This post is a summary of what I've discovered so far. Since I'll post this on another forum and because this post will be used to explain stuff to people that have no background whatshowever, it will contain things that are obvious to most people on this forum. The end on this post will contain questions, so you don't really have to go through the whole post if you don't want to. This post is rather long (sorry for that, I don't like reading either), but it's kind of important to go over it all since it is a coherent story. The most important info is at the end of this post. I've tried to be complete as possible. When I was a kid, I was rather healthy, strong and bright. I was somewhat more anxious than other kids. I hated big crowds and I was what other people might describe as 'silent'. In the 3rd grade, I started to get quite serious dust mite allergies. I remember that the floor of our classroom was covered with mats. Especially during the winter time, when the heating was enabled, my allergies would flare up in a somewhat dramatical way. There were times that I wasn't able to see the board because my eyes were covered in tears and I had to use 7-8 handkerchiefs which were all wet at the end of the day. I got some relief from homeopathic drops and saline, but it only softened the symptoms. I had swollen lymph nodes beneath my jaw and at the back of my head, which I thought was related to allergies. Later in primary school, I started to get nausious quite frequently, especially in busses and in cars but also just on hotter days. I also had a lot of cold hands and feet. This usually appeared together with cold sweats (as in feeling cold but sweating at the same time). Anyway, in the last years of primary school and the first years of high school, I started to get skinny to the point that people wondered whether I ate enough. I became chronically underweight and I actually started to feel ill at that time. For some reason I started to develop some form of ADD which appeared and disappeared from time to time, but not serious enough to be a big problem. I remember that I became very irritated when I was bored, which was basically most of the time. I thought a lot of courses went way too slow or were a lot of bullshit and braindead nonsense. During my whole childhood, I had a minor form of Athlete's foot. Another symptom I had and concerned me a bit were heart problems. Those were threefold. The first type was pain that appears on the left side of my chest and it spreads until my left ring finger. This was the type that occured most frequently, but wasn't all that problematic. I think the scientific term is 'angina'. The second type is a racing heart (tachycardia). This means a very fast heart beat (110-130) for a very long time (like a few hours) without doing any excercise. This is very tiring. When this happens, I usually have to lay or sit down. There is nothing that would make this symptom go away other than just resting. It usually takes a few hours, sometimes half a day, before my heart rate would return to normal. The last time this happened was half a year ago. I've taken a screenshot from my measurements back then. The first measurement was 130 bpm at 17h. One hour later it slowed down to 117 bpm and stay stable for 6 hours. In the middle of that night it was 105 bpm. My normal heart rate is 68 bpm. The third type is actually the most disturbing. It is an irregular heart rate. As far as I remember, I only had this twice. The way I can describe this is an asynchronous heart beat with occasional skips. Some people suggested to have this investigated, but meh. Thinking became a problem because of a symptom that most call 'brain fog'. The best way to describe this is 'having a hangover without the pain'. This might explain a bit more about this symptom. There is actually a post that has examples of typical brain fog situations. During the middle to later years of high school, my weight got better (still not high enough), but other problems started to appear. These included intestinal cramps during he day, together with sometimes serious bloating. The bloating was really bad in the sense that walking or running would become painful and definitely not pleasant. Sometimes it was possible to hear the air in my bowels by just pushing on them. I also got weird pressure headaches and symptoms that could be related to as 'diabetes'. High cravings for sugar, feeling bad before a meal or after physical excercises, trembling and dizziness. An example of trembling: Most of these symptoms got much better after a meal, but most of them didn't disappear completely. Acne appeared and disappeard (after I stopped eating hydrogenated fats) and I was also tired during the day, although I always slept 8 hours a day. As a result I also looked very worn out. At some point someone made the remark that "I had a serious party last night." even when this wasn't true at all. I never