Mercury is poisonous. However, mercury’s effects are very often misunderstood because the havoc it causes can masquerade under a variety of different names, including autism, chronic fatigue and multiple sclerosis. Mercury can affect practically every system in the body, producing a staggering array of symptoms ranging from anxiety and depression to full-blown psychosis; from asthma and allergies to autoimmune disorders; from scrambled hormones to neurological disease.1 There are literally hundreds of other symptoms of mercury poisoning.
Different people experience different mercury toxicity symptoms, depending on their individual biochemistry, but many people carry around a mercury burden that is more than their body can manage. Although symptoms may come and go, mercury-related illness typically is progressive. A person might start off with anxiety and depression, treat the anxiety and feel better for a while, and then go on to develop hypothyroidism, allergies and asthma. Other common heavy metals like lead, arsenic and antimony have similar properties and display similar patterns of symptom variation from person to person.
SOURCES OF MERCURY EXPOSURE
Mercury’s use has been so widespread that people can get exposed to it without even knowing an exposure has happened. For example, if mercury gets splashed around somewhere and does not get cleaned up properly, it can keep on poisoning the surrounding area for decades. An unwitting person may never know that they inhaled a toxic dose of mercury vapor.
The biggest source of mercury exposure for the general public is amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight. Amalgam fillings leach mercury vapor into the body, where it then accumulates. Another route of exposure is through flu shots and some other vaccines, which are loaded with highly toxic ethylmercury in the preservative thimerosal. However, even people who have never had a thimerosal-containing vaccine or an amalgam filling in their life can still be mercury-toxic. This is because they might have been exposed to mercury long ago in a school chemistry lab or on the job, or they may move into a house previously inhabited by a kid who liked to smash fluorescent light tubes in the basement. An exposure that happened decades ago could be causing a whole slew of current symptoms that a doctor is unlikely to be able to explain. Plenty of people have been chronically ill their whole lives, never having figured out what was really the matter.
A HIDDEN EXPLANATION
Dentistry and medicine are the most common sources of mercury exposure, but doctors rarely want to look into mercury poisoning, nor does medical school teach them how. Given that modern doctors have about fifteen minutes to meet with each patient, when faced with a perplexing case, most doctors will not take the time to ask why the person is developing ever more disease conditions and will not even consider the prospect of mercury toxicity. Instead, doctors pile diagnosis upon diagnosis, when a single diagnosis—mercury poisoning—might account for everything.
Some doctors may be aware of the symptoms of acute mercury poisoning from an industrial accident or the like. However, this is distinct from the chronic poisoning that ensues from having amalgam fillings that are constantly off-gassing, enjoying a predilection for sushi and tuna fish sandwiches and topping these off with a yearly flu shot. This kind of toxicity starts off slowly and builds on itself. Moreover, because mercury poisoning can cause personality changes, anxiety and depression, it can be mistaken for a psychological problem, with the accompanying odd illnesses characterized as “somatization disorders.”
Admittedly, even when doctors do think to check for it, mercury poisoning can be difficult to diagnose. Nonetheless, anyone with a chronic disease for which nobody knows the cause should at least consider mercury poisoning as a possibility. Mercury poisoning is curable, whereas most chronic diseases are not. It makes no sense to suffer and doom oneself to taking a lot of pharmaceutical drugs with terrible side effects, when detoxing may be the solution to getting better.
It is possible to remove heavy metals from the body through a process called chelation. (The word “chelation” comes from the Greek word for “claw.”) Chelation is a well understood principle for any chemist, who knows that mercury is particularly attracted to thiols or sulfur found in every cell in the body. A true chelator for mercury has two thiol groups per molecule, which are spaced the appropriate distance to fit around the mercury ion. When one of these chelator molecules comes along, it attaches to the mercury ion, forming a bond that is strong enough to rip the mercury away from wherever it is lodged.
