Gadolinium DD recovery. Natural history following: Spontaneous Recovery and Chelation Therapy.
As with many diseases, especially where a large percentage of individuals recover spontaneously, it is difficult to know what the pure spontaneous recovery rate is. This also explains why there are advocates all all forms of therapy for the disease process. Is the individual recovering from the disease because of a specific treatment or despite it? Difficult to know. My opinion is the host (the person) most often recovers despite treatment given to them, and not because of it. Probably in no condition is this better on display than with COVID-19.
But this blog is not about COVID, it is on Gadolinium Deposition Disease. The factors of treatment and recovery though are virtually identical with COVID, including that the host's immune system, and the thousands of variations of immune systems, is the principal actor in the recovery.... and as much as possible we want to facilitate recovery and not hinder it.
As with COVID, there really are no hard and fast numbers of infection rates and the various recovery rates, ranging from spontaneous to therapy driven, with COVID a lot of the uncertainty is individual nation politics driven, where there is political gain to obscure the truth. I do not know if there is consensus if COVID-19 stays dormant in the host for as long as they live, like the Varicella and Herpes viruses, or if it is a transient occupant of the host. There are thousands of scientists/ physicians researching into COVID-19.... there are only a few of us with any amount of focus on GDD. And yet maybe we have a better handle on GDD than is had on COVID-19.
With that Introduction:
Recovery from GDD
Much of this reflects my informed opinion.
Essentially everyone who is injected by a GBCA has an immune reaction to it. But, in 99.9 % that reaction is transient, with the vast majority of those lasting for less than 1 hour.
A side bar is important here, despite the tens of scientifically described metabolic abnormalities that a GBCA can cause, remarkably very few people experience them in a clinically noticeable fashion. Largely we have to thank the immune system, by blocking these abnormal metabolic damages, primarily by calming itself down, but I also suspect by specifically blocking certain damages on the cellular level - such as interfering with cell surface membrane assault by Gd.
Acute Hypersensitivity Reaction (AHR) arises generally within 1 hour, but certainly up to 1 day (a few stragglers to 2 days, but these latter may be GDD subjects). When moderate to severe, this generally can be managed with a combination of antihistamines and steroids, primarily steroids. AHR is considered a transient disease process, and perhaps in 2/3s of cases it is. But what differs in GDD probably from other drug reactions, is Gd persists in small amount in the host after the injection, and is not a transient occupant. So it can form the basis of a persistent disease: GDD. I am uncertain of the number but I suspect at least 10-20% of AHR becomes GDD, which explains the relatively high failure rate for hypersensitivity regimen drugs. 20% of GDD probably arise as a continuum from AHR.
Gadolinium Deposition Disease (GDD).
Having spent 7 years studying individuals with GDD, who have undergone chelation therapy and who have opted to not undergo chelation therapy (spontaneous recovery), I am now in a position to have an informed view of recovery and cure.
Perhaps there is no true cure of GDD, but there is near cure. I think the basis of this is, is that although the immune system can be calmed down enormously (and also continue to block Gd activity in other cells) , both some amount of Gd (even with chelation) and a persistent immune system damage (a T cell dysregulation) continue to exist. A T cell dysregulation may have preceded GDD, and not only followed it, but the specific dysregulation to Gd followed GDD.
GDD can be grossly categorized as mild, moderate and severe diseases, basically reflecting the severity of symptoms and degree of incapacity. Probably the great majority of GDD cases following 1 time exposure to GBCA (estimate 90%), the individual feels crummy to awful following the GBCA injection, and then largely recovers on their own, and decide not to get another GBCA injection again recognizing their symptoms came on right after the GBCA injection. Case closed in many. These individuals can largely still function adequately at work and in home life. These mild cases of GDD largely resolve by 3 months, with relatively minor lingering symptoms. So probably 1/3 to 1/2 of mild cases who come to my attention (the more severe mild casescan recover on their own. This is why in general I prefer individuals to wait for atleast 3 months before seeking chelation therapy, as they may recover enough on their own to be sufficiently back to an acceptable 'normal' self.
In moderate GDD, symptoms are more disabling and there is interference with work and home life. Probably these individuals should get chelation, but there are those who opt not to. Decidng not to, largely reflects they read reports from GDD victims who did 'poorly' following chelation. Unfortunately this reflects to a large extent the chelation these individuals underwent was a poor chelation regimen. Poor treatment of any disease can go badly. However, the observation of individuals with moderate GDD and do not undergo chelation, allows for appreciation of Spontaneous recover in this group. My estimation is 1/3 of individuals with moderate severity GDD can recovery spontaneously and substantially but this takes 1.5 - 2 years to do so. Most of the individuals who do recover have received just 1 GBCA injection, probably with a top limit of 4 GBCA injections. So spontaneous recovery does occur in a reasonable number of individuals, but it takes a long time. There seems to be some level of at least minor persistent symptomatology, that they believe they can tolerate and live with. This is all fine. The other side of the coin is that 2/3s do not recover substantially.
Severe GDD is rare. My estimation is that 1 in 10,000 individuals who undergo GBCA injection experience mild GDD, and only 1 in 100,000 experience severe GDD. Most individuals who have severe GDD have undergone multiple GBCA injections and present with physical disability or physical loss, severe GDD following just 1 GBCA injection is rare, < 1 in 100,000. That is features like: wheel chair bound, subcutaenous tissue loss in the hands, face and elsewhere. These individuals may never return to 99% of themselves either sponatenously or following chelation. But this is not to say that chelation should not be attempted, perhaps they, more than any other group, should get correctly performed chelation. A sizable number of them can get back to 70% of their normal health and maybe up to 80%. So this means an improvement of intense continuous pain and bed-ridden, to getting out and about and functioning on life and society. So this is a huge improvement. I have never seen spontaneous recovery in severe GDD.
