In This Article
In This Article
Some heavy metals occur naturally in foods and are an essential part of your diet, such as zinc, selenium, and copper.
But if you consume too much of these minerals, or if you’re exposed to toxic types of metals, you may experience severe health problems. Heavy metals are everywhere. In small amounts, they aren’t harmful.
However, excess toxic elements have been linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, muscle dystrophy, and certain cancers.1
Unfortunately, high levels of heavy metals are commonly used in many industries.2 You can consume these heavy metals through inhalation, food, and drinking water without even knowing.
If you think you may have been overly exposed to toxic metals, you can test yourself for heavy metal toxicity.
Heavy metal testing checks if there are elevated levels of heavy metals in your body. Health experts often do it through blood or urine tests, but they can use other samples as well, like fingernails or hair strands. However, in cases where a doctor or lab visit isn’t possible, you can consider taking at-home tests.
We gathered the top six heavy metals test kits you can take in the comfort of your home.
|LetsGetChecked Micronutrient Test - Tests for four heavy metals and determines your vitamin B12, D, and E levels through a blood sample.|
|5Strands Metals & Minerals Test - Tests for your reactivity to up to 60 heavy metals and minerals through a few strands of hair.|
|EverlyWell Heavy Metals Test - Tests for six environmental metals through a urine sample.|
|ZRT Laboratory Heavy Metals & Essential Elements - Tests for up to seven heavy metals, including selenium, copper, cadmium, lead, zinc, magnesium, and mercury through a blood sample.|
|Doctor's Data - Essential Elements and Heavy Metals Toxicity Test - Tests for up to 17 different metals and toxins through a few strands of hair.|
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 do overlap, so it's up to you to determine which one is the best fit.
KnowYourDNA is dedicated to providing readers with reliable information on products that help them achieve their health goals.
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Our in-house medical experts ensure the accuracy of our information.
Here are reasons why you should consider taking a heavy metals test:
Fetuses are highly vulnerable to developmental problems caused by heavy metals, such as mercury and methylmercury. They can be exposed while in the womb when the mother unknowingly consumes these heavy metals from fish and shellfish.3
Certain exposures to heavy metals also put the baby at risk for developmental anomalies and permanent brain damage.
Before you decide to conceive, taking a heavy metals test is a good idea to ensure you don’t have elevated levels of toxic heavy metals.
The signs and symptoms of heavy metal poisoning may mimic other conditions. Elevated levels of certain heavy metals can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including
Get tested and visit your healthcare provider if you’re showing signs of exposure to toxic metals.
Certain types of seafood contain high levels of mercury and methylmercury, like shark, orange roughy, and swordfish. If your diet consists mostly of fish and shellfish, you may want to 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 healthy 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, you may take heavy metal testing.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 severity of heavy metal exposure will depend on the route, length of time the heavy metal remained in the system, and the duration of exposure.
These are some of the most common heavy metals:
Heavy Metal Toxicity: Effects on Health
Chronic exposure to heavy metals causes toxicity and has an effect on your health. Health risks vary based on the metal in question.
Here are some of the most common effects of heavy metal exposure:
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Using a blood sample that 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 needed by your body.
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 potentially determine the culprit if you suspect that 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 Level 3 Intolerance first, 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.
Using a urine sample, EverlyWell can alert you to the presence of six commonly found environmental metals within your body.
These heavy metals could be found in many of the places you regularly visit, such as your job, home, or the places you 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 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 selenium, copper, cadmium, lead, zinc, magnesium, and mercury levels 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 level of cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury exposure 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 different toxins, from recent exposures to up to six months before.
The kit comes with everything you need to collect and return your sample, including a prepaid return envelope.
Your test results will let you know 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 up their living conditions.
In more severe cases, chelation therapy might be necessary. Chelation therapy involves using 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, you can try a mercury detox. It entails:
While all of the tests listed above will provide you with accurate results and easy-to-follow instructions, 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 for 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 is more focused 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 that can check for heavy metals your body actually needs, the Micronutrient Test from LetsGetChecked is a great option.
We’ll answer some of the more common questions we get regarding at-home heavy metal tests below:
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 will require—either blood, hair, or urine.
Medicare will not cover most at-home heavy metal tests.
Most heavy metal test kits are priced between $50 to $100, with the exception of ZRT Laboratory’s. ZRT’s test kit is slightly more expensive at $159.99.
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