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  QUESTION: High hair levels of lead, cadmium, barium, lithium and copper, 31 Mar 2005, Victoria Australia

I had a hair test by a qualified GP who also looks at naturopathic and hormonal aspects as possible causes for depression. My hair sample was analysed at 'Interclinical Laboratories' in Alexandria, and was sent by them to USA for detailed analysis.

This showed lead, cadmium, barium, lithium and copper levels in my body are too high.

Causes seem irrelevant, confirmation of this diagnosis and if correct, relevant and appropriate treatment are what I am seeking.

Can you advise of other testing, or specialist physicians who could verify if I do indeed have a problem in this area?

I have been treated 'conventionally' with anti-depressants for some years, with only partial success.

Keith G.

ANSWER: 31 Mar 2005

Dear Keith,

Sorry that it's taken a fortnight to respond but our service is entirely volunteer-operated, only really deals with lead and I don't know of any other information service which deals with the other metals you're high in. What we've found with lead in hair is that you really need to follow that up with a blood lead test and that if the blood lead result is high then a normal doctor would seek assistance from the Health Dept in locating your lead sources and determining lead exposure pathways and how to prevent further poisoning and may also consider giving you chelation treatment. Only an alternative doctor would generally consider treatment purely on the basis of the hair levels. The key seems to be finding a practitioner that is well-informed and that you trust. You can ask ACNEM (Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine) for an alternative doctor who specialises in this area. Phone them in Melbourne on 03 9589 6088 Website: Practitioner Listing.

Certainly if you are currently taking in lead or cadmium, you would want to locate the sources and eradicate them.

Good luck.
Elizabeth O'Brien


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