How to Detox Heavy Metals Safely (& Get More Energy)

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

How to Detox Safely and Have More Energy
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » How to Detox Heavy Metals Safely (& Get More Energy)

“Detox” is one of the most popular buzzwords in the health world these days. It can mean anything from eating extra greens and sipping apple cider vinegar to fasting and taking a pile of supplements. In addition, external detox methods I’ve tried and love are epsom salt baths, detox foot soaks, and dry brushing.

I’ve tried plenty of ways to detox but never considered more serious regimens designed to detox heavy metals. I mean, isn’t that serious stuff that only happens to people living next to a chemical plant?

Not quite…

What Are Heavy Metals?

First of all, scientists debate the exact definition of a heavy metal, which depends on several factors like density, atomic weight, and chemical makeup. In a nutshell, heavy metals are dense metallic or semi-metallic elements naturally occurring in the earth. They occur naturally in the soil and leach into water sources, but there are plenty of man-made sources as well.

Certain heavy metals aren’t a problem in small doses and are even necessary to the body, but the harmful ones like lead, mercury, and the lesser known (but just as problematic) cadmium can bioaccumulate in the body faster than our bodies can detox them.

Sources of Heavy Metals

Here are some of the heavy metals causing toxicity in our modern environment and their common sources:

  • lead (auto exhaust, root canals, building materials, water, some teas)
  • mercury (dental fillings, vaccines, contact lens solution, seafood)
  • cadmium (cigarettes, batteries, hydrogenated oils, coffee)
  • arsenic (conventional poultry and eggs)
  • aluminum (deodorant, vaccines, cookware, some teas)
  • thallium (added to gasoline)
  • bismuth (makeup, medicines)

The list certainly goes on, but these are a few of the key players.

Limiting heavy metals exposure is just one of the reasons to consume meats and seafood from good sources, use holistic dentistry, make natural deodorant and beauty products, and avoid hydrogenated oils.

Unfortunately, we may not have as much control over other things on the list.

Why Are Heavy Metals a Problem?

So why are some heavy metals so bad for the body?

There are about 23 heavy metals in total that can be especially toxic. These substances actually “intrude” and interrupt normal cellular processes by binding with protein sites and replacing the metals that naturally occur in the cell. This affects the functioning of mitochondria, or the energy makers of our cells, leading to symptoms like fatigue (and much worse with long-term exposure).

Doing all we can to limit exposure is half of the battle, but there are certain steps we can take to help our bodies process and eliminate heavy metals.

You guessed it … detox!

Do We Need to Detox Heavy Metals?

Unfortunately, heavy metals toxicity isn’t isolated to a few acute cases. Take this rather stunning statement from my podcast interview with Wendy Myers, detox expert and founder of Liveto110.com, on the topic of heavy metals:

Definitely I believe that toxic metals are a primary driver of disease today. We’re seeing health issues and diseases we didn’t see 30 years ago, and it’s because of the increasing introduction of these toxins into our environment.

Primary driver of  disease today? Clearly, heavy metal poisoning goes beyond an Erin Brockovich scenario!

Of course, our bodies have amazing detoxification mechanisms that allow us to take in a certain amount without harm. I’m not suggesting we invent health problems that aren’t there. Still, kids, pregnant women, and those with conditions that impair detoxification are especially vulnerable.

More from Wendy in our podcast conversation:

I’m definitely not a believer at all that our bodies detox just fine on their own. …Some people do have compromised liver function, the compromised ability genetically to detox, and a lot of other mitigating factors that cause them to accumulate toxic metals and chemicals that require them to take a more aggressive approach to detoxification.

How can we tell if we have a problem with heavy metals? There are some signs to look for:

Signs of Heavy Metal Toxicity

While signs of acute toxicity are easier to spot (severe cramping, vertigo, vomiting, difficulty breathing, impaired motor and cognitive skills, etc.), more subtle signs that you need to detox heavy metals are:

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • acne
  • poor digestion/bloating/gas
  • compromised ability to digest fats
  • female problems (hormones, infertility, preeclampsia)
  • excess sweating
  • gaining weight just around the waist
  • severe food cravings
  • middle-of-the-night insomnia
  • aching joints
  • mood swings
  • and the list goes on …

Left unchecked heavy metal toxicity can cause not only misery but serious disease including Alzheimers, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and cancer. A 2014 article in the journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology explains:

Heavy metal toxicity can lower energy levels and damage the functioning of the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, blood composition and other important organs. Long-term exposure can lead to gradually progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that imitate diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and muscular dystrophy. Repeated long-term exposure of some metals and their compounds may even cause cancer (Jarup, 2003).