Although the chelator molecule flowing along in the bloodstream with its mercury payload is destined to be excreted, it unfortunately does not have a perfect grip, and after a while it starts to lose its hold. When this happens, the mercury will zip off and reattach itself to some other attractive, sulfur-y location. This redistribution of mercury can cause new damage.
The potential for mercury redistribution highlights the importance of differentiating between harmful and beneficial chelation protocols. A harmful chelation protocol is one that causes preferential redistribution of mercury from less sensitive to more sensitive locations in the body. To put it simply, mercury in the brain, liver, thyroid, adrenal glands and immune system cells will cause more serious damage because these organs and systems are sensitive. Mercury in muscles, bones, ligaments, lungs, skin or fat will be less harmful because these are not sensitive tissues. In the process of moving mercury out, we do not want to inadvertently move any of it into the sensitive tissues, which will make us sicker, not better—even if the total body burden of mercury falls. We do not want to let the mercury take any detours on the way out. This is why it is so important to identify the right protocol, follow the rules and chelate on a proper schedule.
THE CUTLER PROTOCOL
Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD, PE (who passed away suddenly in July 2017) developed a chelation protocol that keeps most of the harmful redistribution from happening. It does this by dosing the chelators on their half-life. What this means is that every time a chelator molecule drops its mercury burden, there is another dose right behind it, ready to pick up the mercury and carry it a little farther on its road to eventual excretion.
The Cutler protocol may use any of three different chelators: ALA (alpha lipoic acid), DMPS (2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid) and DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid). ALA removes mercury, arsenic and antimony; DMPS removes mercury and arsenic; and DMSA removes mercury, cadmium, antimony, arsenic and lead. ALA is the most important chelator because it is fat-soluble and can enter cells and cross the blood-brain barrier. ALA is available over-the-counter and is found in many products, and for most people, it will be the only chelator they will need to use. However, it is essential to use ALA carefully because it can wreak tremendous havoc with improper chelation.
The Cutler protocol is designed to keep the levels of chelator in the blood stable. To this end, ALA gets dosed every three hours or less, DMSA every four hours or less and DMPS every eight hours or less. In practical terms, this requires setting alarm clock reminders to take the chelator on schedule, night and day. The Cutler protocol also measures chelation in “rounds.” A minimum round is three days plus the intervening two nights, or about sixty-four hours. After a round, the person takes a break and starts all over again the following week, keeping this cycle up until they are well again. This process can take several months to several years.
SUPPORTING THE BODY DURING CHELATION
Mobilizing and excreting mercury and/or other heavy metals exposes the body to a great deal of stress. While following the Cutler protocol, it can be helpful to supplement with vitamins C and E as well as zinc and magnesium. People who are chelating also need to be on a Weston A. Price-style diet, at a minimum, to feel decent. This is because mercury impairs metabolism; consequently, many components of the Standard American Diet (SAD) become indigestible to mercury sufferers, even if other people who are not suffering mercury toxicity may be able to tolerate a SAD fairly well.
The good news is that the body will return to health as soon as it can, as long as we recognize the need to remove toxins and feed ourselves nourishing food. While chelating, it is also important to handle symptoms so as not to be miserable, whether through diet, supplements or medications. However, symptom management strategies are not a cure. If our symptoms come racing back as soon as we stop these interventions, we have not cured anything.
HOW ANDY CUTLER CAME UP WITH HIS PROTOCOL
Andy Cutler was a research scientist with a doctorate in chemistry from Princeton. He learned about mercury poisoning the same way I did—by getting poisoned. Like many of us, he got sick from his amalgam fillings. Andy spent a long time searching for the root cause of his various problems. Finally, the local “witch doctor” took the risk of telling him that he had mercury poisoning. I say “took the risk” because mercury toxicity is an issue that is embroiled in political controversy. Dentists have been implanting the stuff in people’s mouths for generations, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine schedule is riddled with it, too.