went out during high school because I was tired most of the time. My liver would also hurt, like it wasn't able to keep up with detoxification. I've never complained about anything and I probably never will, but this kind of attitude didn't fix all these problems. I thought these things would go away automatically. Obviously this wasn't the case. It took me until the end of high school, before I started to see some doctors. Mainly because of digestive issues. The first doctor thought I was making everything up and thought it was 'all in my head'. The second one thought my bowels were 'stressed out' and prescribed me something that would relax them. I knew that this was nonsense and I threw away the prescription. He also told me that trembling was 'in my nature' and that 'there was nothing that could be done about it'. He prescribed some vitamins for my fatigue. I didn't pick them up either. The third doctor was a homeopath which thought I had 'adrenal fatigue' (which is actually a possibility) and gave me some something that didn't really do anything. The fourth doctor was an osteopath. He thought that my liver was 'overworked' and gave me some brewage that he probably made himself. I think it contained things like artichokes and other herbs (like swedish bitters). He also found out that I supposedly had a bunch of allergies, especially cows milk, gluten and certain types of meat. Allergies would make a lot of sense. Mainly because my bowels were very irritated as in IBS. Fast food would give me terrible symptoms. A regular western diet was very bad for me, but on the other hand it is very bad for everyone. Avoiding gluten and milk improved my symptoms somewhat but not all that much. The fifth doctor was an internist (a doctor who is specialised in internal diseases). This was in 2012. She did a blood test for a lot of stuff and she discovered two things. First of all, my vitamin D3 levels were too low 19.6 ng/ml [40-100] and the IgG marker for candida was out of range 142 mgA/l [< 120]. There were undigested muscle fibers and fats in my stools. The skin test for allergies pointed out allergies for E210-E219 preservatives. Finally, the first real discovery. Candida is a fungus that naturally can be found in everyone's digestive tract. In some individuals, this infestation goes out of control. Mainly because their immune system can't keep the infestation under control or because their intestinal environment allows the fungus to become pathological (the lack of probiotics). Most people who suffer from a candida infestation have a history of antibiotic use. Candida leads to cramps, intestinal malabsorption, diarrea and other digestive issues. It makes the walls of the intestines permiable which results in small food particles that enter the bloodstream. This is why it is also called 'leaky gut syndrome'. The small food particles that enter the bloodstream can trigger an allergic reaction which can disappear and appear again over time. This can make treating candida very difficult. Whenever the infestation goes 'out of control', the immune system intervenes and starts attacking the candida strains. Whenever candida dies, about 79 amount of different toxins get released which have to be cleaned up. Some of these chemicals cause dizziness (ethanol is one of them), others cause brain fog (acetaldehyde). All these symtpoms can have huge implications. Allopatic medicine doesn't recognize candida in healthy individuals, only individuals that have a serious condition like aids or undergo chemotherapy. Candida occured in one of the episodes of House M.D. as a secondary disease. We live in a society where people assume that everyone is healthy. And if you are not you can just go to the doctor, they will fix your problem right? Allopatic medicine has no idea how to cure chronic conditions, like depression, ADD, chronic fatigue, ibs, high cholesterol, ... because the solution to these diseases can not be found in just one wonder pill. All they do is symptom management. I started with diflucan which is an antifungal. This didn't do anything. Then I got some other antifungals (caprylic acid) and digestive enzymes and I had to change my diet. When I did that, I noticably got better. A lot of symptoms that I related to as 'diabetes' improved in a serious way or even disappeared. Even my headaches got better. It happened a lot that when I took the train or the bike, I had to sit down for a while to recover, sometimes even up to half an hour. I felt like a 70 year old. This symptom disappeared too. The most noticable symptom that was still present was sugar addiction. I followed her advice for about a year. Most symptoms stayed the same during that peroid, but never completely disappeard. Everytime I ate something I should not eat, I noticed serious die-off. This was most noticable by flu like symptoms/very hot face. This is why I started to do some research on the internet. I found