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Heavy metal tests you can take at home are perfect if you’re concerned about exposure to harmful metals. Exposure to heavy metals can lead to serious health problems. These metals can damage your brain and organs and even harm your overall well-being.
Heavy metal poisoning can also make you sick or cause long-lasting health issues. So, it’s important to avoid exposure to high levels of heavy metals and get help if you suspect you've been exposed.
To help address your concerns, we gathered the top five heavy metals test kits you can take in the comfort of your home.
We value finding the best options for our readers, so we looked into the following criteria to determine the best at-home heavy metal tests:
Keep in mind that there's no one-size-fits-all heavy metals test. You need to evaluate them based on your needs and symptoms (if any).
Many of the tests we explored overlap, so it's up to you to determine the best fit.
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Heavy metal testing at home uses kits you can order to check for harmful metals like lead, mercury, or arsenic. Testing can be done on your hair, blood, water, soil, or food.
It’s a convenient testing option since the tests can be done without leaving your house.
At-home heavy metals tests are important because heavy metals in high amounts can harm your health. They can lead to problems in your growth, damage your organs, and cause other health problems.
Taking heavy metal tests involves:
Testing costs can vary depending on what you're testing and how many metals you want to check for.
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Using a blood sample you collect at home, the LetsGetChecked heavy metal testing kit measures essential nutrients. Test results reveal imbalances of the most important vitamins and heavy metals your body needs.
You can use these results to make the necessary changes in your diet and lifestyle. The results can also act as a guide for you to correct any deficiencies and prevent excess intake.
Instead of using your blood sample, 5Strands Metals & Mineral test analyzes a few hair strands to check your reactivity to up to 60 different heavy metals and minerals.
Your test results can show you which metals or minerals are potentially responsible for imbalances within your body.
Unlike the heavy metal blood tests, 5Strands hair test doesn’t indicate how much of these toxic metals are in your body. It will only show how your body reacts to these substances.
This test kit can determine the culprit if you suspect you’re sensitive to a mineral or heavy metal in your diet.
I got one of 5Strands Delux Packages - which includes the Environmental Intolerance Test
Send-in steps are very simple:
Overall, this is a very non-intrusive test and is easy to take. Once you've taken the test, you are emailed results (no dashboard). A sample pages of results looks like this:
5Strands suggests trying to eliminate metals categorized as Level 3 and then moving to Level 2 if you are still experiencing issues.
The popular at-home health testing company, EverlyWell, has one of the more reliable heavy metals tests on the market.
EverlyWell can alert you to six commonly found environmental metals within your body using a urine sample.
These heavy metals can be found in many places you regularly visit, such as your job, home, or shop.
The Heavy Metals Test will screen for four hazardous metals: arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and bromine. It also tests your levels of two essential trace minerals, selenium and iodine.
Additionally, your urinary creatinine levels will be checked.
ZRT Laboratory offers a heavy metals blood test that is ideal if you’re experiencing any heavy metal toxicity symptoms from recent exposure.
Their test results include a heavy metal panel that tells you how high your levels of selenium, copper, cadmium, lead, zinc, magnesium, and mercury are.
While you’re supposed to have some zinc, copper, and selenium in your system, having high concentrations of these metals is potentially toxic. Meanwhile, any exposure to cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury is toxic.
Exposure can lead to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. In children, behavioral and developmental problems may ensue.
Chronic exposure to these metals can lead to dangerous conditions, such as lead poisoning and arsenic poisoning.
Doctor Data’s heavy metals toxicity test will check your body for chronic exposure to toxic elements like arsenic, lead, mercury, and other toxins by using a strand of your hair.
The test can detect exposure to 31 toxins from recent exposures up to six months before.
The kit includes everything you need to collect and return your sample, including a prepaid return envelope.
Your test results will show you how much of these toxins and minerals are present in your sample on a gram or microgram level.
You can take several measures if your heavy metal levels are too high. In some cases, eliminating your exposure is enough to restore your health.
For some people, this can mean changing their diet, quitting smoking, or changing their living conditions.
In more severe cases, chelation therapy might be necessary. Chelation therapy involves injections or pills with a binding agent that combines with the heavy metal and flushes it out of your body through the digestive system.
Different heavy metals respond differently to chelation. For some, an antidote is necessary. Hydration therapy may also be an important treatment for those with severe symptoms.
