What is heavy Metal toxicity ?
High levels of exposure to environmental metals considered ?heavy metals? such as lead, mercury, aluminum and arsenic can cause acute or chronic toxicity.? This can result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function and damage to vital organs.
Now-a-Days, we are exposed to an incredible, huge amount of toxic elements. Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and aluminum, are in our food, water, atmosphere, vaccines, and especially our dental fillings. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, and hormones are in most of the food we eat, unless you eat organic. Processed foods have different kind of preservatives and other chemicals, which start accumulating in the body and after certain amount, can be fatal. Many of the food and drink containers we routinely use are full of chemicals that can leach into the foodstuffs and finally to our system. Regardless of what ever precautions we take we end up having exposure to these toxic Metals in our day to day life, more or less. Long-term exposure may lead to physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that mimic Alzheimer?s disease, Parkinson?s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis etc disorder.
What are the sign and symptoms of Heavy Metal toxicity ?
- Brain fog or trouble remembering certain words or recalling names
- Impaired blood sugar regulation
- Joint pain, stiffness and loss of flexibility
- Migraines and headaches
- Abdominal pain and digestive distress
- Fatigue, loss of energy and stamina
- Sinus congestion, itchy eyes and throat
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Chronic fatigue
- Autoimmune disease
- Neurological disorders
- Bi-polar and Anxiety disorders
- Chronic unexplained pain
- Coated tongue
- Frequent colds and flues
- High levels of toxic metals in your blood, urine or tissues
- Loss of memory and forgetfulness
- Low body temperature
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Night sweats
- Prone to mood swings
- Tingling in the extremities
- Unsteady gait etc.
What is the concept of metal toxicity as per Ayurveda ?
Human beings are today facing multitude of problems.? The reason behind this problem is rapid industrialization and commercialization of whole world.
On close observation over this we can see the cause of all being indiscriminate use of the resources which lead to exogenous and endogenous toxicity.These problems well explained in Agadatantra, subject deals mainly natural poisons (Sthavara and Jangama) and artificial poisons (Gara visha).
In Ayurveda Acharya Charka has explained in his treatise, three different types of toxins that can impact the physiology;?Ama,?Amavisha?and?Garvisha. Explanation of Gara visha and sign and symptoms along with its treatment is explains the concept of Metallic toxicity.
Ama is a most common type of toxin, and is the waste product which must be thrown out from the body to maintain health. Usually it is produced by improper or incomplete digestion. It is sticky and foul-smelling; it forms in the digestive tract when the food you eat is not digested properly. If ama continues to be produced over a long period of time, it can leave the digestive tract, travel to a weak area, elsewhere in the body and settle there. Usually it blocks the shrotas (microcirculatory channels) and disrupts the flow of nutrients to the area as well as the body’s natural waste removal systems.
Amavisha is a more reactive form of ama that forms when ama settles in one part of the body for a long time and mixes with the doshas, the dhatus or the malas there. This more toxic, reactive type of ama is more dangerous than the simple ama and must be dealt with differently during detoxification.
Garvisha is the third type of toxin, and unlike the other two, garvisha comes from outside the body. Included are environmental toxins such as chemicals, preservatives, poisons, air and water pollution, genetically engineered foods, synthetics and chemicals in clothing, synthetic drugs, chemicals in household cleansers, and heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, asbestos etc. Theses toxins are very difficult to remove from the body and needs special detoxification therapies like Shodhna (cleansing or purification) therapies.
What is the Ayurvedic detoxification for Heavy Metal toxicity ?
The problem with heavy metals is that they accumulate in the body causing various health issues that can seriously impact on every system of the body. Studies show that heavy metals in the body may be implicated in everything from Alzheimer’s to cardiovascular disease, from behavioral problems to kidney dysfunction, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and even paralysis and many more.
Heavy metal detoxification or removal of metallic toxins from the body can be achieved artificially through certain techniques such as dialysis, chelation therapy etc. Few practitioners promote various other types, such as detoxifying diet plans, few promotes detoxification by some supplements etc.