The toxicity level of a few heavy metals can be just above the background concentrations that are being present naturally in the environment. Hence thorough knowledge of heavy metals is rather important for allowing to provide proper defensive measures against
their excessive contact (Ferner, 2001). (Jaishankar 2014)

Not much good news here, but not to despair … there are ways to detox heavy metals that enter the bloodstream and help flush them out before they cause chronic disease.

Basically, if you generally live a healthy lifestyle but still experience many of the above symptoms, it may be time to dig deeper.

How to Test for Heavy Metals Toxicity

Granted, this list probably sounds pretty familiar to other issues like thyroid disorders, or autoimmune disease, even leaky gut and many others. Testing is needed to find out if heavy metals actually are the culprits.

A hair mineral analysis test is a great place to start. In addition to toxic metal levels, this test can give clues to overall health factors like metabolic rate, inflammation, blood sugar levels, and more. Wendy Myers covers the ins and out of testing for heavy metals in this informative post.

Is It Dangerous to Detox Heavy Metals?

Yes, detoxing heavy metals out of the body requires special caution, but there are safe ways to help our bodies’ natural detoxification processes along. However, since different heavy metals require different methods to get them out of the body, professional testing and supervision is definitely recommended for the safest and most effective detox.

Basically, you don’t want to get heavy metals moving around in your body unless you also have a way to make them exit or they can cause even more serious problems. There are two important steps in the process when it comes to ridding the body of heavy metals:

Step 1: Mobilize

Certain supplements and detoxification methods “unlock” heavy metals where they are accumulating and get them moving. However, releasing heavy metals can cause even worse problems without Step 2:

Step 2: Bind and Eliminate

This second step grabs on to heavy metals and ensures they are supposed to exit the body as quickly as possible!

Natural Ways to Detox Heavy Metals (You Can Do on Your Own)

There are some things we can safely do at home to improve our body’s detoxification mechanisms and lessen our chances of ending up with a more serious problem:

  1. Get hair mineral and other testing (EverlyWell is a lab test you can use at home)
  2. Drink plenty of filtered water
  3. Exercise to induce sweating and improve elimination
  4. Use a binding/mobilizing supplement. I use CytoDetox (or see Wendy’s recommendations below).
  5. Support the liver with a nourishing, anti-inflammatory diet
  6. Spend time in an infrared sauna (and take CytoDetox or PectaSol-C after)

Here are two safe supplements Wendy recommends for anyone concerned about heavy metal accumulation:

  1. BioSil – Take 5-10 drops or 1 capsule daily to mobilize heavy metals.
  2. PectaSol-C – Take 5 grams daily or more, depending on tolerance.

Important note: This is a two-part recommendation: don’t take one without the other!

Ultimately, while testing and supplements aren’t inexpensive, these supplements might be a lifesaver and prevent some terrible (and even more costly) health issues down the road.

The Bottom Line

Heavy metals exposure is unavoidable, so I think it’s best to remember why we’re striving for health in the first place (and not worry too much!). Being educated is the first step to knowing what to do if problems arise for you or a loved one.

For other ways to detox heavy metals and other detox supplements recommended by Wendy Myers, take a listen to her Wellness Mama podcast episode about toxic metals or see her Mineral Power Detox Program. I might do a hair mineral analysis just out of curiosity and I’ll be sure to share the results if I do!

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Lauren Jefferis, board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or work with a doctor at SteadyMD.

Are you concerned about heavy metals in the environment causing health problems? Have you ever done a heavy metals detox? Please share!

