Heavy Metal Testing
The world is filled with toxic elements. Environmental toxins from manufacturing industries can enter water supplies, as well as the air we breathe. A urine test can determine if a patient has been exposed to heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, niobium and lead. When exposure occurs, the toxins can be found in urine samples.
Arsenic – Arsenic can be found in ground water, zinc and copper mines and food sources, including rice and commercially grown chickens. Symptoms of arsenic exposure include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, vertigo, cardiac problems, shock and death.
Mercury – Mercury can be found in the soil, air and water. Exposure to mercury can occur by eating fish and shellfish or recycling products that contain mercury. Symptoms of mercury poisoning include impaired peripheral vision, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, the feeling of pins and needles in the extremities and impairment of speech, walking or hearing.
Lead – Lead poisoning often is the result of lead-based paint in older homes. However, the air, soil and water can also contain lead. Finally, those who work in auto repair shops or battery manufacturers may have high levels of lead in their body. Symptoms of lead poisoning in children include developmental delays, weight loss, hearing loss, learning disabilities and stunted growth. In adults, symptoms may include abdominal pain, joint pain, memory loss, high blood pressure and mood disorders. Finally, lead poisoning affects the reproductive system. Exposure can cause reduced sperm counts, miscarriages and premature births.
Niobium – Niobium poisoning often occurs in those working with gas pipelines, nuclear industries and electronics. Symptoms of niobium exposure include lethargy, muscle weakness and problems with the liver, heart and kidneys. Patients may also experience zinc or copper deficiencies.
Cadmium – Cadmium exposure occurs for a variety of reasons; however, cigarette smoking is the most common reason. Manufacturing facilities that make television screens, batteries and paint pigments are another reason for cadmium exposure. Those who use zinc to weld pipes and those who work with nuclear fission may also be exposed to cadmium. Symptoms of exposure include nausea, abdominal pain, flu symptoms and shortness of breath. More severe symptoms include kidney damage, fragile bones and even death.
Exposure to toxins can cause a plethora of medical conditions. A patient with toxins in their body may experience decreased energy levels, repressed reproductive function and degenerative conditions. The risk for cancer escalates with the exposure to toxins. Neurological and cognitive functions may decline with exposure, resulting in depression, anxiety and other stress related disorders. Finally, exposure to toxins can cause problems to the respiratory system, the immune system and the cardiac system.
Toxin exposure can occur due to environmental exposure and occupational exposure. Working in an automotive, aerospace or nuclear fuel manufacturing facility can expose patients to toxins. Those who weld plumb and handle waste products, pigments and petrochemicals may also be exposed to toxins. Finally, those in the military or police service who use weapons may experience toxin exposure.
Urine testing identifies toxins in the body. This simple test can be completed in the convenience of the patient’s home and sent to the laboratory for examination. Once the results are finalized, they will be sent to the patient’s physician. If the test identifies toxins in the body, there are detoxification agents available to help rid the patient of toxins.