Lessons learned

These are the sticky notes on my bathroom mirror…

  1. Only start a new supplement or round when you are feeling relatively rested. This is tricky because fatigue is my old friend, but there are degrees. I found the hard way that if I start a round without a couple nights of relatively better sleep under my belt, the round won’t go well.
  2. Order tinctures or small dose supplement / chelator capsules to avoid increasing your doses based on convenience. I made a 25% increase of ALA from 60 mg to 75 mg because those were the sizes I had available – not smart.  You can get small increment doses of chelators from Livingnetwork and avoid a heaping dose of pain and suffering. Oils, powders and tinctures all share this benefit of allowing you to do very small dose increases.
  3. Wait until after redistribution/herxing is over to make any risky supplement changes. This one has hurt me a couple times, once when I increased folate on a redistribution day and another time when I increased lecithin. Wrong move!
  4. Forget about exercising if you can’t make it work. Everyone wants you to exercise and we don’t want to gain weight, but I have found it terribly difficult to manage chelation and exercise together. I’ve ruined many days with 90 seconds of exercise. Until my body starts responding better to it, I’m confident I’m better off without it. Or maybe I just need to try 30 seconds instead of 90…
  5. Review the supplement list every couple months because something might’ve dropped off accidentally. if you’re taking a lot of supplements like I am, it’s a big logistics project. I noticed recently that I had stopped taking molybdenum. It feels like maybe two months without it but honestly I can’t remember when I stopped because it happened accidentally…
  6. When you’re feeling like garbage, remember it’s part of the game plan. This is not supposed to be fun. Stop worrying and trying to attach meaning to it or trying to figure it out. Just feel lucky that you’ve identified the source your problems and there’s a cure! If chelation and methylation didn’t make you feel shitty, something would be wrong. Just do your time, one foot in front of the other.
  7. Plan for clumsy mistakes. I’ve stumbled as many as three times going up the stairs, I’ve bitten my cheek and tongue and made silly mistakes in my work. I tend to forget very easily that I’m going to make mistakes. It’s a little like being high without the fun. Often can’t remember what I just said a minute ago and can’t remember how impaired I am….
  8. Get help. When you’ve got cognitive impairment, you really need help from professionals, so get it if you can afford it. Naturopaths, MDs, Chiroprators, Homeopathics, massage and bodywork therapists, etc, can all play an important part in your recovery. Even a health coach could have saved me from quite a few errors. I keep a daily log and fill in calendars with key changes, but with so many different therapies going on at different times, I have missed connections that in hindsight seemed very obvious now. Part of the trouble is that my memory is so poor!

What do your sticky notes say?

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  • avatar

    Bob April 16, 2016, 7:31 pm

    Hello Eric. I have high levels of lead, mercury and especially copper confirmed by a challenge test. Have tried the Cutler protocol with some temporary improvements and major backfires being too brain fogged to read his whole book and missing some important requirements. At the moment I am looking more seriously into methylation (I do have the MTHFR mutation (heterozygous), COMT and a few other.

    My main question is if you think improving methylation has the potential in and of itself to remove toxic metals (provided they are not too abundant). I am going today to purchase the b-right that fredd recommends but have just been taking methylfolate plus from biotics research which seems to help in some areas but has been causing skin breakouts (hives, itching, rash).

    • avatar

      Eric April 17, 2016, 8:26 pm

      Hi Bob, yes I do think that repairing the bodies natural detox mechanisms has the potential to remove some level of heavy metals. It’s not a bad place to start and my hope is that it’s a good way to get in a better position to handle chelation. For people like us it is really difficult to pick a starting point!

  • avatar

    Jason January 12, 2016, 4:26 pm

    Hi Eric,

    I wonder if you already feel some benefits from the DMSA rounds (Andy Cutler protocol)?
    I am planning to do the protocol as well since I have heavy metals (hair analysis showed this).
    I am really curious if you notice any improvements.

    • avatar

      Eric January 13, 2016, 9:53 pm

      yes, I’m sure that I experience some benefits from chelation! I can’t separate how DMSA and ALA might’ve helped me differently though since I did both at the same time…

  • avatar

    Zina January 10, 2016, 7:07 pm

    Hello Eric,

    me again. I´ve written another comment but it isn´t posted here. I`m confused that you´ve developed since your chelation rounds sleep disturbances or mild anxiety. Or did i I understand something wrong? Sleep is such a big necessity in order to detox.

    Best regards
    Zina

    • avatar

      Eric January 10, 2016, 9:24 pm

      my sleep and anxiety problems developed before chelation, not after…

  • avatar

    Zina January 7, 2016, 5:39 pm

    Hello Eric,

    I´ve found a formula for detoxification It contains per capsule: Don´t wonder it´s german
    Silymarin 100 mg
    Cholin Bitartrat 250 mg
    Phosphatidylcholin 50 mg
    Inositol 100 mg
    Biotin 25 mcg
    Lipase Enzyme 50 mg
    Alpha-Liponsäure 50mg

    They recommend to take 2 Capsule of it. But I remeber that Mr. Cutler reject absolutely ALA in general except for detoxification programs (3 days an then several weeks later). But waht do you think about, takin these caspules for the 3-day program, that means take every 3 hour a capsule.