a forum called 'The Candida Forum'. One of their users had a 'protocol' which was very popular amongst their members. It included a wide range of antifungals, probiotics and a very strict diet. It started with a 'cleanse' or a period of detox. I decided to commit completely to this protocol. The period of detox (of a few days) had a very strict period of only vegetables. I had to cut out all sources of sugar and protein. It also demanded to take some supplements for liver support (like molybdenum and milk thistle herb), as well as the use of bentonite clay to clean out your bowels. After this period, small amounts of eggs and later chicken may be added. In the meantime, I found out that I had a serious deficiency in stomach acid. Stomach acid is necessary to break down proteins. If the proteins are not broken down in a correct fasion, the food you eat and especially the sugars start to yeast in your system. This leads to massive bloating. I had to add 13 grams of hydrochloric acid to fix this. You have to realize that HCl comes in capsules of 1 gram. The bottle adviced to take only 1 capsule per meal. The bloating disappeared. The diet demonized fruits because it was a source of sugar. The beginning of this diet was very hard, because it lead to serious headaches and serious fatigue. It took me serveral months to recover from this to the extend that I failed all my exams in that period. This meant that I had to do them all over and I lost 1 year of college. Later in the diet I added some probiotics in pill form as well as kefir which I made myself. I used organic goats milk for this. Milk isn't good for people with digestive issues, but I felt that it really helped to some extend. It would be much better to use raw milk, but we can't have that, because the government has to protect us, right? The probiotics in pill form did absolutely nothing. The antifungals included caprylic acid, oregano oil, red thyme, coconut oil, SF277, ... I never used pharmaceutical grade antifungals like nystatin or diflucan during this protocol because candida can adapt to these antifungals. Later on, I added bouilardii which is a fungal strain that competes with candida and is considered to be a probiotic. This helped me a lot. I followed the strict diet for quite some time but it didn't take long before I realized that it would not solve the problem. I actually got really far in the diet without cheating a lot. The treatment for a chronic candida infestation is difficult because there are many factors that have to be considered and it may have many causes. As long as the cause of the infestation is not addressed, the infestation will reappear, no matter how many antifungals and probiotics you use. I was desperate. I had no more ideas. There were no doctors that could help me. I feared that this problem would never be solved and I had to change my diet permanently. Then I found a topic on the candida forum called This is a MUST read for everyone with CANDIDA.. It stated that most people with a candida infestation had mercury poisoning. The author of the post claimed to have cured himself this way. He refered to Amalgam Illness, diagnosis and treatment, a book of Andrew Cutler who has a PhD in chemistry. I immediately read his book. The similarities of the symptoms that are described with my own symptoms were pretty accurate. I agree with 90% of these symptoms. Symptoms that I had and that are rather specific for mercury poisoning are light sensitivity, dry ankles, racing heart (tachycardia) or hart pain (angina), weight loss, unusually late puberty (I was 16), metallic taste (only as a child) and nightmares (Especially as a child. As a matter of fact, I did sleep with a blanket above my head.). By the way, the rethoric in this book is amazing. Cutler included a diagnostic checklist for mercury intoxication. From the 58 items, I was able to verify 27. 13 of them were positive, 14 negative which is indicative for mercury intoxication. Furthermore, I've always had a weird 'burning' sensation in my head which I could not place. I thought it was related to headaches. One day this symptom was easily distinctable from regular headaches. I googled 'burning brain' and this is the first website I found. This couldn't be a coincidence anymore. I wasn't satisfied with the checklist and all the matching symptoms. I had to be sure and ordered a hair test. I read his other book, Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities to understand how to read a hair test. These are the results of the hiar test: It's not all that difficult to read a hair test, but you have to know what you have to look for. There are two things that can indicate mercury intoxication, high mercury levels or an unlikely mineral result. If a hair test is statistically unlikely, it may indicate 'deranged mineral transport' caused by mercury poisoning. I've given a mathematical explanation on my blog. Either way, having 