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Heavy metals are a natural part of one’s diet, but if you’re experiencing chronic exposure to the wrong type of metal you could be in trouble. While essential elements like zinc, selenium, and copper are an important part of your diet, other toxic metals, like lead, methylmercury, cadmium, thallium, and mercury, can cause severe health problems like lead poisoning and cadmium exposure.
Toxic elements have been linked to negative health effects, such as Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer. Since high levels of heavy metals are commonly used in many industries, these environmental toxins are frequently found in the natural world as well. Through your food and your drinking water, you may be taking in an abnormally high level of heavy metals. Catching this early is vital for minimizing the negative health effects of these potentially toxic elements.
So if you’re afraid that you may be exposed to unhealthy levels of heavy metals, it’s important that you test for heavy metal toxicity. This will allow you to make the lifestyle adjustments necessary to help eliminate these toxic elements from your body. To guide you along in your quest for better health and a cleaner body, we gathered the top five heavy metals tests that you can take at home.
Some major reasons that you should consider taking a heavy metals test include:
The most common heavy metals include:
Chronic exposure to heavy metals causes toxicity and has an effect on your health. Health risks vary based on the metal in question. The most common effects of heavy metals on health include:
In children, heavy metal poisoning manifests in ways that affect the bones, including malformation and weakness. Heavy metal exposure also increases the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.
Some symptoms are associated with exposure to specific heavy metals. For example:
Rather than using your blood, 5Strands Metals & Mineral test can check your reactivity to up to 60 different heavy metals and minerals simply by analyzing a few strands of hair. Your test results will show you which metals/minerals are potentially responsible for imbalances within your body.
Unlike the heavy metal blood tests, 5Strands hair test doesn’t tell you how much of these toxic metals are in your body, but rather how your body reacts to these substances. So if you suspect that you’re sensitive to a mineral or heavy metal that’s in your diet, this test will tell you what the potential culprits may be.
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 that’s ideal if you’re experiencing any heavy metal toxicity symptoms from a recent exposure. Their test results includes a heavy metals panel that will tell you exactly 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 too high of a concentration of these metals is potentially toxic. And any level of cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury exposure is toxic. Chronic exposure to these metals can lead to dangerous conditions such as lead poisoning and arsenic poisoning.
Simply by using a blood sample, MyLab is able to test for some of the most commonly occurring heavy metals found in the environment. Their Heavy Metals Screening kit will check your blood sample for lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium, all of which can lead to health problems after chronic exposure.
The heavy metal blood test panel you’ll receive lays out the concentration of these potentially toxic elements in your blood. Once identified, you can narrow down if these chemicals are entering your system through your food, drinking water, or from environmental toxins, and take steps to lessen your exposure to them. This at-home heavy metal blood test costs less than most of the competition’s laboratory tests as well.
Doctor Data’s Heavy Metals Toxicity test will check your body for chronic exposure to things like arsenic, lead, mercury, and other toxins by using a strand of your hair. The test can tell if you’ve been exposed to 31 different toxins, from recent exposures to up to six months after.
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 are present in your sample, presenting their quantity in the gram and microgram levels.
There are several things you can do if your heavy metal levels are too high. In some cases, eliminating your exposure is enough to restore your health. For some people, this means dietary changes, smoking cessation, or a change of living conditions.
In more severe cases, chelation therapy might be necessary. Chelation therapy involves using injections or pills that include a binding agent that combines with the heavy metal and flushes it out of your body through the digestive system.
If your concern is mercury poisoning, a mercury detox might be effective. The steps of a mercury detox include:
There are a few things you can do to get rid of heavy metals in your environment. For example:
Below, we’ll answer some of the more common questions we get regarding at home heavy metal tests:
Does insurance cover heavy metal testing?
No, most insurance plans will not cover at-home heavy metal tests.
How to test for heavy metal toxicity?
All of the above tests 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.
Does medicare cover heavy metal testing?
Medicare will not cover most at-home heavy metal tests.
How much does heavy metal testing cost?
Most heavy metal test kits are priced between $50 to $100, with the exception of ZRT Laboratory’s slightly more expensive test ($159.99).
While all of the tests listed above will give you accurate and easy to follow results, depending on what you’re looking for, 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 and MyLAB’s tests check for how much of each heavy metal is inside you, making it ideal if you’re concerned about chronic or recent exposure to these toxins. But the 5Strands test is more focused on your reaction to these substances, so you’ll know which heavy metals you’re more — or less — sensitive to. However, HealthConfirm’s test is focused on one particular chemical — gadolinium — making it ideal if you’ve recently taken an MRI scan.
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“Toxic Metals - Overview | Occupational Safety and Health Administration.” www.osha.gov, https://www.osha.gov/toxic-metals.
“Heavy Metal Poisoning | Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program.” Nih.gov, 2017, https://www.rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6577/heavy-metal-poisoning.