Being familiar with kinetics, or the way chemicals move around and react with each other, Andy realized that the treatment the doctor suggested didn’t make any sense. He became a self-taught expert on pharmacokinetics and chelation, figured out what the appropriate protocol should be and used it to recover his health. Afterwards, he spent a lot of time talking to people with mercury problems, and many of them tried his approach. When most of them did quite well, he wrote his first book, Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment.2 in order to get everything he had learned “out of his head.” He said he never expected the book to sell, but it did and has saved many thousands of people’s lives, health and sanity.
As mentioned, the most important chelator in the Cutler protocol is ALA. How Andy learned about its properties is an interesting story. While he was doing his graduate work in chemistry at Princeton, he had a student job working in the chemistry library. He was in demand helping people with a very difficult index of chemical papers, and he got rather good at using the index. Because of this, Andy was able to discover a paper on chelating mercury in rats, written in Russian.3 Andy had studied Russian for one year and was able to sound out the words to a friend who spoke Polish. Between them, they managed to decipher the article. This article, and his graduate work in kinetics, put him on the right track for understanding the chelating properties and pharmacokinetics of ALA.
Some people are genetically more susceptible to being poisoned by mercury than others. One person might be laid low by two amalgam fillings whereas their neighbor with a mouth full of them may be perfectly fine. Other people can be more susceptible to mercury for acquired reasons—things that happened to them that aren’t genetic. In my case, I had hepatitis, which made my liver unable to get rid of mercury as well as other people. I also had dental adventures that injured me even though many other people have had similar dental experiences without mishap.
My father was in the Foreign Service, and as a child I lived all over the world and got many vaccinations. Later, in my reckless youth, I traveled a lot, hitchhiking overland from Europe to India, back and forth three times. In the process, I wound up getting several different kinds of hepatitis, but as a young woman I recovered well and continued enjoying my life.
In the 1980s, when I returned from living in India for twelve years, my father took me to his dentist to have my teeth evaluated. After this dentist x-rayed my mouth and told me that I needed to get all my fillings redone, I let the dentist drill out eight mercury amalgam fillings and replace them with new amalgam fillings. The dentist used no precautions whatsoever, and it never occurred to me that this could be a problem.
Some period of time after the dental episode, I had a nervous breakdown. I became so emotional that I pretty much cried all day. It came on suddenly, as though I had caught a virus. Unfortunately, I didn’t put two and two together. Meanwhile, my brother thought that I was using drugs. The acute symptoms eventually calmed down, but from then on I dealt constantly with anxiety and depression and other odd symptoms. I went through weepy periods where I could be reduced to tears by a sentimental ad on television. I was so brain-fogged and distracted that I felt as though I was going to rear-end people on the road. I often couldn’t remember which way to turn when I got out of a parking lot. I couldn’t read non-fiction anymore because I couldn’t retain any information. I had no libido. I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off. I was waking up every three hours all night to pee. I was tired all the time.
At one point, an MD got me on Prozac, and I guess that helped, but I subsequently became a big patron of alternative doctors. I did liver flushes and ten-day cleansing fasts with colonics. I spent thousands of dollars on supplements. I did acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I corresponded by fax with a clinic in Mexico. With each intervention, I would get better for a while but it never would stick.
When I developed breast cancer, it scared me so much that I went to a very expensive chiropractor. This practitioner diagnosed chronic mercury poisoning. I was terribly excited to find an explanation for all my weird bad health. The chiropractor told me not to worry about my dental amalgams and just to take DMSA twice a day. I spent another two weeks sobbing all day until I had the sense to stop taking the DMSA. I later learned that I had been detoxing based on very bad advice.
I rooted around on the internet and finally found my way to Andy’s protocol. After a marathon session with a holistic dentist and a few false starts, I got going on the process of recovering my health. Unsurprisingly, Andrew Cutler is my hero. He spelled out what I had to do when the medical profession was clueless about how to help me. He is a hero for a lot of other people like me, too.
