Vision and GDD, and DTPA chelation
GDD, vision, and DTPA chelation. Vision problems as a component of GDD are very common. Most commonly subjects describe blurring, dryness another frequent complaint, and floaters relatively uncommon.
As with most injurious effects from Gd, several separate factors all contribute to the damage.
Vision is effected at many locations, probably at least 13:
extra-ocular muscles, tear production, corneal surface, vitreous humor, aqueous humor, retina, optic nerve, optic artery, optic vein, perivascular tissue, nerve track/perineural tissue/ myelin sheath, brain center for vision in posterior brain occipital lobe.
So the question is, which of the 13, which combination of the 13, is at issue in any individual case of GDD?
Most individuals with vision problems following GDD development report rather dramatic improvement in vision with chelation, beginning frequently after the first chelation.
A very few individuals report worsening eye symptoms, it seems specifically floaters, following chelation. A study has been reported that in everyone who receives a GBCA injection, Gd enters the vitreous humor, the thick gooey fluid in the back of the eye in proximity to the retina. Floaters represent protein aggregates (blobs) in the vitreous humor which show up as black specks floating across vision.
Floaters in GDD are common. Floaters getting worse after chelation, what does that represent: 1. natural progression of the GDD process, 2. DTPA contributing to floaters by removing Gd from the retina and lying suspended as a Gd-DTPA protein blob in vitreous humor, or forming larger protein blobs of Gd-protein- DTPA. I suspect it is a combination of both. Recovery from GDD with chelation is not a linear process (as I have described in several blogs) but it is like a saw blade that is angled upwards, where there is some see-sawing of symptoms. Most symptoms (nearly all) that seem to get worse early following chelation improve as more chelations are done.
Most individuals with one, and possibily up to 3, GBCA injections experience durable improvement after 5 chelation sessions. This is better treatment results than essentially anything else we do in medicine. Those with more injections/ more complications, usually 15 sessions are needed to show profound benefit. Is this also true with floaters that seem to worsen with chelation? The short answer: I do not have enough experience to know for certain, but I suspect it is likely. If floaters do not improve, this may be the trade-off one takes with chelation treatment, and maybe the only one I can think of, that this is the case. So the trade-off in a select few: more floaters vs overall improvement of all systemic disease. For me it is a clear decision, I would deal with more floaters with the prospect of everything else getting much better. No medical treatment, ZERO, are perfect, it is possible that this may be an unavoidable negative consequence of chelation. But I repeat, I am not certain, I would have to see individuals undergo atleast 15 properly performed chelations in order to determine if the floaters are an unavoidable consequence of chelation. Note that the other 12 causes of vision disturbance would all however improve.
In looking at the question of vision in detail, one would have to look at a number of issues:
1. how many GBCAs did you receive and what type.
2. How frequent were the Ca-/Zn-DTPA chelations, weekly, monthly etc.
3. Did you have these vision problems to begin with following developing GDD?
4. If the vision disturbance is mainly floaters..do they vary in size, number, location, do they come and go?
5. both eyes? Entire vision field or just parts?
6. did the vision loss seem to come on early after chelation or at a few weeks after chelation.
7. other drugs, other conditions (eg: diabetes), heredity that cause vision problems, specifically floaters.
Which DTPA agent may be at fault?
Ca-DTPA picks up essentially all metals, but proportionately picks up much more heavy metals (like Gd) and relatively little native metals (like Magnesium, Manganese, Copper).
Zn-DTPA picks up essentially just heavy metals, so leaves Mn, Mg, and Cu alone.
Vision problems occur commonly with GDD, and then by extension a few can be worsened with Flare, either Gd being pulled out immediately following chelation, or at 3 weeks + after chelation where re-equilibration is the cause. Early (redistribution) occurs minimally with DTPA (but does occur substantially with other weaker chelators).
The other thing we have to be concerned with is that most GDD sufferers are sensitive to chemicals, if we try other chemicals then will you be sensitive to them as well?
Is Ca-DTPA at fault for picking up native metals that may effect vision: eg: copper, Mg, Mn?
Is Zn-DTPA at fault for leaving behind Zn, even though Zn is one of the supplements advocated for vision- but maybe too much Zn disturbs the balance of metaloproteins?
Is there something else you are taking at the same time that effects vision, steroids for example, or something that contains ETDA such as eye drops? As you are aware I advocate steroids to reduce Flare reaction and host immune memory for Gd.
You may need to get a blood test for serum electrolytes, to see Cu, Mn, and Mg.
Most of the potential disturbances should be transitory and not permanent, as the effects of a chelator really are not toxic but relate to picking up electrolytes or leaving behind Zn, and with time your body should be able to autoregulate back to normal.
If you are concerned about vision, while at the same time you are on a good trajectory with DTPA chelation and don't want to stop yet (not yet 80% better but progressively getting there) taking a conservative approach at what is more likely a problem, continuing with 1. Zn-DTPA alone, maybe even at half dose. 2. If you are on steroids for Flare, at 5 chelations along you should be able to drop steroids dramatically. Maybe still taking 4 mg Methylprednisolone po 30-60 minutes before chelation, and again 1 hr after chelation.
Most eye vision supplements contain a fair amount of Zn, and if you are chelating with Zn-DTPA (and we are not entirely sure that excess Zn may be the problem), you may want to avoid them, (eg: avoid Preservision) but instead just take the supplement Lutein and Zeaxanthin which is manufactured just as those two chemicals in a tablet.
You could also take MSM eye drops ( test carefully because you may be sensitive to this chemical well).
Vitamins A, C, and E - maybe as a simple multivitamin that has them and others - but avoid taking extra Zn (if you are chelating with Zn-DTPA).
Broccoli, spinach, corn contain MSM, and other very good things, so a very conservative approach - which I like, is to just start with diet, increasing intake of these. Kale has a lot of MSM, as well, but unfortunately in our modern age, most Kale contains a lot of Thallium and Cesium because of concentration of these metals in the plant due to their presence in air and water pollution. So no Kale.
Many eye supplements contain Zn, so you want to avoid that if you are using Zn-DTPA.
A few may be faced with the choice: More floaters or in intense agony from the spectrum of symptoms of GDD - there is no competition in that decision.
What does the great eye command?
Richard Semelka, MD