Toxic elements in urine following DMSA

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Measuring toxic metals in urine, blood and hair is unreliable because heavy metals are very poorly excreted and bio-concentrate in organs such as heart, brain, bone marrow and kidney so are not available to measure. The answer is to use a chelating agents such as DMSA – this is well absorbed from the gut, grabs toxic and friendly minerals alike, and pulls them out through the urine. It is excellent for diagnosing toxicity of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminium, cadmium, nickel and probably others. DMSA can be used to pull these metals out of the body through urine. See Comprehensive Urine element Profile

Carrying a toxic load is a problem for all of us - see Toxic metals - a problem for us all


See also Heavy Metal Poisoning - causes and treatment

Oral chelation therapy with DMSA works reliably well. The problem is that it also strips out the friendly trace minerals, so one must not use trace elements on the day of DMSA, but then use them on subsequent days as a rescue remedy! My current regime is:

1. Identify and deal with the source of contamination – for example there is little point using oral chelation therapy for mercury if dental amalgam remains in the teeth!

2. Make one day a week your detox DMSA day. No friendly trace minerals for 3 hours prior to your DMSA or you use up the DMSA with these instead of the toxics!

3. Take 15mgs DMSA per kilogram body weight in one dose on an empty stomach last thing at night. Start with a small dose and build up according to tolerance. The DMSA comes in 100mgs capsules. If you are allergic or chemically sensitive just take a tiny dose initially. Any problems and reduce the dose. Duration of therapy depends on the level of toxicity but for a patient with 10 times the laboratory range I would recommend initially 16 weeks of once weekly treatment.

4. Mobilising toxic metals can make you worse because of toxic and/or allergic reactions to the mobilised metal, so start with small doses and adjust according to your response! Some people just do not tolerate DMSA at all.

5. At the end of this regime the toxic metals in urine following DMSA chelating agent should be repeated to make sure that the heavy metal load has been reduced. That gives us two points on the graph and so an idea of how much more, if any, chelation therapy is required.

See also Detoxification - an overview for the "Full Monty".

What if levels do not come down?

If the levels do not come down as expected then there are two possible reasons. Either there is on-going contamination from an unidentified source. Or there is redistribution of toxic metals – sometimes it is like peeing off layers of an onion and heavy metals seem to come out in quantum leaps. One just has to continue oral chelation until a downward trend is seen. Every milligram of DMSA pulls out a load of heavy metals.

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