How do I Treat Zinc Poisoning?

Dee S.
Dee S.

Zinc is a blue-white metal that is widely used in many industrial materials, in some foods, in dental creams, and in vitamins or supplements. Although the human body needs at least 15 milligrams (.0005 oz.) of zinc to remain healthy, there are significant side effects if excessive zinc is consumed, including vomiting, seizures, jaundice and low blood pressure. A metallic taste in the mouth also can indicate zinc poisoning. A medical doctor should be consulted immediately to treat zinc poisoning. After consulting poison control or a medical professional, most people are given fluids, such as milk, to drink. In some cases, a doctor may recommend nasogastric suction, gastric lavage, antidotes, or a red blood cell transfusion.

Symptoms of zinc poisoning may include low blood pressure.
Symptoms of zinc poisoning may include low blood pressure.

Once suspected, it is important to treat zinc poisoning in the body immediately. Milk commonly is given to line the stomach and flush the zinc out of the body. The next step is often gastric lavage or gastric suction. With gastric lavage, a tube is placed through the nose or mouth and into the stomach and the contents are washed out of the stomach. With gastric suction, the stomach contents are sucked out.

Symptoms of zinc poisoning may include vomiting.
Symptoms of zinc poisoning may include vomiting.

Sometimes the steps needed to treat zinc poisoning are more aggressive. For example, if the person has chronic anemia from the poisoning, she may need a red blood cell transfusion. Sometimes serum copper is given to the person to help, since a copper deficiency often occurs in the person with the poisoning.

Milk may be offered to people who are suffering from zinc poisoning.
Milk may be offered to people who are suffering from zinc poisoning.

If a person were to regularly consume more than 40 milligrams (.001 oz.) of zinc, it could even be fatal within one week. There are some tell-tale signs that it is time to treat zinc poisoning in the body. For example, if a person experiences body pain, convulsions, chills, fever, an inability to urinate, a metallic taste in the mouth, rash, yellow skin or eyes, low blood pressure, or bloody diarrhea, the person may need to treat for zinc poisoning. If the poisoning is not treated, it can affect the kidneys and result in kidney failure.

Symptoms of zinc poisoning may include fever and chills.
Symptoms of zinc poisoning may include fever and chills.

In most cases, it is easy to avoid an overdose of zinc. Using common sense, such as taking the recommended amount of supplements and vitamins, will usually prevent zinc consumption from turning toxic. Some products, such as denture creams, were discovered to contain high amounts of zinc as well. Using those products daily, especially when combined with multivitamins containing zinc, may cause toxic amounts of the mineral to build-up in the body.

An inability to urinate may be a symptom of zinc poisoning.
An inability to urinate may be a symptom of zinc poisoning.

Since the discovery of zinc in denture creams, many lawsuits have been filed by people who needed to treat for zinc poisoning in their bodies. The plaintiffs claim that the manufacturers of the creams should have informed the users about the side effects of excessive use of the zinc-infused denture creams.

A doctor should be consulted immediately for zinc poisoning.
A doctor should be consulted immediately for zinc poisoning.
Denture creams can contain high amounts of zinc.
Denture creams can contain high amounts of zinc.
If a patient has chronic anemia from zinc poisoning, the patient may need a red blood cell transfusion.
If a patient has chronic anemia from zinc poisoning, the patient may need a red blood cell transfusion.
Dee S.
Dee S.

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

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Discussion Comments

anon325444

I used Fixodent for six or seven years. I didn't know anything about zinc until one day I saw it on the box and this ticked me off. I am 52 and having some problems, but not sure what causes it. Both hands hurt and are stiff in same places. I am having thyroid problems too. Can this be linked?

weird1

I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis too, then my kidneys failed on me last year and I had to wear diapers for a while. I was put on a pill for urinary frequency. Now I have started falling a lot and have numbness In my legs.

I got my dentures In 2005, and symptoms started in 2007 and I just recently started falling and having terrible numbness In my legs. I also have taken vitamins for years, and my vitamins contain zinc.

How can the FDA get away with poisoning people?

I just thank the Lord that I found out when I did.

I am 39 years old and will be 40 in July. Maybe I can reverse some of the damage that has been done.

anon212495

I used fixodent for 12 years, and now I suffer every day from ankylosing spondylitis that's been undiagnosed but they can't figure anything else as a reason.

I can't walk and sometimes I have to mega dose to sleep. I have stomach problems so bad I have to liquefy my food sometimes.

Fixodent still is selling and making zinc containing denture cream. However I'm trying poligrip non zinc. It works better and I pray every night my health comes back.

anon151855

My husband has used Fixodent and Poligrip since 1985. He now only in the past several years his health has gone down hill. He now has numbness in both legs and both hands and fall all the time. His balance is so bad most of the time I walk behind him. Hopefully some one will help. Like everyone else said, what has the FDA been doing, sleeping on the job, and getting paid by people like us

anon112327

I am 65 and for several years now I have felt sick to my stomach and a funny taste in my mouth. I have numbness in my toes on the right and hands. I have been using fixodent for over 10 years and only now found out that I could have zinc poisoning. This is so screwed up that the FDA didn't see this sooner.

anon83900

so what can i do at home to treat zinc poisoning?

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