Before lead poisoning treatment can begin, the patient must be removed from the source of the poisoning. If the level of lead in the blood is low and symptoms are mild, removal may be sufficient treatment. For more severe poisoning, the body should be both cleared of the toxin and treated for symptoms related to the contamination. In more serious cases, a process known as chelating is commonly used to clear the body of lead. As there is a high risk of side effects from the use of this material, it is usually only used after careful diagnosis has determined that it is necessary.
In mild cases, as is common from items in the home such as dirt and paint, lead poisoning treatment can consist primarily of removing the source of contamination and then consuming a proper diet that can help the body to heal. A generally healthy diet can provide the material needed to absorb and eliminate lead in the body. Specific minerals and vitamins that tend to be beneficial include vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
The more intense lead poisoning treatment of chelating is used for severe cases where the level of lead in the blood is too high to be addressed with diet. Chelation therapy consists of the injection or oral administration of a drug that binds to metals in the body and then causes its elimination via urination. The drawback of the therapy is that while it is effective in removing lead, it also removes other metals that the body needs, such as iron.
If the patient does not respond to lead poisoning treatment, then it is advisable to make a thorough search of all possible sources of exposure, including home and work environments, in order to determine if the individual is still being exposed to lead. If the source of contamination is not found, a patient can sustain permanent damage to one or more body systems from contamination. Children are particularly vulnerable as the poisoning can cause developmental problems.
Lead poisoning is toxic to the body. If proper lead poisoning treatment is not conducted in a timely mater, contamination can cause permanent damage to organs such as the heart and kidneys, the nervous and reproductive systems, and the bones. Common symptoms of lead poisoning include headache, pains in the abdomen, confusion, irritability, and anemia. More serious cases of poisoning can cause coma, seizures, and death.