Safely chelating children with Andy Cutler’s oral chelation protocol
1. Do my kids need chelation?
Mercury toxicity is commonly found in children with developmental delays, ADHD, Autism, PDD-NOS, Aspergers, Apraxia/Dyspraxia, mood disorders and other health problems. One of the best, least invasive ways of testing for mercury toxicity is to get a hair test through DDI and this can be achieved without a prescription by going through Direct Labs. The hair test will help you determine if there are excessive metals in your child, although it is not always conclusive, and signs & symptoms and trial chelation need be to considered in the diagnosis. For help in interpreting the hair test, obtain Andy Cutler’s book, Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities and consult Frequent Dose Chelation Yahoo group for help in determining if metal toxicity is a problem. Often a trial of proper chelation, as per Andy Cutler’s protocol, is the best way to ascertain if there is a metal component, since you expect some response from chelators if metal toxic – which can be improvements in symptoms or side-effects. Mercury in the brain, will not go away without chelation, and can be made worse with improper methods of chelation e.g. chlorella. Please become informed before you begin this process.
2. What is Andy Cutler’s chelation protocol?
Andy Cutler is a PhD biochemist who experienced mercury poisoning from dental fillings and consequently discovered how to safely remove the mercury from the body (chelate) using chelators properly, that being according to their pharmaceutical half-life. The Cutler protocol, as detailed in his book, Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis & Treatment , thus involves giving low doses of chelator(s) frequently, which helps the body safely excrete mercury and/or other metals. That means dosing every 4 hours for DMSA, every 3 hours for ALA and every 8 hours for DMPS, for a minimum of three days at a time, which is known as a ’round’
When given in this way, and at a low enough dose, blood levels of the chelator are kept at a low and stable level, thus allowing for a net movement of metals out of the body. Most parents would start a round with their children after school on Friday and stop the round on Monday just before school. Many children have been helped with this protocol, resulting in many behavioral improvements, and many have gone on to lose their diagnosis.
3. Is chelation safe?
There are many protocols ‘advertised’ for chelation. Some are definitely not safe and do cause harm. Cutler’s protocol, if strictly adhered to, is very safe, as only low doses of the chelators are used orally and troublesome supplements such as glutathione, chlorella and cilantro are avoided. Side-effects are minimized by keeping the dose low, and should any side-effects occur while on a round, the round can be stopped immediately without further damage. This gives you, the parent, a great sense of control over your child’s treatment and ensures maximum safety throughout.
4. How do I get support for this protocol?
Once you have obtained Andy’s books join the Yahoo Groups, which are free email support forums where you can interact with many people with similar interests. You will receive daily emails from other partipants and become part of an ongoing global discussion. Join the Recovery from Autism Yahoo group. A group for parents strictly adhering to the Cutler protocol. This group supports all parents chelating their children, regardless of whether they are autistic or not.
5. How do I know chelation is working?
Most parents notice improvements within only 5-10 rounds of chelation. You will know it is working simply by observing your child’s behavior. No other medical tests are needed to chart chelation progress.
6. What worrying signs should I be looking out for during chelation?
Chelation can cause a temporary slight worsening of some children’s symptoms, which will wear off a day or two after the round. Chelation can also cause yeast flare-up in susceptible children, and it is often helpful to have a good yeast protocol in place i.e. lots of probiotics, low-sugar diet and natural yeast fighters such as grapefruit seed extract or oil of oregano. Many other tips for problems that may arise are in Andy’s books and available for discussion in the Yahoo groups.
7. What supplements should my child be on?
There are some ‘basic supplements’ that Andy recommends that will make chelation more comfortable for your child.
The water-soluble basic supplements: these should be taken 3-4 times a day.
· Vitamin C: 500-1000 mg/day
· Magnesium: 400 mg/day and
· Zinc: weight in pounds +20 mg/day.
These are total doses for the day that should be given in divided doses 3-4 times a day.
