DMSA For Heavy Metal Detox – Part 2

Later— Polly: The clarity stayed with me for about a week until I went swimming. I think this released stored toxins from my lymph system. I didn’ t feel that great afterwards, and I started to lose a little of the ability to formulate words again. I tried taking a little DMSA a few hours after the swim, but I started to get a few symptoms of too much DMSA. Four days later, I went swimming again, but this time, I took one pill of DMSA just before I got in the pool. I felt invigorated after going swimming rather than poorly. I felt wonderful the whole day, but the next day, I was a little out-of-it. Lipoic acid brought me back up to par that day.

I also get good results if I take the DMSA just after jumping up and down on a trampoline. Something similar to this might be the best way for me to use DMSA, at least for now. It is almost as if DMSA is tolerated if there is something for it to easily grab onto. The DMSA used in this manner also seems to be improving my vision. Yet, I can’ t use very much anymore without getting leg cramps. Perhaps it is because DMSA removes a lot of magnesium.

Marilyn in Seattle: I get brain fog on the DMSA but it does clear up … and I think DMSA is necessary for me. I have come to understand that a great many of my symptoms are a poisoned hypothalamus. I want to chelate the mercury out of my brain and DMSA does chelate brain mercury…I can feel it…

Polly: Marilyn, I don’ t think they really know if DMSA crosses the blood-brain barrier or not. They know that DMSA crosses the blood-brain barrier in rats, but that doesn’ t mean it does so in humans. [14] There is virtually no blood brain barrier in rats. DMSA seems to be too polar to cross the blood-brain barrier in humans.

Some doctors suggest using DMSA to reduce the total body load of heavy metals before using a different chelator that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Others argue that the mercury will seep out of the brain on its own once the body stores of mercury are down. However, I don’ t put much stock in this last hypothesis. If you are to make significant progress, then I think you eventually need to use something that directly moves the mercury out of the brain.

There is a similar controversy about whether EDTA crosses the blood-brain barrier or not. It seems that EDTA does not cross the blood-brain barrier if the blood-brain barrier is intact. In fact, researchers combine EDTA with a tracer to test the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Of course, there are those who say that mercury breaks down the blood-brain barrier. So both sides of the argument have very valid points. I guess we want to ask the question: Which chelator crosses the blood-brain barrier the easiest?

Later— Marilyn in Seattle: When I took DMSA my guts FLIPPED…SO BAD it scared me. I had bad cramps on it and continual bowel movements to the point where I couldn’ t leave the house. I still haven’ t found any one else that has reported the same extreme experience. I think my bad reaction was due to lead being moved through my digestive system by the DMSA.

“ Lead has a “ spasmogenic” effect on the intestines and vascular smooth muscle.” ml On an *unchallenged* elemental urine test, I peed out lead at 12.8 (reference range 0-4). My doctor said I was both lead and mercury poisoned.

DMSA made me feel energetic (it lowers my high plasma cysteine), but I was crashing afterward and had worsening neurological symptoms when finished. (Lead can cause muscle weakness and may impair nerve transmission too.)

Polly: But Marilyn, when you first started, you reported that you were having good reactions to DMSA— more energy and more metal clarity.

Marilyn in Seattle: I know that initially I thought the DMSA was okay, but the more I did, the worse I felt. My reaction to DMSA worsened over time. The first couple of times I did it using the Cutler protocol. I had gut disturbances, but my doc said to ignore it. This is even in Thorne’ s literature, that DMSA can cause gut/digestive disturbances. It would start by the end of the first day and self-limit, ending by day four.

Each subsequent time I took it, the gut flip out got more extreme until I was having severe cramping and couldn’ t leave the house. It would start after the first capsule. The more I did the more I was having trouble recovering from it. I had 2 bouts of temporary paralysis when trying to get out of bed on the 3rd day of doing rounds five and six. The DMSA started to scare the heck out of me and I stopped taking it. This gut flip-out also happened to me after a 400 mg glutathione drip, and it happened the first few times I used the infra-red sauna.

Polly: I did experience minor loose stools the first time I tried DMSA, but this didn’ t show up until the fourth day, when I also started to lose the energy. I got a leg cramp that night, and a small sore on my gums too. My body was telling me that it was time to stop.

Kathy: Yesterday, I attended a small symposium of people that spoke at the DAN (defeat autism now!) conference here in Oregon, (June 2001). I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the speakers, James R. Laidler, MD, had some important things to say about DMSA. He believes that several things should be checked BEFORE CHELATION and during or after the first cycle. These are the platelet counts, serum transaminases (liver function), urine mercury and metals excretion, receptive/expressive speech and other neurobehavioral markers. Someone asked him when to stop treatment. He suggested that the time to stop chelation is when mercury is below detectable limits and there has been no improvements seen in 3 to 4 treatments; or if there are unacceptable dangerous side effects.

DMSA side effects can be fatigue, irritability, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, elevated serum transaminases, neutropenia (low white cells— yet there have been no reports of bone marrow suppression), and occasional macular papular rash (yet no allergic reactions have been reported). Some can get Stevens Johnson Syndrome (This is blisters, however there are fewer that 6 cases reported).

The effects of DSMA are possibly due to more than just the removal of metals. There is the possibility that DMSA is removing gliotoxins (yeast by-products that are neurotoxins and immunetoxins). DMSA might also be removing cysteine, or pathogenic things such as phospholipase, protease, etc.

Polly: I just ran across this important fact in one of Dr. Amy Holme’ s articles. It appears that adding glycine to every dose of DMSA increases mercury excretion. [15]

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