Heavy Metals and the Glymphatic System
Are we only as healthy as … How Well We Eliminate Waste … from our bodies?
Detoxification is critical to the success or every healing program. Since we are bombard by environmental intoxicants 24/7 both from inside our homes, to the products we lather onto our skin, the food we eat and the air wer breath. Our bodies play host to an accumulation of herbicides, heavy metals, xeno-estrogens, all of which can be a big part in why those with chronic health issues are chronically ill.
What I and other other nutritionists/naturopathic physicians have found, is the strong correlation between those who are most sick and those who have had the most significant exposures, and are unable to detoxify so well.
Therefore, I believe educating ourselves about environmental toxins is critical. And this can then translate into making better choices for our health, the health of our families, and it helps our planet also. Why? Because the substances that are hurting our bodies, by and large affect our planet through climate change too.
I consider toxins to be the number underlying causes of chronic diseases today, but sadly the doctors are NOT looking for this. You can down load my Environmental Detox Guide Here
It is my firm belief that when people are sick there is ALWAYS an underlying rout cause.
Heavy metals and the brain:
We also have a great deal of science and strong correlation between the toxic loading of certain heavy metals and neuro-degenerative diseases. Therefore keeping our brains as well as bodies free from toxic levels of heavy metals is paramount when supporting neurological health
It’s hard to know exactly what heavy metal content exists within each of our brains unless we discect the actual brain after passing. However we are able to measure heavy metal burden released into urine when challenged by a sulphur donation agent. Signifying theoretical total body burden in terms of reasonnable or unreasonable levels excreted via this drainage pathway when challenged. (The DMSA Challenge Test has been mentioned within a previous post.)
But firstly let’s talk about the Glymphatic System and what we do know about how this protects our brain. The glymphatic system was only recently discovered within the University of Virginia in the US.
What is the Glymphatic System?
The Glymphatic System clears metabolic waste from the brain. It does this at night during the hours when we are asleep. First the brain shrinks by 60% of its size in order to make room for the flow of the lymph (Glymphatic System) around it.
Lymph flows along the arteries, bathing our neurons with nutrients whilst removing metabolic waste and then flows along the veins before exiting. A vital system for health which is protected by good amounts of sleep each night.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a healthy functioning Gymphatic System. As it is easily compromised when challendged by toxicity such as heavy metals, but brain injuries can also damage this system.
Clearly a damaged Glymphatic System can become a chicken and egg scenario, since heavy metals damage the Glymphatic System, which in turn a compromises our ability to detoxify heavy metals.
If an individual is predisposed to carrying an increased toxicity load of heavy metals, predisposed by their genetic make up, and then experiences a brain injury this can be very tough situation indeed. When this set up arises, every attempt to live a clean life, integrating detoxification techniques on a regular basis with good quality sleep also critical to this cleansing system. Since we know that brain injuries incur an increased risk of neurological issues.
LEAD & GABA:
We know that lead can be stored in the bone, as lead diametrically opposes calcium and therefore increments bone loss (post to follow), but it also interferes in our GABA production too. As a result, a chemical known as Amyloid Beta accumulates when the Glymphatic system is not working well, causing incremental neuro-degeneration.
GABA regulates how well the lymph can flow in and out of the brain. Therefore it is critical to our cleansing system.
Exposure to mercury in the mouth also has negative effects upon the Glymphatic system. Over time the vapour gets taken up into the brain from the mouth. There is a retrograde affect as it gets into the nerves, and then to the brain, damaging astrocites. This can be an appaulling insult to the Glymphatic system and its optimal functioning.
When facing toxicity challenges sleep becomes all the more important. Sleep is therefore paramount in terms of reducing susceptibility to all neuro-degenerative conditions. We absolutely need sleep in order for this system to work. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, secreted to help us have restful deep sleep. But it also helps to cleanse our brains. I love to take a slow releaseing or sub-lingual form of melatonin before I sleep. It is a neuro protective anti-oxidant clearing mercury, lead, viruses etc from the brain.
Taking a step back, think about why we may have reduced melatonin?
Legally, we are not allowed to sell / buy melatonin in the UK, therefore a part from purchasing it from our US friends over-seas, let’s look at what else can we do to support our melatonin levels naturally.
Our love of technology exposes us to un-natural amounts of blue light from our phones and ipads, laptops etc. Blue light is the same at sunlight, which inhibits melatonin production.
Realistically, we need to minimise blue-light once the sun goes down. To support this there are screensavers with blue light blocker, and amber glasses which also block out blue-light. By reducing blue-light after sun-down we are naturallly supporting our bodies to produce melatonin in the way it is meant to.
Melatonin in a pill
Melatonin in pill form, is sold readily in the US, but as mentioned not legally in the UK. There are brands however that will ship over-seas. Source Naturals and Allergy Research for instance.
Pills will need to be processed by the liver and the digestive tract before it is absorbed. Which works for some people, but for those who are sick this is not ideal, since they typically have compromised digestion.
Liposomal melatonin is bound up with phosphotidyl choline. Phos choline is an essential fat that our brains are made up of. Therefore this is the perfect delivery system, we can harness this to get melatonin into our system and therefore brain more readily.
Setting the Bedroom Environment:
- The bedroom should ideally be EMF free. Meaning that all electronics need to be outside the bedroom.
- Install Black out blinds or shutters.
- Keep the bedroom free from glues, hairsprays, and hormone altering chemicals
Consider using Liposomal GABA and Liposomal Melatonin prior to sleeping, to support Glymphatic cleansing.
The Anti-Diuretic-Hormone (ADH):
Those with a high mercury content in the their bodies often have ADH (90%). Which can be lowered easily with a drug provided from your GP. Although I am not a huge fan of pharmacology, there is place for using some drugs in the short term.
Those with high levels of ADH wake up in need of pee. The second point is to address electrolytes. Recommended products for this: E-Lyte from Allergy Research, Ocean 72 from Concentrace, and Crystal Energy from Patrick Flanigan.
Then, take a look at what is down-steam from the brain. Do you get chronic sinusitis? And/or tonsillitis? There may have been a history of chronic Strepp?
When tonsils are removed, this leaves scars, causing stress on the nerve centre which is the Superior Sympathetic Ganglian. The Superior Sympathetic Ganglian regulates blood flow to the pineal. Which if scarred can lead to chronic insomnia due to an interruption of blood flow both to and from the brain.
Taking it one step further:
It is one thing to identify whether you have a heavy metal burden, but quite another to be Sensitive to Heavy Metals!’
This can happen too!
Our immune systems are now literally reacting to heavy metals. What this means is that not only our total body burden is an issue, but that our immune system now reacts to even the tinniest amount. We are now hyper-sensitive to metals and therefore have an allergy.
This is a type 4 allergic reaction. When T-Lymphocites recognise and allergenic molecule in our system causing inflammation.
Common metal allergens are nickel, gold, mercury and titanium. Typically those who are allergic to nickel cannot wear it within their jewelry. Nickel is within a lot of dental work, usually the origin of such an allergy.
There is various testing that can be completed to assess allergenic responses to metals. I prefer to use Cyrex Array 11 Chemical Immune Reactivity Screen.
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