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Depending upon the extent of cumulative Hg exposure, elevated levels of urine Hg may occur after administration of DMPS, DMSA or D-penicillamine. Blood and especially red blood cellelemental analyses are useful for assessing recent or ongoing exposure to organic (methyl) Hg.
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Toxic and Essential Elements
Elements are the basic building blocks of all chemical compounds, and human exposure to them occurs both from natural and anthropogenic sources. Many elements are considered nutrients and are essential for the proper functioning of the body. These are generally divided between macrominerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc, and trace minerals including selenium, iodine, boron and molybdenum.
Conversely, there are a number of elements that are toxic to the human body, interfere with its functioning and undermine health—such as mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum, and arsenic. These toxic metals have no known physiological functions. They can be toxic to organ systems and may disrupt the balance of essential nutrients. Toxic metals and essential element status can be assessed in urine, blood, feces and hair.
Doctor's Data has always employed the best-available techniques as a specialist and pioneer in essential and toxic elemental testing. In fact, we were one of the first clinical reference laboratories in the world to employ ICP-MS and high-resolution ICP-MS for elemental analysis.
Early signs of excessive Hg exposure include: decreased senses of touch, hearing, vision and taste, metallic taste in mouth, fatigue or lack of physical endurance, and increased salivation. ymptoms may progress with moderate or chronic exposure to include: anorexia, numbness and paresthesias, headaches, hypertension, irritability and excitability, and immune suppression/dysregulation. Advanced disease processes from excessive Hg assimilation include: tremors and incoordination, anemia, psychoses, manic behaviors, possibly autoimmune disorders and renal dysfunction or failure. Note that in Hg exposure of long duration, renal excretion of Hg (and normal metabolites) may become impaired, and the urine level of Hg might be only mildly elevated or not elevated at all due to renal failure. Mercury is used in: dental amalgams (50% by weight), explosive detonators; some vaccines, pure liquid form in thermometers, barometers, and laboratory equipment; batteries and electrodes,some medications and Ayurveic herbs, fungicides and pesticides, and in the paper industry. The fungicide/pesticide use of mercury has declined due to environmental concerns, but Hg residues persist in the environment. Emissions from coal-fired power plants and hospital/municipal incinerators are significant sources of mercury pollution. Methylmercury, the most common, organic form of Hg, occurs by methylation of inorganic Hg in aquatic biota or sediments (both freshwater and ocean sediments). Methylmercury accumulates in aquatic animals and fish and is concentrated up the food chain reaching highest concentrations in large fish and predatory birds. Except for fish, the human intake of dietary mercury is negligible unless the food is contaminated with one of the previously listed forms/sources. Daily ingestion of fish can result in the assimilation of 1 to 10 micrograms of mercury/day.
Before You Start:
Please read all of the directions, and familiarize yourself with the collection procedures. The Urine Elements analysis takes 24 hours or less to collect depending on your physician’s instructions.
It is recommended that you omit fish and shellfish from your diet for one week prior to collecting the urine specimen. If an MRI containing Gadolinium-based media has been administered a urine specimen should not be collected for a minimum of 96 hours. You should also refrain from taking non-essential medications and dietary supplements for 48 hours prior to and during the specimen collection. Never discontinue prescription medications without first consulting your physician. Female patients should not collect urine during a menstrual period.
Use the provided vial and collection containers to avoid contamination of the specimen. Use of other collection materials may result in falsely elevated results.