Mercury is different from other poisons, in that once you stop getting exposed to it and your blood levels drop, you go through a period of feeling better for a while, then you start feeling worse for a while and then you get back to improving again. This feeling better, then feeling worse, then feeling better again is unique to mercury. We call the period when you feel bad “the dump phase” or sometimes “the lag phase,” which implies that you are just not making any progress. This “dump” or “lag phase,” usually lasts a few months, and then you start making progress again. There are diagrams on p. 52 in Amalgam Illness and on p. 74 in the Detox Manual that illustrate how this dump phase manifests. After your last exposure, which for most people is getting their amalgams removed, you will start improving for the first 2 to 4 months, then you will start feeling crappy again and hit the worst of that at 6 to 9 months. At this point you will start improving again until you are out of this “dump” at the end of 12 months. Of course, with mercury, nothing can ever be depended on. For some people the dump is a miserable experience while others don’t notice anything much. For some people it absolutely follows our charts, and for others it seems to last years. I asked Andy once what was the longest “dump” that he had seen, and he said 18 months. Alas, we are now aware of people who have taken several years of plugging away at chelating before they start improving again and this seems particularly true for people who chelated improperly previously.
The dump phase happens when the mercury which is outside your cell walls, organs and brain drops below the levels of mercury on the other side of these membranes. The mercury that can, will start to diffuse out via osmosis and into your blood and give you symptoms. This, by the way, is the same reason we tell people not to use lipoic acid until 3 months after their last exposure. If your blood is full of mercury and you take alpha lipoic acid, which allows the mercury to move back and forth across these fatty barriers, then because it is trying to seek equilibrium, it will move in the wrong direction and INTO your brain and sensitive organs.
People get very confused and anxious about the dump phase. They worry that they will be so sick they won’t be able to work. People who are in the dump phase worry that they are not improving because they have a speck of amalgam that the dentist missed. It is hard to tell the difference between having a speck of amalgam left in your mouth, which will keep you from making progress and the dump which can feel the same way.
I can’t talk from personal experience about the dump because I had so many false starts with this chelation journey that the onset of the dump sort of got lost in “the fog of war.” I chelated on an improper schedule with DMSA to start and with all my amalgams in place. I chelated on a proper schedule with ALA and a big chunk of amalgam under a crown. So, I was not aware of any particular time when the dump started. But I did go through the “roller coaster” part of it that Andy talks about in the book. That means you have 5 bad days, then you have a good one and you think you are cured! You go out and mow the lawn and clean the house and then crash the next day and have another 5 bad ones. Then lo and behold, you have 2 good days in a row. And it goes on and on like this: two steps forward, two back, one forward 2 back, 3 forward, one back until you start having more good days than bad.
Don’t waste your time fearing the dump phase. You are already pretty sick, it is not going to be much worse than that. And if you do nothing the prognosis is terrible. At least this way you are moving forward. Maybe it will take six months, maybe a couple of years in the very worst-case scenario, but slowly and surely, you will start having way more good days than bad and you will have left the dump behind you. Andy says there is not much you can tell about the dump until it is over.
The only way out is through. And the best way through is to chelate through the whole thing. Chelating will make the dump milder. Once the roller coaster ride evens out and you start to feel better again and things go smoother, you will know you have gotten through the notorious “dump phase.”