Last week I wrote about a welder who called me to discuss some health concerns and wondered if his company should be having its welders take blood tests. A metalworker who read the blog post, “A call from Chet,” related very much to Chet’s concerns and shared his thoughts with me via e-mail.
With the reader’s permission, I am sharing what he had to say. However, at his request, I’m withholding his name. As he noted, he does not have medical credentials, and this is the first objection folks use when challenging his viewpoint.
“I read this article with great interest this morning. I would like to share with you what happened to me in the 80s when I was doing a lot of tool grinding.
“I started to have some health challenges that the conventional medical community was having a hard time diagnosing. I was talking with a doctor (non-medical) friend of mine and he recommended that I consult with a naturopathic physician about my symptoms.
“I made an appointment with one and he recommended that we get a mineral analysis done to see if I was in balance. He used a method called spectrographic hair analysis to take a long-time view of the mineral content in my body. He did not use a blood test because he argued that a blood test is a snapshot in time, whereas the hair gave a very accurate picture over a longer timeframe.
“The test results showed that I was extraordinarily high in iron, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten—the very same materials that I was grinding every day.
“He gave me a homeopathic product that started to remove these minerals from my system, and six months later I was back into the normal range. My symptoms went away. I continued with this test annually until I left the tool making industry, and yes, I sometimes had to chelate (to remove a heavy metal, such as lead or mercury, from the bloodstream by means of a chelate, such as EDTA) the excess minerals from my body with this homeopathic product.”
The reader found his experience useful when his mother was diagnosed with dementia in the late 1980s. “My siblings discussed her future (home care or assisted-living facility) in a conference call. I refused to consider these options until she had a hair analysis. The analysis showed very high levels of aluminum. Again, a homeopathic preparation was used, and her dementia cleared up in six months. Her mind was sharp and crystal clear until her passing in 1995.
“I urge you to make a strong point to encourage my fellow metalworkers to make sure that they are monitoring their bodies for metal toxicity. It is all too common in our industries, and we lose good people because their health is compromised with this problem.
“The conventional medical community did not have good diagnostic tools to help my mother or me. This is one that people need to step outside the box on. The blood work just does not give a long-term picture for accurate diagnosis.”
I’m sending a link to this post to Chet, and I’m filing it in my favorites for future reference. Metalworkers are not the only people susceptible to metal poisoning. In addition to writing about Chet, I’ve written about my own experience with a recalled metal-on-metal hip and the annual blood tests I must take to determine the levels of metals in my body. The spectrographic hair analysis will be on my list of discussion items for my orthopedic surgeon.
Let me repeat the reader’s advice: Metalworkers, make sure that you are monitoring your bodies for metal toxicity. Don’t wait until you’ve suffered permanent damage caused by abnormal levels to seek care.
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