Sources
  1. CDC, National Biomonitoring Program Fact Sheets. Retrieved November 15 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Cadmium_FactSheet.html; https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Thallium_FactSheet.html; https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Arsenic_FactSheet.html; https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/Mercury_FactSheet.html
  2. Duruibe, J et al. (2007). Heavy metal pollution and human biotoxic effects. International Journal of Physical Sciences Vol. 2 (5), pp. 112-118, May 2007, https://academicjournals.org/article/article1380209337_Duruibe%20et%20al.pdf
  3. Jaishankar, M., Tseten, T., Anbalagan, N., Mathew, B. B., & Beeregowda, K. N. (2014). Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 7(2), 60–72.
  4. Myers, W. Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue, 2017.
  5. Myers, W.
  6. 10 Signs You Need a Detox. https://myersdetox.com/10-signs-you-need-a-detox/?afmc=g1
  7. OSHA, United States Department of Labor. Toxic Metals. Retrieved November 15 2017, https://www.osha.gov/toxic-metals
  8. Tchounwou, P. B., Yedjou, C. G., Patlolla, A. K., & Sutton, D. J. (2012). Heavy Metals Toxicity and the Environment. EXS, 101, 133–164.

Become a VIP member!

Get access to my VIP newsletter with health tips, special deals, my free ebook on Seven Small Easy Habits and so much more!

Easy Habits ebook on ipad

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

54 responses to “How to Detox Heavy Metals Safely (& Get More Energy)”

  1. Kat Avatar

    I had a metal plate in my forearm for 20 years. After around 7 years, I began getting migraines. Then I had a dental implant 4 years ago and the migraines became insane, I had more days with migraine than without. I brought up the metal up to the neurologist and she basically said there is no way it would cause migraines. Then one day I accidentally wacked the arm plate extremely hard, and the next day I developed eczema directly over the plate, same as I get when I wear jewelry. I put 2 and 2 together and had both the plate and the dental implant removed. My migraines magically disappeared shortly thereafter. However, now my blood sugar is rather high, not quite diabetic, but definitely pre-diabetic. I’ve had my sugar tested every year for 10 years, and I just had it tested a few months before the metal was removed. I find it odd that my glucose tolerance changed so suddenly right after the metal was removed. My diet is basically perfect, I don’t eat fast food at all, I am not overweight, and I have no symptoms, I feel great. I wonder if it’s simply a coincidence, or could this somehow be related to the metal being removed?

  2. Wyatt Hunter Avatar
    Wyatt Hunter

    My husband is 54 and has had Parkinson’s for around 3-4 years. It is a debilitating disease that only gets worse and needs some serious funding to find out 1 because the cure is out there. What causes it and 2. some better treatment for it which multivitamincare .org have the guaranteed cure for PD. He takes over 8 weeks treatment from Multivitamin care formula that finally cure him,as there is no-one available to help unless you have over $4,000.00 per week to pay for a Nurse, but with this herbal system you can get rid of your Parkinson effectively ,he had tremors for several years and was gradually becoming worse before we found PD supplement from Multivitamincare that was able to get rid of my husband disease and alleviate all symptoms within the short period of his usage.,they have the best medication for PD.

  3. Carrie Avatar

    Katie, what are your thoughts on Advanced TRS? It seems to be very similar to Cytodetox, but without the fulvic acid. It only contains clinoptilolite (zeolite) and purified water. Like Cytodetox, TRS’ website and advertising are a bit questionable, but the stories of healing are amazing. Thoughts?

  4. Jenna Avatar

    Thank you for this incredible information. I am recovering from the coronavirus and pneumonia. It has been a month now and I am trying so many holistic approaches with energy, nutrition, Chinese medicine, heat, juicing, essential oils, etc. I have always been addicted to organic eating and holistic healing. I am true healthiest person I know and yet I can’t seem to understand why I deal with so many issues. I have done medical mediums diet and heavy metal smoothies for several months, and I’ve been seeing a digestive functional for a year and on a strict diet. I want to take my heavy metal cleansing to the next level because I really believe that this is the issue – inflammation at a cellular level stopping absorption of nutrients and no overburden of heavy metals. I was very intrigued by Cytodetox and all of the research I read read. Do I need supportive supplementation to get transport metals out of the body or minerals/iodine like Wendy mentioned to resupply and support in the process or is this product enough in its own. What would you recommended? Do you take this long term as well, years? Thank you for all of your fabulous posts!

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      I’d always ask a doctor before doing anything during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and I’ve always heard not to detox in any way while nursing.

      1. Scott B Avatar
        Scott B

        Hello Katie
        Do you think that heavy metals cause gum disease?

        thanks!

  5. Rebecah Avatar

    Ms Wells, in this article you quote Wendy Myers as saying, “Definitely I believe that toxic metals are a primary driver of disease today.” Right after that quote, you say, “Primary driver of all disease today?”

