1 year update – progress, disappointment and hope

1-yrI‘ve completed a year of chelation now with 23 rounds and 97 chelation days under my belt and it’s time to review my progress. Because I have been following Fred’s methylation protocol and taking iodine during most of this year, I can only lump together everything in this update.

First the good news – I experienced some wonderful improvements during the first six months of treatment and remain hopeful for a big breakthrough sometime in 2014 – one year follow-up hair test results show huge gains.

Now the bad news – in the last six months, my adrenal situation has worsened and symptom improvements have been subtle. Maybe I’m in the ‘stall phase’ or maybe I just need more hydrocortisone. Adrenal difficulties notwithstanding, my tolerance of chelators and methylation supplements have increased. I’m extremely pleased to be handling 4 mg of folate per day, almost 5 g of omega-3 and about 3 g of choline – all supplements which posed tremendous obstacles for me in the past.

As for the chelators, my reactions have become muted even as I increase the doses and even when I’ve been overwhelmed by a dose increase. The chelators can give me mild hell now instead of the riproaring sort I experienced early on. I’m hoping that by increasing my hydrocortisone dose from 22.5 mg to 25 mg I can get back to equilibrium. If that doesn’t work, I’m thinking of trying out stress dosing increases for chelation rounds only. Theoretically it makes perfect sense to me although I’ve never heard of anyone doing it.

Summarizing and writing a title for this update, is extremely difficult because of the complexity and roller coaster nature of this business. Today is my redistribution day and I’m more inclined to the disappointment. Tomorrow, I may be more inclined to the path of hope and excitement. Today I will say that my biggest disappointment is that my sleep has not improved enough to write about it (aside from a moderate improvement in quality).

I’ll go through each symptom here and discuss what’s changed:

  • Metabolic disruption leading to constant hunger: 80% improved, my biggest win so far. I no longer eat between meals and no longer take great care to take food with me everywhere I go. Still react badly to sugar and carbs and still eat pure paleo with almost no carbs, no caffeine, no alcohol etc.
  • Metabolic disruption leading to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep: no change – I still eat a meal at bedtime and still have difficulty sleeping more than three hours in the first stretch and two hours in the second.
  • Fatigue: 15-20% improved on average. This is very difficult (nearly impossible) to estimate because there are so many exceptions with worsened adrenal situation and worsened exercise tolerance. I have many days when my fatigue is worse because of chelation or methylation changes.
  • Cognitive impairment / brainfog: 15% improved – also nearly impossible to estimate because there are so many days when I’m worse than before because of chelation or methylation increases.
  • Muscle tightness leading to tendinitis and repetitive strain injury: 20% improved – I’m pulling muscles less frequently and needing to do less therapy.
  • Temperature related itching which disrupts sleep: unknown, it’s wintertime.
  • Exercise intolerance: 50-80% worse, probably due to adrenal difficulties. I have stopped exercising during chelation altogether.
  • Low blood pressure: no change.
  • Heat intolerance: unknown, it’s wintertime.
  • Cold intolerance: 15% better – I’m often warm in the evenings now, especially hands and feet.
  • Edema: no change. It worsens when I take hydrocortisone and I have been increasing my dose.
  • Alcohol intolerance: unknown.
  • Positional sleep apnea: no change.
  • Osteoporosis: unknown.
  • Mold allergy: unknown.
  • Mild chemical sensitivity: unknown.
  • Mild anxiety: 50% improved? This is a wild guess. My episodes of anxiety were infrequent and very situational. For a couple years it looked like my business was in a precarious position. But, the economic situation has been improving, so hard to know where I stand with anxiety.
  • Emotional sensitivity: 30% improved – I feel more emotionally stable without a doubt.
  • Ears ring when it’s too loud in the room: 20% improved – I still cringe in a very loud place and want to escape, but without the ringing.
  • Mild tinnitus: unchanged – but noticeably worse from time to time during chelation.
  • Low body temperature: fixed – body temperature is now normal although I still have cold hands and feet.
  • Low cholesterol: unknown.
  • Low vitamin D & migraines from supplementation or sunshine: unknown, it’s winter and I’m taking a minimal amount of vitamin D.
  • Light sensitivity: unchanged.
  • Dimmed vision: unchanged except for some brief moments now and then when the lights seem to get brighter.
  • Omega-3 intolerance: fixed – I’m up to 4.9 g of omega-3 per day and continue to increase slowly.

What’s next? I’ve ordered DMPS from living network and am looking forward to trying it out (by itself first and later with ALA) and some smaller doses of ALA that I can use to smooth out my increases. Will try to stick with one or two weeks of chelation per month. Next week I will probably try out a B12 increase during my downtime. I also have on my list of things to try at some point, Dr. Cutler’s NAC-glutamine-glycine recipe.

My notes from round 23:

Round 23 (3.5 days) –  37.5 mg ALA and 50 mg DMSA every two hours, total chelation days to date: 97

  • Wednesday, February 26: one short lived sharp pain in the side in the morning, good energy and some mild euphoria in the morning (even felt briefly grateful for the “privilege” of experiencing this horrible illness), deep 20 minute nap after lunch, slow and dumb as usual all afternoon, no headache at all in the evening, very dry swollen lips in the evening
  • Thursday, February 27: touch of depression (maybe circumstantial), confusion/brain fog started earlier today, maybe around 11 AM…, difficulty working, hands sore, very warm in the evening and slept poorly waking before the alarms (probably methylation).
  • Friday, February 28: brain fog starting even earlier today, maybe from a stressful morning, stayed active though, 45 minute nap after lunch, better than yesterday in the afternoon as a result, hands sore and tight, fatigued and feeling worn down in the evening, ears ringing a little, overemotional, wiped out in the evening, warm in the evening, very dry lips, less cramping, bloated, dull headache at bedtime of the sort I usually get when increasing methylation and being very active at the same time.
  • Saturday, March 1: more of the same, brain fog starting early, 20 minute nap after lunch, rough shape in the afternoon, strong fatigue in the evening, overemotional, dry lips, rain fog, last dose of 5 PM.
  • Sunday, March 2: redistribution day – slow and fatigued but functional.
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  • avatar

