My story

I‘m 48 and first saw a doctor for fatigue at 17. I’ll try to summarize my situation here and then give you the long version.

Executive summary: I lived fairly normally with adjustments (stopped drinking alcohol, eating sugar, carbs, etc) for declining capabilities until about 12 years ago when I went into a tailspin in 2007 after moving to South Florida (2001). I made an emergency move to Colorado in 2007 and started feeling better quickly, but when I abruptly stop taking Ambien, my nervous system just fell apart. After a visit to the Mayo Clinic and five subsequent years of avoiding doctors and improving slowly, I discovered heavy metal toxicity was likely a key source of my troubles. I spent a year and a half doing Frequent Dose Chelation and full-spectrum methylation support which left me healthier in some ways and sicker in others.

My liver and detoxification genetics were probably the weak links in my body that allowed, mold toxins, heavy metals and other toxins to accumulate. If that’s true, chelation likely overwhelmed my liver. So, I’m working on addressing my SOD2 flaws and restoring my liver, kidneys and gut health. After seeing the big, gnarly stones, sludge and crud that out of my liver in my fourth flush, and the plaque that came off my colon, there’s no doubt left in my mind that I’m on the right track.

Here is the long version:  In 2007, I reached a crisis point and went to see the famous Dr. Galland in New York who did around $3,500 worth of blood tests which turned up a high mercury number on a plasma test (three times the normal high end range).

At the time, I was thinking mold allergy was at the root of my issues and he thought it was reasonable to pursue that angle first. He mentioned that he had patients with much higher mercury numbers with no symptoms. So I moved to Colorado to test the mold theory. It hasn’t entirely panned out.  Five years later, I’m a lot healthier (I was in a desperate slide earlier) but still feel like there are 80-year-olds with more energy and vitality than I have. Now in 2016, I’m discoveringthat I probably was on the right track with the mold toxicity thing

That’s changing, though, because in 2013, I finally discovered the root of 30 years of declining health and I expect to be back up near 100% by 2016 2018.

Then and now my issues were/are in order with the most disruptive symptoms at the top:

  • Metabolic disruption leading to constant hunger
  • Metabolic disruption leading to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive impairment / brainfog
  • Muscle tightness leading to tendinitis and repetitive strain injury
  • Temperature related itching which disrupts sleep
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heat intolerance
  • Cold intolerance
  • Edema
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Positional sleep apnea
  • Osteoporosis
  • Mold allergy
  • Mild chemical sensitivity
  • Mild anxiety
  • Emotional sensitivity
  • Ears ring when it’s too loud in the room
  • Mild tinnitus
  • Low body temperature
  • Low cholesterol
  • Low vitamin D & migraines from supplementation or sunshine
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dimmed vision
  • Omega-3 intolerance

Here’s what happened after arriving in Colorado — I felt remarkably better, so much so that I neglected to refill a prescription of Ambien I had been using for three months. That night, I experienced a nervous breakdown (which took me the next 4 years to overcome). In a panic, my wife escorted me to the Mayo Clinic where I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which I considered nearly useless. I was really fed up with doctors and decided to just focus on diet and exercise.

For many years, I had been under the assumption that I had Adrenal Insufficiency in spite of the Mayo Clinic doctors refusal to diagnose me as such. My symptoms are nearly a perfect match. So, I thought that perhaps I just needed rest, a good diet, gentle exercise and clean air and water. I thought maybe if I stopped using cortisol for a few years and went on a high-fat Paleolithic diet to build my cholesterol back up (which had dropped down to 99),  my adrenal glands would heal and I would recover naturally.

After a couple years of gorging myself on steak, pulled pork, shrimp, and chicken liver, I realized that my adrenal glands were not recovering. I started using cortisol again and currently take about 20 mg a day.

What didn’t quite fit the Adrenal Insufficiency theory is that supplementing got me functional, but never resolved a lot of issues. It just moved me from 20% functional to 60 or 70% functional.  I’ve read Dr. Jeffries Safe Uses of Cortisol several times and everywhere he talks about patients living their lives out happily after they start supplementing.  I never got enough mileage from cortisol to feel well more than a couple hours a day.

