How to Treat Lead Toxicity

Lead toxicity can be a serious health condition with many harmful consequences. In most instances, lead builds up over a long period of time, and by the time symptoms begin to set in or get recognized, it’s already a serious problem. The key is trying to detect lead toxicity as soon as possible by getting tested, especially if you think you’re at risk of lead exposure.

If you catch the condition early on, there may be natural ways to reduce the amount of lead in your body. However, if the condition becomes more serious, you may need to see a medical professional who can set forth a course of treatment. In the event of lead toxicity, here are a few ways to reduce the amount of lead in your body.

Diet

If you have a minimal amount of lead toxicity, it may be possible to reduce the lead in your body with the right kind of diet. Foods that contain calcium, zinc, and iron are the best options for trying to lower lead levels within your body. This is by no means a guarantee, but a diet that’s rich in calcium, zinc, and iron definitely won’t do any harm if you’re battling lead toxicity.

For calcium, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are usually your best bet. You should also feel free to eat red meat, as long as it’s on the lean side, to give you a healthy amount of zinc in your diet. Oysters can also be a good source of zinc. When it comes to iron, eggs, beans, and most foods that are green, especially legumes, will be most helpful.

Vitamins

Studies have shown a connection between vitamin C and low levels of lead. This isn’t a guarantee that vitamin C can cure lead toxicity, nor is it an invitation to gorge yourself on vitamin C. However, taking a reasonable dose of vitamin C on a regular basis in some cases can help protect your body from lead toxicity.

Garlic

Garlic has long been considered a helpful food for a number of conditions, and that may include lead poisoning. Going back to a study from 1960, there’s evidence that regularly eating garlic can help reduce the amount of lead in your blood. Scientists believe that the sulfur in garlic helps to oxidize heavy metals like lead, helping dispel them from the body.

Studies done more recently than 1960 have also shown that the symptoms of lead toxicity can lessen by taking garlic extract. However, it’s not guaranteed to work in everyone who has lead toxicity and is likely better used for only mild cases of lead poisoning.

Cilantro

Research has shown promising results in cilantro being able to neutralize and remove heavy metals like lead from the body. In fact, a unique study from 2013 showed that cilantro was able to purify water contaminated with both lead and nickel, which is nothing if not an interesting development in the fight against lead contamination.

It’s important to keep in mind that cilantro alone will not cure lead toxicity. However, there’s been enough research done to suggest that it can be helpful in reducing the amount of lead in the body.

Chelation Therapy

If you need to seek treatment for lead poisoning from a medical professional, chelation therapy is the most likely course of treatment, especially if your lead levels are particularly high. Chelation is a process in which a substance called EDTA is injected into the body, where it binds with several heavy metals, including lead. This helps the body to remove lead via the kidneys in a safe manner.

Most of the time, chelation will be necessary to treat children whose level of lead in their blood is above 45 mcg/dL. The treatment will also be given to adults who are displaying symptoms of lead poisoning or who exhibit high levels of lead on blood tests, even if they aren’t showing any serious symptoms of toxicity.