I 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.
Methylation 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.