Andy didn’t think in black-and-white terms about mainstream medicine. He never said that mainstream medicine is hogwash or that all drugs are bad and only natural remedies are virtuous and good. I don’t subscribe to this simplistic way of thinking either. I accumulated mercury in my body because I had hepatitis C. Although I skated along for decades, ultimately, the hepatitis started to make me very sick. Recently, I was able to cure the hepatitis with a pharmaceutical drug, but if I hadn’t chelated, I would still have all the neurological symptoms the mercury was causing. I needed both alternative and mainstream medicine to completely recover.
HOW TO TEST FOR MERCURY
On top of the fact that the mercury poisoning symptom picture is so chaotic and confusing, it is extremely difficult to test for mercury. It only shows up in the blood within the first three months of an acute exposure. Urine and stool are equally uninformative. This is a problem if you suspect that you may be toxic but are faced with thousands of dollars of dental work. You can’t chelate until all your amalgam fillings are removed.
If you have no mercury fillings, you can easily determine whether you have a mercury problem by doing trial chelation rounds. Any reaction to the chelators, good or bad, means that there is something to chelate.
Although there are no really good tests, a hair test can often be informative. A toxic person’s hair test will usually show very low mercury because the body is holding on to it, and this can be confusing to practitioners. Andy’s book, Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities,4 explains how to analyze a hair test for deranged mineral transport, which shows up in the patterns of the essential elements. Only mercury causes deranged mineral transport.
A NOTE ABOUT LEAD
Lead poisoning has been in the news, particularly since the mass poisoning that occurred in Flint, Michigan. The consensus, according to the media and the medical community, is that the children in Flint have been irreparably harmed and are doomed to have lower IQs, impulse and anger control issues and all kinds of learning disabilities for the rest of their lives. However, like mercury, lead poisoning is treatable. With appropriate chelation, these toxic children and adults can recover and live normal lives.
The chelation protocol for lead is a bit different from the protocol for mercury. This is because the body stores lead in the bones, and it comes out gradually as room is made for it in the blood. The treatment is to chelate the lead out of the blood, wait for it to fill up with lead again, and then chelate some more. The agent used for this is DMSA. The process can take several years, but that surely beats the alternative of a ruined life.
When Andy died on July 29th, 2017, everybody who knew him was devastated. He was a brilliant and intelligent scientist and a very witty and generous person. He spent hours of his time online and on the phone answering people’s questions. At first, I was dismayed that he had died with so much knowledge still in his head, but I later comforted myself with the knowledge that he trained and counseled many people. His knowledge is in many, many people’s heads now.
Andy was particularly kind and helpful to parents with injured children. I miss him sorely when our support groups get questions about genetic or seizure disorders. Andy was very knowledgeable and could always suggest something. He was also good at telling parents what pitfalls to avoid in the medical system.
When the public learned that Andy had died, there was an outpouring of comments from parents. I found one post particularly poignant. A mother said her son had asked her why she was crying, and she answered, “Because the man who made you better died.” The son replied, “Don’t worry mom, he’s in heaven and you have the recipe.” So blessings on you, Andy! And thank you for leaving us the recipe.
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: TRESSIE
My son started with an Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) score of over one hundred and thirty, and now he scores a big fat zero. (Total ATEC scores range from zero to one hundred and eighty, with the high end being the most severe.) By any definition, my son is fully recovered. No more special diets, no more yeast, no more diagnosis, no more IEP (individualized education program), no sensory issues, no tantrums. He is now in a regular classroom. He listens. In our community, when I tell people I have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), they guess it is my youngest and not my middle boy, because the youngest is spoiled and my ASD kiddo is so smart and witty they don’t guess it is him. We did over two hundred rounds of Andy Cutler’s protocol, which is a chelation protocol, but there is more to it. There are other compatible things that Andy talks about and recommends to help with function while waiting for the metals to clear. We did those things—diet, supplements, yeast treatments, parasite cleanses. After a year of horrible experiences with high-dose oral chelation in the beginning, we did not do any traditional therapies or any biomedical interventions that were not compatible or recommended by Andy. With my ASD son, we saw a positive effect from the first round of Cutler protocol chelation.