Here Ayurveda suggest Classical Panchkarma therapy to get rid of the metallic toxins. Panchkarma cleans detoxifies and rejuvenates each and every cell of the body.
What is the mechanism of action of Panchkarma Therapy in case of Heavy metal detoxification ?
Diseases occur when toxins get accumulated in body and clog srotas (channels). Srotas or channels are tubelar structures have a complex net work contains both microscopic and macroscopic tubes. These can be co- related with various system of the body like digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system etc.
Unhealthy diet, lifestyle, stress, environment toxic substances etc lead to accumulation of toxins in body. These toxins must to be expelled out in order to keep our body healthy. Few toxins which get metabolized by the digestive fire get excreted out from the body through three excreta. Few others like metals or indigestible particles (Garvisha) remain as it is in the body. With the due course of time they get lodged in the deeper (tissues) and cause dosha imbalance and produce various symptoms according to the tissues where they are lodged. It is very difficult to take out these toxins and cure the pathology with oral medications. One can get relief from the symptoms temporarily with oral medication or other means, but for the total cure these toxins must be taken off from the body.
Removal of these toxins from the tissues is the only answer for the heavy metal toxicity. Through Panchakarma therapy these toxin are removed to normalize the physiological process.? Hence Panchakarma therapy is called as detoxification therapy. In Ayurvedic classics a diseased body is compared to a soiled cloth which cannot be colored as we want. To color it with desired color one should clean it first and then put the color. Hence to attain the maximum benefits, of any medicine the body has to be purified or cleaned before starting any oral medicine or supplement. The clean and cleared channels will help the medicines to penetrate the deeper tissues and get absorb each and every cell.
Panchkarma detoxification process contains three steps named as Purvakarma ,Pradhan karma And Pashchat karma.
Purvakarma? -?Contains preparatory therapies which prepares the body for the detoxification process. Pradhanakarma ? The main detoxifying process through which the toxins are thrown out of the body. Pashchat karma ? Is the rehabilitating diet, lifestyle and rejuvenating therapies after the detoxification process.
How to diagnose the heavy Metal toxicity ?
- Blood test
- Urine analysis
- And Hair mineral analysis test
What are food and supplements helpful for heavy metal detoxification ?
- Foods rich in vitamin C?? Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C can reduce the damage caused by heavy metal toxicity by acting as an antioxidant.
- Coriander and other green vegetables?? Coriander and green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and parsley are detoxifying and can help reduce the buildup of heavy metals like mercury in the body. Coriander (Corianddrum sativum) in your diet has Anecdotal evidence suggests that it may help mobilize mercury and other neurotoxic metals, pulling them out of the brain to more superficial structures.
- Garlic and onions?? Contain sulfur which helps your liver detoxify itself of heavy metals like lead and arsenic.
- Water?? Drink 3 to 4 lit. Of water or vegetable juice every day, it helps to flush out toxins.
- Flax and chia seeds?? Omega-3 fats and fiber can help with detoxification of the colon and reduce inflammation.
- Iodine,Selenium,Zinc,Silica,Sulfur, and, sea salt are all effective elements at stimulating our cells to release deep seated and hidden heavy metal contents.
- Selenium supplementation can help lower the effects of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, thallium and mercury.
- Silicon dissolved in mineral water can help your body excrete metals like, cadmium, mercury and lead.
- Vitamin C and E are powerful antioxidants that protect against oxidative damage from heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead.
- Probiotics are health-promoting bacteria that can trap and metabolize heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead, to prevent them from having as great of an effect on your health.
- Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants like Beta carotene: Carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches, apricots.
- Eat foods rich in magnesium such as broccoli, spinach and pumpkin seeds.
- Eat foods that can increase your level of glutathione (GSH) such as asparagus, broccoli, and spinach. Glutathione is an important antioxidant in the body and a master detoxifier that helps rid the body of heavy metals.