    MatthewGrace November 14, 2015, 3:58 am

    Hey Eric, I was wondering if you ever received your DMPS from that source you mentioned, the Living Network (now Living Supplements). I want to order the same, but I’m afraid of the purity, since there is a “water treatment chemical” version that Andy scoffed at using in one of his many Yahoo posts (http://onibasu.com/archives/am/647.html). I emailed LN asking if they could back the quality of it, but have not heard back.

    Have you or anyone you know regularly used this product and lived to tell the tale, lol?

    • avatar

      Eric November 15, 2015, 7:24 pm

      hi Matthew, I’ve never heard anything but good things about living network, but if you’re really concerned you can check with the Yahoo ffrequent dose chelation group, they will know for sure.

      I used the product and I was very sensitive to it. have heard it’s not a rare thing for people to have bad reactions to it.

  • avatar

    Alex October 19, 2015, 8:05 am

    Richard I have just had a read up on the Chelorex website, there is some alarming stuff that really worries me, the product has ALA in it and they say it is safe to take with Amalgams in this is totally wrong I did this and it made me really sick, second thing is they don’t talk about quantities in their blend of things like ALA, you really need to know how much of this stuff your taking. I would be interested in their dosing recommendations, e.g. how many times a day and night time doses, if it is more than 3 hours between doses then they are seriously going to make people feel a lot sicker rather than better, I have to dose ALA at no more than 2 hours 20 day and night for the best results.

    Its a pretty alarming product with what I have experienced with chelators.

    atb

    alex

  • avatar

    Alex October 19, 2015, 6:24 am

    Richard, a few comments on your post,

    1. Not sure DMSA is toxic but it can cause quite bad reactions, most of these are yeast related and can be unbearable, I gave up taking it as it was too hard on me. Look at DMPS, it might work for you in lowering the body burden it also has a longer half life so longer rounds are much easier than with other chelators.

    2. Steer well clear of Chelorex, the main ingredient made me really sick, its half life is unknown and will stir up mercury in an uncontrolled fashion, I have mad pretty much every mistake with chelation and really don’t want others to do the same, there are plenty of people that got sick with chlorella.

    3. Testing for progress is near pointless and will show in a lot of cases more rather than less mercury whilst you have been chelating, progress should be measured by how you feel and done say one a year with the “well this time last year I felt like this and this year I have improved because I can now do x”.

    ALA is the only chelator that will solve your mercury problems fully, all the others will just clear body burden down, ALA will go into the brain and clear it from there, 5 years and 650+ days of chelating gives me a pretty good insight into what works and what does not.

    MTHFR, this is complex and different for everyone, but the deal here is this take metafolate, I don’t know which country you live in I am in the UK, I take liquid vitamins which gives me very good control over dosages, if your uk based look into a company called metabolics they are fantastic, be careful with B12, for some (like me) MB-12 has to be taken in very small dosages, AD-12 I can take in any quantity, getting this right for you will be the biggest game changer in how you feel, B1, B3, B6, B9, B12 are all very important to me, getting those combos just right is the difference between functioning near normal or feeling rubbish.

    Andy Cutler knows what he is taking about he has saved my life for sure, he may not be 100% right on some things but his knowledge is unbelievably good, he really cares about getting people better, re-reading his books and I always find something new that helps me progress more.

    I have several years of chelation left, please don’t leave it up to the body to be vitamin and mineral correct and for it to sort out your problems, chelation whilst it is the toughest thing I have ever done is the only thing that will get rid of the metal, our bodies will be fighting issues like this for the rest of our lives unfortunately but it does get better.

    atb

    alex

  • avatar

    Richard October 14, 2015, 2:30 am

    Good site for information – I had my 10 amalgams removed at the start of last year and so figure that 50 years of poison in my body is going to take a while to remove. I’ve read Andy Cutler’s protocol which I’ve steered away from because DMSA is also a toxic material that’s going to accumulate, maybe the lesser of two evils. I spent four months on Chelorex this year to see my lead and mercury levels marginally decline which was disappointing. I had a follow up test for my homocysteine levels that have declined in 18 months from 14, to 12, to 8.6, so it’s going in the right direction. I also was tested for MTHFR and am compound heterozygous, both genes impacted by one parent’s mis-transcription. This means my methylation and detoxification pathways are only operating at 50%, this means bad stuff is going in faster than it’s coming out, obviously worsens with age as your system slows up. My preference is to allow my body, which is a wonderful mechanism, to detox itself by creating the right natural environment. In this regard I’m using ‘The H Factor’ written by Dr James Braly which essentially provides a guide for getting your body to operate at better than 50% in methylating. I read the rule of thumb is that for every decade you’re poisoned assume it will take one year of attention to regain your health. It seems to me many people push the process, go down a blind alley or take material that reinforces toxification. Science is pretty light on, on the compatibility of many drugs taken together. If those people who mistreat their bodies can still have excellent health then they must be in the crowd that have fantastic methylation pathways. I’ve sent my details off to 23andMe to get a full scan of my gene profile. It will be interesting to see what I’m pre-disposed to and what drugs I’m susceptible to – as the Roman’s said “tolle causum”.

