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Heavy Metals and Weight Gain

Posted in Heavy Metals on Aug 20, 2015

by Keri Dennis

If you have trouble losing weight despite a clean diet and exercise, the answer could be hidden in your hair. Heavy Metal burden in your body can build up in your cells and yes, can contribute to weight gain. 

Heavy Metal burden in the body can impair your neuroendocrine function. What this means is that your thyroid's normal function can be impaired. Metals such as Mercury, Cadmium, lead, Arsenic and others will impair the thyroid function as well as adrenal hormone balance. 

Toxic metals such as Mercury are not required for normal biochemical functions in the body. It is not naturally made or found in the body and when introduced through exposure, can wreak havoc on many systems. But today, let's focus on thyroid and adrenal health. 

Impaired Thyroid function, specifically the conversion of T4-T3 in the body is one of the ways Mercury and heavy metals interfere with thyroid hormones. It acts like a barrier to fat loss and no matter how hard you try, if you don’t convert T4-T3 properly, your efforts at weight loss can be futile. No amount of diet or exercise will work if your thyroid hormones are off balance. There is scientific evidence that metal toxicity can impair endocrine function. There are many studies indicating that lead, cadmium and mercury impair thyroid and Adrenal Function. 

The adrenal glands will react to Toxic metals by way of a stress response. The body will see the Mercury, cadmium or lead as stress and an unwanted invader. It will increase your cortisol output at first, and cortisol in high levels in the body leads to fat gain, impaired digestive system, lowered tolerance to stress etc. The thing is cortisol cannot stay high forever, and if the metals are not removed, you move into what is called an exhausted stage of stress. This is where the term Adrenal fatigue comes from. In the Exhausted stage of stress, a person is fatigued, or burnt out, is not detoxing properly and the aging process is accelerated. Removing the Heavy Metal burden is essential to regaining health.Taking Cortisol is simply just a band-aid at this point. 

Any way you look at it, toxic metals in your body are undesirable. They impair thyroid and adrenal hormones and make losing weight extremely difficult. 

One of the best ways that I know of to test for Heavy Metals is with Hair Analysis testing. Hair Analysis will look at what is being stored in the cells of the body and what minerals are deranged and inhibiting the detoxification of heavy metals. You see, if your minerals are balanced at a cellular level, the body will naturally detox heavy metals. But when your minerals are out of balance, and particularly the minerals that are antagonistic to heavy metals your efforts to detox are redundant. 

For example, zinc is antagonistic to cadmium. When zinc levels are in good optimal levels in the body, the body can use zinc to prevent cadmium toxicity. 

Once the body burden of heavy metals is removed, your thyroid and adrenal gland systems can begin to recover. 

I recommend working with a Functional Medicine practitioner or Doctor trained in Hair Analysis to help you find and eliminate heavy metals from your body. 


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