Do you Need a Heavy Metal Detox Australia?

Heavy metal detoxification is becoming increasingly popular in Australia as more people recognise the dangers posed by heavy metal exposure, contaminants and environmental pollutants and their impact on health. Anyone wanting to reduce their heavy metal toxicity and take proactive steps towards detoxifying their bodies should book a consultation with a skilled Naturopath and ask whether they would benefit from a Heavy Metal Detox Australia.

DISCOUNT: Call our Reception staff on (07) 3861 5881 and book a family consultation - get an extra 10% off your Initial Naturopath Consultation for each family member you bring along (eg 10% off for your partner, 20% off for your first child, and 30% off for each subsequent child)!

Heavy Metals Detox Australia. Scientist testing water plus sick man. Brisbane Livewell Clinic Logo

In a Nutshell

Most people throughout Australia have been exposed to heavy metals throughout their lives. We ingest heavy metals through food that is sprayed with chemicals, unfiltered water we drink, and lip creams we wear. And heavy metals soak into our skin from cleaning products that we smother our houses in, non-organic cosmetics we use on our bodies, and shower water contaminated with toxins and chemicals from water runoff.

Heavy Metal Detox and contaminated drinking water is extremely topical in June 2024, and we know many people  have questions.

This article provides an in-depth look into getting a Heavy Metal Detox Australia, including effective detoxification methods, benefits, risks, and expert advice. 

It's important to make sure that you do have Heavy Metal Toxicity before doing any Heavy Metal Detox. Our Naturopaths will help you identify this though testing, as discussed below.

Take our Heavy Metal Detox Quiz and find out whether you are at high risk for Heavy Metal Toxicity

There are various strategies and ways for detoxing heavy metals, ie doing a Heavy Metal Detox, however it is important that you obtain professional guidance from a skilled Naturopath and do not try to do this at home yourself.

Some over-the-counter detoxification aids can be too hard on the body and can make detoxification occur too rapidly for the body to cope, particularly if you are already struggling with health issues.

Regardless of where you are in Australia, our Naturopaths at Brisbane Livewell Clinic can discuss any heavy metal toxicity symptoms with you, help you determine what is causing them, and recommend the best course of action to resolve those symptoms and improve your overall health.

Heavy Metal Detox Australia. Contaminated water flowing from pipes plus sick woman. Brisbane Livewell Clinic Logo

What is Heavy Metal Detox?

Heavy Metal Detox is a natural therapies process aimed at removing toxic heavy metals from the body. These metals, such as lead, mercury, chromium, cadmium, and arsenic (Source), can accumulate over time and cause or contribute to various health issues. (Source) Detoxification helps to reduce the burden of these metals, potentially improving overall health and preventing chronic diseases.

A report in the Scientific World Journal states that "Toxic metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are ubiquitous, have no beneficial role in human homeostasis, and contribute to noncommunicable chronic disease.”

Sources of Heavy Metals in Australia

Heavy Metal Detox Australia. Factory polluting the air and polluted water

Australia, like many other countries, has various sources of heavy metal exposure. See our article on Heavy Metal Toxicity - Strategies for Detoxing to learn more about some of these sources. These can include industrial pollution, contaminated water, agricultural chemicals, and even certain foods.

Heavy Metal Detox in Australia. Contaminated food under a magnifying glass.

Oil spills are a source of heavy metal contamination of aquatic and terrestrial environments. (Source) (Source)

Detox from Heavy Metals in Australia. Oil slick plus sick woman. Brisbane Livewell Clinic Logo

Understanding these sources is crucial for minimising your personal exposure to heavy metals and taking proactive steps toward detoxification.

Heavy Metal Detox in Australia. Factor spewing contaminants into the air

Health Risks of Heavy Metal Exposure

Heavy metals can have severe health impacts, including neurological damage, kidney disease, cardiovascular problems, and more. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to these effects. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic health conditions, making detoxification an important preventive measure.

"These heavy metals are commonly found in the environment and diet. In small amounts they are required for maintaining good health but in larger amounts they can become toxic or dangerous. 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." (Source)
Heavy Metal Detox Australia. Glass with contaminated water plus image of a sick woman

Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity

Symptoms of heavy metal toxicity can be diverse and often non-specific, making diagnosis challenging. Common symptoms include fatigue, digestive issues, brain fog, muscle pain, and mood disturbances. Recognising these signs is the first step toward seeking appropriate detoxification methods.