    • avatar

      Eric October 18, 2015, 3:41 pm

      Thanks for commenting Richard. I guess it’s just my luck that I’m going to need two years for every decade… I’ve never heard anything about DMSA accumulating in your body. Where did you come across that?

  • avatar

    Cure4Sure23 June 1, 2015, 11:49 am

    Holy Crap!!!.,. “Metabolic disruption leading to constant hunger” “Metabolic disruption leading to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep” I thought I was the only person on the planet with these problems.

    I’m familiar with the other mercury toxicity symptoms, which I have, but those are new.

    Eric, you may also want to consider looking at Chris Shade’s work. He appears to be extremely intelligent and very well versed in Hg toxicity due to his academic background. He has developed some new methods of testing for Hg toxicity. Just from watching his you tube videos I would guess that your liver/kidneys aren’t processing the mercury correctly (hence the high Hg levels in your blood) and you have to be a bit careful with your approach to chelation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gWpV266Ydk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTIbnGMIHmE

    I’m having some symptoms that are getting progressively worse and I’m starting my research and detox efforts. Thanks for your post it has definitely contributed to my knowledge on the subject.

    I have no financial interest in Chris Shade’s company nor do I even know the guy. However, of the people I’ve researched so far, I just think he has one of the best grasps of the mercury landscape and some of the newest testing methodologies.

    –Cure4Sure.

    • avatar

      Eric June 8, 2015, 8:23 am

      I’ve been looking at Chris Shade’s stuff for a long time, considering it…

  • avatar

    qstroman February 16, 2015, 8:15 pm

    Eric do you know anything about Bismuth levels? Mine was about (196,000 mcg/g Creatinine) which is about 13,000 times higher then the reference value but no one including the doctor and google can tell me if this is a problem or not. Bismuth is used in Bismuth is used in Pepto Bismol and is GRAS. Acute Bismuth poisoning can cause problems and their is at least one study documented. Other then that I can find nothing. Do you know anything about High Bismuth Levels?

    I have just discovered sweating is a seemingly great method of riding the body of heavy metals. I wish I knew that years ago when I started this journey because it is so easy to do. Have you ever tried this method and if yes what were you results?

    Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat, Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012, Margaret E. Sears Kathleen J. Kerr and Riina I. Bray, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Canada.

    • avatar

      Eric February 21, 2015, 3:57 pm

      I looked up bismuth in Dr. Cutler’s book and there is only a very short section. Highlights include: can be in women’s makeup, can be chelated using DMSA every four hours or DMPS every eight hours for several days in a row, every couple of weeks for a few months. If there are still some neurological intellectual or psychiatric issues than chelate using ALA along with the DMPS or DMSA. Alkalinize the urine to pH 7 or greater while chelating for bismuth for at least the first several months.

      Sweating is also very good for copper excretion but I have extreme exercise and heat intolerance, so it’s not an option for me.

  • avatar

    qstroman February 16, 2015, 8:13 pm

    Eric you have listed a number of the most common blamed sources of heavy metal contamination; Fish, mercury fillings and vaccinations but have missed the most obvious ones; Food, water, cosmetics and detergents. Please be aware that heavy metals are in everything we eat and drink and every cosmetic and detergent that use and this is what most people don’t realise. If you are an industry insider you will instantly recognise what I am saying is true, if you are not then you need to do some research.

    Basically every food and additive and cosmetic and detergent is tested for purity and the analysis report is provided during wholesale in order to comply with the law meet certain quality standards. These kind of reports are very standard and you can easily see for yourself heavy metal contamination in just about everything. In fact it is so common that the government allows it. Yes they allow it because the publish specifications for exactly how much is acceptable and how much isn’t. Below a certain level is it is considered legal to sell you heavy metal contaminated products. Yes these produces are safe because the heavy metal levels are very low but what happens when with chronic low level exposure? And what happens when greedy suppliers fake safety certificates. What happens when their is contamination but an old certificate accidentally or purposely used? Just google heavy metal contamination of rice from Taiwan and China. What I am saying is easily verifiable. What most people don’t realise is that many peoples heavy metals are due to chronic exposure from the food and water supply rather then acute contact. We could debate the source of contamination for years but remember all it takes is one product from China to be contaminated and like your favourite product you are going to be contaminated.

    Side Note: The earliest evidence we have of mercury use in an amalgam filling is from the Chinese Ming dynasty 1368-1644 and the earliest use of an amalgam fillings is the Tang dynasty 618–907 who used tin and silver. Since around 1840 in the USA the use of dental amalgam was declared to be malpractice due to concerns about mercury safety. Mercury safety in fillings has been a debate ever since then. The FDA declared amalgam fillings safe in 1976. In 1984 human autopsy studies showed that the amount of mercury found in brain and kidney tissue was directly related to the amount of mercury amalgam fillings in the teeth and that was enough evidence for me but not for the FDA. Once again in 1991, and today, the year 2015, the FDA inanely continues to declare the safety of mercury amalgam fillings. The reason for this is probably the most common reason for continued FDA corruption, financial benefit for those selling amalgam fillings who have most likely interfered and influenced FDA rulings.

    • avatar

      Eric February 21, 2015, 3:52 pm

      This is true, I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to where my Mercury or lead came from because I don’t think it really matters now. And yes I agree that these contaminants are probably everywhere. That’s why my family spends a lot of money trying to reduce exposure. When you’re ill, you do everything you can even when it feels hopeless!

  • avatar

    Helen September 27, 2014, 7:15 am

    Hi Eric. In your “about” section you say, “I spent 18 months chelating the metals out and starting up methylation but stopped when I felt myself circling the drain.” Have you restarted methylation? I see you haven’t crossed those supplements off your list.

