Saturday, August 22, 2009
A recent study
done at Harvard School of Public Health and published in the Journal Environmental Health Perspectives links arsenic exposure to the development of gestational diabetes. Over 500 women were tested and it was found that accumulated arsenic exposure increased a pregnant mom’s risk of developing diabetes almost 3 times over those who were not exposed. This reinforces my recommendation to all of my patients who are thinking of getting pregnant. To get checked for heavy metals and subsequently treated if you are high in heavy metals. I started this practice early on in my career when I realized that the autistic children I was treating had accumulations of mercury and lead that I could not attribute to any other source other than from their moms during pregnancy and breast feeding. Interestingly, mercury and lead can be transferred to an unborn child via cord blood and breast feeding. Preventative medicine works the best when people actually start to think ahead about their plans for health care and family planning. Few people realize that the heavy metals they are exposed to on a day to day basis can be avoided and reduced by taking some simple precautions. Here are some pre-pregnancy tips.
- Filtering your drinking and cooking water is a simple and relatively easy process to do. An inexpensive reverse osmosis filter can significantly reduce your exposure to heavy metals like arsenic and other harmful chemicals like chlorine and fluoride in your water.
- Stop all seafood and fish intake before you try to get pregnant. In particular, tuna, swordfish, and shark of all kinds and farmed salmon. This will reduce your current exposure to mercury and one dinner of swordfish or shark can take months to clear from your body, if at all.
- Remove silver fillings and have them replaced by a biological dentist who knows how to properly remove a mercury filling without reexposing you to the mercury is another good idea before you try to get pregnant. If the fillings are really old, it is better to leave the fillings in rather than to get them removed by a dentist that doesn’t know what they are doing.
- Knowing how toxic your air and water are is important to help you figure out how concerned you should be before you plan to get pregnant. Go to scorecard.org to check your county’s exposure.
- Get tested for heavy metals. A blood test is not sufficient for analyzing heavy metal accumulation over time. A urine challenge with a chelating agent like DMSA is the best test for this. Hair analysis also misses a great part of organic forms of mercury.