6 bars or less to one side has a statistical probability of 2.6%. This means that 1 in 40 will have this kind of result at random. In conclusion, the results of the hair test are 'highly suspicious'. Because there is suspicion of deranged mineral transport, the results of the toxic metals are not reliable. Shortly after that, I started chelation. Chelation involves the use of chemical compounds that have the ability to remove heavy metals. For mercury this is DMPS, DMSA or ALA. Alpha Lipoic Acid is a natural antioxidant that can cross the blood-brain barrier and is the most important chelator. DMSA can also chelate lead. Chelators have a certain half life. This means that the amount of this product halves after every x units of time. Chelators have to be taken frequently, otherwise the mercury gets redistributed without being moved out of your system. The half life of DMPS is 6 hours, for DMSA this is 4 hours and for ALA this is 3 hours. This means that DMPS have to be taken every 6 hours, ALA every 3 hours. Also at night. Before engaging in chelation, one must remove all amalgam fillings because they contain 50% mercury. Especially chelating with ALA while having amalgams can make a patient worse. According to Cutler, amalgams are the source of most mercury problems. There is a lot of debate about wether this is the case. There are a few studies that confirm that amalgam fillings significantly increase the level of mercury in saliva and feces, significantly impair kidney function in sheep and increase the amount of mercury in plasma and urine a 5 fold for users of nicotine gum. Other sources of mercury include fish. The mercury concentrations in fish increase about 4% per year caused by coal power plants, especially in big fish like tuna. Another source of mercury are vaccines. There is no real safe limit for mercury. The EPA has determined a 'safe limit' of 0.1 micrograms of mercury per kilogram of body weight per day, which is easily exceeded by either source. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany have banned or limited the use of amalgams because it is unclear whether they are safe. Before I knew anything about mercury intoxication, my dentist automatically removed all amalgam fillings and replaced it with white composite fillings. I know that they contain BPAs, but it's better than having a neurotoxin in my mouth right? Either way, I don't have them anymore which is a good thing. I don't know whether they are removed in a 'safe' way. I guess not, but whatever. So far, I've done 20 chelation rounds. I started off with DMPS only and then incorporated ALA. I substituted DMPS with DMSA once I ran out of it DMPS. I've included several breaks in between chelation rounds. There is a gap at the end of 2014 and another one in March 2015. The main reason for these gaps is the fact that chelation can be kind of heavy. It is true that chelating with DMPS is less intruding that chelating with DMSA. I'd really recommend DMPS over DMSA if you have the money available to use this. Between 1 December and 9 December I broke my arm and they immediately gave me a tetanus vaccine. I was under the assumption that most of the vaccines didn't contain mercury anymore. Apparently, I was wrong. The night after I got the vaccine was horrible. I was nauseated, dizzy, had a headache, felt very 'weird' and couldn't sleep. I also had a fever, although I had almost no pain. After I was released from the hospital, I immediately restarted chelation with DMPS. The fever continued for 2 more chelation rounds. I didn't have a fever in between those rounds. During chelation, I take zinc (50 mg), vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) (1-2 g), a B50 complex, vitamin E (100 IU) and selenium (200 mcg). A lot of symptoms improved during chelation. I feel best at the first day of each chelation round. This may be because of the antioxidant properties of ALA. On the last day, I always feel like my brain is being squeezed like a sponge. I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with the interrupts in my sleep. The biggest general improvements have been in the area of digestion. The general advice is to clean up the gut before starting chelation. I've tried a lot of things to accomplish this. Nothing seemed to work long term. The other way around is the way to go for me, chelate in order to cure my gut. I can basically eat anything now without having issues the day after. Sugar doesn't seem to affect me anymore. The only thing that I avoid are animal proteins. I eat a mostly vegetarian diet with some exceptions of fish and chicken once and a while (maybe 1-2 servings per week), although I don't feel that I need it. The main component of my diet are fruits. Athlete's foot is almost completely gone, brain fog is gone, trembling is mostly gone, sugar addiction is gone, headaches are gone, heart problems haven't occured anymore. I've gained a significant amount