    • avatar

      Eric September 29, 2014, 3:25 pm

      I never stopped methylation, just chelation. I’m pretty sure that the methylation support is detoxing me, more of a slow and steady process…

  • avatar

    Troy September 3, 2014, 9:08 am

    I’m curious what you give the credit for improvement of your “Metabolic disruption leading to constant hunger” to? Chelation or the methylation protocol?

    This is a huge problem for me. No matter what diet I follow, I crash repeatedly (and spectacularly) throughout the day unless I eat almost constantly.

    • avatar

      Eric September 3, 2014, 4:51 pm

      Troy, you are the first person I have ever encountered who shares this problem with me. I also tried many many diets. What works best is high-fat. I don’t know whether it was chelation or methylation but I am still a long way from being recovered. My best guess now is that the problem is my liver not producing glycogen. Have you seen my most recent post about the liver?

      • avatar

        Troy September 3, 2014, 10:27 pm

        My gut doesn’t seem to like a high fat diet at all (despite taking Creon enzymes). I’m relying on protein at the moment, but it’s only minimally effective in staving on the crashes.

        I’ve also suspected problems with glycogen synthesis. I haven’t seen your liver post, I’ll take a peek 🙂

    • avatar

      Alex September 3, 2014, 5:34 pm

      I had the same food issues, I needed to eat every couple of hours, for me this was linked directly to low cortisol, my scores were a third of what they should be at 8am, HC at the max dose (10mg + 5mg + 5mg) as completely cleared this problem for me.

      I gravity towards a high fat diet and my doctor said listen to my body so I have a high fat diet, this is a problem for me as I need to lose a lot of fat because my last fat biopsy showed very high levels of toxins in my fat, so need to burn it off, I take 3gm of Garcinia Cambogia per day (3x 1gm) and this is starting to reduce my fat content without changing my diet.

      • avatar

        Eric September 3, 2014, 5:50 pm

        glad you found the solution Alex – HC helps me somewhat but not sufficiently. I take 30 mg already…

      • avatar

        Troy September 3, 2014, 10:32 pm

        My cortisol levels aren’t really that bad and HC therapy doesn’t really do anything for me.

        A while back I had a 2 1/2 hour glucose tolerance test done with insulin and cortisol draws at 30 minute intervals and it showed reactive hypoglycemia (like I didn’t already know … :-)), but also showed normal cortisol release, but the cortisol failed to bring glucose levels back up. The doctor said this was typically indicative of glycogen store depletion.

        • avatar

          Eric September 3, 2014, 10:34 pm

          very interesting! sounds like you may have liver trouble too… do you have cognitive impairment during your crashes?

          • avatar

            Troy September 3, 2014, 10:53 pm

            Interestingly early on when I got sick I was told I had Gilbert’s Syndrome (only total bilirubin was elevated at the time). As time progressed, conjugated bilirubin also became elevated, the doctor mentioned that this was “more” than just Gilbert’s Syndrome, but didn’t know what.

            I’ve had virtually no bile flow for years now and not had much success stimulating it.

            • avatar

              Eric September 3, 2014, 11:19 pm

              If I understand everything correctly, your liver should be very toxic now as I believe mine is. During the preflush week, we take malic acid and/or herbs like piedra chanca which soften the liver stones allowing more bile to flow, which should make us feel unwell as a result of the detoxification rate increasing (through the extra bile flow).

              For the past day or two (after starting pre-flush) I’ve been experiencing more tinnitus which also happens when I chelate. It’s one of the most reliable symptoms for me.

  • avatar

    Cynthia May 17, 2014, 7:17 pm

    Sorry for the many posts. I found the link that references earlier start time to the T3CM, http://recoveringwitht3.com/blog/circadian-dose-timing-where-significant-partial-adrenal-insufficiency-exists.

  • avatar

    Susie Ramsey May 15, 2014, 2:19 am

    Have you tried L-Ornithine to help with sleep? It clears out ammonia build up in the digestive tract, which can be a big reason why people have sleep problems. I have had problems sleeping for 15+ years. I have recently been taking 3000 mg of L-Ornitine before bed and have never slept so well in my life. I have very similar genetic mutations that you do.

    • avatar

      Eric May 15, 2014, 9:27 pm

      Thank you Susie, I will give it a try – I looked it up and read this stuff. I suspect it won’t help much since I take a lot of arginine which is its precursor… But it’s always worth a try!

  • avatar

    Eric May 10, 2014, 4:53 pm

    Just posted a side-by-side comparison of before and after hair test results, check it out!
    http://howirecovered.wpengine.com/before-and-after-one-year-of-chelation-toxic-and-essential-elements/

  • avatar

    RosieBee May 6, 2014, 9:07 am

    Hi Eric, I have not read all the comments, but I can see you are considering T3. Do you know about Paul Robinson’s Circadian Protocol for taking T3 to help support adrenal function?

    It entails taking the T3 at a time of day when the adrenals most need it to make the cortisol for that day – namely about 3 to 4am. If you are already doing the Cutler Protocol you will be waking up through the night anyway.

    • avatar

      Eric May 7, 2014, 12:24 am

      never heard of it Rosie, but I going to look it up and very likely to try it out! thank you for sharing this 🙂

      • avatar

        RosieBee May 13, 2014, 4:03 pm

        Paul is an engineer from UK that struggled with hypothyroidism and adrenal problems. He did a lot of reading around and experimented a bit with his medicine and found taking his T3 at a time when the body was needing it for cortisol production helped raise his levels of cortisol and benefited his adrenal and thyroid symptoms. You can read some here:
        http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/t3-circadian-method-for-adrenals/

        Here is a link to his blog. http://recoveringwitht3.com/blog

        He has written a useful book, but you can get the main points from his blog. He gives direct support and advice on the facebook group Recovering With T3. I found it a very helpful way of getting to grips with the very distressing adrenal symptoms. Good luck.

