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How Heavy Metals Weigh on Your Body

Heavy metals can accumulate in the body, disputing an individuals’ homeostasis and lead to chronic fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, and even autoimmune diseases.   

The heavy metals that are believed to cause the most disease are: 

  • Arsenic 
  • Lead  
  • Mercury 
  • Cadmium 

Toxins come from two sources: On one hand, humans via their metabolism can produce toxins. The other source of toxins is the environment. These heavy metals are often found in vehicle exhausts, wood preservatives, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, paints, as well as drinking water. In particular, Mercury is the most widely distributed heavy metal on earth, released naturally from the Earth through degassing and volcanoes. Mining and paper industries produce mercury that is emitted into the air, returning to the rain and into the Earth’s water supply.   

Heavy metals interfere with mitochondria, enzyme, and hormone function. They are also neurotoxins, damaging neuron function and increasing oxidative stress, which creates an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Acute poisoning symptoms appear as feelings of confusion, nausea, faintness, or numbness. Chronic poisoning symptoms may develop as headaches, weakness, fatigue, achy joints and muscles, and constipation. Heavy metals’ accumulation over time causes damage on a cellular level, possibly leading to conditions such as autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart disease. 

Ridding the body of these toxins is vital to improving health and longevity, and luckily, the body’s natural liver, kidney, lungs, skin, and lymphatic systems are key in such a process. At Princeton Integrative Health, we measure heavy metals through several tests: 

  • Blood tests. Blood tests detect your current heavy metal exposure, as heavy metals generally stay in the blood for about 90 days. If heavy metals are detected, it indicates that your exposure to the heavy metal was recent.  
  • Hair samples. Hair samples are a good indication of longer exposures, but only reflect recent months of exposure. 


Once we receive your test results, the next step is to detoxify your body through nutrition, supplements, and other detoxification services such as healthy wave mat and detox foot baths as well as saunas.