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LEAD POISONING: AN OVERLOOKED DIAGNOSIS IN CLINICAL PRACTICE

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Author(s): Amol S. Kadu | Amit R. Nampalliwar | Anurag G. Pandey | Anita Sharma | Vinod kumar Gothecha

Journal: International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy
ISSN 2229-3566

Volume: 3;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 639;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: lead | multitargated toxicant | lead poisoning | misdiagnosis | occupational history.

ABSTRACT
Lead is a natural element that is persistent in water and soil. Human exposure occurs primarily through diet, air, drinking water and ingestion of paint chips. Absorption is increased in persons suffering from iron and calcium deficiency. Lead is a multitargated toxicant, causing effects in the gastrointestinal tract, hematopoietic system, cardiovascular system, central and peripheral nervous systems, kidneys, immune system, and reproductive system. Lead poisoning is a common environmental health hazard in developing countries. Incidences of lead poisoning are seen in all age groups, especially in children’s and adults working in lead-based industries, where many workers still remain unaware of the adverse effects of exposure to unusually high levels of lead. Unfamiliarity with the symptoms of lead poisoning results in miss or delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment, and patients’ continuous exposure in the work environment. Lead intoxication symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting etc make lead poisoning an important diagnosis to be differentiated from many gastrointestinal and surgical diseases. For diagnosis of lead poisoning, paying attention to a good occupational history, detail knowledge about lead poisoning symptoms and its sources are essential. For this study, relevant literature was searched, retrieved and synopsized with respect to its sources. Lead poisoning symptoms and few case studies of lead poisoning which initially was misdiagnosed hence our study will be helpful to front-line practitioners and family physicians. They can make great contributions to the discovery of occupational diseases in the future.

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