        • avatar

          Eric May 13, 2014, 4:11 pm

          thank you Rosie! I did try the T3 (a very small dose) in the middle of the night and it didn’t go well. I’m thinking I should try at bedtime also before giving up…

  • avatar

    Expat Viking March 9, 2014, 3:11 pm

    Eric,
    This is off topic but may be of interest to you. As part of my digging regarding wight loss, I have read a bit about leptin and now I just read something on that topic that made me think about your issues:
    “People who have sleep apnea, are generally obese.  This is true in 80-90% of cases.  After reading the science above, it should be clear to you why this happens now.  The 10-20 % of sleep apnea patients who are not obese get it because of high inflammatory cytokines that occurs  from other etiologies.  Remember that obesity cause inflammation itself, and this is why one becomes leptin resistance most of the time.  This is why I use HS -CRP as a major clinical marker of a person inflammatory status.  The underlying cause of sleep apnea is usually due to high levels of IL-6 and TNF alpha.  The clinical measures one can use to assess this is a history from the patient of insomnia with daytime sleepiness and a general lack of energy.  They also will report significant muscle pain with exercise.  Often they have low CO2 on chemistry testing as well.  Often when the sleep disturbance is the most prominent physical finding or complaint I will check a DHEA level.  DHEA levels correspond very well with high IL-6 levels (98% correlation).  Testing for IL-6 is very expensive and therefore is not commonly done.  DHEA levels are very commonly done and much cheaper to do so that is why I lean on this test more than a formal cytokine panel.
    Leptin resistant patients never get their pulsatile GH release at 12-2 AM, and as a result of this lack of growth hormone release,  autophagic repair is poor in them.  This means that they cannot recycle and repair their normal cellular damage from the daytime and this further degrades their ability to be energy efficient at their mitochondrial level.  When this occurs chronically,  poor autophagy can eventually cause neolithic diseases we commonly see in aging.  These patients suffer more chronic diseases and age faster because their sleep is uncoupled from their metabolism.  This is why sleep is restorative, and why evolution seems to have coupled sleep and energy metabolism.  If you remember from theGnoll’s post I spoke about how magnesium is a co-factor in ATP production at the mitochondria.  In people who have poor sleep or poor metabolisms (think Sleep Apnea or T2D) they also have other sleep disorders that are also tied to lack of magnesium due to the loss of intracellular water.  One great example is the “restless leg syndrome.”  Restless leg syndrome is on a “disease continuum” with sleep apnea and just represents an earlier symptom of a brewing energy inefficiency problem.  When a patient presents with these signs in their history,  it is a tip off to the physician that there is a significant underlying metabolic disorder ongoing at the mitochondrial level.”
    http://jackkruse.com/how-does-the-leptin-rx-work/
    That article is meant to give the reasons behind a protocol called the leptin reset:
    http://jackkruse.com/my-leptin-prescription/
    I don’t really know what to make of Jack Kruse. He seems very well read but some of his writings seem quite “far out”. In any case, it is interesting and he may be on to something. As always, everybody has to make up their own minds but I am experimenting with his leptin reset program.

    • avatar

      Eric March 16, 2014, 3:54 pm

      Hi Viking, thanks for the info and sorry about the long delay in answering. I spent the last couple weeks working day and night including weekends to meet some big deadlines. I felt very ill at the end as I really don’t tolerate intense brainwork (and stress) and what for other people is a normal workday. Am hoping my lack of tolerance is related to healing process that requires bandwidth.

      Anyway, I read the protocol and it all looks good to me. I also try not to snack now after spending the last seven years eating constantly. I’ve also been doing potato starch since you first mentioned it here. Took me a few days to adjust. At first, I included green bananas and felt really awful. As soon as I stopped the bananas, I was 80% better and in two more days pretty much back to normal. Don’t think I feel any substantial benefit, but I like the theory and will keep going. Might also try buying some different probiotics to mix with the PS.

      I do think my sleep apnea is related to inflammation and extra weight (even though I’m only about 10 pounds overweight). Going to try a little T3 and I’m also pretty confident I need to chelate a lot more. Just about to start my first trial of DMPS in one hour:)

      I’ve increased my hydrocortisone up to 25 mg per day but still have a lot of fatigue which is a downer, but I’m grateful that I still have a lot of things left to try, and a lot of chelation to do!

      • avatar

        Brandon March 18, 2014, 3:31 pm

        Hi Eric. Awesome site! Ive had CFS for a year now and have been bedridden for months. Im a young kid, very athletic, and my health has just taken a nosedive for no apparent reason. I just discovered the house I was living in when i got sick is infested with black mold. I havent lived there in 6 months and feel no better so would this rule out mold as being an issue? Any tests you recommend I get done? 

    • avatar

      Eric March 17, 2014, 1:42 am

      By the way Viking, I’ve watched four or five of the Band of Brothers episodes now, great show – thanks for the suggestion!

    • avatar

      Helen October 21, 2014, 11:25 pm

      Hi Eric, Hi Viking,
      I’ve been reading Jack Kruse’s website for about a year now and he is really interesting though his writing style is quite dense. If I may distill some of his protocol that may be relevant for you: Check the EMF pollution in your environment (wireless and dirty electricity).
      No blue light after 7! No looking at screens. (yup – hard to do!) Screw with melatonin production. If you must, wear orange glasses. Best to you!
      Helen

      • avatar

        Eric October 22, 2014, 9:32 pm

        thanks Helen, I’ve done my best in the bedroom where EMF is concerned, but I work in front of two monitors all day… hmmm maybe I should get filters for them! I think I have been on the verge of doing that many times and never pulled the trigger. Maybe today’s the day. Anyway I will make a note here.

