Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To ALA or not to ALA

Alpha Lipoic Acid....ahhhhh the joys of chelation. So, the typical protocol for chelation involves first lowering the body burden of mercury using DMSA, which is what we have been doing for 5 rounds, meaning five sleepless-emotional-yeasty weekends full of fun! ha ha We take 4 to 11 day breaks in between those weekends and lately it appears that we are best with 11 day breaks. Then comes the ALA, dun duu duu duuuun. ALA is the only known chelator to cross the blood brain barrier. This is the scary part, because mercury can get into the brain and for some reason, it gets lost or comfy in there and doesn't come back out, and then you have....yup, neurological problems and for many it's called autism! So I repeat, ALA is the only known chelator to cross the blood brain barrier, which is the very same barrier that is SUPPOSED to protect the brain. The problem with this is that it's a two way street, the ALA can help remove the mercury, but it can also usher mercury INTO the brain, if there are any current exposures to mercury going on. In other words, if you have silver fillings - AKA amalgams - DON'T TOUCH THIS STUFF WITH A TEN FOOT POLE!!! Amazingly, ALA is a supplement that many people unknowingly take without realizing that they could be causing damage, especially if they have fillings. So anyway, I could get so easily side tracked on this topic.

We added the ALA at the same dose we are using with the DMSA. That means that I am splitting a teeny tiny, itty bitty 50mg capsule THIRTY TWO ways! UGH!!! The texture is very funny too, it's like cotton candy rather than powdery, so every time I would try to split a mini pile, it would pop or jump into little shards of annoyingness! And picture this, me with my face mask on (because I have a mouth full of silver and immediately get a headache from opening the capsules) using little pieces of paper to split these teeny weeny capsules a trillion ways just to fill an enormous capsule with this pin head sized portion of cotton candy for Grayson to take. It's practically empty!! I think I might start adding his vit C, B and magnesium into these very same capsules so he doesn't have to take a different capsule for each and it would fill up the emptiness of the capsule, it's like he's swallowing a bunch of air. Here you go Grayson, it's time for your air....I mean, ALA. Gulp, burp!

Getting back to the point, yet again, the ALA, ummmm yeah! Not so sure we are ready for this. It caused a whole slew of symptoms that we were unprepared for. It's not uncommon to see some signs of yeast overgrowth during chelation, but we are now two days post chelation and he is STILL verbally stimmy. He is doing this strange random giggle that has nothing to do with anything happening at the moment. In fact, he could be just sitting and doing nothing or looking out of the window in the car and he giggles. Not even a funny ha-ha type of giggle, it's a weird gutteral giggle that sounds more like a nervous tic. So here is the list of "symptoms" we experienced this round:

- very sensitive emotionally (although this isn't unusual for him with ANY
changes to weather, diet or schedule)
- swatting at his head, overall head and face itchiness (he used to do this a
LOT before biomedical treatment and we don't see it too much in between rounds
except with yeast overgrowth)
- defiance and resistance galore (lucky us)
- he did mostly well during the middle of his round, but at times he was highly
stimmy, verbally (strange random giggles even when he was alone) and with touch
(he had to trace everything with his hands).
- when the ALA wore off, things got crazy. For example, we went out to dinner for my birthday and had ended our last two doses with just DMSA to "sop up" any free floating mercury. It was only 2 hours from our last DMSA, but about 5 hours from the last
ALA. At first, he was great at dinner, then suddenly, it was like a switch
flipped on him, he started itching like CRAZY, everywhere (legs, arms, face, ears, head
swatting), he started turning around in his seat to trace the outlines of the
chair rungs, he was whacking the chair sides with his elbows over and over,
rubbing his wrists on the table, swatting his head like crazy (this is one we
had constantly before biomedicine), and he was a ball of emotions, couldn't
handle ANY changes to his expectations (finding pine nuts in his salad threw him
over the edge). He just couldn't sit still and relax, his anxiety level seemed
through the roof! Oh and the energy, after dinner, we went out to walk around
outside and he was loud and running and running, so not like him!! He had a
hard time going to sleep also.
- then the day after ending the round, the random giggles continued, but
he is more level-headed emotionally so far.
- his first two BMs of the day so far have been one very very pale and floating
one followed by a very loose and slightly darker colored one. Both had a lot of
undigested foods in them. (Sorry if that is TMI!)

So I am researching and asking tons of questions to doctors and fellow moms who are going through this. I can't decide, if we should stick it out for another round (Lord help me, if we do) or if we should back off with the ALA for now and just continue with the DMSA until we get his body burden down more (leaning more this direction). I have been told that, if we up his yeast protocol and give doses of vit C and magnesium with each chelation dose, we might be able to help the side effects. We just haven't decided yet. Any great ideas?

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