Friday, November 27, 2009

More on metals

Very signficant news today!  My hair analysis results arrived and showed that I am dumping lots of metals -- more than I've ever done in 10 years of testing!  I have bars in the high end of green (e.g. the upper limit of 'normal) for Aluminum and Arsenic.  Mercury moves into the yellow area (the warning zone)  Titianium is pretty high, and I haven't even gotten my titanium dental implants yet!  Plus, several other metals are being eliminated in significant amounts, such as antimony, lead, nickel, silver, and tin.   

No wonder I've been feeling awful!  My doctor said early in my treatment that he wanted to shake things up.  Well,  he succeeded in getting me into the blender.

The pattern of nutritional minerals at the bottom of my hair analysis report is also significant.  Sodium and potassium are quite low, which is indicative of adrenal stress and emotional stress.  The two go hand in hand, in that when the adrenals are stressed, every little molehill is experienced as a mountain.  

On many post-chelation days when I would awaken at 4 am and be unable to return to sleep, my mind would start galloping down the path of despair, and although I tried to hold the reigns firmly, I could never get control of my wayward mind until sunlight streamed in through the windows.  

Perhaps emotional volatility has also been tweaked by a loss of lithium.  Lithium plays an important role in inhibiting the excitability of neurons.  Apparently it does this by inhibiting the conversion of phosphorylated inositol to free inositol.  Here's what I learned about inositol from the site, Bi-polar  
Inositol is a naturally occurring isomer of glucose It is classified as a member of the vitamin B complex. Sometimes people refer to it as B8, but it is not really a vitamin itself.

Inositol is a natural chemical compound present in the human body and in certain ordinay foods.It is direct precursor of phospholipids which are a major component of cellular membranes.
What does this mean?
Phospholipids are fat-soluble, naturally-occurring molecules that help make up our cellular structure. Both inositol and the phospholipids play a major role in signal transmission for many neurotransmitters and hormones. There is growing evidence that lithium and fish oil may also exert their beneficial effects by regulating these same signal transmissions.
Inositol is important for regulating serotonin and insulin, and breaking down fats and reducing blood cholesterol.

Lithium is widely known as a drug used to treat bipolar disorder, but small amounts of lithium in the form of lithium orotate are used by natural health practitioners to support mood proper lithium function.  I am thinking of adding it to the arsenal of supplements in my overstuffed pill box.

In the meantime, my huge metal dump got me thinking about all the years that I took hundreds of expensive oral chelators because I was fearful of taking DMPS.  I told my story in an October 2009 post, "Are Metals Making Us Sick?"    Here's the rest of the story.

After leaving Dr. M's office, and deciding that I wouldn't go back, I immersed myself in understanding the theory of how hair analysis reveals information about the health of the body. I had recently begun to work on my Naturopathic medicine degree, not because I longed to be a health practitioner, but because I didn't have a health practitioner in the area who I felt I could trust to offer solutions to the many abnormal test results that were turning up now that I had discovered saliva hormones, comprehensive digestive stool analysis, amino acids and hair mineral analysis. With a Ph.D. in hand, I was able to get accounts at many labs and supplement companies. All provided abundant educational information -- lectures on cassette tapes, informational pamphlets, newsletters, and books -- far more detailed than the standard information on herbs, homeopathy and colonics that characterize basic naturopathic medicine programs.

I started with Analytical Research Labs, a wonderful company in Arizona that provides detailed analytical reports for every hair analysis they perform. From these reports, as well as their pamphlets and tapes, I learned to pay attention to the pattern of nutritional minerals as indicators of endocrine health. I also learned that when individuals have the pattern of being a slow oxidizer, that is when metabolic energy is low, when adrenals and thyroid activity as low -- as it was for me -- then the body rarely dumps heavy metals. Consequently, the low test results don't indicate a lack of tissue stores of mercury, lead, arsenic, and so forth, but an inability of the body to excrete those metals.

ARL recommended taking high doses of nutritional minerals on the theory that many of these compete with toxic metals for receptor sites. For example, lead displaces calcium So by taking large doses of calcium, the reasoning is that some of this calcium may displace molecules of lead. I was a diligent student, but I am sorry to report that, in a body as weak and unbalanced as mine, I saw very little lead being dumped and almost no mercury.

I also had an account with Viotron, a distributor of Biotics Research nutritional products. From their extensive lectures and books, I learned about Porphyra-Zyme, a chelator made from peas which reportedly helps with heavy metal detox. Since I often ate peas and never had a problem with them, I was willing to take a chance. I worked my way up to 12 tablets a day and did this for over six months. I never saw any heavy metal dumps on my hair tests.

