We are often asked about the essential four supplements and their importance for this protocol. These are also known as the "basic 4". These recommendations were a basic staple of Dr. Andy Cutler's protocol to protect the body and prevent oxidative stress in mercury poisoning. They are a pivotal part of the protocol and there are some key things to know about them:
We hope these basic tips help clarify some of the misinformation you might find online about using the essential four supplements. These supplements really are important in assuring rounds are comfortable and symptoms are low.
When first starting this protocol a starting dose needs to be considered. Thankfully we have guidelines from Andy which are outlined in the book. As a parent new to the protocol it can be tempting to want to use a tiny dose below the recommendations thinking there will be less symptoms or less yeast. However, there are actually reasons to consider why this might not be ideal.
A lot of work goes into preparing for rounds and then of course the time commitment of doing them. As parents we want our children to feel better quickly and we want our sleepless nights to be worth the investment.
Using a dose below the guidelines often leads to no progress or a lack of response. When you don't see a response it's discouraging and it's a lot of expenditure for nothing. If you think about it, how much mercury could 1mg of chelator even remove? Likely not much which is why many report not seeing anything at that dose. It isn't to say it's useless because certainly 1mg is better than not trying to remove it at all. However, following the dosing guidelines helps avoid the "nothing going on" scenario.
This process takes a long time which is the premise of "slow and low" which is what makes it safe and keeps any symptoms minimal. With that in mind most don't want to make the process even longer and using doses below the recommendations is going to add more time.
It's normal to be concerned about symptoms and to want to minimize them. We should minimize them and there are many suggestions for adjusting supplements in the book which will do this. Yeast overgrowth is one of the most common reasons for symptoms. A good anti-fungal protocol is important to reduce symptom and make sure your child is comfortable.
The protocol dosing guidelines are: 1/8 -1/2 mg per pound of the child's weight. Older children over 100 pounds would be using adult dosing guidelines. You can start anywhere in this range but most parents prefer to start at 1/8mg per pound.
If there are any symptoms consider giving more vitamin C, magnesium and refer to the yeast and adrenal chapters in the book. These are the most common reasons for symptoms seen on chelation rounds.
Remember, it might seem easier to start below the dosing guidelines but you do want rounds to be worth the investment. If you start below the range, it's going to add that much more time to your chelation journey!
One of the questions we are asked is how to figure out if you need to support adrenal function. Parents are often unsure if their child actually has struggling adrenal function.
It helps to keep in mind that dealing with mercury poisoning often means it's affected many functions in the body including adrenal glands. That in turn affects symptoms and behaviors. Many of our children suffer from sleep issues, anxiety, tantrums, meltdowns, mystery stomach aches, morning nausea, allergies, asthma-like symptoms and hyperactivity.
Adrenal fatigue is generally an imbalance in adrenal hormones or too little of some of them. It's more common for our kids to be low cortisol or to have disrupted cortisol cycles often releasing it at the wrong times. Many are stuck in "fight or flight" mode which is when the adrenal glands compensate for low cortisol by releasing adrenaline. We are simply not meant to live on adrenaline.
All that adrenaline drives anxiety, panic attacks which would only be useful in nature for survival like running from a predator. We don't need this constantly in everyday life. We do need adequate cortisol to get going in the morning and to get to sleep.
What we do need is balance and we do need reasonable levels of cortisol. Cortisol reduces inflammation, keeps the lungs from being over constricted (asthma), reduces allergies or over active immune responses and helps with our sleep/wake cycle.
Not all children are going to have this of course but if they do you'd want to know. This is why we have an entire chapter in the book with a symptom list and suggestions for supporting the adrenal glands naturally. It's part of the multi-faceted approach to healing from mercury.
Thankfully we do have tools we can use and I often receive questions about the use of adrenal glandulars. Weston Price has an article about this that I found helpful. I found it very interesting that steroids were not always used too to treat low cortisol. While they are often used for adults, according to Andy Cutler's it should be avoided in children because of how it can affect reproductive hormones.
Many times you didn't even realize your child was struggling with this issue until you start supporting adrenal function and see the improvements.
Many parents are familiar with chronic yeast overgrowth. I have nicknamed i the "yeast beast" in my house because it's often rears it's ugly head out of no where. Learning to manage fungal overgrowth is important and helpful to reducing symptoms.
First is it helpful to become familiar with the common symptoms of fungal overgrowth also called "candida". Some common symptoms are:
constipation, rashes, hyperactivity, stimming, self-limiting diets, congestion, thrush, and ear infections. We actually have a free symptoms worksheet to help you out because there are actually a lot more symptoms that can occur. This is it's such an annoying thing that parents want to avoid.
Most of us are familiar with a "yeast flare-up" which can happen for a variety of reasons but when parents hear that yeast might flare up with chelation, their apprehension to start chelation is completely understandable.
While this is very understandable it's important to know that fungal overgrowth is actually a symptom of other issues and it's common in mercury poisoning.
Thankfully there is a solution! While removing mercury does eventually lead to resolving this problem in the interim you do want to treat it to reduce symptoms.
You can safely and naturally manage fungal overgrowth and reduce or eliminate symptoms while you work on chelation. It does take time to learn to recognize what symptoms yeast causes for your child but these become clearer when you start treating yeast.
One important thing to remember is that probiotics are bacteria too, just good bacteria. Some of the natural antifungals are not selective enough to only kill bad bacteria so make sure probiotics are doses at least 4 hours away from antifungals.
Either way, remember to start only one thing at a time and go slow! Always raise slowly to avoid unpleasant die-off symptoms!
It does get better with adequate chelation. but it takes time. Yeast will become much easier to control with less anti-fungal and eventually it will go away entirely.
*for further information on treating natural fungal overgrowth see the Yeast Chapter in our second edition book.
Question: Can someone please explain what frequent low dose means and why it's important?
Answer: Frequent dose protocol is designed to chelate out toxic metals without making you sicker. The protocol maintains a steady blood level of chelator for a minimum amount of time to avoid more metals getting into the brain and nervous system.
Using infrequent dosing protocols doesn't do this and it actually causes many episodes of redistributing metals into the brain. The more times this happens the worse people seem to get. In some cases, permanent regressions have been reported with high dose IV chelation. This used to be known as a "DAN backfire" or "DMPS backfire" although it can happen with any chelator used infrequently.
Frequent dose was pioneered by Dr. Andrew Hall Cutler and is based on the premise of reducing redistribution and symptoms while still getting mercury out of you safely. While there are many detox protocols and products out there are issues with many of them.
Some don't use anything that is actually a chelator. It takes a sulfur-thiol molecule to bind to or grab onto metals and escorts them out of the body. In addition to that, most protocols don't use anything that crosses the blood brain barrier. If you don't get a chelator into the brain the mercury isn't going to come out. None of them are using half-life to maintain steady levels of chelators, if they use chelators at all.
In addition to respecting the half-life of chelators to maintain a steady level, this protocol also uses support supplements to nourish the body, protect against oxidative stress and make chelation more comfortable. High doses are never used which can cause a lot of symptoms. This is completely avoidable when Andy's dosing and timing recommendations are followed.
In our book we have outlined the protocol as it is done in children including supportive supplements and other working on treating naturally other issues caused by heavy metal exposure like yeast, adrenal fatigue, immune issues and dietary sensitivities.
Frequent low does is for all practical respecting the nature of chemistry so that you can safely recover from heavy metal poisoning.