Here’s how I got here: I asked my doctor for a Mercury challenge test and he gave me a bunch of Chelex capsules. I looked up the ingredients and saw Chlorella which I know contains omega-3 and said ‘no thanks’ because it gives me insomnia. I ordered pure DMSA instead. Accidentally misread the instruction sheet however and took 75 mg doses instead of 125mg (the appropriate amount for my weight).
Twenty minutes after taking the first 75 mg dose at breakfast time, I had an extremely unusual clearing of brain fog. I have been mentally very slow in the mornings for so long I could not even say whether it was one decade or two. So this mental clearing was something that really never, ever happens to me. I also had the feeling like my vision was sharper and wider. Hard to explain that but, before mealtimes when my brain fog and energy is at its lowest it’s almost like I have tunnel vision and this was the opposite of that.
Unfortunately, the mental clarity didn’t persist for more than half an hour. I also feel unusually energetic in a positive way. Many supplements that I have tried in the past have increased my energy level but in a way that left me burned out afterwards. The DMSA seems to increase my energy level in a more steady, natural way. So, these two effects inspired me to do a lot of reading on line about chelation. I decided to extend the challenge into a first-round.
Pictured at the right are the supplements I’m taking and the wood pillbox I made to help me avoid forgetting where I am in the round.
Later in that first day I got a mild headache which hung on until I went to bed. When I realized my dosage mistake, I upped my dose to the 125 mg at bedtime (even though I had a headache using 75 mg) and woke four hours later to take more. When I woke, I don’t believe I had a headache any longer and it didn’t return.
After the challenge test was over on the afternoon of the day 2, I extended it into round 1 using DMSA 50 mg/ ALA 50 mg to be consistent with Andy Cutler’s ‘low and slow’ theory of heavy metal detoxification. I also take (and feel dependent) on Isocort which is hard on the stomach. Had a few very nasty gastritis flareups years ago, so I am super careful with supplements… it’s day 4 now and I’ve had no stomach problems, happily. I have been a little moody on day 3 and 4, having felt a little depression over very small issues. I think I’ve had a little more brain fog than usual after adding the ALA, but it could be also just from waking up during the night…
To minimize the disruption to my sleep, you can see how I’ve arranged a little table with timer, hanging flashlight for easy access, and glass of water. The flashlight has some red tape over the front to dim the light. The timer has three timers available and you can see in the picture at the right that I set the first one to three hours and the second one to six hours.
I’d like to believe my experience over the past few days indicates I found the solution to my health problems and 12 years of intermittent misery. However, it is a little messy, what with waking during the night (I’m very sensitive to sleep loss), and hard to tell what’s happening.
Round 1 (3.5 days) urine challenge test converted to first-round, 50 mg DMSA, 50 mg ALA every 3 hours
- Sunday, March 17, 2013: 75 mg DMSA x 3 and 100 mg DMSA x 2 (this was a doctor prescribed challenge test). Highly unusual mental clarity and energy 15 minutes after first dose before breakfast – only lasted 30 minutes. Headache all afternoon until bedtime.
- Monday, March 18: 250 mg DMSA and then 50 mg DMSA plus 50 mg ALA every three hours starting at 3 PM after the challenge test ended. Much better day, no headaches.
- Tuesday, March 19: 50 mg DMSA and 50 mg ALA every 3 hours. Slow, foggy fatigued and moody.
- Wednesday, March 20: 50 mg DMSA and 50 mg ALA every 3 hours. Less fatigued, upbeat.
- Thursday, March 21 (off-round): fatigued and very moody!