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Do I have lead poisoning?

Q: What is lead poisoning? I am 30 years old male (unmarried, weighing 80 kgs). Most of the time I keep feeling a metallic taste. Day by day I am losing energy and my memory. I have become very lethargic and all day long I feel low and tired. Most of the time I get muscular pains. I am unable to concentrate on my work and hence my professional life is suffering. I have undergone all routine tests and no deficiency was diagnosed. I have a stone in the gall bladder which was diagnosed some 4 yrs back. But till date there has been no pain and hence I avoided surgery. Please guide me what to do and what all tests are needed to find my illness? I am not as healthy as before. Can it be lead poisoning or due to the stone or some other problem?

A:Lead poisoning is a serious problem in some areas due to contaminated water or through misuse of lead in cooking pots or even in unorthodox medicines. The problem is of major concern in children since chronic exposure (through chewing on lead paint for instance) can result in impaired physical and mental development. The typical symptoms may be malaise and fatigue and this can be the result of a very characteristic anaemia that should be detected by standard laboratory tests. A characteristic damage to the nerves of the limbs is usually obvious to a physician who should be able to diagnose peripheral neuritis The diagnosis is confirmed by finding an abnormal lead level in the blood and by delving into the possible causes of the lead exposure. Most nonspecific cases of weakness and a metallic taste in the mouth are due to undetected viral infection and are best treated by tonics since there is usually no specific cure.

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