Heavy Metal Poisoning

Heavy metal poisoning can be caused by various metals and can be characterized by an acute or a chronic course.

Heavy Metal Poisoning

What is heavy metal poisoning

In the case of heavy metal poisoning, toxic metals have penetrated the organism, which have a different poisoning effect. In principle, heavy metal poisoning can cause damage to the organism through its involvement in the metabolism. See beautyphoon for What is Humeral Shaft Fracture.

Some metals such as arsenic, nickel, zinc, iron and copper are vital for the organism in low doses. However, if their concentration increases, heavy metal poisoning occurs. Other heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury or aluminum (light metal) can immediately lead to heavy metal poisoning as soon as they are ingested in small amounts.

Heavy metal poisoning is not just an independent health hazard. They are often the trigger for other diseases that arise from the symptoms of poisoning. Heavy metal poisoning can be treated with special drainage methods. Heavy metal poisoning can occur in both adults and children.


The causes of heavy metal poisoning are quite diverse. In medicine, a distinction is made between various causal complexes.

In addition to direct intake of the heavy metal through food, as can be the case, for example, with the consumption of mushrooms or drinking water enriched with lead, it is possible for the toxic substances to accumulate, which can lead to heavy metal poisoning.

In addition, people absorb the toxic heavy metals not only through food, but also through polluted air in the form of exhaust gases. Another cause for the development of heavy metal poisoning can be metal implants, which are mainly known from dentistry as amalgam fillings.

Over the years, this leads to the separation of mercury, which is deposited in special organs and causes heavy metal poisoning.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Heavy metal poisoning can manifest itself through a variety of symptoms, the symptoms depend primarily on the type and concentration of the toxic substance ingested. Signs of acute lead poisoning can be severe abdominal cramps, headaches and body aches as well as exhaustion, the chronic form becomes noticeable through a so-called lead anemia accompanied by tiredness and reduced performance as well as heart problems.

A blue-grey lead seam on the gums is typical. Damage to the nervous system can manifest itself as insomnia, overactivity, disorientation and sensory disturbances in the extremities. In severe cases, life-threatening cardiovascular failure can occur.

Acute mercury poisoning is very rare; chronic mercury poisoning initially causes unspecific symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, gingivitis and diarrhea. In the further course, muscle twitching, anxiety and agitation, hearing, vision and speech impairments as well as motor impairments, concentration disorders and personality changes can also occur.

Cadmium poisoning can result in pneumonia, but also in kidney weakness, an increased tendency to form urinary stones or pulmonary emphysema. Other non-specific symptoms that can occur with heavy metal poisoning are skin changes such as eczema or discolouration, tremors, symptoms of paralysis and abdominal pain. Liver and kidney damage often only becomes noticeable at an advanced stage through a yellow discoloration of the skin and a greatly increased or reduced urine output.

Diagnosis & History

As already described, heavy metal poisoning can take an acute or sudden course. However, there are also heavy metal poisonings that are insidious and the symptoms of which recur again and again. This always depends on the type of poisoning and the amount of heavy metal ingested.

In modern medicine, innovative diagnostic methods and procedures are used to precisely diagnose heavy metal poisoning. Those affected who feel physically unwell, suffer from symptoms such as discoloration of the skin, tongue and nails or nausea and other complaints first contact the specialist.

Since the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning can be extremely lengthy and sometimes quite unspecific, frequent misdiagnoses cannot be ruled out. Therefore, an exact diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning is not always easy to make.


If there is heavy metal poisoning, this initially manifests itself in impaired consciousness (increased drowsiness and severe tiredness) and a noticeable skin rash. If left untreated, these symptoms will increase in intensity over days, weeks, or even years, leading to serious complications. The initial difficulties in concentrating often develop into serious psychological disorders such as anxiety disorders and hyperactivity.

Memory loss can also occur. Other complications include cardiac arrhythmias and blood pressure fluctuations, which in extreme cases can lead to a heart attack. Furthermore, heavy metal poisoning can also cause allergies and gastrointestinal diseases. Heavy metal poisoning is usually treated without major complications. However, the prescribed medicines can cause side effects and occasionally trigger allergic reactions.

In rare cases, the commonly used medicinal charcoal leads to constipation and intestinal obstruction. A harmless complication is the typical blackening of the stool. Gastric lavage can cause shortness of breath, pneumonia, and internal injuries. A blood wash represents a great psychological and physical burden for the patient overall. Regular dialysis can also promote heart disease and damage to the vessels and joints.