The popular Dr Axe states that, "Some of the most common warning signs that you might be struggling with heavy metal toxicity include:

Take our Heavy Metal Detox Quiz and find out whether you are at high risk for Heavy Metal Toxicity

Heavy Metal Detox Australia. Image of heavy metals and oil sludge

Can a Heavy Metal Detox Help Me and My Family?

When you or a family member has low but regular exposure to heavy metals, these can build up in the body. A Heavy Metal Detox Australia may help prevent or relieve a variety of chronic conditions.

According to some research, heavy metal detoxing may help prevent kidney, cardiovascular, and neurological conditions. (Source) And if you are suffering from symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, a Heavy Metal Detox may help to reduce or alleviate those symptoms.

Do I Have Heavy Metal Toxicity?

Heavy Metal Toxicity. Image of contaminated water and soil and a sick woman

Before you undertake Heavy Metal Detox, it's important to make sure that you actually have an overload of heavy metals in your body. Keep in mind that there may be other causes of your health symptoms, such as autoimmune conditions, parasites, Leaky Gut Syndrome, or other health conditions.

It is part of the role of our Naturopaths to determine what is the cause of your symptoms and whether you have Heavy Metal Toxicity. To do this, they will carry out heavy metal testing.

Heavy Metal Detoxification. Oil slick on puddle. Brisbane Livewell Clinic Logo

Heavy Metal Testing in Australia

Heavy Metal Detox Australia. Contaminated vegetables. Brisbane Livewell Clinic logo.

1. Types of Tests

Several tests can determine heavy metal levels in the body, including blood tests, urine tests, and hair analysis. Each test has its advantages and limitations, so you should discuss these with your Naturopath to determine what is right for you.

Heavy Metal Detox Australia. Test tube with "Beryllium Test" written on the tag plus contaminated pond.

2. Where to Get Tested

Testing can be done through healthcare providers and specialised laboratories. Your Naturopath will give you a script to take to private testing providers such as QNL or Sullivan & Nicolaides. They may also order you a test kit to send your hair away for analysis. 

3. Understanding Test Results

Interpreting test results requires professional expertise to understand the levels of different metals and their potential impact on health. We recommend that you book in for a Test Results Consultation with your Naturopath to go through the test results, understand what they are saying, and determine the best course of action based on those results.

Heavy Metal Detox Australia. Test tube with "Heavy Metal Test" written on it.

I Have Heavy Metal Toxicity, What Next?

Step 1 - Keep on reading to find out the various strategies our Naturopaths may use for your Heavy Metal Detox.

Step 2 - Book a consultation with our Naturopaths online or by calling (07) 3861 5881. Our Naturopaths consult in person or via videoconference anywhere around Australia.

Get your Heavy Metal Detox Australia asap, and ask about our family discount (offer by telephone only)!

Methods of Heavy Metal Detox

1. Chelation Therapy

Chelation therapy involves the use of chelating agents to bind heavy metals in the body, which are then excreted through urine. This method can be effective but requires medical supervision due to potential side effects.

Jen Strachan, Naturopath at Brisbane Livewell Clinic states in her article on Heavy Metal Toxicity - Strategies for Detoxing an important factor is knowing the time and effort required to promote the necessary detoxification processes for the removal of a heavy metal burden before embarking on chelation. Your Naturopath will advise you on this during your discussion about possible Heavy Metal Toxicity and how to remove the toxins from your body and bloodstream.

2. Treating the Gut

It's critically important to improve the health of your gut while you are carrying out a Heavy Metal Detox. Leaky Gut Syndrome is a root cause of many health issues in people around Australia, and without fixing your gut health, you're often just "putting a bandaid" on your health issues. Find out What is Leaky Gut here, in our article written by Dominique Johanson, Naturopath at Brisbane Livewell Clinic.

3. Dietary Changes

Certain foods can help with heavy metal detoxification. Incorporating foods rich in antioxidants, fiber, and sulfur compounds, such as garlic and onions, can support the body's natural detox processes.

