Wahls Paleo: One Week In

One week into the new diet/lifestyle and I can report that I am experiencing more vertigo now than I was before starting. It’s been a while since the world abruptly spun on me without any warning, so this current setback is unfortunate.

I have a few theories as to why this may be occurring:

  • I may have introduced a food that is increasing inflammation, leading to stronger symptoms
  • The changes may have decreased inflammation, lessoning my need for custom prisms on my corrective lenses. This, in turn, redefines my existing lenses from a benefit to a detriment
  • The sheer amount of nutrients I am flooding my body with is allowing cells to better detoxify on their own, leading to the prominent detoxification symptoms I am now experiencing

My hope is that it’s the second or third, or maybe a combination of both. To help test the first theory, I plan on having an ALCAT test performed to determine which foods my body may be intolerant of. Based on the findings, I will adjust my diet accordingly and monitor my reaction.

The Wahls Protocol

While researching genetics, and focusing in on the Yasko protocol, I stumbled upon an article titled “A simpler Yasko protocol: eat veggies?” that introduced me to Terry Wahls, MD. Terry Wahls is a medical doctor who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and through dietary changes, along with exercise and stress management, reversed her condition in a dramatic way. In 2011, she spoke at TEDx in Iowa, and the video was an eye-opener for me. I highly encourage you to find the time (~18-minutes) to watch it.

I have often wondered why I have been stricken with my symptoms, and genetics seemed to be the natural path to investigate. Along the way, I learned about epigenetics, and how genes can express themselves when certain conditions are met. Think of it like a car: If you properly maintain your car, and use quality materials, it will run better and give you less problems. Start to neglect your car’s needs, and it starts to idle rough and eventually breaks down prematurely.

Your body is no different. If you eat nutrient dense foods that your body needs, while maintaining yourself (stress management, exercise), your body will function much smoother than if you eat junk food and live a stressful, sedentary lifestyle. This is the underlying concept of the Wahls Protocol, a system that Terry Wahls, MD devised to help people treat their underlying causes of disease rather than mask symptoms with medications.

I purchased her latest book, “The Wahls Protocol”, and for the last week have employed her second tier diet, Wahls Paleo. The stress management aspect has been difficult, and I have been researching techniques that will help me manage it better. As for exercise, I have been forcing myself to be more physically active and hope that with time I will add more physical activities to my day.

So where does this leave me with chelating? What I have found is that my issue with metals is most likely due to a system running on poor fuel and in bad need of maintenance. The changes I am making should address this issue, with my body repairing itself to better handle toxin loads. This will, in effect, allow me to start ridding myself of my current toxin burden, while protecting me from future exposures.

The Dangerousness of Mercury Vapor (1926)

Stanford University hosts a translated version of an interesting paper from 1926 titled, “The Dangerousness of Mercury Vapor.” Originally penned by Alfred Stock in Berlin, the paper natively titled “Die Gefaehrlichkeit des Quecksilberdampfes” outlines his personal experience suffering from mercury poisoning.

From the paper:

While my physical ability, e.g. mountain climbing, did not seem to have been weakened, the ability to work mentally suffered a little, although not in as devastating a fashion as had been the case with memory. Added to that were depression, and a vexing inner restlessness, which later also caused restless sleep. By nature companionable and loving life, I withdrew moodily into myself, shied away from the public, stayed away from people and social activity, and unlearned the joy in art and nature. Humor became rusty. Obstacles, which formerly I would have overlooked smilingly (and am overlooking again today), seemed insurmountable. Scientific work caused great effort. I forced myself to go to the laboratory without being able to get anything useful accomplished in spite of all efforts. Thought came laboriously and pedantically. I had to deny myself working on solutions to questions beyond the nearest tasks at hand. The lecture that used to be a pleasure became a torture. The preparations for a lecture, the writing of a dissertation, or merely a simple letter caused unending effort in styling the material and wrestling with the language. Not seldom did it happen that I misspelled words or left out letters. It was not nice to be aware of these shortcomings, not to know their cause, not to know a way to their elimination, and to have to fear further deterioration.

It’s a long read, but worth the time.

Rolling Back Milk Thistle for Diagnostics

Earlier this month, I wrote an article titled “Tingling Sensation of Unknown Origin” where I talk about a new symptom that presented itself, and hypothesize that it may be a result of increasing milk thistle from 250mg to 750mg per day. While I cannot say for certain that my hunch is correct, I do feel more confident that my newly found nausea may indeed be caused by the increase.

This additional side effect started to present itself shortly after the dosage increase a few weeks back. I decided to take a few days off from administering my supplements—out of sympathy for my stomach—and noticed that my nausea disappeared. Considering the only thing I have changed recently was the milk thistle dosage, I have decided to revert back to 250mg per day to see if that is the issue.

Tingling Sensation of Unknown Origin

While I was hoping to cross off symptoms as I progressed through the rounds, a new one appeared: parasthesia. What is parasthesia? From The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary:

par·es·the·sia or par·aes·the·sia (păr′ĭs-thē′zhə) noun A skin sensation, such as burning, prickling, itching, or tingling, with no apparent physical cause.

