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High Blood Lead Level? Maybe You’re as Frustrated as I am in Wondering if It Matters

re: heavy metals

My recent high blood lead level test results showing about 16X higher blood lead than typical raise some concern for me, what with ongoing unexplained health problems*. Maybe it’s auto-immune (only), maybe it relates to blood lead level (or not), maybe that and other things interact.

As far as I can tell, the medical community at large is both ignorant and incompetent to do anything about heavy metal contamination in the body short of chelation therapy for extreme cases.

Web search reveals a bumper crop of for-profit web sites all happy to take hundreds of dollars of my money for tests, for detox, etc. The more I look, the less credible it all seems to be.

Even the tests are dubious—blood tests, urine tests (including “challenge” tests), hair tests vs body stores of lead and the factors that cause release and/or excretion eg fat burning. I wonder, for example, if past training efforts in which I would drop 10-15 pounds of body fat would in turn would release heavy metals... excreted or re-deposited? The science seems to be crap on such fronts. And most info focuses on children or work exposure, inapplicable to my situation.

Terribly frustrating to understand if (a) if my health issues* involve blood lead, (b) what if anything can be done about it:

  • My doctor (internist, MD) has no insight into the subject of blood lead levels or testing, etc. Nor does he know any fellow doctors competent on the subject.
  • Web search reveals an endless array of sites happy to take your money to test or mitigate.
  • Short of obvious clinical effects, there is no way to tie any particular health issue to blood lead level.
  • Chelation therapy seems problematic at best, and deadly at worst. With poor guidance on when it might benefit health (short of acute issues).
  • Even the science on how/when the body excretes heavy metals seems very poor.
  • Finally, my high-deductible health plan is a major disincentive—I have to spend $5000 before it will pay a dime. All past experience tells me I can spend thousands of dollars on doctors that will offer me no value—a lesson rammed home over and over the past few years.

I’ve decided to get a heavy metals blood test for a fresh reading. But whether I can map out a rational path based on the results seems dubious. Perhaps I will just ignore it as part of life and spare myself the expense and concern over something that has no clear value or prognosis.

* Currently, a curious combination of increased (near normal) physical strength at least many days, together with weeks of nagging diffuse pain in right shoulder and arm which cannot be located in any muscle or joint. Various other life-degrading issues. It started out as nerve pain in ulnar nerve near elbow and spread. I am guessing it is auto-immune, but could blood lead levels be causing or exacerbating the issue? This follows 2.5 years of what I termed Long COVID with associated reactivation of EBV, then thyroid disease/auto-immune... a yearslong trauma shitshow that keeps morphing.

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