Recently, after watching the documentary “Forks over Knives” I went vegan. Having eaten a strictly whole food diet for many many years, with no alcohol, no caffeine, no sugar, no fruit and almost no carbs, I’ve come to the conclusion that neither adrenal supplementation nor diet alone will cure me no matter how many people have recovered from cancer using vegetables.

Finally, I turned my attention to heavy metal toxicity. I asked my Doc for a test and he gave me a challenge test kit which involved taking the chelator DMSA. Twenty minutes after taking the first 75 mg dose at breakfast time, I had an extremely rare clearing of brain fog (which did not last more than 45 minutes unfortunately) and felt unusually energetic all day.  Then I received the results and was convinced at first sight.

Later, I confirmed them with a hair test. When I’m not despairing about the length of the treatment, I’ve become so hopeful that I want to document my detoxification using Andy Cutler’s frequent dosing protocol. I also encouraged my parents to get hair tests and they look toxic as well, so it seems to run in the family.

My possible sources of mercury/metals exposure include:

  • Playing with Mercury in the house at least once as a kid.
  • Extensive vaccinations at a very young age.
  •  9 allergy shots weekly  for at least a year as a teenager.
  • Lots of vaccinations including hepatitis B in my early 20s.
  • Melting lead a handful of times to make weights.
  • Lots of fishing with lead weights / using my teeth to open them.
  • Having two tiny mercury fillings which were removed when I was a teenager.
  • Eating fish from contaminated lakes in Canada during the summers.
  • Eating tuna fish almost daily for many years as a young adult.
  • Eating salmon sushi regularly for a couple years.
  • Contrast agents ingested at least three times for CT and nuclear bone scans.

More important than the source of mercury is the idea that people who get sick typically do so with exposures to heavy metals that don’t bother others.  The theory behind this is that the ones who get sick have deficient internal detoxification mechanisms.  Put simply, the unlucky ones don’t eliminate mercury the same way most of the population does.

For example, the MTHFR genetic mutation prevents folic acid from converting to its active form which has a cascading effect on your health when your store of glutathione is eventually depleted.  It can run in families also which might explain why my father’s chronic health problems are similar in some ways to mine. The failure of your detoxification system is not just genetic however. It’s a multi-factorial condition which may involve high stress or emotional trauma, use of antibiotics, infections, and toxic exposures (of which I’ve had quite a few not listed here).

I’m not sure exactly what got me started on heavy metal toxicity after having neglected the idea for five years.  Maybe, I just reached a point where I’d exhausted so many other possibilities, there was nothing credible left. Part of the problem too for anyone suffering from something like what I’ve got, is that the cognitive impairment (poor memory and brain fog) is a significant obstacle to healing yourself.

Finally, we are too close to our problems  and can’t always see what’s right under our nose. When you have experienced brain fog for 20 years, and when it increases gradually, you tend to assume incorrectly that everyone sort of has it and can become complacent.  It’s especially easy to become complacent when your experience with MD’s tells you that wherever you go,  you’ll get a blood test and the doctor will say “Everything looks good!”

No matter that, 15 minutes of gentle walking incapacitates me for the rest of the day, that 20 minutes of sunshine can give me three days of migraines, that I’m unable to carry on a social life or provide and care for my family in any normal way. None of these mysteries ever seem to trouble my MDs much.

To be fair, a couple had various theories which we tested, but unfortunately they were the wrong theories and some of the therapeutic trials were very harmful including powerful antibiotics and industrial strength antiparasitics.

You might be wondering why I’m creating this website before I’ve recovered. It’s a good question! The answer is — I want badly to heal — and also to help others with what I’ve learned on my journey. This site will help me organize all the information and will be useful in the event that I do recover.   It would be impossible to document after the fact. I want to show the process as it really is and feels in the moment and not through rose-colored glasses after the fact.

1 year update: I‘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. Big picture: chelation is a bitch as Val from FDC explains perfectly:

Mercury toxicity is like someone who has been hit with an arrow.   It caused damage going in, it is causing damage while it’s lodged in your body, and it causes damage when it is “yanked” out, so to speak.  Not until it’s removed, can your body truly heal.  Can you imagine healing with a big arrow stuck in your flesh?

and from Patrik Askert:

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.

2 year update: coming soon!

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392 comments…
  • avatar

    Pabu September 7, 2016, 12:26 pm

    Hi Eric!! I am reading your B12 protocol and methylation. Well, my troubles started when I was a 13, and now I am 31. I have been severely ill where I cannot work, complete my education, or have any type of social life. I have lost a lot of my life. Long story short, I have poor methylation and some mercury toxicity, and chemical exposures like DDT. I also have genetic mutation that requires my body need for extra b12 MTTR ++, and other some ugly genetic situations. I can’t tolerate any pharma medications and highly sensitive to most supplements, so i have to do them in very small doses – children dose plus i am a petite person. I have troubled tolerating sulphur foods, and supplements, which increase my liver enzymes. Anyways, I am following Dr. Yasko protocol and I started on mix of hydroxy and adenosyl-cobalamin supplement at 500mcg in one spray under tongue. Serving size is 5 spray, but to start up, i only do one spray , which provides 500mcg. I notice it gives me lot of energy and very positive happy mood. However, I experience insomnia from it. I can’t seem to cut one spray in 1/2. So, now i am trying it under the tongue very early in the morning to see if it makes any difference. My doctor told me that i have to bear the insomnia a bit because it will pass as my body adjusts to the dose. What is your intake? Why it causes insomnia and such a hyper feeling in my brain? If I don’t sleep, i am totally miserable and my nervous seem is super sensitive. I become very talkative, sociable, and happy on it to a point where i don’t recognize this new person, which is good, but it feels overwhelming and stimulating to my senses. I response very quickly to it. What can be done about insomnia?

    Reply
    • avatar

      Eric September 7, 2016, 3:14 pm

      Hi Pabu, glad to hear you are making some progress! The insomnia should pass in a week or two. The most effective treatment for insomnia is the restriction of time in bed method – it’s horrible but it works. get up at your regular time even if you don’t sleep well and don’t nap during the day. Your body can only take so much of that and you’ll start sleeping more normally after a few days. Try melatonin also if you haven’t already.

      Reply
  • avatar

    Hope Cross September 2, 2016, 10:22 pm

    Eric are you in the Biochemcial Therapy Support Group on FB? They are mostly patients of Mensah Medical. Mensah is Walsh’s protégé. Everyone in there is mainly concerned with lowering copper levels in order to make it more bioavailable. But recently the Mito copper was introduced and several people have been on it, including myself, and have been reporting back. Charles Barker, Mitosynergy’s founder, is also in the group. I’m personally doing excellent. Dxs are EDS, CFS, mast cell and Sjogren’s, among others.

    Reply
    • avatar

      Eric September 3, 2016, 4:03 pm

      Hi Hope, yes I’m in the group and that’s how I found the proper copper too which I started about a week ago… Glad to hear you are doing well on it and thanks for writing! I will definitely blog about it if it goes well 🙂

      Reply
  • avatar

    Lori Milas August 29, 2016, 2:33 pm

    Hey Eric. Hope all is well with you. I was going to write you earlier this weekend, but wound up on several posts of yours that indicated you already knew what I was about to say. (but here goes anyway … 🙂 )

    My doctor (I call him Dr. Woo Woo)… has been telling me for the last six months that what I have is a virus. I have sort of rolled my eyes, except he is the one who told me I had parasites… and even ‘saw’ which ones. He said, Lori, we had to get rid of the parasites to see what’s left. A virus is left. (and my parasite labs are all negative now)

    A friend of mine posted this on FB: http://goop.com/the-mysteries-of-the-thyroid/ and I just happened to read it. I don’t know how to say this… it just clicked. It finally all made sense. I had a long spell of mono when I was 18. My EBV titres have never gone down. They are sky high. I am sure there are other contributing viruses. But it just makes sense now. I’ve never been able to explain the sudden thyroid issues at 20, and the chronic ‘auto immune’ problems that just mount with time… along with the fatigue, depression, etc.

    What really makes sense is the constant strain of fighting off a deep virus. My iodine levels are still tanked. Everything is ‘off’. It just takes enormous work to stay well. And all the whacky labs… I think is just a body trying to maintain some kind of equillibrium.

    Eric… for me, this is the next step. I plan to integrate what the author of this article said (I also bought his book)… along with Dr. Woo Woo. (God, I should just call him by name, Dr. Lumiere!) I will also be buying a far infra red sauna because it is one of the few things that actually made me feel better… but driving distances to get to it is just too much. And too costly. I think that doing a sauna daily during the next six months might be a great thing. I have some anti-viral herbs. Feels like it’s time to double down and get on top of this!

    Just that update… I have enjoyed being able to share what I’m up to, and hear what you and your readers are up to. Blessings!

    Reply
    • avatar

      Eric September 2, 2016, 10:09 pm

      Good to hear from you Lori! Do you have Hashimoto’s? After reading the Root Cause book, I thought I would be able to help my wife recover easily but it didn’t work and the misstep was giving her zinc – she got much much worse. Which got me thinking about Morley Robbin’s claim that Hashimoto’s is caused by copper deficiency. Immune system won’t function properly without healthy copper metabolism. So I’m thinking that could be the root cause, even further upstream than EBV and other infections. She’s been on MitoSynergy copper for about a week and feeling better but still too early to jump for joy…

      Reply
      • avatar

        Lori Milas September 3, 2016, 1:26 pm

        Hi Eric,

        Slowly, slowly we are figuring this all out, aren’t we! I’m so proud of you for staying the course.

        I do, supposedly, have Hashimoto’s. I have been on some form of thyroid meds since I was 25. And that amount has just been increased again to nearly 5 times what it was.

        I’d like to address this for a moment. I think the link I gave you was to an article by a ‘medical intuitive’ who said, flatly, there is no such thing as ‘auto immune’ disease. It is always the body attacking something external. And man… that was spiritually, emotionally, and physically exactly what I needed to hear. The body does not attack itself in some kind of ‘mistake’. It is mounting a heroic effort to get rid of something persistent… could be a heavy metal lodged deeply in cell structures, or a pathogen, virus, bacteria. What an incredibly liberating idea! At this point I don’t even care if it’s true or not! I just got rid of a very negative and helpless view of my body.

        Which makes the copper issue make sense too. (for me). I believe that these mineral imbalances are due to that fundamental premise that the body is acquiring certain minerals or letting go of others to mount its fight. I used to have very high levels of copper… and was always told it was due to being estrogen dominant. (Is your wife menopausal, or has she checked her estrogen?) As soon as I went into menopause, my zinc rose, my copper tanked, and then I became anemic.

        I too have to be very careful with zinc. Very careful. And I make sure to get high dietary sources of copper, including 85% dark chocolate (organic) every day… sesame seeds, pulses, etc. And a chlorophyl supplement in water that has very high copper. But remember that zinc is to fight infection… copper antagonizes.. so I think that zinc/copper imbalance is mainly the body’s attempt to get what it needs to fight infection or other issues.

        You can work like the devil to get your body to match the ideal mineral or other profiles… which may be counterproductive. Could we hope that it will fall into place once the real problems are resolved? (I think so! 🙂 )

        Reply
        • avatar

          Eric September 4, 2016, 4:08 pm

          Lori, I like that theory! You may want to join this Facebook group I’m in BIOCHEMICAL THERAPY SUPPORT GROUP where lots of people are experiencing crazy recoveries with the MitoSynergy copper…

          Reply
      • avatar

        Cathy Cooke September 3, 2016, 4:14 pm

        I’m interested in your thoughts about copper. I have severe insomnia, and was once told I should take copper to help this. I thought this was crazy b/c it’s usually too high of copper that leads to insomnia. Do you think a copper deficiency could do the same thing? Wondering if I should try it…

        Reply
        • avatar

          Eric September 4, 2016, 3:53 pm

          Hi Cathy, I’m in a Facebook group called BIOCHEMICAL THERAPY SUPPORT GROUP where lots of people are taking MitoSynergy’s copper which is said to be unique and helpful with both copper toxicity and copper deficiency. Remarkably, many people seem to be experiencing unusual recoveries a week or two weeks after they begin taking it. Some have mentioned sleeping very well…

          Reply

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"...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 46 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. I spent 18 months chelating the metals out and starting up methylation but stopped when I felt myself circling the drain. Currently doing liver, colon, kidney and parasite cleanses. More about me here.

Timeline and current dosing:

Rounds completed: 29
Total chelation days: 125
Dose: 25 mg DMSA and 25 mg ALA every 3 hrs

* 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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