A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Metallosis
I had a question the other day about metallosis.
Metal poisoning happens when toxic levels of metal build up in your body.
This can cause damage to tissue, bone and your nervous system.
People can be exposed to high levels of metal through their environment and diet.
For example, metals like arsenic, mercury, lead and chromium have many uses and find their way into products like paint and pesticides.
They may also contaminate water supplies.
These metals may cause stomach upset, kidney toxicity and multi-organ toxicity.
Medical devices made from metal can also cause metal poisoning.
Metallosis is a type of metal poisoning occurring as a side effect from certain joint replacement devices, like metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants or some knee implants.
It can lead to several complications, including implant failure, tissue and bone death, and organ damage requiring revision surgery.
MoM hip implants typically use a metal ball and cup, and some use a metal neck and stem.
All of these components are made of cobalt and chromium.
Both total hip replacement and hip resurfacing systems can cause metallosis, though the rate is higher with resurfacing components.
Naturally, your body stores a certain level of cobalt and chromium for healthy cellular function.
But, when metal implant components rub together, they release cobalt and chromium ions into the surrounding tissues and into your bloodstream and can create toxic levels in your body, leading to metallosis.
When excessive metal builds up near your joint, the lymph nodes and surrounding joint fluid attempt to “clean” your body by absorbing the ions and transporting them to your kidneys, where they’re removed in your urine.
However, sometimes your body is overwhelmed by the amount of metal, and this can cause complications.
Because each person reacts differently to high levels of cobalt, the symptoms of metallosis may vary.
One of the most common is tissue or bone death.
With this, the tissue around the implant turns gray or black.
This creates pain and instability, which can lead to spontaneous dislocation, bone loss and fracture.
Occasionally, non-cancerous pockets of fluid called pseudotumors will form around the affected tissue.
The fluid from these pockets contains gray, rust or cloudy yellow fluid.
In addition to tissue reactions around the joint, high levels of cobalt in the blood can also cause other symptoms.
Aside from revision surgery, there are few treatments for metallosis.
To deal with metallosis it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates your cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!).
*Supplement your diet with plenty of fiber. Fiber helps to cleanse your system. Oat bran is a good source of fiber. Apple pectin also can be a useful in your diet. It removes unwanted metals. (Always take supplemental fiber separately from other supplements and medications.) Other recommended foods include almonds, apricots, bananas, barley, beans, beets, Brazil nuts, brown rice, carrots, dates, fish, garlic, grapes, hazelnuts, lemons, lentils, oatmeal, onions, spinach, and yogurt.
*If at all possible, eat only organic foods.
*Investigate mercury and silver in old dental fillings as these can add to metal toxicity in your body. Consider seeing a holistic dentist.
*Purify indoor air.
*Avoid being outside during any aerial application of insecticides or pesticides.
*Perform a cleansing fast for 3 days each month to help your body get rid of toxins.
*Switch to safe, nontoxic cleaners, laundry and personal care products that don’t emit toxic fumes/residues.
*Avoid chemicals whenever possible.
*Eliminate smoking and second-hand smoke.
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