Heavy Metal Testing

Why Buy a Home Heavy Metal Test Kit?

Heavy metals exist naturally in our environment, and it’s common to consume low amounts through our water and food. Small quantities of some metals, such as copper, selenium and zinc are actually necessary for our health. Other chemicals, like mercury, lead and cadmium, aren’t nutritionally beneficial and are toxic. Since heavy metals are often used in various industries, they are common pollutants contaminating water, food, air and soil. When the level of heavy metals is too high, it’s toxic for the body. It can damage our organs as well as lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

People who fear they’ve had exposure to environmental pollutants or toxic metals can benefit from heavy metal testing to make sure their levels are safe. Testing is increasingly common as a part of family planning as well; new or expecting parents often test themselves to discover problems, to avoid the risk of exposing small, vulnerable children.

Some Populations Are at Higher Risk for Overexposure

Work Exposure

If you’ve worked in high-risk exposure areas such as agriculture, manufacturing, electronics, industrial waste management, alloying or metal refining, you may be at greater risk for heavy metal poisoning.

Living Environment

If you live in an older home, an industrial area or an area where well water or public drinking water has come under scrutiny for potential contamination by cadmium, arsenic, lead or mercury, you could be at higher risk of heavy metal poisoning as well. In America, sadly, this is a growing problem; public awareness of the enormity of our water contamination problems has grown over the past several years. Heavy metal testing is a convenient and proactive way to determine if your levels are elevated so that you can keep yourself and your family safe.

Existing Health Concerns

Others interested in heavy metal testing kits may have health-related issues prompting them to check the levels of their essential elements and/or nutritional deficiencies. This includes, but is not limited to, people who have thyroid disorders, eat a lot of seafood with high levels of mercury, are on a low-sodium diet, or those who smoke.

Symptoms of Heavy Metal Poisoning

  • Disturbances in sleep
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Skin issues
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Lack of coordination
  • Weight loss

The tricky thing is, symptoms of heavy metal poisoning may differ according to the metal. For example, too much exposure to arsenic can lead to an increased risk of various types of cancers and decreased nerve function. Exposure to cadmium for a long period of time can cause lung, bone and kidney disease. And while some metals, such as iodine, are needed to help the body function normally, increased levels of iodine can lead to thyroid dysfunction.

Additional Signs of Overexposure to Heavy Metals

  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Miscarriage or premature labor for pregnant women
  • Behavioral changes
  • Heart abnormalities like dysrhythmia or cardiomyopathy
  • Weakened bones or bone malformation in children
  • Lung irritation
  • Mees’ lines (white lines across the nails)
  • Brain dysfunction like memory loss
  • Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek the attention of a healthcare professional. The goal of heavy metal testing is to find out if you’re at risk of long-term overexposure so that you can cease your exposure immediately and bring your levels down to a safe amount.

Choosing a Heavy Metal Test Company

There are several heavy metal tests available from reputable companies, including:

  • EverlyWell
  • Live Well Testing
  • ZRT Laboratory
  • Health Test Express

Not all kits measure the same metals, so it’s important to review which metals are included in the test. Prices ranges from $119 to $199, depending on how many metals are included in the test. Customers tend to be very satisfied by the efficacy of these home heavy metal tests.

There are less expensive options available, such as the kit from DrClarkStore. The price is only $17.99 and the kit differs from the others in that it tests for heavy metals in the body and the environment. The sample collected can be any type of fairly clear liquid, such as urine, saliva, breast milk, water, or even juices from fish (to test for mercury). The test is done at home, and not sent to a lab. Results are measured based on the color of the test; each metal is represented by a unique color. The stronger the color, the higher the presence of the metal.

What Will the Results Indicate?

People typically order a home heavy metal test because they’d like to know if heavy metal levels are elevated and they want to avoid experiencing the serious health symptoms caused by protracted exposure to toxic heavy metals. The results of heavy metal testing will compare your levels to appropriate standards and indicate if the levels of each metal are low, normal or high.

Tests reveal levels of numerous metals and metalloids:

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Bismuth
  • Bromine
  • Cadmium
  • Cesium
  • Copper
  • Creatinine
  • Gadolinium
  • Iodine
  • Lead
  • Magnesium
  • Mercury
  • Nickel
  • Palladium
  • Platinum
  • Selenium
  • Tellurium
  • Thallium
  • Thorium
  • Tin
  • Tungsten
  • Uranium
  • Zinc

How Do I Take the Test?

1

Order online.

You can order heavy metal testing kits online and receive them within 1-3 business days. Once they arrive, some kits require you to register the kit online before collecting a sample.

2

Collect your sample, following the kit instructions.

The type of sample you collect depends on which metals are tested. Some kits require a urine sample, while others ask for a dried blood spot collection. All kits include instructions for how to collect the sample, and those instructions are never difficult.

If you are pricking your finger for a blood sample, to encourage blood flow for the blood spot collection, place your hands under warm water and rub them together or swing them before pricking the finger. Also, it is advised that your hand be below your waist before collecting the sample. That way, gravity can help the blood flow down into the vial.

3

Mail your sample to the lab.

After collecting your sample, mail it back in the prepaid shipping label to the company’s certified lab.

You’ll receive results in 3-10 business days from when you shipped it to the lab, depending on the company. Results are usually emailed or posted on the company’s secure platform.

What Do I Do With the Results?

Some heavy metal testing companies provide advice for how to reduce or eliminate exposure to toxic metals as well as how to resolve any essential elements deficiencies. But it’s important to remember that the companies selling the kits post disclaimers on their website stating that these tests aren’t intended to diagnose or treat diseases or conditions. Heavy metal testing is only meant to help you measure the levels of these metals in your body.

The tests aren’t a replacement for consulting a healthcare provider. After you receive the test results, you should share the information with your physician so he or she can help you regulate your levels of heavy metals. And, depending on the likely source of the heavy metal contamination, you should also report it to appropriate authorities or take necessary action to protect yourself and loved ones from exposure.

More Home Health Tests

Learn about other at-home health test kits:

x