  • avatar

    Kelly March 6, 2014, 4:43 pm

    …many thyroid experts believe that patients feel best when Free T3 levels are in the top half of the normal range, and even at the 75th percentile and above of the range.  This article does a great job explaining interpretation of free T3: http://hypothyroidmom.com/the-thyroid-worlds-queen-t3/ You may want to also check out the work of Ray Peat. He believes everyone, to some degree is hypo t. Maybe you would benefit from just a nibble of Cytomel to start. Many Ray Peat members start with this. They obtain Cytomel from http://mymexicandrugstore.org/common/home and are quite happy. 

    • avatar

      Eric March 6, 2014, 10:42 pm

      Awesome, thank you Kelly, order placed!!

      • avatar

        Kellyt March 7, 2014, 12:00 am

        No Problem Eric. I hope it helps you. My T3 levels are not at the top half of the normal range either. However, my doc believes they are just fine. I don’t have the energy to fight the fight with an endo to treat me solely based on symptoms. Hashi’s has been ruled out. I am contemplating taking a tiny amount of Cynomel. Maybe adding in some Cynoplus later. Not sure yet. Ray Peat has some really good info on thyroid function. I do not subscribe to his dietary approach. I am more Paleoish also. I do try to keep my carbs on the higher side (150-200g) because it really messes with my thyroid when I drop too low. I have jumped on the resistant starch bandwagon. I take 4TBS/day of Bob’s Red Mill PS paired with SBO probiotics. I am having wonderful results! I have huge respect for Richard Nikoley over at Free the Animal. Wonderful work he and Tim are doing. He is worth checking out!

        • avatar

          Eric March 7, 2014, 2:05 am

          He he, it’s funny you guys are ganging up on me with the thyroid and resistant starch stuff. I’m glad:)

          I also don’t have the energy to fight the docs.

          The first two days that I did resistant starch I was using potato starch and green bananas and I had a lot of lightheadedness around mealtimes, felt awful. The next two days I quit the banana but stuck with potato starch and feel much better! I might go up to 3 tablespoons today… I did like Free the Animal 🙂

  • avatar

    Mary March 5, 2014, 4:04 am

    Eric and David, if you have (or find later) a source for DMPS that you are fairly happy with, I’d love to know!  If there’s a way to send me an email and you are willing, please do….DMPS is less likely to aggravate candida problems, which I struggle with when using DMSA on the Cutler protocol.  But DMPS is difficult to find!

    • avatar

      Eric March 5, 2014, 3:09 pm

      Mary, I ordered my first batch from living network but haven’t received it yet…

  • avatar

    David Hammond March 3, 2014, 3:26 pm

    Hi Eric,
    it will be interesting to see how DMPS affects you – it’s an order of magnitude more effective than DMSA for chelating mercury. Hopefully it will reduce symptoms during chelation.
    Do you get dizzy on standing? What are your temperatures like throughout the day?  Heart rate?
    What are your thyroid hormone levels like? Ever checked RT3? Iron studies?
    Sleep and muscle tension remain intermittent problems for me. I have ordered phenibut, a GABA derivative to see if it improves these. Mercury affects the uptake of GABA  (which is inhibitory) leading to increased muscle tone. In spite of exercises and stretches, my shoulder and neck muscles often tighten up drastically during sleep.
    Keep on pluggin away,
    Dave.
     

    • avatar

      Eric March 3, 2014, 4:46 pm

      Thanks David, I appreciate your encouragement and example!

      I finished reading your book yesterday and hope to write about it soon. Decided to try DMPS based on what I read there:)

      I don’t get dizzy on standing (although my wife does). I think my body temperature starts out around 36.5°C in the morning and rises to 37°C in the afternoon. It used to be low but normalized with high-dose iodine. Average heart rate is 70 and bp averages 109/68. Iron and thyroid numbers have always been in range, at last check TSH: 2.18, Free T3: 2.9 and Free T4: 1.27 – don’t recall ever seeing an RT3 number.

      Would love to hear how phenibut works for you…

      • avatar

        David Hammond March 4, 2014, 1:14 am

        The reason I ask about RT3 is that many people who are chronically ill will have problems with RT3. You don’t mention ranges for thyroid hormones – FT4 should be in top half of the range and FT3 in the top one-third. John Mac has had ongoing problems with fatigue and anxiety which have been resolved with T3 treatment. Ferritin should be 70 – 90, TIBC in the low part of the range and saturation 25-45%. Inflammation can artificially increase ferritin numbers so the others need to be in range to confirm that ferritin is OK.

        • avatar

          Eric March 4, 2014, 4:08 pm

          Both my FT3 and FT4 are just a little bit below midpoint in the range. But, when I tried one capsule of the Raw Thyroid supplement, I felt like garbage right away, strong increase in fatigue… presumably because my adrenals are weak. Any ideas?

          Haven’t had my iron measured since 2006 when it was 144 ng/mL. I really wanted to avoid testing and doctors.

          • avatar

            David Hammond March 4, 2014, 9:16 pm

            Raw thyroid supplement contains both T4 and T3 (80%T4). T4 is normally converted to T3 and RT4, but chronic illness, low ferritin and other factors result in too much RT3 being formed.  Excess RT3 blocks the thyroid hormone receptors and any further T4 intake will pool in the blood and make you feel worse. Sufficient levels of cortisol are  also needed for thyroid hormones to enter cells. The treatment is to take a T3 only medication such as Cytomel (generally for about 3 months) which will clear out the T3 receptors. Correct ferritin levels are also important for thyroid hormone utilization.

