic taste, loss of appetite, constipation, poor blood hemoglobin synthesis, colic, frank anemia, tremors, nephrotoxic effects with impaired kidney excretion of uric acid, neuropathy and encephalopathy (altered brain function and structure. It is caused by diffuse brain disease). At relatively low levels, lead can participate in synergistic toxicity with other toxic elements (e.g. cadmium, mercury).

Target body organs:

The bones, brain, kidneys, thyroid gland, liver and the central nervous system are the primary organs affected.
Calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and the amino acids L-lysine, L-cysteine, L-cystine are protective.
If you suspect that you have an elevated Lead level, it is important for you to know that blood analysis can reflect only recent exposures and does not correlate well with total body burden of lead. Here at Chelation Medical Center we check for excessive retention of lead by a urine collection after provocation with IV Chelation EDTA. This measures your total body load of Lead, as well as other heavy metals. We can also help you with water testing for Lead. Just give us a call.



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