Content Library Articles Why Lead Poisoning May be Causing Your Health Problems

Why Lead Poisoning May be Causing Your Health Problems

Why Lead Poisoning May be Causing Your Health Problems

WE ARE TOO HEAVY — and I don’t mean overweight. We’re heavy with metals, not fat. Nearly 40 percent of us have toxic levels of lead in our bodies. And we don’t even know it. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have symptoms …

You may have ii)

High lead may also be responsible for kidney failure as well. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that using chelation therapy with EDTA to reduce lead levels in patients with kidney failure could prevent further loss of kidney function, save billions in healthcare costs, and eliminate the need for dialysis in millions of people. (iii)

Wow! Take a moment to digest that. Chelation therapy saves lives and billions of dollars. But your doctor probably isn’t offering this as standard treatment, because, as I have said many times, doctors, don’t learn two of the most important things in medical school: How to help people improve their nutrition and how to deal with environmental toxins.

Lead is not only linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney failure, it is also connected to the epidemic of children with ADHD, developmental and learning problems, and autism. Even though the “safe” blood level of lead has been set as 10 micrograms/deciliter, recent studies show that the greatest drop-off in IQ scores in children occurs in those who have lead levels between just 1 and 10 micrograms/deciliter. (iv) This is particularly troubling, because more than 10 percent of poor and inner city children have lead exposure levels higher than 10 micrograms/deciliter!

I recently treated a young boy with extremely high lead levels who had Asperger’s syndrome, severe ADHD, and violent behavior. He likely got the lead from his mother, who had very low vitamin D levels and had developed osteoporosis, which released a lot of lead from her bones during pregnancy.

This lead got into the boy’s body in the womb across his mother’s placenta. Thankfully, we got rid of his lead over time through chelation and nutritional support. Doing so dramatically improved his attention, behavior, and social skills.

This young boy is, unfortunately, not alone. We live in a sea of heavy metals. Lead is still found in our soil and water. In areas with a history of industrial pollution, people track lead into their homes from contaminated soil. The sad result is that regular house dust often contains 17 times the level of lead it once did.

In Washington, DC, the water was so contaminated with lead recently that the government had to provide free water filters for everyone in the city. Up to 20 percent of the city’s tap water may be contaminated.

So what can you do about this?

Six Tips to Help You Get the Lead Out

Luckily there are steps you can take to help you heal from lead poisoning if you have been exposed. Try the following:

  1. Find out if you are lead-toxic. The easiest test is a simple blood lead test. Be sure the lab can measure VERY low levels of lead accurately. Anything higher than 2 micrograms/deciliter is toxic and should be treated. Unfortunately, the blood test only checks for current or ongoing exposures, so you must also take a heavy metal challenge test with DMSA, EDTA, or DMPS, which can be administered by a doctor trained in heavy metal detoxification. (See or to find a qualified doctor.) Consider undergoing chelation therapy if your lead levels are high.
  2. Reduce your exposures by having a “no shoes in the house” policy. A great deal of lead can be tracked into your house in the dust on the soles of shoes. Leaving your shoes at the door helps reduce the amount of contamination in your home.
  3. Test your water for heavy metals. There are a number of home test kits available online. If you prefer to have a professional test your water, call your city water provider or look for labs in your area that will perform this kind of test.
  4. Buy a carbon or reverse osmosis water filter for your drinking water. These filters remove lead and other toxic substances like PCBs. They are my favorite kind of filter and the type I use in my home.
  5. Take 1,000 milligrams of buffered ascorbic acid (vitamin C) a day. This helps remove lead from the body.
  6. Take 2,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day to prevent your bones from releasing lead into your bloodstream.

Even though many of us have toxic levels of lead in our bodies, there is a lot we can do to prevent it and treat it. Doing so is an essential step to healing your body and achieving lifelong vibrant health.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Do you suffer from any of the symptoms of lead toxicity?

Have you been tested for lead poisoning? Do you plan to be?

Which of the other steps have you tried?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!


(i) Menke, A., Muntner, .P, Batuman, V., et al. (2006). Blood lead below 0.48 micromol/L (10 microg/dL) and mortality among US adults. Circulation. 114(13):1388–94.

(ii) Nash, D., Magder, L., Lustberg, M., et al. (2003). Blood lead, blood pressure, and hypertension in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. JAMA. 289(12):1523–32.

(iii) Lin, J.L., Lin-Tan, D.T., Hsu, K.H., and C.C. Yu. (2003) Environmental lead exposure and progression of chronic renal diseases in patients without diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine. 348(4):277–86

(iv) Canfield, R.L., Henderson, C.R. Jr., Cory-Slechta, D.A., et al. (2003). Intellectual impairment in children with blood lead concentrations below 10 microg per deciliter. New England Journal of Medicine. 348(16):1517–26.

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