            So your FT4 is a bit low, and FT3 definitely low. In addition, 70 to 80% of T4 to T3 conversion occurs within the cells (so blood tests are limited in value) and mercury decreases the conversion as it depletes the selenium necessary for the deiodinase enzymes which convert T4 to T3. Are you taking any selenium?

            • avatar

              Eric March 4, 2014, 11:06 pm

              About 10 years ago when I tried armour, I got overstimulated and extra fatigued at the same time so my doctor gave me cytomel. I remember feeling a little different, but nothing dramatic so I quit, probably after a couple weeks. I’m guessing I didn’t wait long enough…

              I am taking 200 mcg selenium.

              I can get basic blood testing done for free without actually going in to see my doctor. But if I asked for Cytomel, they would refer me to an endocrinologist which takes three months to get an appointment and then you want to cry (or worse) when you actually talk to them. I don’t see any low dose Cytomel on inhousepharmacy.biz – what would you do?

              Thanks David!

  • avatar

    Stonecutter March 3, 2014, 2:29 am

    Great to hear about the wins, and I would say given where you were starting from, hope tips the scales from my perspective. You took not one but TWO giant leaps of faith and experimentation into AC chelation and also methylation. In parallel, which I have to say makes me agog to contemplate from my own standpoint. You’re an inspiration and thank you for being such a meticulous recorder not only of your own progress but sharing stories from others on the same path. Whether you are in a stall phase or not, the fact that you are tolerating more ALA with less wild symptoms means you are getting that crap out of your system. Amen.

    • avatar

      Eric March 3, 2014, 2:44 am

      Thank you Stonecutter, your comments deeply appreciated! Honestly, I often wonder whether it really is possible and makes sense to do methylation and chelation together. Certainly keeps me on my toes!! It does require a lot of faith and it mostly comes from reading what so many others have written who have been down the road before me… too many to mention. I’m so thankful for the ability to read their accounts and grateful that my reactions to all these supplements are predicted by their experiences!

      I’m trying to be meticulous so that it can help others but also for my own benefit, lol. To give you an example, I just went back and compared my notes from round 23 with round 21 looking at what happened on day three of each and that’s how I realized I was having adrenal problems again…

      • avatar

        Alex March 3, 2014, 5:49 am

        Eric it makes perfect sense to do both, I made the mistake of doing one then the other and it just wasted a lot of time, the real difficultly when doing more than one thing at the same time is splitting out the issues e.g. are they related to chelation or methylation protocol uplifts etc, adrenal problems are significant for a lot of people doing chelation, all I would say on the subject having propped up my adrenals for 3+ years is find a dose that seems to work all the time and stick to it, trying out different dosing systems may provide benefits, e.g. for me now 7am 7.5mg, 11am 2.5mg, 3pm 2.5mg and if I am feeling rough in the evening then 2.5mg before bed works well every now and again, when you have adrenal issues is it a specific time of the day, mine was always the 10am-1am slot that caused me bit problems.
        Eric your doing well mate, stick to what you are doing and keep posting your posts are great.
         
        atb
         
        alex
         

        • avatar

          Eric March 3, 2014, 4:53 pm

          Thanks Alex, I appreciate your input! finding the hydrocortisone does the works all the time is incredibly difficult when you’re activity levels vary substantially. I suppose one way of balancing it all would be to take enough HC to stand up to chelation and then during the rest periods, increase my activity level with exercise. That could work.

          I have the most difficulty with the 3 to 5 PM timeslot. Generally I tried to divide my doses up evenly during the day but have just begun doubling up at breakfast and lunch. I too have found that it helps to take an extra 2.5 mg in the evening if I’ve been overwhelmed during the day. Usually, that doesn’t stop me from being laid low the next day, however.

  • avatar

    Mary March 3, 2014, 1:06 am

    Hi Eric, About this:  “Still react badly to sugar and carbs and still eat pure paleo with almost no carbs”, have you read any of the thread on Phoenix Rising about resistant starch #2?  Some people get major adrenal benefits from including resistant starch in their diets. Resistant starch #2 isn’t metabolized by humans the way other starches are, and many people with reactive blood sugar or gut problems from carbs are finding benefit with this odd type of special starch. Even the paleo crowd is starting to talk about it.  

    My adrenal issues improved over 80% when I went from paleo to paleo plus some extremely slow digesting starch recipes I make myself, but I hadn’t heard about resistant starch #2 yet then.  Low carb paleo that disallows even the slowest of starches made me anxious and unable to handle stress.  

    An interesting post is post #613 on this page, by “Adreno”:   http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/the-resistant-starch-challenge-is-it-the-key-weve-been-looking-for.26976/page-31#post-433765

    The very first post in that entire thread, (post #1) by Ripley, gives a lot of info – really a book there.

    There are some folks who do not get good results with this stuff, but they often comment that they increased the amount too quickly, and may try it again slowly increasing. Others talk about adding certain probiotics to the resistant starch #2.

    RS2 feeds the good bacteria in our guts. It doesn’t mess with our blood sugar levels.

    Back when I added my home-recipe extremely slow digesting starch (a little different than resistant starch #2) to my diet, I worried about blood sugar crashes and gut problems, having had those in the past. But I didn’t get those problems from the recipe.  Adding a few bites of the extremely slow digesting starch recipe to my meals did what a classic book on Adrenal Fatigue wrote about: it evened out the energy and blood sugar I got from that meal. And my adrenals appreciated that.

    Anyway, I haven’t explored resistant starch #2 myself beyond all this reading, but having had this profound experience with some distantly related very-slow starches myself, and reading the tales of others on resistant starch #2, I wondered if this issue might be useful to you.

