Pitfalls in the Program

Here is a rewrite of a document by Andy Cutler and Brian McBlain. It is about pitfalls that can keep you from making progress. If you are not seeing any improvement in your symptoms while following the Andy Cutler protocol of frequent low dose oral chelation, you may be making one of the mistakes below.

1. You didn’t get all the amalgam out of your mouth. Problems from chelating with hidden amalgam can range from simple lack of progress to extreme side effects at even low doses of chelators. Amalgam that is missed can be hidden under crowns. Sometimes pieces are left in extraction sites. Sometimes little flecks get left over from where fillings were removed. Check, check and recheck for hidden amalgam when you are experiencing problems with chelation.

2. You are chelating in the presence of an ongoing exposure. Examples of this are high mercury fish, mercury that was spilled in the environment or, in the case of lead, flaking paint and dust in your house. There are many hidden exposures. You may be able to check for ongoing exposure with a blood test.

3. You are not respecting the half-life of the chelators. Some people think it is okay to take DMSA or ALA a few times per day. Unfortunately, until we find chelators with longer half-lives, you must take ALA maximum every three or four hours, DMSA every four, and DMPS (which is a bit easier) every 8.

4. You are skipping the night-time dose. Sometimes people are so averse to waking up at night that they try to skip the night-time dose. You can’t do that. It will cause redistribution and hurt you.

5. You are ending the round too soon. A complete round is a minimum of 63 or 64 hours. Another way to express this is 3 days and the 2 intervening nights. If you stop earlier, you will feel bad.

6. You are dosing too high. Your dose of chelator is moving more mercury than your liver can handle and what is not getting excreted is getting redistributed. Since feeling awful may have been your norm for a long time, it can be difficult to know if you are making this mistake. You should only increase your dose quickly at the beginning of the process to find the appropriate “starting dose.” Once you find that sweet spot, stay there for as long as it still causing you symptoms. This can be from a few months to even a year.

7. You are not taking adequate supplement support. At the very least you need to take the “core four” in large amounts to counter the oxidative and electrolyte stress mercury causes.

8. You are chemically sensitive and can’t tolerate most supplements. In this case, you will need to take low doses of chelators and proceed very conservatively.

9. You are not supporting your liver adequately. Your poor liver must deal with all this poison you are excreting. You should at least take milk thistle extract and possibly all the other liver support supplements we suggest.

10. Your adrenals and thyroid need more support. Almost all mercury toxic people have adrenal problems and many of them need to support their thyroid, too.

11. You have unrecognized food sensitivities. Toxic people may react oddly to all sorts of food chemicals, but high thiol foods are a particular problem for around 30% of us. If you are sensitive to thiols, giving them up will make you feel a whole lot better. Thiols, high carbs, mercury and DMSA can also make candida worse.

12. You are doing things on our “Do Not Do!” list. This includes, among other things, IV glutathione, challenge tests, R- ALA, chlorella, and cilantro. Having tried to detox with any of these in the past may make chelation longer and more difficult.

13. You need anti-seizure or psychiatric drugs and are not taking them. Chelation requires a lot of patience and discipline, and you won’t have these when your brain is in revolt.

14. You didn’t chelate long enough. You think you have done enough, or you got tempted to stop and try some other method instead. You need to reach your maximum ALA dose without symptoms and stay there for six months.

15. You need to shorten the interval between ALA doses. Some people experience dose to dose redistribution at 3-hour dosing. Some people need 2 hours and 40 minutes dosing and a few need 2-hour dosing.

16. You need more methylation support. Brian says that a classic sign of this is a stall at about 50 rounds in. (Although this can also be “the dump.”) Andy counseled trying SAMe, TMG, B12, folate, methyl-B12 or methyl folate. Finding what works is not without risk because in some people, SAMe can cause severe depression, TMG can cause extreme anxiety and B12 can cause angry outbursts. Andy did not believe that cyano-b12 and folate compete for sites with methyl-B12 and methyl folate, but some people appear to do better with these last two. The only downside is the extra cost. Brian knows a person who needs multiple methyl-B12 shots a day to function. This person is a severe outlier, but it emphasizes the point that methylation can be the weak link for some people.

17. You let non-crucial health issues divert you from chelation and don’t get back on schedule. ACC is not a quick fix. It requires diligence. Don’t let anything divert you from your schedule if you can help it. Of course, if you have appendicitis or surgery, you will have to stop. You may want to stop if you get a cold, and you think chelating will make it worse. But get back on the wagon as soon as possible. Andy said it is okay to chelate when you are taking antibiotics for other illnesses. Some practitioners want to fix your gut or candida or whatever before chelating, but many chronic problems will not be cured until the mercury is gone.

Over the past twenty-two years, thousands of people have recovered their health by following the Andy Cutler protocol. Our success stories are more robust than mere anecdotal reports. ACC is no longer a matter of faith but a protocol with well-defined boundaries. If you want to succeed, be mindful of our “Do not do!” list and the above list of pitfalls.


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