Arsenic

Arsenic is a naturally occurring heavy metal known for its toxicity to humans. While it has various industrial uses, arsenic exposure can lead to serious health problems. It interferes with cellular functioning and is classified as a carcinogen, posing risks even at low levels of exposure.

Arsenic

Who would benefit from testing their arsenic levels?

Testing for arsenic levels is beneficial for individuals living in areas with high environmental arsenic (e.g., regions with arsenic-rich soil or contaminated water supplies). Workers in industries like mining, smelting, or manufacturing that use arsenic are also at risk. Furthermore, people consuming a diet high in arsenic-contaminated food, like certain seafood or rice, may consider testing.

What are symptoms of high arsenic levels?

  • Skin lesions or changes, such as darkening or thickening
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities
  • Partial paralysis
  • Anemia

What are common sources of arsenic exposure?

Arsenic exposure can occur through contaminated groundwater, which is a significant issue in some regions. Industrial processes, such as mining and smelting, can release arsenic into the environment. Additionally, certain foods, notably rice and seafood, can contain higher levels of arsenic. Use of arsenic-containing pesticides and herbicides, though now restricted, has also been a historical source.

How do you detox arsenic?

Detoxification from arsenic involves avoiding further exposure and supporting the body’s natural elimination processes. Drinking clean, uncontaminated water and consuming a diet low in arsenic are primary steps. In severe cases, chelation therapy may be recommended, which involves using certain compounds to bind to arsenic and aid in its excretion. This should only be done under supervision. Maintaining good nutritional status, particularly with minerals like selenium and zinc, can also support detoxification pathways.

Tests that measure arsenic

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