The fat-soluble basic supplements: these can be given once per day (as the liver stores and releases it as you need it)
· Vitamin E: 400IU/day, (the natural form: d-alpha tocopherol, not dl-alpha tocopherol),
· Fish oils: Although not part of the ‘basic supplement’ list, it is generally considered very, very beneficial.
Other particularly helpful supplements include Milk thistle, molybdenum, and ACE (Adrenal Corticol Extract).
You will need to obtain Andy’s books to learn about other supplements, with specific reasons for their use
There is also a supplements file in the Recovery from Autism Yahoo group, that can be accessed for more information and dosage instructions.
8. What medical tests might I need to do and who could help me do these?
The Hair Elements Test from DDI is an essential part of the protocol.
A baseline CBC (complete blood count) is helpful before starting chelation, but not absolutely necessary. Any pediatrician or doctor can order a CBC, though it is often difficult to find a doctor competent in dealing with mercury toxicity, and most parents use the Yahoo groups to support and manage treatment on their own.
9. How long will this take?
Chelating safely is a slow and long process. You are looking at 100-300 rounds overall, which translates into 2-6 years, but improvements often come quickly, making the process consistently rewarding.
10. Are you sure there isn’t an easier and/or quicker method?
Unfortunately, there is no easier way to chelate that is also safe. Other methods such as the DAN protocol encourage the use of chelators without paying attention to their pharmaceutical half -life. Not paying attention to this pharmacological law, causes spikes and troughs of chelator levels in the blood and corresponding redistribution of mercury, which causes symtoms and damage.
Challenge tests are also very dangerous, yet often recommended by uninformed individuals and medical practitioners. They yield no valuable information and put your child in significant risk. Please do not attempt them. For more information on the dangers of injecting chelators visit the DMPS backfire website.
11. Should I pay attention to diet?
Diet is often a critical part in managing the health of your child and is often intimately connected with behavior Andy has a lot of information on dietary restrictions in his books and there are dietary files and people with experience in the Yahoo groups that can make suggestions to help you. One important dietary consideration that Andy points out is the high-thiol foods more commonly known as sulfur foods. Sulfur sensitivety can cause a lot of problems for a mercury toxic child and you are encouraged to rule out this possibility early in the process.
12. How do I know if my child has a sulphur sensitivity?
Sulfur foods (e.g. broccoli, dairy, beans etc and certain supplements (e.g. NAC and glutathione), contain a high concentration of free thiols. Thiols have the ability to stir mercury up and loosely drag it around, but do not help with the excretion of it, which causes a lot of distress for a mercury-toxic person. True chelating agents (e.g. DMSA, ALA and DMPS) are double thiols and capture mercury tightly, allowing for its excretion, but only if they are used according to their half-life.
Simply put, people who naturally happen to have high plasma cysteine do badly when extra thiols are added to their body via their diet, as it causes lots of mercury redistribution, making them feel much worse. However, those that happen to have low plasma cysteine, actually require more thiols for regular body functions, and may feel better by adding more through diet and possible even through supplements such as NAC.
The only way to test this right now is to do the sulfur food exclusion diet and this is a vital component that can remove a lot of daily misery if figured out early..
Andy used to advise a medical test known as the ‘plasma cysteine test’ which was done as part of the Great Smokies Liver Detox Profile, to help you ascertain if there was a sulfur sensitivity. However this test is no longer available and the similar test now done by Genova, is no longer accurate, according to Andy.
Andy has a good explanation on page 199 of Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis & Treatment about the difference between single thiols and double thiols, and their effects on the body.
In summary, to start chelation, follow this checklist:
1. Order Andy Cutler’s books as you will need them to navigate your chelation journey.
2. Join the Recovery from Autism Yahoo group: even if your child is not autistic, this group is full of caring parents that can help you with your child’s process.
3. Obtain a hair test for your child.
4. Start the basic supplements, and decide what other supplements your child may need according to his/her individual issues.
5. Ensure that there are no amalgams in your child’s mouth, if there is, get the mercury removed properly. Ensure other forms of exposure are stopped e.g. mercury thermometers, vaccinations.
7. Pay attention and deal with specific problems as they arise and ensure that you are well versed in adrenal and thyroid information.