    That seems like a misrepresentation of the one quoted. Driver did not say heavy metal toxicity is the driver of all disease. Perhaps a better question from you would have been, “Is heavy metal toxicity the primary driver of all disease today?”

  6. Susannah Hollett Avatar
    Susannah Hollett

    I have read and researched all the medical medium books over the summer by Anthony William. I have drank a pint of celery juice every day for 3 months to detox heavy metals and removal the viral load of the epstein Barr virus which is causing chronic fatigue syndrome, severe PMT, Crohnes disease and many other auto immune problems which I manage well but want to heal more fully. I feel unable to do his 28 day detox as it includes eating lots of raw food and lots of very sweet fruit. This is designed for a californian climate but unsuitable for my damp constituition and the exessively damp climate of South Wales in the UK.

    I’m slowly adding in immune boosting foods and foods to remove heavy metals but avoiding the sweet fruit ones. I’m also using homoeopathy and essential oils and balancing my energy daily with acupuncture and crystal healing.

    I’ve noted the supplements you mentioned but i’ve spent years buying food supplements and and worked in the industry and feel disillusioned by it. I also took a natural progesterone cream recommended by a naturopath which made really unwell, so i do energy test products but I’m cautious!

    What more can I do and how do I know that I am removing heavy metals safely?

  7. Anna Avatar

    Can I take the Biosil and Pectacol C regiment while exclusively nursing?

  8. Paige Avatar

    I ordered Cytodetox when I saw you recommended it. But I am a little nervous now after having seen their website and advertising methods. Do you really use this product? If so, I am excited to try it. Thank you for this post, I am doing research on heavy metal detoxing and I always appreciate/value your opinions.

    1. Ben Avatar

      Did you try the cytodetox? How did it work for you… I was also a bit leery of the advertising and website.

      1. Paige Avatar

        It hasn’t arrived yet but I will let you know what I think!

  9. Hanna Avatar

    Exactly what happened to your liver? If everyone was actually full of « toxins » they’d be very sick indeed.

  10. Corrie Avatar

    Vaccines don’t contain mercury anymore. Only one vaccine can contain a type of mercury, and is option meaning you can ask for one without thimerosal, are some versions of the flu shot. “Not all types of mercury are the same. Some types of mercury, like mercury in some kinds of fish, stay in the human body and can make people sick. Thimerosal is a different kind of mercury. It doesn’t stay in the body, and is unlikely to make us sick . . . Thimerosal hasn’t been used in vaccines for children since 2001” (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, GA, USA).

  11. Anna Avatar

    Do you know if a 4 year old with heavy metals could take these as well? Or only adults?

  12. Katrina Avatar

    PectaSol-C has polysaccharides and I can only tolerate monosaccharides. Can I just take Ester C? I already take 6000 mg a day of that..

  13. Sarah Avatar

    I bought and started taking the Biosil and Pectosol-C after recently listening to the podcast related to this post. I am a bit confused about how exactly to take them. I see above that someone says we should take the biosil first and then the pectosol-c, but how much time should there be between the doses? The pectosol-c is meant to be taken on an empty stomach, but the biosil asks for juice to be mixed in, so I’d been doing 6 caps of pectosol in the morning (probably the only time of day i have an empty stomach…) and then midday biosil 5-6 drops with a water and juice mix, and if i get a headache or something that seems like detox symptoms, i take the pectosol again (3 or 6 caps depending on severity–I’d take even more, but they’re really quite expensive, and I won’t be able to buy more until the start of the month).

    So, sorry for the long post, essentially, what is the ideal(ish) timing for taking biosil and pectosol?

    (And P.S. it’s not even been a week, and it looks like I might even have been taking these med/supplements incorrectly, and I swear it’s already lifting my brain fog and lessening my hip/lower back pain… haven’t changed anything else at all…)

  14. Andrea Avatar

    Hi, I looked at the recommended BioSil And it looks like it’s just collagen. It’s totaled as a hair supplement. How is this a detox supplements? Also the other one mentioned, the fruit pectin, is $96 on Amazon. $96 for fruit pectin?? Sorry, I just read your article hoping to learn how to detox heavy metals, but I’m having my doubts with these two products And would like to understand a little better before throwing down such a large amount of cash. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *