Before and after one year of chelation – toxic and essential elements

Yesterday, I received the results of my second hair test by email (first test here) and was bowled over by the HUGE signs of progress which should probably be read together with my one year update.

This feels like an extremely useful set of data. While I still meet counting rules three and four, I no longer meet counting rule 1. So I probably still have deranged mineral transport but it looks to me like it’s in the process of normalizing. Above all, these results tell me to KEEP GOING.

I was so happy to see the second hair test results yesterday that I immediately started a chelation round. Chelation still sucks, even with my reduced doses – I hate it. But, it’s doing its job and I’m very hopeful I’ll be feeling substantially better in another year.

The changes I’m making based on these results are the following:

  • going back to taking 5 mg of lithium every day instead of once a week
  • take 8 mg manganese twice a week instead of once a week
  • increase molybdenum back up to 3 mg (from 1 mg) for three or four months
  • increase boron 3 mg a day to 6 mg
  • increase magnesium 200 mg to 3.15 g

I’ve fallen behind reporting on my chelation rounds. Honestly, they aren’t very interesting anymore. But I hope this report makes up a little bit for my recent lack of diligence. Would love to hear your  interpretations of these results, good or bad, please don’t hesitate:

heavy-metals-hair-test-before-and-after

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  • avatar

    Mark September 4, 2015, 2:41 am

    Hi Eric: Can you tell me what kind and how much magnesium you are currently taking. Thanks.

    Mark

    • avatar

      Eric September 5, 2015, 2:30 pm

      I’m taking 1 g of magnesium glycinate daily, Mark. I read that glycinate and bisglycinate are the same animal. By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you why you mentioned you should have taken EDTA instead of DMSA. I know you have probably read what Dr. Cutler says about EDTA, being outdated protocol etc…

  • avatar

    MatthewGrace April 15, 2015, 3:47 am

    I’m puzzled.

    I looked at your lab results, and having read most of both of Andy Cutler’s books on the subject, it sure looks like you have mineral derangement. However, it also looks like you’ve had… fairy tale improvement. Yes, you’ve got more to go, but your total toxic representation is way down. The Calcium/Mag issue is not self correcting… the fact you’ve improved on just that one thing so much is remarkable. Zinc is better. Copper went from Hellacious to just really really bad…

    I’m kinda surprised. I’d figure you would have surely made enough health progress by this point (even if still sick) that you would be convinced this is only thing that will heal you and shove every other effort to the wayside.

    Two things for me to takeaway:
    1) It’s disheartening to think that the Cutler protocol which I’ve read a lot about and am preparing for… might work so poorly in that even test score improvements don’t translate to leaps-and-bounds better health.
    2) It’s disheartening that someone with a full YEAR of chelating experience and on-paper-gains to show for is weary of proceeding with chelation because it still makes them so uncomfortable. In fact, to the point of excitement at the thought of lowering their dose to a sub-beginner level!

    I don’t mean to come off as rude, just upset that after all the excellent work documented by Cutler on how sure we can be this treatment is effective, it just might be a big waste of life and effort and pain.
    MG

    • avatar

      Eric May 5, 2015, 4:26 pm

      MG, you don’t come off as rude at all. Remember that everything in life is about bell curves and I happen to be one of those guys at the edge of the bell curve with a crazy absurdly complicated perfect storm health situation. Too many genetic flaws, too many toxic exposures, too many antibiotics and misguided treatments… the gains on my hair test our probably not all to be believed – seems to be a common thing in chelation stories. take heart that I haven’t lost faith in chelation and plan to go back to it this summer. At the end of the day, I am still healing, and still learning important things about my health problems and their solutions.

  • avatar

    HappyManatee February 28, 2015, 2:27 pm

    Hi Eric!

    Wasn’t sure if you had a post on sauna therapy for metal detox, but I ran into this article (appears to be well researched) where metals were measured in sweat from saunas. It is very encouraging to say the least.

    I’m unsure how it all relates regarding the mercury in the brain. I suppose a theory could be tested to do the FDC with the ALA, go into the sauna, and see if the mercury is carried out directly? I know I’m an optimist:) But I’m wondering if we could even measure our own sweat for the metals.

    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/184745/

    I’m off to start my rebounding/sauna regime, it’s quite an adventure….have a great day!

    • avatar

      Eric February 28, 2015, 4:29 pm

      the fact that you tolerate some exercise and sweating means your adrenal glands and maybe your oxidative stress management are strong… Those are very good signs for a speedy recovery!

      • avatar

        HappyManatee March 2, 2015, 2:20 pm

        Oh yes, I am all to familiar with the evil “exercise intolerance”. It’s so incredibly frustrating, isn’t it?

        I got through that onion layer with my diet. Check out the reviews on The 80/10/10 Diet. I do a version of it now that involves cooked food at night called Raw till 4. I don’t even think you have to do it full vegan to get benefits.

        I was craving eggs for weeks, and I gave in and had some. They helped me I’m sure with the mercury coming out. Isn’t it funny when I started Freddd’s protocol, I started craving them? Do you think it might be because detox had started finally of metals? I hope!

        Anyway, this diet got me out of a pit in 2010 after struggling with 4 years of off and on being bed ridden. I can’t recommend this book enough. Check out the massive amount of 5 star reviews on Amazon:

        http://www.amazon.com/80-10-Diet/dp/1893831248/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425305661&sr=1-1&keywords=80+10+10+diet

        Have a good one and thanks again for the blog!

        HappyManatee

        • avatar

          Eric March 6, 2015, 12:20 am

          I guess we are all unique – I react very badly to fruit or any other sugar/carb…

  • avatar

    nany January 19, 2015, 7:51 pm

    Greetings!
    Due to neurological Problems I Started with 10 mg ALA chelation with DMSA and 10mg, and now the second round, I have pain in your heart What does That Mean? Thank you

    • avatar

      Eric January 20, 2015, 12:55 am

      Hi Nany, I wish I could help you but I don’t know! please join the frequent dose chelation Yahoo group – you will get great support from them:)

  • avatar

    Leon October 18, 2014, 6:24 am

    Hi Eric,

    I was wondering how you conveniently managed to place the two tests side by side? I recall there being a website link on FDC some time ago to a webpage of the two results. I’d like to post up a toxic metal/essential elements urine test if I can.

    I hope you’re well.

    Leon

    • avatar

      Eric October 18, 2014, 3:57 pm

      hi Leon, putting the two test side-by-side wasn’t easy – I did it manually using Photoshop. -e

  • avatar

    Helen September 21, 2014, 4:37 am

    Hi Eric. So sorry- I just posted on potassium link and my last 2 comments forgot to use my internet name- Helen. Was wondering if you could change my last 2 comments where my name reads Helen instead of my real first and last name…

    Btw- really enjoying your site- so much helpful information from your experiences.

    • avatar

      Eric September 21, 2014, 1:49 pm

      Sure, it’s fixed. Thanks:)

  • avatar

    Jeff July 9, 2014, 5:11 pm

    Eric, I first came across your website from the Patti recovery story. First off, thank you for sharing your story. I am in the same boat, exact symptoms as you have. It’s taken me over a year to work out the kinks of chelation therapy. I’ve learned that it’s not the number of rounds to shot for, it’s building up a tolerance to the mg of chelation therapy. Let me explain.

    The key for me, and many others, is starting at 3 mg ALA (and a secondary chelator if you wish), and building up a tolerance – for weeks or months until you notice the side effects (draining of energy, brain fog, etc.) become negligible, and only then do you increase the MG to 5 or 6mg. Then repeat this same method – do 6 mg for weeks, or even months (regular 3 day rounds of course, take as much off time as you need)…until your side effects are insignificant, then move up to 9 mg…then to 12, then 16 or 18, then to 25 mg. 25 -35 mg is the ideal therapy level. But it ONLY works if you’ve built up to it.

    When I stick to the low dose, my cognitive ability improves vastly. Moments of euphoria happens 30+ times a day. I can access vocabulary & knowledge, I can learn, I can manage my time, I’m more social, my libido begins to return, etc. Now – – you have to be super strict about the diet – I mean eggs (if tolerated), chicken, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, kale, salad, olive oil, stevia, water, other non-sugar greens, and no dressing. just olive oil – and that’s it. If I have beef or carbs or sugar…my bones/joints hurt like hell and I experience brian fog for at least an hour. But I can see these symptoms getting better. But the trick is to STOP testing the waters. Just chelate at very low doses until you feel ok with the side effects, and ONLY then to you increase the MG.

    I started thinking of chelation like training for a marathon, which I’ve seen you write about before. But here’s an important factor, it’s not just that it will take a long time, but you will only finish the race if you train properly. For example, if you’re obese and you step outside your house one day and try to run 26.2 miles, what will happen? You will crash and burn. You might feel good for a stretch here or there, but you will do more damage and the next day you won’t be able to run again. But if you woke on your first day, ran a half a mile, and took it easy…you would be ready to run a half a mile the next day – – NOW that doesn’t mean you push for a full mile yet. SLOW DOWN. Keep running the half mile until you’ve MASTERED it. Then when you’re ready physically & mentally, you can push for 3/4 mile. When you’re at 3/4 mile, repeat the same philosophy.

    There’s tons of sports analogies to use here – trying to get a black belt without getting the other ones first, trying to hit a home run without warming up, trying to throw 100 pitches without building up a tolerance, etc.

    And the biggest benefit of using this approach is that it gives you the ability to use “mind over matter” more effectively. You can push yourself mentally to overcome hurdles MUCH easier at 3 mg, then do it AGAIN at 6 mg, etc. Do you see what I mean? By the time you reach 25 mg, you’re craved out of wood brother and ready to take on the world. I’ve gone from “hanging in there” to “breaking down walls”. And I’m not perfect, I’ve had set backs (because I veered off the diet) and had to start back at 3 mg.

    I’ve felt this in waves, and my biggest problem was trying to resume my normal life too soon (exercising strenuously, drinking, etc.) and I would crash. I’ve learned that it’s slow, but you have to create a model where you build on the success of the previous round, and successes are hard to find if you start out at 25 mg or even higher. If you haven’t felt good @15 mg, what makes you think you’ll feel good at 37 mg? I know others may have eventually recovered that way, but it’s not worth the mental torture in my opinion. I can tell it in your writing. Do you see the difference in mine?

    If your dosage is 37 mg and you’ve yet to master say 10 mg, it is like trying to run 26.2 miles every day and you’re falling down every time, unable to finish the race. Meanwhile, someone who mastered 10 mg will eventually to get 37 mg much smoother, and pass you on their way to finish the race.

    Here’s a youtube link of someone doing great, relatively of course, using this approach. I’ve emailed him a couple of times. He is out at sea with the US Navy, eating crap food, then Paleo when he’s home. The key with him is that he is doing very low doses, and he’s having regular bowel movments (1-2 a day, sometimes 3). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6A–uPl0XQ

    My goal is to get up to 25 mg by Christmas, and to get this thing into REMISSION (symptoms are gone if following diet) sometime in 2015. I figure once there, it will take another long stretch to get to RECOVERY (symptoms are gone without following strict diet). And even then, I plan to eat sensibly. We’ll be able to run 5 miles and have a martini afterwards one day Eric.

    Feel free to contact me directly with any questions Eric.

    • avatar

      Eric July 11, 2014, 2:28 am

      Jeff, thank you for writing in such depth and with so much passion for me – I’m moved. I actually have been coming around to the conclusion you are making for me as a result of my own walk through the fire. I reduced my doses down to 25 mg and only one chelater at a time and that seems manageable…. Much much better than before. However something happen recently that makes me think I might go lower. I was trying to troubleshoot my water retention and stopped taking magnesium glycinate (3 g). I think the magnesium glycinate is causing my water retention but when I tried a round of ALA – I could not get through the first day at 25 mg. I’m thinking the glycine is a very significant energy source for me currently. Anyway, I like your reasoning and I am going to try a super low dose ALA rounds next time to see how it goes. THANKS THANKS THANKS

    • avatar

      Stonecutter July 11, 2014, 8:37 pm

      Wow, Jeff, what a great, clear overview of how to pace chelation, love your parallels to marathon running etc. I just printed this out for my notebook. Well done and thanks!

    • avatar

      Arsen July 27, 2014, 10:32 pm

      Hi Jeff, Have a question do you chelate with with ALA only and is it OK?

  • avatar

    Stonecutter July 8, 2014, 4:42 pm

    Dude, send up a flare … been wondering how you are doing and haven’t seen you post recently in the FDC group. Hope thins are going ok!

    • avatar

      Eric July 11, 2014, 2:18 am

      lol thanks Stonecutter – I’m sort of at a standstill with chelation. Methylation and other supplement issues have tied me up. I wish I could write about it now but so busy… Anyway I’m okay and will probably get backed chelation soon although at much lower doses. Thanks for asking:) how are you doing?

      • avatar

        Stonecutter July 11, 2014, 8:33 pm

        Thanks for responding, just glad to know you’re ok. Your radio silence had me concerned. I’ve been following your progress with great interest (and invested in your outcomes) because I have such a similar symptom set as you. I have not tried a chelation round yet. I’m very sensitive to supplements so it’s been hard to get rolling just on the basic four recommended by AC.

        For instance, magnesium I do externally, can’t take it internally. I react to zinc with liver distress unless I take very low dose and only once every several days. Fish Oil is ok, but oddly I feel better not taking it. Vit E gave me a splitting headache. Vit C in all the forms I’ve tried so far result in stomach upset. The lipo-C I tried just a drop three times a day loosened up my stools and they haven’t recovered yet over several weeks. I know I’m going to be like Linda and Josette (from FDC) and have to start super low with DMPS before moving on to ALA. One step at a time.