- Eat lots of fiber. A high-fiber diet can prevent heavy metals from being absorbed.
- Foods rich in amino acids ? Amino acids are natural chelating agents and, as such, are beneficial to anyone who has high levels of heavy metals in the body. Vegetarian sources of amino acids include, among others, the following are corn, whole grains, oatmeal, spinach, carrots, turnips, papayas, plums, grapes, and pomegranates.
- Foods containing alpha lipoic acid ? Produced naturally in our body, alpha lipoic acid is found in small amounts in foods like peas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, and rice bran. Alpha lipoic acid, experts believe, can cross the blood brain barrier and remove heavy metals present in the brain.
- Pectin-rich fruits and vegetables ? A soluble fiber present in various fruits and vegetables, pectin is an extremely effecting chelating agent. The researchers noted that pectin increased the amount of lead expelled through the urine by as much as 132 percent. Foods that are rich in pectin include pears, green apples, citrus fruits, cabbage, grapes, beets, and carrots.
- Burdock root (Arctium lappa) ? Known mainly for its anti-fungal, anti-tumor, and antibacterial properties, burdock aids heavy metal detoxification by removing mercury and other heavy metals from the body.
How to prevent heavy Metal toxicity ?
- Take a careful look at your diet to make sure that it supplies all of the essential nutrients you need. An adequate diet not only keeps you from developing deficiencies, but also reduces your risk of being affected by heavy metals.
- Purify your drinking water and immediate air space, avoid the use of toxic personal care products and, above all, ask questions before you buy any product or food item (organically-grown) foods, as much as possible or purchase your food from a reputable source that satisfies your concerns.
- Our body absorbs heavy metals through the same transport mechanisms it uses for certain nutrients, such as calcium. For example, when you?re deficient in iron, or zinc, our body is better able to take up heavy metals. A balanced diet ought to include lots of organic fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, small amounts of dairy or meat, nuts and seeds, naturally to reduce absorption of unwanted metal contents.
- Our cookware ? which we usually ignore or never thought of this aspect, which may be leaching toxic metals into our food during cooking process. To prevent this one can invest in a stainless steel or earthen cookware. Do not drink or eat from ceramic ware that contains lead-based paints and glazes.? If you?re unsure about your dishes and cups, choose glassware instead.
- In case of children, a child?s greatest exposure to metals comes in the form of vaccines and mercury-based fillings. To avoid exposure, find a healthcare provider you can trust.
- Avoid using aluminum foil and drinking from aluminum soda cans.
- Avoid foods, products, and over-the-counter drugs that contain aluminum, such as baking powder, antacids, and deodorants/antiperspirants.? Check product labels before purchasing.
- Keep nickel-cadmium batteries properly stored and out of reach of young children.
- Stop smoking.? Smoking, and breathing second-hand smoke, is primary sources of cadmium exposure.
- Avoid consuming bottom crawlers (seafood, such as oysters, clams, and lobster that may contain toxic levels of mercury).Also avoids deep-sea fish such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish that contain the highest levels of mercury of all fish.
- Avoid medicines containing metallic ash (bhasma), one should go for herbal supplements than the metallic preparations.
- And last, but not least, exercise on a regular basis ? because sweating is one of the best ways to rid yourself of toxic debris.
What are the suggestions of Ayurveda to Live Healthy disease free life with longevity ?
Our body is not able to expel toxic heavy metals quickly. As they accumulate at a rate faster than they are removed, over a period, their level in our body crosses the critical limit. This in turn, can cause various health conditions to manifest, listed under heavy metal toxicity.
Ayurveda suggest the removal of disease causing toxins on regular basis to maintain health in the healthy person and to treat disease in diseased person, through Panchkarma ( Ayurvedic detoxification) therapies. For healthy person we suggest it once in a year and for person with metallic toxicity it is suggested once in each season (thrice in a year) to get rid of metals and maintain the dosha balance.
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