Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Thursday, February 28, 2013

How important is heavy metal detox?

After nearly completing Dr. Yakso's book, I'm wondering if I underestimated the importance of heavy metal detox in recovery from ME/CFS and other neuro-immune conditions.  Dr. Yakso seems to think it plays a major role.

Back in late November, I wrote about the improvement I experienced beginning in early October, and which mostly continues even today.  I attributed that improvement to the FIR sauna, mainly because it was the nearest major change in my treatments.  Now I'm seriously questioning if the DMSA-based heavy metal detox regimen that I did in September wasn't a factor.  I'd previously disregarded the importance of heavy metal detox because I simply didn't know much about it.  I had reluctantly agreed to a month-long detox protocol only at the insistence of Dr. W. 

It's interesting to note now that the heavy metal detox was even closer in time to the beginning of my improvement.  Whereas I started the sauna treatments in early August, I began the heavy metal detox in early September and completed the protocol just as my improvements were beginning in early October, 2012.  Coincidence?  

I'll eventually learn more about how critical the detox protocol was to my improvement.  According to Dr. Yakso, there is much more detoxification to be done.  So if I try again and I improve even further, I'll have a better understanding.  But, since all of the steps in Dr. Yakso's plan must be implemented in a certain order, I won't get to the heavy metal detox again for many months.

If anyone is interested, below are the ingredients of the detox supplement I took last time (along with a multi-mineral, which is essential to replace beneficial metals that are also excreted in in the process.)  It's mostly a DMSA and EDTA-based detox.  


  1. Hi Patrick,
    It is interesting to note that infrared saunas are an effective mean of heavy metal detoxification, so there may be a connection with that as well. There is a doctor (Dr. Klinghardt) who claims it is very difficult to get rid of chronic infections as long as we have excess heavy metals. I don't know if there are any in-depth studies on this or not. Have you had your heavy metals levels tested? It seems that one of the most reliable methods is a challenged urine collection, challenged referring to using a chelation agent before the urine collection. Two companies/labs that do this are Metamatrix and Doctors Data.
    I have seen over and over in the CFS world that many people are looking for a specific 'cure', but it seems likely to me that truly healing from this takes a multi-faceted approach - anti-virals, methelation protocols, diet, sleep, heavy metal detox, etc. It seems like you are doing a great job of integrating all of this!
    Take care,

    1. Anand,

      First of all, thanks for the information about heavy metal detox and especially testing. The only testing I had done was for mercury and that was within range, (although ideally, you want to have no detectable amount.) After the heavy metal detox I did, I got it down to "no detectable level." But I would be interested to test some of these other metals, especially since my genetic profile suggests I might have a defect that inhibits aluminum elimination.

      Second, I completely agree with what you said about the multifaceted approach. Just from my own informal survey of the few people I know who've gone into remission (the ones who I believe truly had ME/CFS), they used a similar approach. Hope it works for us too.


  2. Curious that you mention this. I used to work as an auto mechanic before I became a laser engineer. I've been exposed to all sorts of nasties. I've also inhaled aluminum dust (I highly recommend against it as I almost ended up in hospital with a resultant asthma attack). I have done some detoxing with bentonite clay and activated charcoal but nothing formal. Now you have me thinking....

    1. All I can say is that Dr. Yakso is REALLY big on the importance of heavy metal detox especially...wait for it...ALUMINUM. She says that aluminum can prevent the immune system from dealing with chronic bacterial infections, and then those bacterial infections ensure that the body retains more it becomes a self-perpetuation problem until you detox. I found this all very interesting. Plus, I have a particular genetic mutation that makes it more likely that I will retain aluminum. I also found out that deodorants have aluminum, so I switched to a natural brand. Yikes! Let's hope people can stand to be around me.