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: SARAH
My son was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism a couple of months before he hit age three. He did some early intervention therapy and almost a whole school year at his developmental preschool, with little change. In fact, he seemed to be getting even further behind his peers. When we first discovered Andy Cutler’s chelation protocol, we were hopeful but also very skeptical. We started my son’s first round of chelation the day after school let out for the summer. Although (looking back at my notes) I was noticing changes even within the first day, I brushed it off at the time as coincidence and figured I must be “reaching.” Surely it couldn’t be working that quickly. By my son’s second round, he started saying stuff he had never said before. This was when I realized there might be something to this protocol. By the third round, he started interacting with the neighborhood kids, and he suddenly was formulating questions! “Want this” turned into “Can I have this?” By round five, he suddenly developed an imagination out of nowhere. Previously, he would sit and fixate on a toy for hours while rocking back and forth on the floor. He also would spin wheels and stare at the wheels turning. He preferred to be alone. One day, I heard him yell in the other room, “Moooooom! Where are you?” That alone amazed me, but when I rounded the corner to see what he wanted, I realized he was playing with his toy mom, and her toy kid was talking to her in his play. By round eleven, he was playing with his sisters, not just next to them, and the “Wh” questions started. “Where is daddy?” ”What is that?”
When I had first discovered the hope of biomedical intervention, I told a friend that I would be happy if I could just get my son to a point where he could ask a question—and here I was, eleven weeks in, and my ultimate goal had already been met. We just finished round twenty-eight. My son is a different kid. We can now go to restaurants. That is amazing, considering that six months ago my husband and I had agreed that was probably not in the cards for us ever again because our son would completely melt down with sensory overload. Now, I don’t have to pull the car over every five minutes to pull my son’s pant legs back down (because when they hit higher than his ankle it would completely freak him out).
He’s answering open-ended questions now. It takes him some time to process them, but I can ask him what he wants for Christmas and he will say “I want presents, mommy.” He’s making huge cognitive gains, can follow directions and sleeps! He used to wake at three in the morning and wandered the house aimlessly every night. Now, if he wakes, it’s typically to go to the bathroom, grab one of us to lie with him (which he wouldn’t do before) and then fall right back asleep. His teachers are commenting that he’s excelling. Oh, and he tells me he loves me. I could go on and on. My son’s expressive language is just a couple points outside of the average for his age now. If he were to be evaluated now, I believe he would probably fall more into the high-functioning category. We still have years to go, but considering we are only six months in and have a brand-new happy kid, I’d say we are on the road to recovery.
THINGS TO NEVER EVER DO
The Andy Cutler protocol takes into consideration mercury’s tendency to redistribute from harmless places in the body to the brain and sensitive organs. In contrast, less well-thought-out detox methods can redistribute mercury indiscriminately. Thus, it is important to completely stay away from other commonly cited chelation vehicles and strategies, such as taking chelators off their half-life; using cilantro, EDTA or chlorella; using ALA for anything other than chelating; or using anything other than vitamin C intravenously.
DO NOT TAKE CHELATORS OFF THEIR HALF-LIFE: Taking a few hundred milligrams of DMSA twice a day, every eight hours or every other day, will make someone sicker than they already are. It mobilizes way more mercury than the body can possibly excrete and causes too much redistribution.
AVOID CILANTRO: From the horror stories we hear from people who tried to detox with cilantro, we think that it is an actual fat-soluble chelator that crosses the blood-brain barrier, similar to ALA. Nobody knows the active ingredient in cilantro, nobody knows its half-life and there are no standardized doses, so it is almost impossible to use properly. Although it is indeed “perfectly natural,” so are botulism, strychnine and hemlock. Some of the worst stories of regression we hear come from people who juiced cilantro or made cilantro smoothies or salads.