Certain foods also bind to the heavy metals and help to remove them from your body. (Source)

Jen Strachan, Naturopath at Brisbane Livewell Clinic states in Heavy Metal Toxicity - Strategies for Detoxing that: 

"Some foods have been suggested to reduce absorption or reabsorption of toxic metals and to support natural detoxification pathways. (2) Several foodstuffs are shown to have a protective effect against cadmium and lead toxicity. Edible plants, such as tomatoes, berries, onions, garlic and grapes are natural antagonists to cadmium and lead and can be utilised on a regular basis. (4) Green tea is also effective, mainly due to its active constituent, catechins. (4)"

If you're pregnant or have children, it's important to keep this scientific advice in mind:

Diet associated essential metal supplementation should be regarded as important for essential metal-deficient people, such as children and pregnant women. Because without sufficient essential metal stores to prevent heavy metal absorption, these people are especially susceptible to heavy metal toxicity. (Source)

4. Supplements

Supplements like chlorella, spirulina, and cilantro are often used to support heavy metal detox. These natural remedies can help bind and eliminate heavy metals from the body. For example:

Zinc is one of the most well studied essential metals for the alleviation of heavy metal toxicity. As zinc has similar chemical and physical properties to Cd and Pb, it competes for the binding sites of metal absorptive and enzymatic proteins [36]. Intake of zinc also induces the synthesis of metallothionein (MT) [37], a low molecular weight protein that has a high affinity for Cd and causes detoxification by binding Cd [38]. Zinc supplementation effectively protects the activity of blood δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD), a zinc-dependent enzyme that is very sensitive to Pb toxicity [39]. Moreover, zinc intake has been reported to alleviate the oxidative stress caused by Cd and Pb exposure [40,41], which may be due to zinc’s functionality as a cofactor of the antioxidant enzyme copper zinc-superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn SOD). (Source)

For those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, Jen Strahan states in Heavy Metal Toxicity - Strategies for Detoxing that:

"calcium deprivation can enhance absorption of lead and cadmium, while calcium supplementation reduces lead mobilisation from maternal bones during pregnancy and lactation, protecting the newborn and infant. (2)"

5. Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas promote sweating, which can help release heavy metals through the skin. Regular sauna sessions can be an effective addition to a detox regimen.

Sweating with exercise or sauna may be of benefit, as toxic metals are excreted in sweat. (2) Sweat may be an important route for excretion of cadmium when an individual is exposed to high levels, a finding that was confirmed by observing that the total daily excretion of cadmium was greater in sweat than in urine and blood plasma. (1) (Source) 

6. Lifestyle Changes

Our Naturopath Shella Hall states that lifestyle changes, such as reducing exposure to potential sources of heavy metals, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy diet, are essential components of a successful detox program.

Heavy Metal Detox Protocols

1. Standard Protocols

Standard detox protocols often involve a combination of dietary changes, supplements, and medical treatments. These protocols should be tailored to individual needs and supervised by healthcare professionals as well as your Naturopath.

If you have existing medical conditions, you should always speak to your doctor before beginning a Heavy Metal Detoxification. And you should make sure you have the guidance of a skilled Naturopath throughout the process, which may take several weeks.

2. Holistic Approaches

Holistic detox approaches integrate traditional methods with alternative therapies such as Acupuncture, Massage Therapy and Kinesiology to support your overall well-being during detoxification. Nutritionists and Dieticians can also help you manage your nutritional intake and diet as part of your Heavy Metal Detox. 

If you are already underweight or struggle with your relationship with food, get a Dietician like Cherry Lam on board your team from Day One.

Our Nutritionists and Dieticians are happy to consult with you via Telehealth from anywhere in Australia.

3. DIY Detox

While there are various home remedies available, we do not recommend Heavy Metal Detox for our patients. It is important to have a qualified Naturopath with experience in Heavy Metal Detoxification to monitor your progress and symptoms on an ongoing basis - this also gives someone you can contact should you have any concerns or side effects of the detoxification process, and someone who can adjust your chelation protocols or supplements as your treatment progresses.

Benefits of Heavy Metal Detox

1. Improved Energy Levels

Detoxification can lead to increased energy levels and reduced fatigue, as the body is relieved of the burden of heavy metals.

