Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities

by Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD, PE

© 2004, 2008, 2009 Andrew Hall Cutler

About the book

Read some excerpts from the book:

Table of contents

Preface

Calcium

Index

Reasons to check for HM

Mercury

Back cover copy

Why worry about HM

Iron

How to order the book

Cancer

Thallium

 

Schizophrenia

Selenium

Medical conditions Heavy Metals cause

Developmental disorders

Zinc

Other books of interest (vaccines cancer autism hormone balance etc)

 Phone order to (425) 557-8299 or Download fax and mail order form

 


       

 

Excerpt from the book:

Thallium (Tl)

It is relatively difficult to establish good reference ranges for every element under every circumstance.  Despite the fact that the statistical definition of the Doctor’s Data reference ranges would reasonably be expected to lead to a bar on the plot for thallium most of the time, it is common not to see one. 

Blood thallium levels are often falsely normal (low) in poisoned people.  Urine levels in a 24 hour collection are somewhat more reliable but false normals are still common.  Hair levels are often informative but no estimate is available at present regarding false normal thallium levels in hair from toxic people.

Most thallium salts are colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

Thallium is concentrated into certain cells because it binds to a specific site on a cell surface mineral transport protein that is normally used to take potassium up in exchange for sodium (the biochemical term is Na,K ATPase).  It concentrates particularly well into the brain, kidney, and the part of the heart called the myocardium.  In addition to binding to the sulfhydryl groups of various enzymes, thallium specifically attaches to vitamin B2 – riboflavin – and inactivates it.  Without vitamin B2 fats can’t be burned for energy and the main route that carbohydrates take into the energy producing Krebs cycle through pyruvate is also blocked.  Citric acid, succinic acid, suberic acid and adipic acid go up on an organic acid test.  Only protein can be easily used for energy.

Thallium is also reabsorbed in the kidney by the same mechanism that retains potassium, so people with low serum potassium or low potassium intake retain thallium and are more susceptible to its toxic effects.

The half life for thallium elimination from the body is variously given in the literature as 8 to 30 days.  It apparently does not clear from the nervous system at a significant rate since neurological problems may persist for years.

The majority of excreted thallium leaves the body in the fluids the intestines secrete to help digest food.  Lesser amounts are secreted in the bile and also are excreted in the urine.  About twice as much thallium leaves the body in feces as in the urine.

The medical literature is full of descriptions of acute poisoning by large amounts of thallium.  Typically the symptoms start 12-24 hours after the thallium is eaten.  When smaller amounts are eaten the symptoms might not appear for 24-48 hours.  The first symptoms are from the digestive tract – abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, perhaps vomiting, with constipation later.  One to a few days later neurological symptoms appear.  There is hypersensitivity to touch and pain, unusual phantom sensations, as well as muscle weakness that often begins in the soles of the feet and the big toe and slowly spreads up to the body.  Movement may also become clumsy.  The pain hypersensitivity can be so extreme that the brush of a feather can cause intense pain.  The victim may salivate excessively.  There may also be excessive thirst.  At this point a variety of other problems may appear.  Psychic disturbances such as delirium, restlessness, hallucinations and delusions are common.  There may be eye turn or crossed eyes.  Color perception may be altered or reduced.  Blindness (due to optic neuritis) is frequent.  Convulsions or seizures are occasionally seen.  Liver and kidney damage often occur.  About a week after the thallium is eaten the head hair falls out and the outer part of the eyebrows is lost.  Children tend to develop the psychic disturbances more while adults are more prone to the weakness, hypersensitivity and heart regulation problems that come from impairment of the nerves that run the body.

Heart function is affected and victims are at risk of sudden cardiac death for at least several weeks.  Heart racing is a common symptom as is elevated blood pressure.

Chronic toxicity does not have the digestive tract problems or dramatic onset of symptoms that acute toxicity does.  The neurological, psychiatric and vision problems described above are prominent, hair loss does occur, and there can be heart problems and high blood pressure due to impairment of the nerves that run the heart and other internal organs (autonomic neuropathy in medical terminology).  There are typically also sleep problems.  Tremors sometimes occur as well.  The neurological and psychiatric effects can be severe enough to lead to dementia or psychosis.

A slow blurring or dimness of vision is characteristic, with loss of both central vision and also mild constriction of the field of vision. 

Thallium does cause toxic porphyria through its effect on the liver.

In chronic toxicity the symptoms may come on slowly and will usually be subtle rather than dramatic.  Mild to moderate chronic toxicities are quite unlikely to be diagnosed (e.g. the combination of hair loss, heart racing and high blood pressure might be misdiagnosed as too much thyroid hormone.

 Phone order to (425) 557-8299 or Download fax and mail order form

 


       

 


About the book

Read some excerpts from the book:

Table of contents

Preface

Calcium

Index

Reasons to check for HM

Mercury

Back cover copy

Why worry about HM

Iron

How to order the book

Cancer

Thallium

 

Schizophrenia

Selenium

Medical conditions Heavy Metals cause

Developmental disorders

Zinc

Other books of interest (vaccines cancer autism hormone balance etc)


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