AVOID EDTA: EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is not a clinically useful chelator for mercury. Although it increases the amount of mercury that shows up in the urine, it does not chelate mercury from sensitive organs nor clear it from the body. Using EDTA will actually make someone get worse by moving mercury out of harmless locations into the brain, liver and hormone-producing glands. EDTA does chelate lead very effectively, and it can also be used to clear minerals out of clogged arteries. It is unwise to use EDTA until after removing all amalgam fillings and doing several years of chelating with ALA.
AVOID CHLORELLA: A true chelator has two thiol groups that latch onto the mercury ion securely enough to get it moving along out of the body. Chlorella contains various molecules that have only one thiol group, so it picks up the mercury and flings it around indiscriminately. In nature, chlorella can absorb heavy metals—and is often contaminated with them—absorbing them from the inorganic environment, which has few thiols, not from other living things, which have plenty. In a living body, chlorella does not absorb heavy metals but causes their redistribution.
DO NOT USE ALA FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN CHELATING: Chemicals do not care what we think or what the most important doctor in the world tells them to do. Chemicals act entirely according to the laws of nature. Many practitioners prescribe ALA because it is a powerful antioxidant. A common recommendation we have heard is six hundred milligrams a day to treat diabetes. Apparently ALA is effective for that, but it is also a chelator, and over time, if someone has any mercury in their body, the ALA regimen will concentrate mercury into their brain and other sensitive organs. In short, ALA acts as both an antioxidant and a chelator at the same time. Practitioners and patients will not realize that the neurological issues that slowly develop are due to the misuse of ALA. No matter what the practitioner’s intent in prescribing ALA—whether as an antioxidant, for liver protection or to treat diabetic neuropathy—the ALA also will chelate any available mercury. Because it is not being given on a proper schedule, the result will be to gradually concentrate mercury into the brain and other sensitive organs.
DO NOT USE ANYTHING INTRAVENOUSLY EXCEPT VITAMIN C: Many (and even most) practitioners who treat heavy metals want to do intravenous (IV) chelation. However, an IV of a chelator is a hazardous proposition because it will mobilize a huge amount of mercury, the bulk of which will be redistributed. Glutathione is another IV never to do. A glutathione IV will mobilize mercury without getting any of it out of the body, causing a huge “redistribution event.” It is common for people to become mentally ill and develop bipolar disorder as well as many other problems after these IV glutathione interventions. At best, they provide only temporary symptom relief, and they don’t remove any toxic metals from where they are doing damage. The most dangerous aspect about glutathione IVs is that people often have several good experiences with them first, so they ignore the warnings and keep on going until the bad one hits.
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: LINDA
I have been chelating off and on since 2005 and so far, I have reversed multiple sclerosis (MS) and ulcerative colitis, two conditions that are supposedly impossible to reverse. There are signs that my adrenal fatigue is getting better. Not sure about the hypothyroidism. In 1991, I had my first MS attack. The attacks were numbness, weakness, balance problems and difficulty walking. During the first attack, my legs felt like huge pieces of wood. I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in 2000. I started the MS diet soon after that. Everyone was telling me that amalgam fillings were completely safe, but then I saw a doctor in 2004 who told me I had mercury poisoning and put that in my chart. This motivated me to remove my amalgams despite the exorbitant cost. I started chelation the next year. My MS diagnosis was reversed in 2008 by the same neurologist who gave me the original diagnosis. MRI lesions were either gone or reduced in size. I had a normal neurological exam and no MS symptoms at that point. Every time I had seen this neurologist from 1991 to 2007, I had MS symptoms and an abnormal neurological exam. The neurologist even got mad at me and told me not to come back because “MS isn’t curable.”