of weight. Before I started chelation, I weighed 64 kg. For a height of 192 cm, this results in a BMI of 17.4 which is underweight. Now I weigh 70 kg (BMI = 19). My ideal weight is around 80 kg. I guess this is because my gut has healed significantly. The only symptoms related to candida that I still have are a warm head after die off and oral thrush when I eat too much prepared foods. Other symptoms that are related to energy and mood have improved, but way slower than I expected (while the gut issues have improved much faster than anticipated). When I found this forum last year, I found out about the connection between mercury poisoning and methylation problems, so I ordered a test from 23andme. I'm not gonna explain methylation here. This is a very simplified explanation. This a more extensive explanation. The most important thing you have to know is that it is involved in the production of neurotransmitters and catecholamines (like serotonin and dopamine) and also detoxification and the reduction of oxidative stress. It is also connected to the krebs cycle (energy). The main components that are used by the methylation cycle are methylfolate and methylcobalamin. If your methylation cycle doesn't work correctly, it may lead to a wide range of diseases like alzheimers, depression, autism, bipolar disorder, heart disease or stroke, chronic fatigue, ... Having methylation mutations is not uncommon. About 50% of the population has at least 1 mutation in the most important gene, C677T. It's mainly the combination of mutations can cause problems. Certain mutations are protective. These are my results (+ is a mutation, while - is the normal allele): Most of this information comes from the talks of Dr Amy Yasko. You can find them on vimeo on her channel. The talk that is most important in my case is the one on COMT. Because of this, I cannot tolerate methyl donors, which slows recovery down. I've made a separate post about bipolar disorder since I'm most likely affected by it. This is how I understand methylation in my case: This was my understanding of the Heartfixer page http://www.heartfixer.com/AMRI-Nutrigenomics.htm Alcohol, BPAs and heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminium) interfere with the methylation cycle. This might be the reason why matters got much worse during my first year in college. Also, the toxins that candida releases have a negative effect on the methylation cycle. TMG is probably one of the first supplements that I can drop. All this is obviously just theory and I may have another gene expression. Having mercury intoxication is like having extra random methylation mutations which makes treatment more difficult. All my supplements based on theoretical knowledge and are not based on the actual levels of certain compounds. I need a functional methylation panel for that, but that's rather expensive, so I'll have to postpone that. Current methylation supplements: Hydroxycobalamin 1000 mcg (sublingual): MTRR Methylfolate 200 mcg: MTHFR Methylcobalamin ~50 mcg: MTRR Phosphatidylcholine 300 mg: BHMT and CBS Trimethylglycine 500 mg: BHMT and CBS Vitamin D3 5000 IU: VRD Taq. Dosage depends on the season. Obviously more during winter than during summer. I currently can't tolerate methylcobalamin in high doses. It makes me 'mixed' or hyper without really giving energy. Current support for candida: Molybdenum 150 mcg: Supports SUOX and combats candida die off. Saccharomyces Boulardii: This is a competing yeast strain and 'eats' candida. It is considered to be a probiotic. Chromium 200 mcg: Improves blood sugar metabolism. Current support for COMT: GABA 500 mg: Controls the release of dopamine. Magnesium Citrate 500 mg: Improves to function of GABA. I also use this to combat leg cramps (especially during night). It is also possible that a lower protein diet could have solved this. Lithium orotate 10 mg: This dose is much lower than used in bipolar disorder, but it seems to have a significant effect. L-Tyrosine 500 mg: Precursor of dopamine. Started it only recently. It seems to give me more motivation and it makes me more awake. It seems very effective to counter low periods. I'm curious whether the effect stays long term. If I take 2 doses, I get a headache. Other supplements Manganese 15 mg: Supposed to reduce bowel inflammation and it improves SOD2. Vitamin C 1-2 g: General antioxidant Melatonin with B6 3 mg: Sleep Glycine 2 g: Amino acid. I feel no difference on this product, so I'm gonna stop using it once the box is empty. Rx drugs: Ebastine 20 mg: H1 antihistamine for my dust mite allergy Fluticasone furoate 27.5 mcg: Corticosteroid for my dust mite allergy The combination of the two work very well. Supplements/drugs that I used to take (and did work): Oregano oil: antifungal Red Thyme: antifungal Chia seeds: improve bowels Bentonite clay: bowel detox Dandelion root: liver detox/support Coconut oil: antifungal (still take it once