    • avatar

      Eric January 10, 2016, 3:09 pm

      I wouldn’t do that – too many ingredients. You may react badly to one of them… It’s like roulette. For example, the inositol might make you very very sleepy. it might be too much milk thistle for you or you might react badly to the phosphatidylcholine.

  • avatar

    Zina January 5, 2016, 9:42 pm

    Hello Eric,

    I´m writing from Germany. Which form of ALA, do you use? In general the ALA´s on market contain both forms: the R and S form. Which form ist the best for chelation? Mr. Cutler recommends starting the 3 day chelation with 200mg every 3 hour? Why you use a small amount of ALA? Maybe you combine it with DMSA? Thus the smaller dosage. The Food-high in sulfur or high in thiol list/page doesn´t work anymore.

    Best regards
    Zina

    • avatar

      Eric January 7, 2016, 12:50 am

      NO you don’t want to start with 200 mg of ALA – that’s way too high. depends on how ill you are, but if you are significantly ill, you want to start with something very very small, maybe 12 mg. The reason is that you can have very strong unpleasant reactions to it. For some reason Cutler says not to use the R form if I remember. The ones I used just say Alpha lipoic acid on the bottle. Nothing more.

  • avatar

    Bob M December 10, 2015, 4:02 pm

    Just a suggestion :
    Find an ND to give her a DMSA heavy metals demand test. It is the way to see if heavy metals are built up in her system . Hair analysis only tells of accute exposure and does not properly reflect metals levels from improper natural detoxification processes .
    I was afraid when I got mine. I was told that I could get really severe acute re exposure from the release of bound heavy metal from within. It was just fear : within 30 minutes of taking the first half of the DMSA dose I could feel muscular relaxation happening. I quickly took the other half and fell asleep for 2 hours – wonderful! After 2 years occasionally taking 3 Catomer 250’s (Thorne) for three days in a row – them 2 weeks to 2 months off, I have No MORE MUSCLE TWITCHING !!!!! I used to feel buzzing just like a busy signal on the phone or clicking in my neck muscles while trying to sleep. It is all gone. This was the beginning of healing for me. It was the first step moving forward. There have been many steps since.
    Please consider a heavy metals demand test from a doctor as it is worth every penny and then some. Best wishes.

  • avatar

    grant November 29, 2015, 2:25 am

    hi Eric
    im having trouble viewing your site so sorry if these questions have already been asked. has the genetic testing and consequential treatment been useful? thanks

    • avatar

      Eric November 29, 2015, 4:52 pm

      yes it has! understanding my genetic methylation deficiencies and lack of flora diversity has helped me understand which directions to go in and given me motivation to stay on the path…

  • avatar

    heather June 1, 2015, 12:06 am

    Love your site!

    Thank you so much for posting it.
    Could you please define redistribution day.

    I am going through this battle too with thallium and lead off the
    charts. I’ve just started IV chelation x2 and have been using ozone.

    Have been dragging my butt around for decades and glad to have come across someone
    who understands.

    Regards,
    Heather

    • avatar

      Eric June 8, 2015, 8:22 am

      hi Heather, redistribution day is the day after you end a round – when you feel like garbage! Welcome to the club:(

  • avatar

    Texas Mom March 7, 2014, 3:24 pm

    Hi, Eric, I just found your site. My 17-year-old daughter seems to have chronic fatigue right now which is keeping her out of school. She also started having migraines a week after she got a flu shot (which also happened to be the day she got her braces off – headache started first). She is compound heterozygous for MTHFR and I suspect she also has a CBS enzyme deficiency (very low homocysteine). After reading about that on Dr. Robert’s heartfixer site, I eliminated supplements with sulfates and foods high in thiols and stopped her methylation supplements (using since mid-November) except for B12. For a week she was feeling great. And then she crashed into severe fatigue again. I am reading everything I can, but I know if she doesn’t recover soon she’ll lose her junior year. Any suggestions about supplements. I wonder if she is getting too many or if she needs to be on methylfolate again. Also, I haven’t done chelating for her (not sure what she can handle), but she was taking Zinc chelate and Magnesium glycinate chelate (seemed to have problems with Magnesium citrate) . I have now added Molybdenum chelate and a full range amino acid chelate. I wonder if this is too much for her system? Do you think a good nutritionist would be able to help me? The doctors I have consulted cannot.

    • avatar

      Eric March 7, 2014, 5:00 pm

      I can’t comment on the supplements Texas Mom, but will say that diet usually comes first in any treatment and most people get the biggest fastest bang out of dietary changes. If she is not eating Paleo, that’s a good place to start. Next, I would get a hair test done. You can order your own test (‘essential elements’ DDI test, use the AUT code for a discount) and interpret your own test results with this book. Or, you might look for a nutritionist or chiropractor who uses hair tests and does this kind of analysis… the vast majority of MDs are of little use with chronic fatigue, for sure. Keep hunting and you’ll find what you need – congratulations on digging so deeply for your daughter!

