Meet Brad who recovered from Bipolar Disorder

  meet-BradI want you to meet Brad who is one of the lucky few to discover that bipolar disorder can be caused by mercury toxicity. He was kind enough to spend an hour on the phone with me walking me through my 23andme results when I was totally bewildered by them so when he mentions “paying it forward”, he really means it. We met on Phoenix Rising where we both have received help from Freddd tweaking our methylation support protocols.

How old are you and what do you do for a living?

I am 59. In one year, I will officially become a “retired professional”.  

What health problems have you recovered from and how long did you experience them?

I appear to have “cured” Bipolar Disorder. I have to qualify that statement as I acknowledge that if these symptoms developed, then at least I need to recognize a genetic predisposition towards the expression of symptoms matching this diagnosis. I was hospitalized a number of times, tried on many medications and even had a round of ETC (shock therapy). In the end, the decades of Bipolar symptoms were arrested by treating the underlying cause which was Mercury Toxicity. I was “Mad as a Hatter”.  In particular, it seems to me that over-riding the thyroid output and getting some T3 on board was turning point.

So, that was the good news. However, the mobilization of mercury, as I treated the toxicity, placed me in the path of ME/CFS.

There are multiple other minor inflictions that have improved as well.

What symptoms bothered you the most?

A quick biochemical “truth” (at least in my world). The expression of Bipolar symptoms, ME/CFS have low glutathione as part of the etiology. This is also true for an relatively unknown diagnosis of mine, Hyperplastic Polyposis. Little is known about this but it is accepted the pathogenesis includes low glutathione and faulty methylation (where CH3 attaches to a gene thereby silencing its expression). Now back to your question: the symptom that bothered me the most was having to have my colon removed for over 100 polyps.

A close second, is continual brain-fog since the 3rd week of November 2010.

The third, loss of effective adrenal function and being on hydrocortisone the rest of my life.

How did they impact your work and home life?

It is very sobering to consider how my bipolar life impacted those around me. My first wife, my kids, friends – they all were impacted by my illness. There were hospitalizations and there were times when I showed up to work sick. I careened through life.

My second wife is a rock and has believed in me since the beginning of this segment of my life in 2007.

In 2007, I decided to treat my own Bipolar Disorder naturally and in the course of this discovered the underlying mercury toxicity. Mistakes were made as I began chelation and I slipped into ME/CFS and lost adrenal function. I was off work for a year – the insurance company and my employer decided that since they did not endorse mercury toxicity as a diagnosis, nor ME/CFS, that I was malingering. I was not paid and returned to work sick in Dec 2011, broke. I hobbled along until July 4, 2012.

Can you tell about any low points where you may feel you hit bottom?

This brings me to when I was sent home from work. Having worked for months sick, I lost the respect of my co-workers and management. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t stand, I was depressed and suspicious. They sent me home and that was a terrible day for me.

How did you get a diagnosis for your problems and how did you find the solution?

Discovering the answers to my problems was like peeling an onion, layer after layer.

First, after a reaction to CoQ10 in 2007, I put together the glutathione theory for bipolar disorder – confirmed in a Harvard study in 2009.

I thought that I had my answer.

In 2010, after anxiety/agoraphobia symptoms, I found the mercury problem and once again,  my solution presented itself. I was poisoned. And I was Mad as a Hatter.

But I did not improve as expected with chelation.

In 2012, after being sent home from work, a kind stranger (hirvinc, love you man) told me that I had a methylation problem. This, as I read, meant that you couldn’t clear out mercury and you were prone to “madness”.

In 2013, my MTHFR C677T status was confirmed as well as TCN2 (the frailty gene) TYMS (a cancer gene) as well as 45% of mitochondria genes tested.

Once you got on the right path, how did you know it was the right path?

The first doses of methylcobalamin or methylB12 was like “someone turned on the lights”.

What was your recovery like? Can you describe any setbacks you may have experienced?

Oh, my recovery was far from linear. It was a very rocky road at first; it was all trial and error. The major setbacks were when NAC (n-aceytl-l-cysteine)  did not consistently take away the Bipolar symptoms. Having a thiol group, it can drag mercury around, and mobilization of mercury gave me symptoms.

The response to chelation of mercury also was not textbook. There were gains but at 18 months I was still sicker than many new members arriving on Yahoo’s FDC site.