    • avatar

      Eric March 3, 2014, 2:35 am

      Mary, the term resistant starch and that thread is new to me, however I think I have about a decade of experience searching out my own resistant starches. The meal I eat at night before bed is a challenge because I need enough starch to make me sleepy but not too much to cause a sugar/insulin spike, so I have always sought out slow digesting foods.

      At first, I used homemade oatmeal bread very heavy on the oats, next and for years, I used Teff grain, next I switched to undercooked French green lentils. Next I used yams mixed with shredded coconut and finally for the last year I’ve used butternut squash mixed with shredded coconut. I don’t know if these foods qualify properly but they work for me. I’m always on the lookout for new RS foods and just took a spin through that thread and Wikipedia, so thanks!

      I may have misused the term “pure” Paleo to describe my diet. What I meant to say is that I don’t eat any processed foods, any rice, pasta, white potato, or anything with a high glycemic index including fruit. During the past year I’ve become less strict by including squashes and yams, trying not to be too inflexible. I quit lentils when I learned about thiols but I should probably re-include them. Maybe the Teff also. Sure do love it.

      What RS foods are you including?

      • avatar

        Expat Viking March 3, 2014, 5:41 pm

        Regarding RS,
        I have followed this for some time and it seems to have been started mainly by one person. The first I read was back in Feb last year:
        “I have been on a recent journey to improve my gut microflora through the use of resistant starch (RS). RS has the unique ability among foods to reach the colon unscathed and is used as a food source for the colonocytes lining the colon. When your gut microflora gets used to a steady supply of RS, it produces a constant supply of butyrate (SCFA). It’s the SCFA which provide fuel for the colonocytes. Starved of fuel, colonocytes begin to shut down, taking with them the ability to control blood glucose efficiently. Well-fed colonocytes give supreme glucose control. ”
        http://diabeticmediterraneandiet.com/2013/02/26/maybe-low-carb-diets-are-so-effective-because-they-alter-gut-bacteria/
        (In the comments by Tim)
        That same person then went on and wrote a lot at on a paleo blog called “Free the Animal” and the blog owner also got involved over time.
        http://freetheanimal.com/tag/resistant-starch
        I find it interesting and have been doing it for a few months. It does seem to help with blood sugar control and I have been able to stop taking Chromium (used to take quite a lot).  And it seems to work more long term, i.e. even if I miss a day or two, my blood sugar still stays under control. This was not the case while taking chromium.
        As always, it is hard to pinpoint cause and effect but RS is at least worth looking into for anybody that has blood sugar issues

        • avatar

          Eric March 3, 2014, 5:54 pm

          Lol, thanks Viking, you seem to have your hands in everything… which foods are you using for RS?

          • avatar

            Expat Viking March 3, 2014, 6:14 pm

            “you seem to have your hands in everything”
            It takes one to know one……
            I take potato starch, around 3-4 tablespoons a day. I just mix it in a glass of water and drink it.
            Here is the recommended brand in the US as I understand it:
            http://www.bobsredmill.com/potato-starch.html
             

            • avatar

              Eric March 3, 2014, 6:19 pm

              I guess I better study up on this too! Thanks again:)

              • avatar

                Expat Viking March 3, 2014, 6:38 pm

                I forgot to congratulate you on your first year! I think that you are doing great and that it will only get better this year! And thank you very much for this great blog!
                I am very much focusing on weight loss now. It is difficult and i have had several set backs but I think that I am getting there. There is a lot to read and plenty of confusion. If (or hopefully when…) I get back to my target weight, I will write something about it if you are interested.

                • avatar

                  Eric March 3, 2014, 6:47 pm

                  Thanks Viking – I’m very grateful to have you clearing the path for me. Always appreciate your support!! Definitely interested in anything you’d write and certainly weight loss because I’m gaining 😀

        • avatar

          Eric March 3, 2014, 10:24 pm

          I like this one a lot: http://freetheanimal.com/2013/12/resistant-primer-newbies.html – going to the kitchen to check for green bananas now…

          • avatar

            Mary March 4, 2014, 3:21 am

            Blood sugar control (for both hypoglycemics and pre-diabetics) is coming up in reviews from some people using resistant starch (#2 seems to be the resistant starch most likely to help, I think).  Viking’s story for example.
            I’m having to proceed slowly with this stuff though – you asked what kind of RS2 I’ve tried Eric, and the answer is:
            1. A few tries of the uncooked potato starch.  I used too high of a dose without slowly getting used to it though, and got a big headache the next day.  Changing the gut microbes too fast, maybe.
            2. A smaller amount of RS2, in a cooked amaranth I eat a few bites of each day at a cold temperature, sits well with my gut.  (retrograded cooked, cooled amaranth has a modest amount of RS2).
             So maybe I just need to go more slowly with the uncooked potato starch that the Phoenix Rising thread is talking about.
             
             

            • avatar

              Eric March 4, 2014, 3:56 pm

              I’ll be careful to move slowly with it then Mary. In the last 12 hours I’ve had two green bananas and 2 tablespoons of potato starch… So far so good 😀

"...nothing ever goes away
until it has taught us
what we need to know.
"
-Pema Chodron

"God, whose law it is that all who learn must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
-Aeschylus

About


My name is Eric - I‘m 48 and saw a doctor for fatigue at 17. I lived fairly normally if a little subdued by lack of endurance at times. But then, 12 years ago I fell into a nosedive after moving to South Florida. Now, I know heavy metal toxicity is a significant source of my troubles along with genetic methylation cycle dysfunction and Lyme disease. I spent 18 months chelating the metals out and starting up methylation but stopped when I felt myself circling the drain. Currently going after Lyme and co-infections. More about me here.

* supplements
* hair test
* genetics
* lessons learned

"Battles are won in their darkest hours. Wars are won by learning something from each battle."
-Eric

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