  • avatar

    Sean M March 3, 2014, 12:52 am

    Eric,
    Was wondering what your take was on using ALA on its own as opposed to coupling it with DMSA/DMPS concerning a long term plan…any thoughts?
    I seem to have some really bad side effects with DMSA, and have yet to try DMPS.  Seems that DMSA increases tinnitus with me, but more importantly I think it is the cause of my deteriorating vision.  If DMSA does bond with other minerals as well as heavy metals, there is a chance that it could cause damage to the eyes by pulling on mineral sites within the eyes, causing increased vitreous detachments.  Each time I use DMSA I get an increase in vitreous  floaters, as well as eye pain.  I have no doubt that this is the cause;  I only get the increase in floaters/eye pain when I chelate.  I also had none prior to starting chelation.  Discouragingly, I have received great gains since using DMSA, I’m just hoping that I can find an equal solution that won’t deteriorate my vision.
    Also wanted to mention my recent use of magnesium glycinate.  For me at least, it seems that this form of magnesium causes some kind of chelation effect when I take it.  I get increased headaches when I use it, but I also get increased fibro/neuropathy/paresthesia pains…or whatever you’d like to call them.  I feel like it is displacing mercury…possibly?  Not sure, but I switched back to mg aspartate and these problems seem to be tapering off.            
    Glad you liked the site.  I found the part about headache categories in judging your current blood levels pretty interesting.  In your lessons learned post, I like how  you compare toxicity to being high without the fun.  
    That’s pretty similar to the spiel I give my doctors; I like to compare it to being 5-6 beers deep.  Still can’t enjoy a beer these days. 
    Take care,
    Sean
    http://mercurymanifesto.blogspot.com/

    • avatar

      Eric March 3, 2014, 2:53 am

      Good to hear from you Sean.

      Ha ha long-term plans huh? You aren’t the only one wanting to make long-term plans, but chelation is very resistant to that. It’s more of a rock ‘n roll kind of sport – in my experience anyway. I don’t think I will have an opinion about ALA on its own until I’ve tried DMPS. Did you already ask on FDC about the vision issues? I think they’ll have a lot of experience with it which I don’t. I’m just guessing you may want to reduce your doses. I think you know this already, but when you chelate you pull mercury into your bloodstream which makes you sicker. So the trick is finding the right manageable dose.

      I doubt the magnesium glycinate is displacing Mercury. I’d be more inclined to look into what affect glycine has on you. You should be aware that aspartate is a mind stimulant. Might be fine for you but if you have trouble sleeping or with anxiety, look for another form…

      As for doctors, I prefer to avoid them!

    • avatar

      Expat Viking March 3, 2014, 6:04 pm

      “Was wondering what your take was on using ALA on its own as opposed to coupling it with DMSA/DMPS concerning a long term plan…any thoughts?”
      Well, I have only used ALA and that seems to be fairly common. Often the reason is Candida and if people have this they don’t want to do DSMA. Also, if your exposure to Mercury is far back in time there should be a much smaller body burden so  DSMA/DMPS should be less important. Both of these factors had relevance for me.
      Finally, my understanding of Cutler is that the main reason for using DSMA/DMPS during long term mercury (it is a diffent story if you also have lead) detox is to control side effects. So you can simply try to do ALA only and see if the sfx are tolerable.

  • avatar

    Sean M February 26, 2014, 1:57 am

    Awesome Eric. Going to read through these carefully.  Been on a trip for work, and I’m actually doing pretty good.  When I get back in town I wanted to run a couple things by you as far as some experiences I’ve had recently and see what you think.  In the meantime, I found this website that you might find interesting. http://www.medicalinsider.com/toxicity3.html 
    After all the research and searching I’ve done I hadn’t run across it until just recently, my wife actually found it.  Lot’s of good info compiled into one place.  Different takes on a lot of the things I’ve already read but interesting nonetheless.
     
    Take care,
    Sean M
    http://mercurymanifesto.blogspot.com/ 

    • avatar

      Eric February 26, 2014, 3:11 am

      hi Sean, glad you found it already, lol. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences and I appreciate the link, read it yesterday and really liked a paragraph which I added to my About Me page:

      Chelation in general is a fine art, a balancing of releasing chelated toxin molecules into the blood stream, over and above what you liver normally has to deal with (in terms of digestive functions and breaking down toxins), and not releasing too many ‘new’ toxins into the blood in one go that the liver is not able to process comfortably in one go. Chelation, depending on how well the chelation agent ‘masks’ the toxin, is akin to a form of very mild but controlled poisoning, occurring over a prolonged period. When one takes too much chelant, then one is effectively ‘poisoning’ the whole body and it certainly feels like this.

"...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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