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What is Chelation Therapy?
Chelation (pronounced: key-lay-shun) therapy has been around since the 1940’s. It consists of an intravenous infusion of a “chelating” compound, commonly EDTA – although other chelating agents can be used.
What is a Chelating Agent?
A chelating agent is a compound that has two or more groups attached to it that can bind minerals. The word comes from the Greek “chela” which means the claw of a lobster. Chelating agents create strong bonds to metals and minerals so that once a mineral ion is held by these (negatively charged) groups, it is not re-released into the body and is instead excreted in urine. Chelating agents are used to remove all types of ions from the body – including heavy metals, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium. The primary use of chelation therapy is the removal of calcium from blood vessel walls, although other minerals are also removed in the process.
Who can benefit from Chelation Therapy?
Chelation therapy is used to treat arteriosclerosis of the arteries – removal of calcium-containing plaque. This may help in some types of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease (strokes) and high blood pressure. Intermittent claudication – when due to arteriosclerosis can also be significantly improved. It may also be helpful in some cases of vascular complications of diabetes. Chelation therapy can be useful in the treatment of heavy metal toxicity due to mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, aluminum and other toxic metals.
What does a Treatment of Chelation Therapy Entail?
Before treatment can begin, the doctor will do a complete clinical examination as well as blood and urine tests to determine patient’s suitability for chelation therapy and to establish a functional baseline for future evaluation of progress. For example, if the patient has deficient kidney function chelation therapy would be contraindicated.
The intravenous administration usually takes two hours. At our clinic, we try to provide patients with the most comfortable environment possible during this time. A course consists of 15 or more sessions of chelation, given once or twice weekly.