Recovery following chelation:
It is critical to appreciate that chelation is not a monolithic entity, there is a full range of chelation strategies. But my variation on an age-old saying: There is more than one way to skin a cat, yes but
Only a couple of them are any good. Chelation I am referring to is graduated upscaling fo chelator amount, paired with graduated down-scaling of moderately intense immune dampening. There is an art to this science.
Chelation in mild GDD. Generally 5 sessions of chelation is sufficient. May be as few as 3. Success rate extremely high > 95% to 95% + improvement.
Chelation in moderate GDD. Usually a minimum of 10 sessions necessary to get to 90% + improvement.
Chelation in severe GDD. Usually a minimum of 20 sessions needed to get to 70-80%.
A few notes are critical.:
1. In using the term spontaneous recovery this is not teasing out the roles of various dietary changes, supplements, and physical activities such as gentle exercise, massage, sauna, HBOT, ozone therapy, Niacin/sauna. Essentially everyone is trying something to get better, and it is not uncommon that individuals are on 15 supplements and doing many other things. This is beyond the scope of this blog, and I have addressed this in prior blogs (and will in future ones). I advocate healthy reasonable diet consuming whole foods, and I am not so fond of foods in pill form. The supplements I especially like are: turmeric/ spirulina/ and chlorella, added one at a time.
2. I have chosen to use the wording: correctly performed chelation. This entails DTPA chelation, with the graduated technique I am now employing, with concurrent immune dampening. The early pioneering patients with GDD who have done well, did undergo chelation with EDTA, but I do not advise it. It does remove Gd but with significant redistribution, hence it is a dirty removal technique: maybe 70% of Gd moved is removed, and 30% redistributed. There is no reason to drive a 1960's manufactured East German Trabant car, when a 2020 Lexus is available. Sure the Trabant is cheap, and can get you around, but it is unreliable and not safe.
In the future correctly performed chelation may use HOPO as the center-piece.
3. I have used the term now for near cure for GDD, which may frighten/ devastate many sufferers that I do not use complete cure. But this near cure is something that we live with with many unwanted invaders. GDD becomes in the near cure state a disease process probably most like the Varicella virus (sometimes like the Herpes), it is with us all the time, but the great majority of times we have it under control. At various times, and most likely at times of great change, probably severe stress the most common, but possibly also menopause with bone loss, symptoms may Flare up.
4. Those who have experienced spontaneous recovery may be wise to opt for correctly performed chelation at that time, because the host response for Flare will be greatly diminished.
5. Spontaneous cure for 1 time GBCA injections depend on no further GBCA injections. Each individual future injection makes GDD worse.
6. The aim of chelation to get the individual to 80% + improvement, and then see if the immune system can recover the rest of the way on its own. So in many respects my approach with chelation is basically to be a hybrid between chelation and spontaneous recovery, where the components of spontaneous recovery are also included.
7. The ultimate arbiter of when chelation is sufficient is the individual. I give them the goal: chelation to get you to 80-90% better and we see if the rest of the way the immune system can recover on its own.
8. I am concerned about over chelation, and creating a self-perpetuating Gd autoimmune disease.
9. The individual stops when they want to stop. They can return, with apparently no set back of therapy, if symptoms get worse to undergo another series of chelations.
10. Stopping or pausing refers to stopping during a series of chelation where improvement is occurring. This does not refer to stopping because the individual panics because of the severity of Flare and does not want to go back to chelation.
11. Surprisingly even panic-pausers most often have benefitted with the removal of Gd that has already occurred. This basically reflects that the host immune system has less Gd left to react to once their Flare has simmered down.
1. Spontaneous recovery does occur.
2. Atleast 1/2 of individuals with mild GDD will experience spontaneous near cure., and this can be substantial by 3 months.
3. About 1/3 of individuals with moderate GDD, and most of these following few or 1 GBCA injection, will experience substantial spontaneous improvement, but this takes about 1.5 - 2 years.
4. Essentially no individual with severe disease experiences spontaneous cure. Probably these all need chelation, but recovery above 80% back to normal is likely not achievable with current approaches, but recovery to a functioning level generally is.
5. The strategy of chelation should be to act as a hybrid between actual Gd removal and spontaneous recovery (essentially detoxification). The major difference is that the spontaneous recovery phase in the hybrid strategy starts with a quality of life level of 80%, rather than 30-40%, and with much of the reactogenic Gd removed.
6. The additional benefit of chelation is significant in most individuals with GDD. Mild cases though can wait to see if spontaneous recovery occurs to atleast 3 months, maybe 6. Severe cases experience the lowest level of high recovery, but ultimately most have the most to benefit, as they change from bed-ridden and in intense pain for the rest of their lives, to at least functional and atleast enjoying a moderate level of life satisfaction.
7. Near cure with GDD probably most resembles near cure with Varicella virus(chicken pox/ zoster virus). The great majority of their life is essentially normal, but rare events of Flare will occur, that most often spontaneously resolve within 1 - 2 weeks. Vigilance however is necessary, and return to chelation may be needed.
Richard Semelka, MD