Phoenix-RisingMethylation has been like that too. I made the initial “hold the press” gains but failed to make a full recovery. I had joined Phoenix Rising (a site for those with ME/CFS) but was too brain fogged to take in anything. Could have been written in a foreign language for all I knew. On my return in 2013, I had solid responses to mB12 and mfolate and my 23andme results in hand (listen up FDA) and able to think again, I realized that I needed to listen to what Freddd had to say.

The rest is history. I am still in the process of following his recipe for wellness and took mB12  2 mg by injection, as well as about 12,000 mg sublingual today.

My after lunch stupor did not arrive yesterday or today.

What kind of support did you have from others?

I told my wife in 2007 that I was going off my meds and was going to take vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for Bipolar Disorder and she said, “OK”.  She had over 30 years experience as a psychiatric nurse and had never seen anyone with Bipolar successfully go off their medication. She thought that if anyone ever could it would be me. How is that for support?

I have spent over $70,000 – most of our retirement savings and not a whisper.

Can you tell about any memorable high points in your recovery process?

Ten weeks after sending me home in 2012 “incapable of performing duties”, the same boss offered my the Lead Hand position. The only changes at that time was the addition of mB12 and mfolate.

Did you do anything to celebrate your recovery? Is there anything you plan to do?

Not yet.  I would like to have a celebration when I finish chelation next year. I spend all of my time “paying it forward” – showing my gratitude for those who helped me by helping the next in line.

What would you tell a family member with similar symptoms or diagnosis?

Try some mfolate and mB12, they are just vitamins. Get your fillings out safely if you are young enough. Toxin-proof your home; you need a safe haven. Get genetic testing when it becomes available again. There is no such thing as being too informed. And finally, help is just as likely to come from the kindness of a stranger as a doctor.

Dr. Google has been my salvation.

Do not let anyone stand between you and being as well as you can be. Circumvent every roadblock that is erected in front of you. I even tried to have medications sent in from a foreign country. When I was denied hydrocortisone, I injected OTC ointment into capsules and swallowed that…and I improved.

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  • avatar

    Cristina February 18, 2016, 7:00 pm

    Wow! That is great news about Brad recovering. He seems to be a tenacious person which certainly helps!
    I haven’t tolerated the slightest medicine, antimicrobial or even binders for metals in digestive system (Micro silica, modified citrus pectin)so I believe I have to improve my methylation, and detoxification pathways first. Don’t know whether to do Fredd protocol or Simplified protocol per Rich van K. I have been on B-Right and methylb for about 6 years but stress, contracting Lyme, mold exposureý illness, EBV thru a wrench into the plans.

  • avatar

    brad October 5, 2015, 6:08 pm

    Hi Eric,
    Could add to this site that my life is back on track. I have CFS on the ropes. It does not impact my daily functioning any longer. I can be as active as I want. I suspect that I tire a bit sooner than some but I lost a lot of muscle mass and conditioning. That is one of my winter goals.
    I am also back in my workshop and was there 6 hours yesterday and will repeat that again today. I am not standing around 🙂 I am hand-planing and make my own baseboards and trim out of cherry.
    I joined a writers group and am heavily invested (time and money) in photography.
    Treating mycoplasma (also have HHV-6) was as big of a step in my recovery as chelation or B12.
    I still take a ton of pills and 2 needles a day. My thyroid and adrenals never made it and my colon is still removed 🙂 I will carry the “scars” of my fight for health with me always. But that is OK.
    So mercury – mitochondria – methylation – mycoplasma

    • avatar

      Eric October 10, 2015, 3:31 pm

      So glad to hear your good news Brad!!! how did you fight Mycoplasma and HHV-6?

      I’m also deep into photography and video as well although I have to fight through my fatigue and brain fog to make it happen:)

  • avatar

    Carolyn October 26, 2014, 1:07 am

    Just be sure when you get B12 shots that they do not contain aluminum which has a synergistic reaction to mercury. Same with antiperspirants. Do not get flu shots as they have mercury.
    Good luck!

