How Do I Recognize the Symptoms of Arsenic Poisoning?

A woman sitting in a sauna, which is used to treat arsenic poisoning.
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  • Written By: Kaiser Castro
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 21 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Arsenic poisoning is a condition noted by unnatural levels of arsenic compounds in the human body. This compound interferes with cellular mitochondria, halting the production of essential enzymes that fuel a cell’s chemical energy. Over time, arsenic poisoning hinders normal cellular activity. Headaches, confusion, and convulsions are symptoms that are usually connected to arsenic poisoning.

Routes of exposure usually stem from water, air, or food sources. Individuals that carry out specific jobs or occupations are at an increased risk of being exposed to arsenic materials. Those who work in copper and lead manufacturing may be at risk of showcasing symptoms of arsenic poisoning. Workers who deal directly with pesticides are also at a risk of being exposed to arsenic compounds.

Diagnosis of arsenic poisoning tends to be particularly difficult when compared to similar ailments, especially when it pertains to low doses of the inorganic compound. A number of individuals will develop different sets of symptoms, which is largely dependent on their unique immune systems. Initially, arsenic poisoning is difficult to pin down because the compound dissipates within a couple of days. The remaining compound is then stored in the body's tissue, causing damage and manifesting itself as symptoms of arsenic poisoning. Some people may develop different types of cancers or cardiovascular diseases as well.

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Swallowing or breathing arsenic compounds may cause nausea, vomiting, and cramps. Diminished levels of white blood cells in the body may cause fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, and may lead to damage of the blood vessels causing unsightly bruising. Many individuals who are going through symptoms of arsenic poisoning may also experience a sensation of pins and needles in the body's extremities.

Extended exposure to the inorganic compounds like arsenic could cause extreme symptoms that may be life threatening. Hyperpigmentation, anemia, and hyperkeratosis have been linked to continuous exposure to large amounts of the compound. Exposure may also result in neuropathy symptoms, which manifest in the loss of movement and functions of specific nerves in the body.

Early treatment and detection of symptoms of arsenic poisoning is important to lower the risk of developing a life-threatening symptom. The longer the arsenic poisoning festers in the body, the more chance it has of damaging essential nerve connections. If you suspect arsenic poisoning, make sure to visit a doctor and inquire about oxygen therapy, saunas, and other methods of drawing out pathogens and poisons out of the body, as they are usually used to counteract arsenic poisoning.

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Discuss this Article

wavy58
Post 1

I have watched more than one documentary on television about wives who are poisoning their husbands. They nearly got away with it, too, because they were attempting it slowly over time.

One lady's husband kept being hospitalized because of severe cramps and vomiting. His health seemed to be dwindling away, but the doctors did not know why.

One nurse saw the lady putting something in her husband's food while he wasn't looking. Because of her suspicions, she tested his urine for arsenic. His wife got arrested after the test confirmed its presence.

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