A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Lead Poisoning
I had a question the other day about lead poisoning.
Lead is one of the most toxic metal contaminants known.
It’s a cumulative poison in your body.
Even at low levels, lead accumulates in your body and is absorbed directly from your blood into other tissues.
When lead leaves your bloodstream, it’s stored in your bones where it continues to build up over your lifetime.
Lead from your bones may then reenter your bloodstream at any time due to severe stress, like renal failure, pregnancy, menopause, or prolonged immobilization or illness.
Unlike some metallic elements, lead has no known health benefits for humans.
It’s considered a metabolic poison, which means it inhibits basic enzyme functions.
Lead reacts with enzymes in your cells, seriously diminishing their ability to protect against free radical damage.
When present in toxic amounts, it can damage your heart, kidneys, liver, and nervous system.
Your body can’t distinguish between calcium and lead.
Once lead enters your body, it’s assimilated in the same way as calcium.
Because young children and pregnant women absorb calcium more readily, they also absorb more lead than other people.
Children absorb 25-40% more lead per pound of body weight than adults do.
Symptoms of lead poisoning typically appear over the course of several weeks in adults and several days in children.
Children’s symptoms also tend to be more severe.
Symptoms of lead poisoning include severe gastrointestinal colic, gums turning blue, muscle weakness, anxiety, arthritis, confusion, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, gout, insomnia, learning disabilities, loss of appetite, a metallic taste in your mouth, seizures, tremors, and vertigo.
Lead poisoning can eventually lead to blindness, loss of memory, mental disturbances, mental retardation, paralysis of the extremities, and even coma and death.
Chronic lead poisoning can also cause erectile dysfunction, infertility and other reproductive disorders, and liver failure.
Lead is one of the most widely used metals in the U.S. today, and lots of people have high levels of lead in their bodies.
Sources of lead include lead-based paints, ceramic glazes, lead crystal dishes and glassware, leaded gasoline, lead-acid batteries used in automobiles, tobacco, liver, water, some domestic and imported wines, canned fruit, garden vegetables, bone meal, and insecticides.
Even such innocent-seeming items as vinyl mini-blinds and porcelain-glazed sinks and bathtubs have been implicated in lead exposure.
Another potential source of lead poisoning is water supplied through lead piping.
Lead piping was used in most homes built before 1930.
Newer homes use copper pipes; but, even if you have copper pipes in your home, chances are very good they were assembled with lead solder, which is 50% lead.
Solder can leach a significant amount of lead into your water supply, especially in the first few years after installation.
Due to concern over the amount of lead leaching into water, the use of lead solder was banned in 1986.
Lead poisoning first gained widespread public attention when lots of children were found to have been poisoned by chips of lead-based paint peeling off walls.
Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978.
All houses built before 1978 likely contain some lead-based paint.
But, it’s the deterioration of this paint that causes a problem.
Newer buildings are required to use non-lead-based paints.
Pregnant women who have high levels of lead in their bodies can give birth to babies with high lead levels.
Lead stored in the mother’s body is free to cross the placenta to the fetus.
Children born to women who have toxic amounts of lead in their bodies usually suffer growth retardation and nervous system disorders.
Even low-level lead exposure in young children may be associated with impaired intellectual development and behavioral problems.
In 2007, the U.S. began recalling many toys made in China because unacceptably high levels of lead were found in the toys’ paint.
Still, average blood lead levels in the U.S. have declined dramatically in recent decades, but about 250,000 American children under the age of 5 still have blood lead levels exceeding the acceptable norm.
To deal with lead poisoning it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!).
*Alfalfa is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other valuable nutrients, and has a detoxifying effect on your body.
*Try using aloe vera juice. Take 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup before bedtime. This softens bowel movements and helps remove metals from your digestive tract.
*Chlorella and cilantro are helpful for absorbing toxic metals.
*Make sure your diet is high in fiber and supplement it with pectin (found in apples).
*Eat beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, eggs, garlic, kale, legumes, onions, and spinach. These help rid your body of lead.
*Make sure your diet is low in fat and contains enough iron and calcium. Your body absorbs lead more easily if it’s lacking in calcium or iron, or if it’s been exposed to a high-fat diet.
*Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
*If you suspect lead poisoning, have a hair analysis done to determine long-term accumulation of lead. Blood tests reveal only the most recent exposure.
*Always check labels when purchasing foreign-made products like eye makeup and over-the-counter remedies. Some of these products may contain as much as 99% lead oxide.
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