and a while) Milk Thistle: liver detox/support Betaine HCl: stomach acid Ashwaghanda: adrenal support Iodine: Thyroid support Supplements/drugs that didn't do anything: Diflucan: antifungal Swedish bitters: enzymes MegaFlora: (very expensive) probiotic SF722: antifungal Grapefruit Seed Extract: antifungal 5-HTP: serotonin precursor Adrenal Cortex: adrenal support Phosphaditylserine: BHMT (Apparently this lowers cortisol levels, so this is what I dont't want.) PS: I never used it in my current methylation program, so I don't know the effectiveness. I tried some NAC a few weeks ago, but it caused nightmares. The effect on my overall wellbeing have been mixed. I'm gonna leave it out for now. My most important message is that probiotics didn't do anything (and are expensive). Two things have improved since the start of methylation support, energy and mood. I don't know if I can improve energy levels even more. Mood has improved in a weird way. I've had mood swings in the past, but I always had a 'low' mood. My mood didn't go up in a consistent way. I still have 'low' episodes (not that bad anymore), but I have more periods of normal and even 'high' episodes. I guess this is because methyl donors destabilize dopamine levels. Apparently trembling and lack of coordination and balance can be caused by low dopamine. The original plan was to do 100 chelation rounds, but that may be too much. I've stopped chelation temporarily, in order to figure out the correct methylation support in the hope to speed up the process of chelation. The plan is to do a functional methylation test to optimize methylation before continuing chelation. Either way, Cutler doesn't believe methylation makes a difference. But I believe that fixing methylation can speed up the healing process. I expect that I don't need any support for methylation once all mercury has been cleaned up, maybe only a 'clean' diet. We'll see. Someone pointed out pyroluria on my thread about bipolar. Pyroluria is an abnormality in hemoglobin synthesis. Pyroluria can be cause by genetics but also by heavy metals. It depletes zinc and B6 (CBS uses up B6 and BHMT uses zinc) and it results in a form of anemia and low iron levels. Maybe that is a possible explanation for my rather low ferritin levels? The most outspoken symptom of anemia is a pale skin and a dark color under the eyes. A lot of the symptoms between pyroluria and mercury intoxication are very similar, although the pyroluria symptoms seem more specific. There is an interesting post on curezone which explains a correlation between low ferritin, low thyroid and adrenals and a chronic candida infection. I know that I had to take iron supplements in the past. One of the symptoms of anemia are palpitations. The plan for now: Do a functional methylation test. Do a pyroluria test. Then follow one of the methylation plans on this forum. Restart chelation. Additional results that can be useful (not mentioned in this post): Ferritin: 33 mcg/l [22-275] Serum B12: 227 ng/l [> 187] Serum folic acid: 7.0 µg/l [> 3.1] IgA: 215.1 mg/dl [70-400] IgG: 1174 mg/dl [700-1600] IgM: 73.1 mg/dl [40-230] IgE: 29.2 kU/l [< 114] Complement C4: 11.9 mg/dl [15-45] (Dunno what this means. Has to do with immune function?) Rast d202 nDer p1: 1.8 kU/l [< 0.1] (marker for dust mite allergies) Rast d2 dermatophagoides farinae: 2.24 kU/l [< 0.10] (again dust mite allergies) Rast d203 rder p2: 2.45 kU/l [< 0.10] (same) Wheat f4 IgG: 3.38 mgA/l [< 7.76] Tomato f25 IgG: 6.50 mgA/l [< 7.06] Celery f85 IgG: 4.96 mgA/l [< 7.06] Avocado f96 IgG: 4.72 mgA/l [< 7.06] H. pylori IgG: negative TSH: 1.87 mU/l [0.35-4.94] Leukocytes: 3080/mcl [3700-10000] (Apparently less than 4000 is considered 'low'. A vitamin B12 deficiency could be the cause here.) Lymfocytes: 44.4% [16-45] (High count is usually a sign of a viral infection?) Monocytes: 9.4% [< 12] (Levels above 8 are high. Chronic inflammation is one of the causes.) Neutrophil granulocyte: 1460/µl [1340-5860] (Levels beneath 1700 are considered as 'neutropenia'. Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency is one of the possible causes.) Questions: What is the connection between the methylation cycle and histamines? According to MTHFRsupport, I have a slow liver phase II detox with regards to phase I. An increase in B vitamins speed up phase I, which increases the intermediates and thus oxidative stress. How important is it to fix this? Do I need to fix this before methylation? Has anyone tried to avoid phenols (with regard to COMT)? What kind of functional methylation test should I order? I'm located in Europe. What other tests might be helpful? Maybe serum amino acid levels? T3/T4? Are there other things that genetic genie doesn't report that might be intresting, like GCH1 and SHMT? Or are they not all that relevant? It is possible that I forgot to include some things in this post. But it is already way too long, so I'm gonna leave it as it is.