        • avatar

          Eric July 12, 2014, 2:48 pm

          I’m sorry to hear you’re so sensitive! Glad you have good support from FDC…

  • avatar

    Chris Pfeiffer May 27, 2014, 12:23 am

    The question I have Eric is how has your health changed after 1 year of chelation?

    • avatar

      Chris Pfeiffer May 27, 2014, 12:00 pm

      I read your blog on how things have changed over the last year. I have been following you for a while as I have been dealing with my own struggles. My concern for you is that perhaps you are doing too much in trying to balance out your body chemistry. Anyway, I wish you the best of look.

      • avatar

        Eric May 27, 2014, 4:55 pm

        Thanks Chris – I don’t feel very different after making those adjustments based on my second hair test. I think I feel a little calmer because of the extra lithium and maybe less hungry because of the vanadium sulfate. Overall feel things are going well, just finished another four days of 6 mg DMPS.

    • avatar

      Eric May 27, 2014, 4:53 pm

      that is not easy to summarize – I did my best though here http://howirecovered.wpengine.com/1-year-update-dissapointment-and-hope/

  • avatar

    A May 22, 2014, 6:04 pm

    Hi, Eric,

    I noticed your potassium is low and wondered if you saw the updated version of Rich Van K’s methylation protocol, posted maybe a month before he passed away. He noted potassium can lower from the methylation, while your body is attempting to heal/divide cells.

    I have had bouts of low potassium in the past, which can cause some serious problems. Even at levels lower than 3.5. (So seeing you at less than a 3 was a flag for me!) I remember having a blood test done and the doctor called me the next day, telling me he would send in a prescription to the nearest place (I was on the road to another appointment in a city 2 hrs out) and that I needed to get potassium in me asap – it could not wait. I’ve heard potassium can help with electrical signals. Lower amounts can cause muscle cramps and heart problems. Very low levels are a medical emergency.

    You can get potassium via food (dried apricots were my food of choice, although dried fruit tends to be high in sugar; tomatoes are also a good source) or supplement. I can’t remember who said it on Phoenix Rising, maybe Rich, but having a number of 99 mg pills in the stomach is not recommended, as it can wreak some havoc.
    High potassium can also be a problem, too, so I personally might go for a blood test to monitor progression.

    I also noticed your copper was high. Do you think this might be due to the copper in the multivitamin you might be taking, or were you exposed to copper via pipes/brass faucets in the house? Maybe picking a multivitamin with less or no copper could help?
    It looks like it’s coming down over time, so hopefully another 6 mths or less will get it back to normal.

    Rich recommended a methylation panel test if there were no improvements past a year. The folks in his study had normal glutathione levels within 6-9 months. Is your methylation cycle working OK?

    I haven’t gone through all your posts, so I don’t know if you were aware – I just saw this as I was poking through CFS stuff and noticed. I’m glad things are trending up for you according to the hair tests!

    My only caution here, though, is that hair tests can only catch what you are excreting in your hair. The issue might be still stuck in body tissues. I remember reading about how autistic kids, for example, had fine hair tests, but their bodies weren’t excreting the heavy metal they were testing for. I don’t know how well the hair test works. Perhaps it is the best indicator of certain excretions aside from a potentially-harmful “challenge” test.

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade – you’ve obviously had some gains – and you might actually know more than me. Though I think the muscle issues you’ve been experiencing might be due to your body trying to heal, causing chronically low potassium, and that you’d likely benefit from getting potassium/copper back into the normal range.

    Hope all goes well.

    • avatar

      Eric May 25, 2014, 3:08 pm

      Many thanks, I’m well aware of the potassium issue and take 5 g a day – which is not easy! Also working on reducing the copper although I have no idea where it came from. Possibly from eating excessive quantities of nuts which of course I stopped over a year ago.

  • avatar

    mary May 13, 2014, 9:25 am

    PS, have you ever used this index of Cutler chelation? someone put it together, gathering posts by Cutler that he has made on a forum, and organizing those posts by sub topic. The top part of the page is info you likely already know Eric, but scroll down on the page for more specific info…

    http://home.earthlink.net/~moriam/ANDY_INDEX.html

    • avatar

      Eric May 13, 2014, 4:01 pm

      I have used that Index much Mary, it’s great stuff! thanks 🙂

  • avatar

    mary May 13, 2014, 1:38 am

    Keep your chin up Eric!

    • avatar

      Eric May 13, 2014, 1:40 am

      thanks Mary!

"...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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