Heavy metals are a natural part of one’s diet, but too much of the wrong type of metal and you can be in trouble. While metals like zinc, selenium, and copper are an important part of your diet, others, like lead and mercury, can cause severe health problems.
These metals have been linked to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer. Since these heavy metals are commonly used in many industries, they’re common pollutants that are found in the natural world as well. Through the foods you eat and the water you drink, you may be taking in an abnormally high level of these metals. Catching them early is vital for maintaining optimal health.
So if you’re afraid that you may be exposed to unhealthy levels of heavy metals, it’s important that you test for them. This will allow you to make the lifestyle adjustments necessary to help eliminate them from your body. To guide you along in your quest for better health and a cleaner body, we gathered the top five tests for checking for heavy metals.
Some major reasons that you should consider taking a heavy metal test include:
ZRT Laboratory offers a heavy metal blood test that’s ideal if you’re experiencing any heavy metal poisoning symptoms. With their test, you can check exactly how much selenium, mercury, cadmium, lead, zinc, magnesium, and copper is in your blood.
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 amount of cadmium, mercury, and lead is toxic. Too high of a concentration of these metals can lead to dangerous conditions such as lead poisoning.
Simply by using a drop of your blood, 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 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 levels of these potentially dangerous substances in your blood. Once identified, you can narrow down if these chemicals are entering your system through your food, drinks, or environment, and take steps to lessen your exposure to them. This at-home heavy metal blood test costs less than most of the competition’s tests as well.
Rather than using your blood, 5Strands Metals & Mineral test can check your reactivity to up to 60 different 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 toxins 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.
Doctor Data’s Heavy Metals Toxicity test will check your body for 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 for up to six months after exposure.
The kit comes with everything you need to collect and return your sample, including a prepaid return envelope. Your results will let you know how much of these toxins are present in your sample, presenting their quantity in the gram and microgram levels.
Gadolinium is a heavy metal that doctors use when performing an MRI scan. While the chemical is highly toxic, the compound used in MRIs is chelated, making it safe for most patients.
That being said, if you recently went through an MRI you may still have some of this toxic substance inside you. Fortunately, with this simple urine test you can quickly identify the toxicity levels of gadolinium in your body.
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. Because even though all the 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 exposure to these toxins. But the 5Strands test is more focused on your reaction to these substances, so you’ll know which 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.