Next I learned about Poly-MVA, a product developed for cancer which combines absorbable alpha lipoic acid (ALA) with palladium (Pd). The inventor assured me (in personal conversation) that the palladium was tightly bound to the ALA like the cobalt molecule is bound in B12. It improved my energy tremendously, for ALA supports mitochondrial activity. The first few days I felt euphoric. My energy improved slowly, but after a few months, I plateaued. Although I continued to take it for six months, I stopped because of the high expense. A year later I gave patient testimony at a conference on my experience with Poly-MVA, and having received several bottles as compensation, began taking it again, but failed to notice any difference in my energy levels. Nor did hair analysis reveal any detox of heavy metals. On the contrary, I found high levels of palladium in my hair two years after stopping the product, indicating that I had stored palladium in my tissues. These results spurred a more aggressive approach to oral chelation.

I started with Modifilan, a brown seaweed rich in minerals that helps to bind loose metals in the gut. I figures since seaweeds are eaten as food in the Orient, I could probably tolerate this. And I did.

Next I added in chlorella, something I had started with Dr. Cousens in 2000 when he put me on a raw juice fast and vegan raw foods diet that ruined all the gains I had made over the previous seven years. Still reeling from the crash after the fast -- a crash that brought with it severe POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) -- I sought out information on diets to support detox that were evidence based. Patricia Kane's work made sense to me after I read her book,
Detoxx. I resumed the practice of taking lots of nutritional minerals, using Kane's liquid ionic minerals (sold through E-Lyte), and I switched to the chlorella tablets she advocates as safe because they are raised in test tubes in Germany, free from ciguatera and other algal toxins.

About a year later, a friend visited me who was taking NDF Plus (an expensive product by Bioray in 1 oz dropper bottles). After years of minerals, seaweeds, and algaes, NDF amazed me: a few drops of this stuff on my tongue made my brain start to dance! For the first time ever, I felt as if something were happening. I ordered some and worked up to the point where I could tolerate a dropperful without symptoms.

In 2005, I learned about Eniva's cell ready minerals, and got good results taking their product known as Vibe. I would feel more energy, and less ravenously hungry if I took a second dose before dinner. I continued taking Vibe until I started the Simplified Five protocol, as Rich asked me to eliminate it due to its folic acid content (400 mcg).
I also tried a number of other detox products, including several with EDTA. But I never stuck with them; once I started to feel funny from them, I would stop taking them.

About five years into my various oral chelation protocols, I started to dump mercury and lead in low amounts. I increased my chelation protocols, and finally by 2007, my hair analyses and my urinary toxic elements showed very low levels of heavy metals and balanced mineral transport, which continued through testing in 2008 and 2009.  

When my new doctor wanted to do a metals challenge test, and promised to use a very low dose, I agreed thinking I no longer had any metals to excrete.  I would end up being quite surprised!

Even when my challenge test (with 150 mg EDTA rather than the 'normal' dose of 750 mg) showed a small amount of lead, mercury and antimony, I did not expect to discover hidden treasures.

When I started to have difficulties, as I described in some earlier posts in October and November, the doctor explained that what I was experiencing, 6 - 24 hours post chelation, was the body rearranging itself after dumping metals. He reassured me that everyone went through it, and that as I got healthier, it would become easier. I had a hard time trusting him. I kept imagining I was miserable because the EDTA was pulling out essential nutritional minerals and making me deficient. Now, except for my very low lithium, the hair analysis has put my worried mind to rest.

It is good to get confirmation. Now if only it could be a less tortuous process.... No wonder why people who can just take drugs to suppress symptoms! Natural healing is not an easy path.

Here are the test results for anyone curious:


  1. That's great news on the toxic metal dump!! Hope this means real improvements for you soon. I wondered what brand of chlorella Patricia Kane recommends? Hope you continue to see progress, Janis.

  2. Go Janis!! This is great news. I get the same feeling after oral chelation for 4 years. I've even done two DMPS challenges without seeing anything beyond the green (aka reference range.) I do think it's a matter of the toxins being stuck inside the membrane or maybe even intracellularly. The neural therapy seems to open up the ion channels of the cells allowing them to spit out toxins and take in the nutrients (from the IVs). Very simple concept but very difficult to achieve when we're slow oxidizers (i.e. entire HPA axis is shot). The process of dumping metals is very draining on the adrenals so perhaps latching onto metals is a protective measure by the body as to not send the HPA axis into further shock.


Please add your comments here. If you have a question specific to your own condition, please e-mail me directly at I cannot give medical advice. If you want to suggest a product or therapy you think I should try, please let me know if you have used it, what you used it for, and how it helped you.