The Mayo Clinic website explains that peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system, which is the network of nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. Information travels back and forth between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body along this system. Peripheral neuropathy usually starts as prickling and numbness in the hands and feet and can move on to worse manifestations from there. The Mayo Clinic lists causes for it as: autoimmune disease, diabetes, certain infections, inherited disorders, tumors, certain bone marrow disorders and “other diseases” among which under-active thyroid. So peripheral neuropathy is not idiopathic, although most of the conditions that cause it are. Under “other causes” are listed, alcoholism, exposure to poisons, medications, trauma, and vitamin deficiencies. Mercury and lead are listed under poisons.
Mercury and lead themselves cause autoimmune disease, diabetes, poor immune function which leads to infections and cancer and under active thyroid. Chronic mercury causes over 250 different symptoms and people get various constellations of these depending on various factors. it is a common, although largely undiagnosed, condition.
One of the ways mercury causes nerve damage is by stripping the neurons of their myelin sheath. This is graphically illustrated in this famous video from the university of Calgary. This video is talking about Alzheimer’s disease but the frayed sheath on the neurons causes MS which also has a terrible prognosis. Peripheral neuropathy is a common symptom with MS. Andy Cutler told me he “had never seen a case of MS where mercury wasn’t involved,” and we see cases of people who have reversed their MS diagnosis through chelation. The ultimate solution for this kind of nerve damage is to chelate the mercury out and put the body in a position to heal and to start functioning properly again.
Heavy metal chelation takes a long time. In the meantime, what can a person do to make the situation easier to bear? Also, what substances can they provide that their body can use to repair itself? I asked people on the Andy Cutler chelation Facebook group what they are doing to control symptoms and I got so many answers that I was inspired to write this article.
First-hand accounts are not supposed to be scientific but I have always been a fan. Observation is the first step in the scientific method, after all, and that’s really what a first-hand account is. People in our group suffer from peripheral neuropathy a lot, and as is usual with other mercury symptoms, they often have to figure out their own solutions.
Some of them rely on chiropractors and osteopaths. One person suggested tart cherry juice, another baking soda, another noni juice, another lion’s mane mushrooms. “Low level light laser therapy and microcurrent therapy, various diets, something called “solfeggio” and sauna were suggested. An Indian person suggested urine therapy, which is actually a real thing and I read a book about it when I lived over there
In the category of creams to apply directly to the afflicted spots, one suggestion was Zostrix, which turns out be made from capsaicin or hot peppers. Arnica cream was also popular. Rubbing on magnesium cream and a cream which shall not be named but is derived from a popular plant in Jamaica where I live was also recommended.
In the category of vitamins, benfotiamine, which is a lab made version of vitamin B1 or thiamine was suggested by several people. There was a lot of discussion of vitamin B6. Insufficiency and toxicity of this cause the same symptoms, apparently. One person reported that B6 gives her neuropathy and carpal tunnel so she only uses P5P which is a form of the same vitamin which is more easily used by the body.
Another person said to use all the B vitamins in in their conezymated form. B12 was suggested several times. I know it helps many people with many things. I also know that it gives some mercury toxic people anger issues so that is a side-effect to watch out for.
In the Detox Manual, Andy suggests the homeopathic remedy hypericum perforatum at 6X strength with the admonition to ONLY use that strength no matter what anybody says. Andy was an engineer and did not believe in homeopathic remedies above 6X.
The big guns in this game are often pharmaceuticals and hopefully one would not have to use them long term because as usual, they have serious side-effects. They include the prescription drugs Gabapentin and Lyrica. Low-dose naltrexone is an interesting remedy which works well for pain and which doctors seem to have discovered by mistake. I notice that Wikipedia takes a rather haughty tone in writing about it.
It is important for the body to have enough proper fat molecules on hand to repair the cell membranes and other damage mercury is causing as it burns the crap out of everything it touches. A lot of vitamin C to counter all this oxidization is important, too. One person described how he makes liposomal vitamin C with lecithin and takes an ounce every 2 hours. All the extra lecithin, along with the C, helps with the peripheral neuropathy. High dose fish oil and/or flax oil have the type of fat molecule that the cell membranes like, too.
The most consistent advice was to keep on chelating. Find something that helps with the symptoms and do another round and keep at it implacably. It is not so much how high a dose of chelator you can manage to take, but how many rounds you can get in under your belt. That is what lowers this toxic load and get you back to health.
ALA, which is the main chelator we use in the Andy Cutler protocol, is sold over-the-counter as an antioxidant and is often prescribed for diabetic neuropathy. Unfortunately, it will cause all kinds of problems when taken off of its half-life or if the person taking it has amalgam fillings.
I once told Andy’s girlfriend, Joann, that I am grateful I don’t have to work with too many people with the complicated problems she has. Of course, when I do see people like that, they are usually pretty sophisticated about their health issues and what to do about them, as they have been at the full-time task of staying healthy while being toxic for multiple years. One of Joann’s problems has been peripheral neuropathy and she has a lot to say about it. She reports that her neuropathy manifests as numbness and itching. She also points out that tingling on both sides does not indicate MS setting in because MS symptoms don’t start bilaterally.
Her favorite vitamin for neuropathy is B-12. Hyland’s hypericum 6X works well for her, but the 30X does not. She also takes the over-the-counter medicine, Mucinex because it contains dextromethorphan which helps with pain. She uses aspercreme which works because it contains the numbing agent lidocaine. For prescriptions medicine she has used Gabapentin and Lyrica and also low-dose naltrexone although she had to stop the latter because it interferes with a couple of other prescription meds she has to use. She says it worked great for pain, though.
Those are her “go-to interventions when my nerves start tingling and hurting.” In the Detox Manual in the chapter on pain, Andy suggests to hit things with several products at once and she has clearly been using that as a strategy.
The main advice for anyone with this problem, is keep on chelating. Perhaps “watch out for how much or little B6 you are using and keep on chelating.” Alpha lipoic acid will bring down your mercury burden and help with oxidization at the same time. It is the mercury burden that is actively messing with how your body works and giving you symptoms.