When should you go to the doctor?

In the case of heavy metal poisoning, a doctor must always be consulted immediately. Rapid diagnosis and treatment is the only way to prevent further complications and symptoms, which in the worst case can reduce the life expectancy of those affected. A doctor should be consulted if the person concerned has ingested a high amount of heavy metals. This usually leads to severe pain in the abdomen and also in the limbs, which can also lead to severe tiredness and exhaustion. If these symptoms occur, a doctor must be consulted immediately.

Heart problems can also indicate heavy metal poisoning. Those affected continue to suffer from inflammation throughout the body, which often leads to severe tremors. In the event of heavy metal poisoning, a hospital must be visited immediately or an ambulance called. The further treatment depends strongly on the amount taken and on the doctor of the heavy metal. In some cases, the life expectancy of the person affected by heavy metal poisoning is reduced if treatment is started late.

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of heavy metal poisoning is not only of great importance in conventional medicine. Various methods in alternative medical therapy can also contribute to alleviating or eliminating the triggers and symptoms.

The so-called chelation treatment is one of the forms of therapy currently carried out, which are used when there is a clear diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning. This is based on the binding of heavy metals in the organism by EDTA and DMPS. Chelation therapy is considered to be an extremely gentle application. The principle of this therapy is based on the targeted elimination of heavy metals.

In the case of acute signs of heavy metal poisoning, rapid treatment is important in order to stabilize the function of all vital organs. In addition to chelation therapy, a variety of drugs are prescribed for the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning, including oral antidotes and activated charcoal as an absorbing agent.

In addition, if there is reasonable suspicion of heavy metal poisoning, the doctors carry out gastric lavage. Activated charcoal is mainly used as part of the primary or first possible treatment of heavy metal poisoning.

In the second step, blood washing, a so-called hemoperfusion and lipid therapy can follow. Hemoperfusion is similar to dialysis, in contrast to dialysis or hemodialysis, the blood passes through an activated carbon filter system.


In order to prevent heavy metal poisoning, the intake of the toxic substances should of course be avoided. In addition, it is advantageous to eliminate amalgam fillings with other substitutes. Drinking plenty of water without harmful substances is also useful. Appropriate occupational safety measures must be taken at workplaces with an increased content of heavy metals so that these substances cannot enter the organism.


Depending on the severity of the poisoning, the patient’s body is permanently damaged even after the heavy metals have been successfully eliminated. Therefore, during follow-up care, he should focus on avoiding future exposure to heavy metals and on treating his weakened body with care. It is important to know how the heavy metal poisoning came about.

This is the only way to avoid it in the future. Sometimes it is enough for patients to have their amalgam fillings replaced, but sometimes they have to consider moving to less polluted areas. Patients should definitely follow the recommendation to drink plenty of clear, uncontaminated water for the rest of their lives.

In this way, even the smallest amounts of toxins can be flushed out. At the same time, you should avoid anything that unnecessarily weakens your body. This includes toxins such as nicotine and alcohol, but also harmful foods such as cheap meat and fruit and vegetables from uncontrolled cultivation.

Gentle detoxification measures, such as regular visits to the sauna or steam bath, are also advisable. Even sweaty sport detoxifies the body. Water-rich fruit and vegetables such as melon or cucumber support the detoxification process. Afterwards, the patient should allow himself and his body a lot of relaxing rest.

You can do that yourself

Patients can also do a number of things at home to successively drain toxins and heavy metals from their bodies. This includes everything that makes the body sweat, sports as well as visits to the sauna or steam bath.

There is also the option to detox at home in the bathtub. For this purpose, the patient takes a hot full bath every two days for six weeks, in which 300 grams of magnesium chloride or Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate, Epsom salts) has been dissolved. No other bath additives may be added. The patient should bathe for twenty to thirty minutes at a temperature of 37 to 39 degrees Celsius. Don’t dry off afterwards, but lie down wet in terry towels and sweat out the toxins for another half hour. They are neutralized in the body by the magnesium salts. Both magnesium chloride and Epsom salt are available over the counter in pharmacies.

Taking coarse-grained healing earth or zeolite also has a detoxifying effect. The administration of turmeric also accelerates the elimination of heavy metals in the body. However, it is not enough to season with turmeric. Instead, patients should take a dietary supplement that also contains black pepper. Black pepper significantly increases the bioavailability of turmeric.

While the patient is actively detoxifying, he should allow himself plenty of rest and avoid stimulants such as alcohol and nicotine.