This weekend we received some test results in the mail from Skyler’s doctor. Then we had a phone conference with the doctor on Monday to help explain these results and choose our next steps in treatment. I am going to attempt to explain these test results without getting too scientific, so bear with me.
Metametrix Toxic Effects Porphyrins Profile
This is Skyler’s Porphyrins Profile. Porphyrins are intermediate chemicals your body makes while it is making hemoglobin for blood and special parts of certain enzymes. Certain metals, particularly toxic metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic, will inhibit different enzymes of the heme porphyrin pathway and will thus cause different and specific porphyrin patterns (or “profiles”) in the urine. An analysis of porphyrin profiles can help determine which metal is involved, and to what degree. The higher the toxic metal exposure and body burden, the higher the porphyrins are elevated in the urine.
When I spoke with Skyler’s doctor, he stated that this was about the worst case of porphyrins he has ever encountered on this type of test – yikes! If you click to enlarge the picture, you can easily see that most porphyrins are extremely high. To give you an idea of what these results show, the numbers posted at the end of the green lines indicate the 80th percentile. That means that porphyrins of people scoring that number are more elevated than 80% of the people tested. You can see by the dots (Skyler’s scores) that he is usually well above that 80th percentile mark. Ouch!
So what does it mean? In Skyler’s case, the results strongly suggest toxic effects of mercury. The main indicator of mercury toxicity is precoproporphyrin, a porphyrin which is not usually created naturally in our bodies. Its elevation in urine almost always indicates mercury poisoning. Whereas a relatively low score of 6.7 on precoproporphyrin falls at the 80th percentile, Skyler scored a whopping 23.0! Coproporphyin III is also associated with toxic effects of mercury (Skyler scored an overwhelming 321 compared to the 80th percentile score of 67). The elevation of the Precoproporphyrin/Uroporphyrin I & III ratio further indicates that the other abnormalities are due to mercury.
I keep asking myself where Skyler’s mercury came from. He only had one vaccine, and I am pretty sure there was no thimerosal in it. So after some research, I learned that the number one producer of mercury into our environment is U.S. power plants. That is interesting since I grew up so close to the Duke Power plant that I could see the black cloud of pollution rising off of it. Although the EPA cracked down on mercury emissions around the 1990’s, I probably got a fairly high dose of it before that time, and unfortunately mercury CAN be passed from mother to child in utero. This kinda makes me want to run out and get tested too!
Skyler’s hair analysis showed elevated levels of aluminum, antimony, barium, bismuth, and titanium. You will notice that his mercury levels do not appear to be elevated, even though his porphyrin profile (above) indicated mercury toxicity. What this means is that despite the fact that Skyler has enough mercury in his body to cause toxic effects, his body is not getting rid of it. This is often seen in autistic children – they simply have a difficult time getting rid of toxic metals. This is where chelation comes in to the picture.
Many parents of autistic children have at least heard the word “chelation.” Chelation works by using a compound that has a stronger attraction (affinity) for mercury than the tissues of the body. Administration of chelating agents can be done orally, rectally, or intravenously. While some forms of chelation are dangerous (especially i.v. chelation), Skyler’s doctor has recommended a safe oral chelator (Intestinal Metal Detox) to help remove the mercury from his body. IMD does not enter the bloodstream, therefore it will not cause high spikes of blood mercury levels, which often cause kidney and liver stress during other types of chelation. This silica-based formula binds mercury and other heavy metals in the intestines and escorts these harmful contaminants out of the body via the stool.
I have to admit that I’ve always been a little nervous about chelation. I guess I have listened to the hype by pediatricians and medical officials, saying that it is dangerous and doesn’t work. Of course these are the same people that refuse to recognize mercury as an aggravating factor to autism. I guess they have to say it doesn’t work because anything else would be admitting that autistic children have these toxic metals, which again looks bad for the old vaccine debate. However, in Skyler’s case, vaccines did not put mercury into his body. Notice that I am not saying that the one vaccine he received (HepB at birth) did not make him susceptible to metals in the environment. Children are exposed to heavy metals all the time, but “neurotypical” children just excrete them through the skin, hair, urine, and waste. I believe Skyler’s vaccine could have triggered a genetic susceptibility which made it difficult for Skyler to excrete toxins because of damaged detoxification pathways. But, enough of that for now…
The only other interesting point on the hair analysis was low levels of lithium (a mood stabilizer) and molybdenum (helps detoxification). Skyler’s doctor ordered a very low dose of each to help get these levels back to normal. Although I was initially scared of lithium, my research shows that very low doses used as a nutritional supplement are not harmful. Skyler’s dosage of half a 5mg capsule every other day is nowhere near the therapeutic dosage (>900mg) for bipolar and psychiatric disorders.
So our next steps in treatment will be:
- IMD chelation to remove toxic metals
- Small doses of molybdenum and lithium
- Nystatin to treat yeast (showed up on another test)
- Continuing on B12 shots, strong vitamins, probiotics, cod liver oil, and iron. (Discontinuing the digestive enzymes for now because they could hurt Skyler’s tummy again if he is also taking Nystatin for yeast.)
We paid a total of $413 today. We paid $108 for more allergy testing (for the six foods Skyler eats most), $150 for the IMD chelator, and $155 for the phone consultation. In addition to this, we will need to buy the Nystatin, molybdenum, and lithium.
Although I was initially pretty freaked out upon seeing these test results, I have decided that we will deal with this one day at a time. At least this points us in a solid direction on what steps to take next. Up until this point, we have only done “mild” changes, but we have seen some great results, especially in pretend play and language. I can only imagine what kind of dramatic results we can expect after these advanced interventions. The sky’s the limit, and my baby is ready to fly!!!!