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This Month In Health
  • Don’t Be Mis-Lead
    Millions of children around the world have high levels of lead in their blood, despite the fact that there’s no amount of lead in the body that’s safe. Keep reading to learn the side effects of lead poisoning, sources of lead, and how to keep you and your family safe. Read >>
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    A diagnosed medical condition that’s defined as a combination of multiple painful symptoms that result from your brain’s inability to process pain, fibromyalgia comes with a host of unwanted complications. Here’s a quick summary of what life may be like for someone with fibromyalgia. Read >>
  • All about Fat
    Fat stores energy, protects your internal organs, and helps keep you warm. It also plays a role in hormone regulation and metabolism. And while you may hate it all, there is actually good fat and bad fat. Read on to learn more about the various types of fat found in your body. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Don’t Be Mis-Lead

How you can protect your family from lead poisoning.

What do toys, old paint, drinking water, and batteries have in common? They may all contain lead, a toxic metal naturally found in the ground. Exposure to lead, as you know, can be harmful to your health. The problem is, lead can be hard to avoid. Once used in water pipes, paint, and other household building materials, lead can also be found in the air and soil.

Millions of children around the world have high levels of lead in their blood, despite the fact that there’s no amount of lead in the body that’s safe. With the potential of harming nearly every body system, it’s highly important to avoid any and all exposure to lead.

Keep reading to learn the side effects of lead poisoning, sources of lead, and how to keep you and your family safe.

The Dangers

No one should be exposed to lead, but it’s young children who are most susceptible to its dangers. The tricky thing about lead is the way it slowly builds up in your body undetected until the damage has already been done. Lead poisoning in children can cause mental and physical developmental problems. Severe lead poisoning can even lead to death.

A child with lead poisoning may exhibit a range of troubling symptoms, ranging from learning problems, hearing loss, and developmental delays to lack of appetite, fatigue, and weight loss to stomach pain, vomiting, irritability, and seizures. Newborns exposed to lead en-utero may be premature, have a low birth weight, and a slow growth rate.

When adults are exposed to lead, they may develop memory problems, headaches, stomach pain, high blood pressure, joint pain, reproductive difficulties, or mood disorders.

Leading Sources

Children who live in older homes built prior to 1978 are the most likely to experience high levels of lead in their blood. Ingesting chips of lead-based paint or inhaling dust from older home remodeling are common sources of poisoning.

The toxic metal can also be found in water pipes, making its way into drinking water. Soil found near busy highways or around older homes may contain lead that’s tracked into the home on your shoes.

Many occupations expose people to lead. Mining, smelting, battery manufacturing, auto repair, painting, and construction are a few of the most common. Inhalation of lead or carrying lead dust home on your clothes increases your likelihood of lead poisoning.

Other sources of lead include the paint found on imported toys, glazes on pottery or ceramics, stained glass, lead bullets and ammunition, and candy from Mexico.

Protection

There are steps you can take to protect your family from exposure to lead. First of all, practice good hygiene by washing your hands before eating and after being outdoors. Keep your kids’ toys clean, regularly dust your furniture, and mop your floors. Let your kids play in a sandbox rather than the dirt. Run your water on cold for a minute or two when it’s been several hours since the faucet was last used. Take off your shoes before entering the house. And any time you’re performing home repairs or remodels on older homes, use extreme caution.

Treatment

It can be difficult diagnosing lead poisoning since the symptoms often mimic other health conditions, but diagnosis is done via a simple blood test. Lead poisoning is treated by eliminating all sources of lead and by eating a healthy diet. High levels of lead in the blood may require chelation therapy to lower levels. Used to treat heavy metal poisoning, chelation medications bind to lead in the body and help remove it from your system through your kidneys.

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