If you’re concerned about mercury poisoning, try a mercury detox. It entails:
While all of the tests above will give you easy-to-follow instructions and promise accurate results, some of these tests may be better suited to your needs than others. Even though all these tests check for heavy metals, they’re not all looking at the same data.
For example, ZRT Laboratory’s test checks how much of each heavy metal is inside your system. It uses different mediums to detect acute or chronic exposure, making it ideal to determine if your symptoms are due to recent exposure.
The 5Strands test focuses more on your reaction to these substances, so you’ll know which heavy metals you’re more likely sensitive to.
HealthConfirm’s test is focused on one particular chemical—gadolinium—which is used to enhance the quality of results of imaging procedures. It’s the ideal test if you recently underwent an MRI scan.
Lastly, if you want a simple test to check for heavy metals your body needs, the Micronutrient Test from LetsGetChecked is a great option.
Some of the common heavy metals tests you can do at home are:
Let’s compare at home heavy metal tests and laboratory tests.
Heavy metals testing at home is a do-it-yourself health check you can do without going to a doctor or lab. These tests are convenient because you can do them whenever necessary and without leaving home.
You can test for harmful metals like lead or mercury using a kit you bought online or at a store. It's simple, and you usually get results fairly quickly.
However, these tests may not be as accurate as tests done in a lab by professionals. There is the possibility of errors during sample collection or factors like temperature and timing can affect the results.
Moreover, understanding the results can be tricky if you don't have a medical background and can't get expert advice right away.
On the other hand, lab testing is the standard for checking heavy metal levels in your body. These tests are done by trained experts in a medical setting, usually a clinic or hospital.
They're more accurate because pros handle everything from collecting the sample to analyzing it in a controlled environment. There’s a wide range of heavy metals tests you can get done in a lab.
A significant advantage is you can get expert advice. A doctor can help you understand what the test results mean. If there's a problem or need further treatment, they can guide you on what to do next.
There are also some downsides. You have to book an appointment, go to a hospital, and wait for your results, which can take longer than at-home tests. Lab tests can also be more expensive. The lab setting is less private than doing a home test.
Basic at-home heavy metal tests for just one type of metal start at around $50 to $100.
They're affordable, which is excellent if you want to check for metals now and then or if you're worried about a specific metal.
However, keep in mind that if you need more extensive tests or want to check for several different metals, the cost can go up.
Here are reasons why you should consider taking a heavy metals test:
Heavy metals such as mercury and methylmercury can put fetuses at a higher risk of developmental problems. Heavy metals can also cause permanent brain damage.
The baby can be exposed in the womb when the mother consumes heavy metals from fish and shellfish.3
Before you decide to conceive, taking a heavy metals test is an excellent idea to ensure you don’t have high levels of toxic heavy metals.
The signs of heavy metal poisoning may imitate other conditions. Elevated levels of certain heavy metals can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
Get tested and visit your doctor if you’re showing signs of exposure.
Some seafood like shark, orange roughy, and swordfish contain high levels of mercury and methylmercury. If your diet consists mainly of fish and shellfish, have your heavy metals level tested.4
Iodine is a mineral our body needs to support thyroid functions properly, like thyroid hormone secretion. You commonly get it from table salt and other foods like fish, dairy, and eggs.
Some heavy metals cause issues with the amount of iodine in the body, affecting thyroid function.
The most common metals that affect your thyroid glands are arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. To determine if your thyroid problems are connected to heavy metals, take a heavy metal test.5
Overexposure happens when you come into contact with heavy metals regularly, such as when you’re:
Periodic testing helps you evaluate and monitor your health risks. A test tells you if you have a problem caused by heavy metal buildup in your system.
The danger of exposure will depend on the route, the time the heavy metal remains in the system, and the duration of exposure.
These are some of the most common heavy metals:
Long-term exposure to heavy metals causes toxicity and negatively affects your health. Health risks vary based on the metal.
Here are some of the most common effects of heavy metal exposure:
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about at-home heavy metal tests:
No, most insurance plans won’t cover at-home heavy metal tests.
All of the tests in our list involve the same basic steps. First, you order your test, then collect a sample. Next, return your sample to the company, and finally, wait for your results. The main difference is the type of sample the tests require— blood, hair, or urine.
Medicare will not cover most at-home heavy metal tests.
Most heavy metal test kits, except for ZRT Laboratory's, are priced between $50 to $100. ZRT’s test kit is slightly more expensive at $159.99.
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