All You Need to Know About Lead Poisoning

All You Need to Know About Lead Poisoning

Apr 20, 2022

Planning on renovating your family home built in the 70s? Chances are a considerable amount of lead will be released into the atmosphere during the process. Why should you be worried, you ask? Read on to discover how exposure to heavy toxic metals like lead is a matter of concern and danger

What is lead?

A naturally-occurring element, Lead is found in the makeup of the earth’s crust. It is soft, malleable, and has low thermal conductivity. As a highly poisonous heavy metal, it poses serious threats to human, plant, and animal life. However, thanks to its corrosion-resistant properties, it is used widely in a number of products. Some of them include:

  • Paints and pigments
  • Aviation fuel and leaded gasoline
  • Pipes and plumbing fixtures
  • Vehicular Batteries and Ammunition
  • Cosmetics and herbal medicines
  • Contaminated water
  • Imported pottery, ceramics and glassware
  • Imported toys and candy

Why is lead harmful to us?

Not all metals are harmful to the human body. In fact, metals like zinc, iron, magnesium, etc in the right amounts are required for proper development and well-being. Lead, however, does not fall on the good metals list.
Thanks to its toxic characteristics, leads causes havoc among our internal chemical and metabolic processes on the cellular level. Lead ions have been studied to poison proteins present in our body by binding together with them and displacing proper metal ions and disturbing their cycles. For example, Lead interrupts the role of calcium in regulating cellular activities by poisoning proteins and decreasing their sensitivity to calcium levels.

As a result, a series of crucial metabolic processes are compromised, which results in symptoms such as anemia, weakness, fatigue, headaches, and more. Even after the lead has been cleared out from cellular proteins, it manages to last for years in the brain and even longer in our bones. In children particularly, lead poisoning can cause lasting damage since the proteins involved in the development of the central nervous system are quite susceptible to lead.

How do I know I’ve been exposed to lead?

Although the US and other countries have made big developments in ensuring lead is removed from most products and from the environment, it still can be present in trace amounts that build up over time. For example, cosmetics such as lipsticks and eyeliners have been regularly tested for lead presence and lead content is regulated up to 10ppm per product.

Chipping paint in houses built before 1978 exposes lead particles in the air, which settle around mixed with dust. Lead can even be found in the water you use. The Flint water crisis followed how residents of the area were exposed to lead-contaminated water that possibly caused numerous health hazards. If you work in plumbing, oil, or construction, chances are that you are regularly exposed to lead.

Signs & Symptoms:

Lead poisoning is a gradual and sneaky process. The scope of symptoms is so varied and individualized that it becomes a challenge to nail the root cause.

Here are some of the most common symptoms shown by people diagnosed with lead poisoning:

  1. Chronic Digestive issues: Lead ions damage the delicate intestinal lining of the gut, even disturbing the balance of gut microbiome. This leads to constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea. Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss also point toward lead poisoning.
  1. Impaired Kidney Function: Rising levels of lead in our body cause the kidneys to malfunction over time. Due to impaired blood filtration, Albumin protein cells begin to show up in urine. If you have blood pressure issues, it can accelerate the damage to the kidneys.
  1. Neurological Effects: Lead ions possess the ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier and damage areas such as the prefrontal cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. Consequent brain damage shows up as cognitive and behavioral problems, schizophrenia, and degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Since children have developing brains, they are more susceptible to
    lead-induced brain damage,
    impacting their memory, visual, and motor skills and triggering ADHD-like behavior.

Staying Safe from Lead Exposure:

Our body performs several functions to ensure we stay healthy and safe from exposure to toxins, metals being one of them. Here are some ways that you can support your immunity:

  • Keep your surroundings clean and dust-free. Lead and other microscopic allergens such as mold can be found settled in dust. Ensure your spaces are clean by wiping them down frequently.
  • If you live in an area supplied with unclean water, invest in a good water purifier that is proven to remove lead and other toxins. Similarly, if you live close to roads with heavy traffic or near an industrial area, an air purifier is also a smart choice.
  • Work on reducing your overall toxin burden by eating an organic, clean diet free of processed foods.
  • Minimize your use of plastics, cosmetics, chemical-laden air fresheners and cleaning products.
  • Staying active and maintaining a regular exercise regime helps strengthen your defenses. It also helps in flushing out toxins through sweat

If you have a host of varying symptoms that seem to linger on, begin a detoxification program with experts from MyPureMD. This will help in picking out the root problem of your symptoms and treat it with a long-term strategy. If you suspect you have been exposed to led and other heavy metals, we will help you reach an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis using state-of-the-art testing. Book a discovery call with us today and get started on your path to wellness!

April 20, 2022

Our holistic doctors provide functional, integrative, and alternative medicine to residents of the following neighborhoods in Houston, Texas: