[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. 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.