  • avatar

    Lisa September 15, 2014, 12:57 am

    Brad,

    I wanted to contact you. I am reading Healing the New Childhood Epidemics by Dr. Kenneth Bock and Cameron Stauth and am hearing about methylation for the first time. It is interesting that in the chapter on ADHD, one of the patients was taking Respirdal, the same medication that I am on for bipolar disorder. I have managed to limit my medication dosage to once per week without doing anything else. But, I also have a neurological disorder which affects my vision (I was born with this disorder). Now, I am thinking that the two disorders are connected. My optic nerve is immature. I now think that I am suffering with some kind of brain injury associated with environmental toxins. I just read about Glutathione today for the first time as also m-B12.

    Can you provide me with some recommendations? My boyfriend also has ADHD and psoriasis. He seems to be benefiting from fish oil supplements and he taken vitamins and antioxidants religiously. I just told him about the Glutathione. I am extremely worried about these issues and would like to get more advice about them. All of our problems seem related to inflammation and disorders of the nervous and immune system.

    What are some good first steps to take?

  • avatar

    Brad January 3, 2014, 11:37 pm

    Thanks. And may I return the favour. This site is a treasure trove:
    http://www.flcv.com/amalg6.html

    brad

    • avatar

      Eric January 4, 2014, 12:58 am

      wow, that’s great research Brad! I just wrote to Bernard asking him if he would tell his recovery story:)

  • avatar

    Brad December 25, 2013, 1:26 am

    Thanks Mary,
    I can’t say that I ever came across topical B’s before, maybe because there is so little demand. These things are supposed to be readily absorbed. Right now, I am taking close to the daily dose of B1, B2, B5 and B6 in my morning injection.  I call it my “B-sting”.   I take extra B6 and B2 orally, plus lots of biotin.
    Topical sounds interesting. I’ll google it. Thanks again, brad
     

  • avatar

    Brad December 22, 2013, 11:04 am

    Hi John and Diana,
    Thanks for the comments. When I look back at how little I knew when I advised you John, it seems a mystery to me that any good came from it at all 🙂  That was one of the benefits of being mercury toxic.  The world lost it layers of complexity. 

    The lucky thing was that being a “dot-connector”, I was able to find what I needed to move forward. But I do feel bad for some of the poor souls who crossed my path a couple of years ago and had to endure  my pontificating about mercury.  Fortunately, I am safer to engage in discussion now.

    Diana,  there are various groups on-line to guide you when it comes to an Active B Protocol.  There isn’t a recipe and each of us has to do some trial and error. I got into a bit of a mess by trying to fire-up methylation when I was unable to absorb enough B2 from my gut.  Some people react strongly to methylB12 and then quit. 

    Even a negative response tells us something  and guides treatment. We don’t quit; we change course.  Most people seem to go through a period that is called “detox” when this pathway starts as well. Some quit prematurely and this is where the support of a group is beneficial – John worded it well. 

    Wishing you well.   brad

    • avatar

      Mary December 24, 2013, 2:19 pm

      Brad, on the comment about not absorbing one of the B vitamins well from your gut, have you ever tried topical (skin) application of any of the B’s?  I dug up evidence somewhere showing that the B vitamins in some study that were applied with water to the skin did absorb into the blood.  The little study only tested a few of the B’s, but one tested was methylB12, which has a huge molecule size, so I’m running with that idea, hoping this means all of the B’s absorb via the skin.

      It matters to me because I deal with chronic candida in the gut, and swallowing B’s flares up my candida.  When I apply certain B’s to my skin, with water, I get that “little energy boost” that I have gotten in the past with swallowed or sublingual forms, so I guess it’s working.  Anyway, I don’t read much about people doing it, but thought I’d pass that experience along.

  • avatar

    Diana December 21, 2013, 12:46 pm

    You’re truly an inspiration. Thanks for taking the time out to share your experience. Because of you, I am eager to add in my b and methyl folate. Hoping it does wonders for me as well. Enjoy your holidays as they are meant to be enjoyed…not in a fog;)

  • avatar

    John Macgregor December 21, 2013, 5:01 am

    Brad and I have been Internet buddies for a year or two now, and he badgered me over methylation as hirvinc had apparently badgered him. Once I finally began methylation supplements (the Rich von K protocol – a kind of cousin of Freddd’s) the thiol problems that had been wrecking my health almost since I began chelation evaporated.
    Brad’s is an epic journey, & one day someone should write a book about it, if Brad doesn’t beat them to it.
    I haven’t used doctors for many years: Medicine is a lost cause. Time and again I have found my way out of my health challenges via a peer group. Brad (and the Frequent Dose Chelation forum on which I found him) exemplify the new community spirit of healing very well.

  • avatar

    Brad December 19, 2013, 10:48 am

    See there’s the problem. You guys are not cooperating.    By having a psychiatric diagnosis I simplify things for my Dr.      Now, regardless of my presenting symptoms he can write, “depression”.  I never have to worry about having a purely physical symptom for the rest of my life. Whew…what a relief!

  • avatar

    Brad December 18, 2013, 10:54 am

    Thanks and I agree. It seems that “modern medicine” is not prepared to go down without a fight.  I could never have done this without the hours and hours that I have spent on the internet.  Instead of valuing the information that I was able to provide (some of it decades newer than the information my Dr was trying to work with) I was either ignored or treated with disdain. 

    They found it insulting that I would deem myself worthy of making any kind of  intellectual contribution to my recovery. Now, this general attitude has been taken  a step further and the new DSM-5 has new diagnoses added called “Internet Addiction”. By pathologizing our actions, the product of those actions can be devalued or ignored. It is all quite cynical.

    I will never apologize for recovering or the means by which I did so. In 2007, I left my Dr’s office and realized that he had not thought about me since my last appointment. I figured that even if he had a 400 hsp brain and mine was only 50 hsp, that I could still accomplish more if I took over my own care. I was not prepared to accept the chronicity of my illness any longer.

    Thanks for the site. Sweden has been a leader when it comes to mercury.
     

    • avatar

      Eric December 18, 2013, 3:10 pm

      I’ve been threatening to write a post about my experience with doctors for a long time. One of the things that I find astonishing every time I think about it is that none of the doctors I’ve seen, the three high-priced doctors especially, have any feedback mechanism. They all knew that I was a medical mystery. None of them ever ever reached out to me outside an appointment to find out how I was doing, and whether I had solved the mystery on my own after leaving them, months or years later. How can they possibly learn anything like that when they categorically ignore their toughest challenges?

      • avatar

        Expat Viking December 18, 2013, 6:11 pm

        Eric & Brad,

        We had been on the topic of doctors before here on the blog.  In general, it seems clear to me that almost all that finally managed to recover from mercury at some point more or less stopped listening to doctors. But we have to remember that these are the, quite few, stories with happy endings. My guess is that for each of these, there are at least a hundred persons that are suffering from heavy metal poisoning that do listen and follow the advice of their doctor. They never get well and many of them probably ends up on SSRIs (or worse) for years .

        “One of the things that I find astonishing every time I think about it is that none of the doctors I’ve seen, the three high-priced doctors especially, have any feedback mechanism. They all knew that I was a medical mystery.”

        My understanding is that from their point of view, there are really very few mysteries. They do their tests and if they can’t find anything, there is nothing wrong with you. If you still claim to be sick, it is all in your head and you should be put on Prozac. If you refuse to eat Prozac, based on your readings on the internet, that is just further evidence that something is wrong with your mental state and maybe you should get something stronger that Prozac. If they can’t force you to eat that, it is a sign that the laws are to soft and that doctors need to be given more legal means of committing people. Until that happens, they see no point in having further discussions with you…..
        (There is an element of sarcasm in the above, but not much, as I see it)

        • avatar

          Eric December 18, 2013, 6:16 pm

          yeah, lol, so true – I don’t like to think about the possibility that they thought I was a nutcase or complainer, but it’s a good possibility…

  • avatar

    Expat Viking December 17, 2013, 6:51 pm

    Brad,

    Congratulations on your recovery and fantastic that you are now so focused on helping others. I think that this is the only way forward for what is nothing less than a much needed paradigm change in modern medicine.

    If you are interested in digging deeper, I found this very extensive list with research reports related to mercury:
    http://www.amalgamskadefonden.se/symtom_amalgamforgiftning.shtml
    (There is some Swedish text at the top of the page, but you can just ignore that and look at the very  long list in the middle that starts with “Abraham JE, Svare CW & Frank CW 1984. The effect of dental amalgam restorations on blood mercury levels”)

    There are several studies in there that seem to focus on CoQ10. Maybe you will find some reports of interest to you.
     

"...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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