2. Enhanced Cognitive Function

Removing heavy metals from the body can improve cognitive function, reduce brain fog, and enhance overall mental clarity.

3. Better Immune Function

A cleaner body can support a stronger immune system, helping to ward off infections and illnesses more effectively.

4. Detox and Disease Prevention

Regular detoxification can play a role in preventing chronic diseases associated with heavy metal exposure, such as cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders.

Risks and Considerations

1. Potential Side Effects

Detoxification processes can sometimes cause side effects, such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue. It is important to proceed with caution and under medical supervision.

2. Who Should Avoid Detox

Certain patients, such as those with pre-existing health conditions, pregnant women, and young children, should avoid heavy metal detox or consult a healthcare provider before starting. We always recommend that any heavy metal detox be conducted under close supervision of your Naturopath.

3. Detoxing Safely

Ensuring a safe detox involves understanding the correct methods, dosages, and potential interactions with other treatments or medications. This is a large part of why we never recommend you do an over-the-counter Heavy Metal Detox yourself.

Heavy Metal Detox Products

Your Naturopath will prescribe the appropriate products to you over the course of your treatment program. 

Heavy Metal Detox Australia. Water running over rusted pipes leads to contaminated water and heavy metal toxins

Conclusion

Heavy metal detoxification is a critical process for those exposed to toxic metals. In Australia, there are various methods and programs available to support detoxification, but we always recommend that you see your Naturopath and General Practitioner before embarking on this journey.

By understanding the risks, benefits, and available options, you will be able to make informed decisions to improve your health and wellbeing and that of your family.

FAQs

1. What is the best method for heavy metal detox?

The best method varies for each person, and can include chelation therapy, dietary changes, supplements and other alternative therapies, often combined for optimal results.

2. Are there any risks associated with heavy metal detox?

Potential risks associated with heavy metal detox include side effects like nausea, headaches, and fatigue. It is important to carry out a detox program after consulting with your GP and under the care of a skilled Naturopath.

3. How long does it take to detox from heavy metals?

The length of time it takes to detox from heavy metals can vary based on the level of exposure, the method used, and any pre-existing health conditions. It can take weeks to months for a significant detox, particularly if your Naturopath recommends a slower detox as a precaution for your overall health.

4. Can children undergo heavy metal detox?

Children are more vulnerable to heavy metals but should only undergo heavy metal detox under strict medical supervision to ensure safety.

5. What are the signs that I need a heavy metal detox?

Signs that you need a heavy metal detox may include chronic fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, and mood disturbances. However, many of these signs also apply to other health conditions. If you suspect heavy metal toxicity, it is important to get tested before you begin any heavy metal detox program.

6. Is heavy metal detox expensive?

The cost for Heavy Metal Detox Australia can vary widely depending on the methods and programs used. While some home remedies and dietary changes are inexpensive, medical treatments and specialised programs can be costly. Many of our patients find that treatment by our Naturopaths at Brisbane Livewell Clinic is affordable, and we offer a special Heavy Metal Detox Australia package for families - just call (07) 3861 5881.

Other Sources

Heavy Metal Toxicity - Strategies for Detoxing 

A guide on how to detox from heavy metals safely

The Ultimate Guide to Remove Heavy Metals, Detoxify Poisoning

Heavy Metal Detoxification for Health Practitioners

Heavy Metal Detox - EquiLife

Heavy Metals & Health Risks - Life Extension

The Impact of Heavy Metal Toxicity…. and How to Successfully Detox

Sears ME, Kerr KJ, Bray RI. (2012) Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review. J Environ Public Health. 2012:184745.

Sears ME. (2013) Chelation: harnessing and enhancing heavy metal detoxification–a review. Scientific World Journal. 2013:219840.

Alotaibi BS, Khan M, Shamim S. (2021) Unravelling the Underlying Heavy Metal Detoxification Mechanisms of Bacillus Species. Microorganisms. 9(8):1628.

Zhai Q, Narbad A, Chen W. (2015) Dietary strategies for the treatment of cadmium and lead toxicity. Nutrients. 7(1):552-71.

Last Updated on 15 June 2024 by Brisbane Livewell Clinic