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Heavy Metals Testing

Heavy metal panels are set up in groups of tests that mirror potential metal exposures. A laboratory may offer several different groupings that are specific for either blood or urine. A healthcare practitioner will order the metals panel that corresponds to the person's occupation, hobby, suspected exposure, and/or clinical symptoms.

Some of the metals that are more commonly tested include:

A heavy metals panel may be ordered if a healthcare practitioner suspects that someone has been acutely or chronically exposed to one or more heavy metals. Signs and symptoms of heavy metal exposure will vary in nature and intensity depending on the type and quantity of metal involved; early symptoms of poisoning can be missed because they are often non-specific. Excessive exposure and damage to several different organs can occur even if a person has no, few, or nonspecific symptoms.

Some signs and symptoms of metal poisoning may include:
Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Nervous system symptoms such as numbness, tingling of hands and feet, weakness
Kidney damage
Liver damage
In the lungs – irritation, fluid accumulation (edema)
Brain dysfunction, memory loss
Mees lines (horizontal lines on nails)
Changes in behavior ( Depression and Mood Disorder)
Malformed bones in children, weakened bones
In pregnant women – miscarriage, premature labor