Without schedule or known reason, I get the sensation of my skin tingling on the right-side of my chest. It’s only a small section of my skin—maybe a three-inch diameter—that suddenly, and without warning starts to tingle. The duration is less than five-minutes and the experience is not unpleasant.

This new symptom first appeared around the same time I increased my daily Milk Thistle dosage from 250 mg to 750 mg. Considering the tingling sensation is located in the same place that my liver exists—excluding the fact that my ribcage lies between it—I have to wonder if they are associated.

New Blog Following Mercury Poisoning Recovery

I just discovered “Mercury Poisoning”, a blog following the path of Jimmy Lien as he recovers from mercury poisoning. Jimmy has been suffering from mercury poisoning for five-months, and has used a multitude of treatment options, including DMPS injections, to fight his battle. I highly recommend heading over to his site; it’s a great read.

I have also placed a link to his site under the “Sites of Interest” list on the right side of my page.

Hair Test Results - 2015.01.15

I just received my hair test results back from Doctor’s Data, and based on the counting rules outlined by Dr. Cutler in “Hair Test Interpretation” the data indicates deranged mineral transport. First, the raw results:

After running through the first four (of five total) rules, I have concluded that I meet one rule, with a second rule as a possibility. The two rules I believe I meet are as follows:

Rule 3: Four or more essential elements crossing into the red bands. I have three essential elements clearly in the red (zinc, lithium and strontium) with chromium a possible fourth. If chromium’s tip crossing the plane into the red counts, this meets rule 3.

Rule 4: 11 or less essential elements in the white or green bands. I count 11 essential elements that meet this rule (sodium, potassium, copper, boron, iodine, phosphorus, selenium, sulfur, cobalt, iron and zirconium).

I wish that I would’ve had a hair analysis performed back before I started the Cutler Protocol, but even after a year it appears that mercury could still be the problem.

Big DMSA Changes

This week has seen a couple different changes to my DMSA regimen:

  1. I now source my DMSA from Living Supplements. They not only offer a wider variety than most from a strengths perspective, they also have a compounding pharmacy that can create custom strengths, if needed. Compared to the price my own compounding pharmacy charges, Living Supplements’ prices are incredible.

  2. I increased my dose strength from 25mg to 37.5mg, with the intention of landing at 50mg in the next four-weeks. I haven’t increased the strengths of ALA or DMSA in a long while and decided now was as good a time as any to do so.

I wish that I could write more, but I am feeling a little more brain fog than normal on this round and feel the best option for me is rest and relaxation. Now if only the muscle spasm in my right arm would give it a rest!

Where I Stand: Update

It’s been nearly two-months since I first posted an article (and chart) outlining my dump/stall phase experience. As of the end of my last round, I have completed the equivalent of 48.24 (72-hour) rounds. The following chart outlines where my dump phase falls when mapped within figure 15 on page 52 of “Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment by Andrew H Cutler, PhD.”

Based on my current symptoms, I feel that I more align with the green bar, leading me to subscribe to a chelation schedule that will most likely extend well beyond 12-months.

Yes, I Am Sure

“Are you sure you didn’t suffer traumatic brain injury?” That was the question I was asked a few years back from both an associate professor and the academic dean from the optometry school at a prestigious university. The fact that they asked me that question should have set off alarms, but I was, at the time, still under the impression that conventional doctors could solve my problem.

Looking back at my history of medical professional interactions, I am amazed at how fast they try to pin the symptoms on you when they realize that your condition falls within their knowledge gap. Whether it’s arrogance or an inability to articulate, I have experienced a plague in the medical community: the incapacity to admit they don’t know.

Even though they may never explicitly admit that they don’t know what it wrong with you, the way they treat you reads loud and clear:

  • Specialists: They may send you to specialists in other fields to try and help them with their diagnosis. This is not a bad thing and may very well help you in the long run. The problem I have found is that not a single specialist referred me to a colleague in their same field. This screams of overconfidence and a refusal to admit that they don’t know everything in their own specialization.
  • Psychology: Some will try to convince you that your issue is all in your head, and refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. If your insurance covers it, or money is not an issue, I see no problem talking to someone to role out the possibility of a psychological manifestation. Please keep in mind that this is a common tactic used by doctors, so don’t be surprised when the psychologist or psychiatrist informs you that your issue is not psychological.
  • Repeat Customer: They were never able to successfully treat you, but want you to continue to schedule visits at a set interval for monitoring purposes. At this point, not only have they been unsuccessful at helping you, they also want you to continue paying them for nothing.

Why is it that many doctors seem incapable of admitting their ignorance? Is it to protect the image of medical professionals as great problem solvers? Do they feel the need to protect their egos? Maybe they are afraid that those who received poor customer service would demand a refund. Whatever the reason, it is unacceptable, expensive and potentially dangerous.

On a side note: Freakonomics published a great podcast episode titled “The Three Hardest Words in the English Language” where they discuss our unwillingness to say the words “I don’t know.” It’s worth a listen, even if it doesn’t focus on medical professionals’ elusive ways to avoid admitting ignorance.