Heavy Metal Toxicity Symptoms

by Catherine M. Haug,  July, 2007; moved & updated from old iWeb site 4/23/22

Heavy metals are a class of minerals with a high molecular weight, and typically fall in the middle section of a periodic table. Some are essential (up to certain levels) for specific enzymatic activity in our bodies, such as copper, zinc and selenium and iron, but can be toxic above trace levels. Some require proper balance, such as zinc and copper require a balance of 15:8 (zinc-to-copper).

Iron is toxic in the blood if not bound by hemoglobin.  Other heavy metals, the so called toxic heavy metals, (such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and radium) are toxic at any level.

Read on for more.

  • Includes: 1. Symptoms of Toxicity

Chronic Complaints:  Symptoms of Toxicity

Heavy metals build up in body tissues, accumulating over time.  The symptoms may go unrecognized because the onset is gradual and often attributed to other problems, such as aging or menopause in women.  Common symptoms are:

  • Chronic pain in muscles, tendons, or any soft tissues of the body (3b);
  • Chronic malaise, a general feeling of discomfort, fatigue and non-specific illness (3b);
  • Anemia; (2)
  • Excess lethargy;  (2)
  • Brain fog, a state of forgetfulness and confusion (3b);
  • Yeast infections (candida) that just won’t go away, or keep coming back (3b);
  • Digestive or gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, abdominal pain (2), diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, heartburn, and indigestion (3b);
  • Food allergies/sensitivities (3b);
  • Leaky gut syndrome (3b);
  • Kidney problems; (2)
  • Dizziness (3b);
  • Migraines and other headaches (3b);
  • Visual disturbances (3b);
  • Mood swings, depression, and/or anxiety (3b);
  • Irritability; (2)
  • Insomnia; (2)
  • Hyperactivity;  (2)
  • Learning disability in children; (2) 
  • Numbness, tingling, paralysis, or a burning feeling in the extremities (3b);
  • Electrifying feeling throughout the body (3b);

Extreme symptoms may be:

  • Seizure
  • Coma

Heavy metal toxicity is often mistaken for other chronic conditions such as:

  • Alzheimer’s (1)
  • Autism  (3b);
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CS) (3b);
  • Depression (3b);
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) (3b);
  • Osteoporosis (1)

It is advisable to discuss the possibility of heavy metal toxicity with your healthcare professional before receiving any diagnosis or treatment for a serious chronic condition. (3b)

It is also interesting to note that a July 2007 study directly links lead exposure to violent crime rates in the U.S. and eight other countries. (3)


  1. Mercola: (note his articles may have been removed from his site) www.mercola.com/2003/dec/27/toxic_metals.htm
  2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_poisoning
  3. Jigsaw Health:
    1. prev (3): jigsawhealth.com/articles/heavy_metal_toxicity.html
    2. prev (4): jigsawhealth.com/articles/heavy-metal-toxicity-symptoms.html
  4. washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/07/AR2007070701073_pf.html (was (5))

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