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: PAOLA
My adrenal fatigue was my number one issue: debilitating, crushing, all-exhausting, zombifying, brain-numbing, life-juice-sucking fatigue. This is the reason why I started chelating, and now after one hundred thirty rounds, it is now as good as gone. It flares up now and then when I’m on round for a few hours, or when I increase the dosage. Most of the time, I feel like there is nothing holding me back any more. Whatever I want to do, I just get up and do it. What a concept! Other things that have improved immensely are motivation and procrastination. I’m active all the time. Whatever needs to be done gets done. My low blood sugar issues, which started with chelation, have now disappeared. They used to make me wake up in the middle of the night, and I had to eat to be able to fall back asleep. Sometimes at one, two or five in the morning, every single night! It was the most frustrating thing ever. This has completely resolved. I now eat just two times a day, like I used to years ago. My voracious, insatiable appetite has normalized. And my eyebrows have grown back! I wish I had taken before-and-after pictures, but I never expected that to happen! Migraines during “that time of the month” also are better. Before, I used to be knocked out cold for three days straight. Movement would cause an unbearable hammering in my temples. Now, the migraines are changing into headaches instead of hammers. The intensity is down by around 40 percent and the headaches are down to one day per month instead of three. There is still room for improvement, but things are sooo much better. Nausea is also better. My dietary problems are resolving. My thiol sensitivity has improved. I can now eat FODMAPs (like avocados, apricots and peaches) without a problem. A fantastic transformation has taken place. Im forever grateful to Andy Cutler and the peeps in the Andy Cutler group on Facebook. I wouldn’t have done it without them! [Note: The group is now called Andy Cutler Chelation: Safe Mercury and Heavy Metal Detox.]
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: KAREN
In 1999, at age thirty-six, I was suffering from anxiety and depression. It’s likely I suffered from anxiety my whole life without recognizing it. Being anorexic as a teen, I also had endocrine issues almost my entire life. In 2001, I started seeking alternative medicine, primarily for amenorrhea and poor brain function. In 2005, not having found any solutions and having read testimonies of people with cognitive issues that improved after having their amalgams removed, I thought I might as well try that myself. I had nothing to lose. I had my amalgam fillings removed by a dentist who practices safe amalgam removal. However, the chelation and detox protocol that my holistic doctor prescribed subsequent to the removal did me much harm. Rather than moving mercury out of my body, it mobilized it, moving even more of it into my brain. I did almost everything that Andy Cutler says not to do: intravenous DMPS and glutathione, EDTA, chlorella and cilantro. In 2011, my mental health worsened dramatically. It began with negative and obsessive thoughts. My sleep completely deteriorated. I would fall asleep but wake a few hours later feeling panicked and unable to sleep. Intense anxiety, regret, panic and obsessive thoughts plagued me twenty-four-seven. The magnitude of regret and panic over inconsequential decisions was unfathomable. I had extreme self-hatred and guilt and cursed at myself. I screamed at God to please stop torturing me and to take my life. I was on the verge of insanity.
At a friend’s urging, I began Andy Cutler’s chelation protocol in August 2013, with three milligrams ALA. For the first two years, progress was slow and up and down. Shortly after the two-year mark, I began experiencing relief, for which I am extremely grateful. Friends see a night-and-day difference in me, and I feel completely different. Prior to starting Cutler’s protocol, I had been following a Weston Price diet (since 2000); I began Bee Wilder’s anti-candida diet in 2010; I saw two homeopathic doctors, a specialized psychiatrist and two cognitive behavioral therapists; and I did one year of nutritional balancing. It was not until I started following Andy Cutler’s protocol with proper supplements that I finally started getting better.
2. Cutler AH. Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment. Sammamish, WA; 1999.
3. Leskova GE. [Protective effect of lipoic acid amide in experimental mercurialism.] [Article in Russian] Gig Tr Prof Zabol 1979;6: 27-30.
4. Cutler AH. Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities. Sammamish, WA; 2004.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2018.