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Autism Treatment – Heavy metals, Porphyrin testing and Treating Autism

Posted on 08 March 2011 by admin

Autism Treatment with Porphyrin Testing

This is video 2 of this discussion on heavy metal testing. We are going to talk about porphyrin analysis. A number of years ago there was research that was done in autism treatment that was analyzing what are called porphyrins. Porphyrins are a chemical reaction within our cells that the end result produces something called heme. Heme is used in our red blood cells to form hemoglobin to carry oxygen. Heme is also a part of our liver that is involved in detoxification processes. Heme is also involved in removing things called beta amyloids from the brain and beta amyloid accumulation interestingly enough, particularly in certain neurological disorders has been associated with mercury exposure. So heme is an important substance for our body, porphyrin is an important metabolic process that our cells undergo.

Now what was found in this research was that porphyrin metabolism can be altered by heavy metal exposure. We know there can be genetic disorders that lead to porphyrin problems and these are very serious disorders many of them life threatening. We know that certain chemicals can interfere with porphyrin metabolism as well. But the relationship to heavy metals is pretty strong. Lead we know can interfere with porphyrin metabolism, aluminum and arsenic can as well, as well as with mercury. And so we can do a porphyrin analysis, the one I generally run is from Great Plains Laboratory and there are some other labs that also offer porphyrin analysis as well. And what we are trying to determine is one or more of those porphyrin markers elevated. If they are elevated it is pretty strong evidence that we have some type of heavy metal exposure in autism treatment causing a toxicity effect at the cellular level. Again, if one of those porphyrin markers is elevated, say for example the copopophyrin, abbreviated CP, just because it is elevated doesn’t necessarily tell us how much heavy metal is in the body. What it does tell you is that there is an amount of cellular toxicity occurring because of the heavy metal.

As I mentioned in video 1, when I do up front heavy metal testing I will generally do a hair analysis and I’ll do a porphyrin analysis as a screening assessment. Trying to get an idea, what is the hair analysis showing us? Are there elevated markers on the hair analysis of specific metals? Is there a mineral transport problem being seen? Are there different patterns on the hair essential elements section that indicate the probability of heavy metal toxicity? And then correlating that with the porphyrin test, if the porphyrin test is elevated as well, that is very strong evidence that we are dealing with some underlying heavy metal toxicity.

Now the decision still has to come whether you implement heavy metal treatment or not in autism treatment. Just because a test is normal doesn’t necessarily mean the child hasn’t been exposed to heavy metals. So ultimately the decision to implement heavy metal detoxification therapy is really a clinical one that you have to discuss with your physician. Does it make clinical sense to implement some type of treatment? In many cases it does, and in many cases when we actually implement heavy metal detox therapy we see improvements in kids over time. Whether it with respects to attention, focusing, improved sensory issues, decreased infections, better immune function, etc. So porphyrin test and the hair test for me anyway are good screening tools. In video 3 we are going to talk about some of the blood testing that is done for heavy metals as another way of assessing for heavy metal exposure.

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