Some medical specialists believe that particles of metals, such as mercury, lead and iron in the environment, dental fillings and our diet can become embedded inside some tissues in the body. If the body does not expel them, then they can lead to serious health problems. Chelation therapy is a treatment that is believed to cleanse the body of these toxic metals. However, how does chelation therapy work and what are the potential dangers involved.
How Chelation Therapy Works
Chelation therapy is the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. This metal detoxification can be done intravenously, intramuscularly or orally. Alternative medicine uses this therapy in the treatment of heart disease and in the treatment of autistic patients.
Some chelation advocates claim that autism might be caused or aggravated by heavy metal poisoning and might be treated by using this heavy metal detoxification method. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this hypothesis. This remedy is also widely used for the treatment of chronic degenerative diseases involving the circulatory system.
The chelation halts the bad effects and initiates the body's healing process, often reversing the damage. Many patients who could not walk due to muscle pain or angina pain have reported that they can walk without pain after this treatment.
The chemical EDTA is mixed with vitamins and minerals and is administered by an intravenous drip over a period of three hours. EDTA binds with and removes, through the kidneys, toxic metals such as lead, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, tin, and excess iron and copper. These heavy metals trigger the formation of free radicals which are a major cause of degenerative illnesses including heart and blood vessel disease. The EDTA is eliminated from the body, 95 per cent via the kidneys and 5 per cent via the bile, along with the toxic metals and free ionic calcium which it has locked onto, in its transit through the circulatory system.
Chelation Therapy Side Effects
There have been a number of side effects associated with chelation therapy. One of the most common problems of this metal and mercury detoxification process is headaches. This is generally from a low blood sugar level, so to prevent this from happening, it is advised to eat before or during the treatment.
Nausea or stomach upset can also occur due to a deficiency of vitamin B6, but is only manifested in less than 1 percent of the patients receiving the treatment. Other side effects can include diarrhea, faintness, extreme fatigue, fever, cramps and joint pain.
Is Chelation Therapy Effective
The American Heart Association claims that the benefits of chelation therapy have not been scientifically proven and therefore cannot be considered an effective treatment. However, devotees of alternative therapies truly believe that the treatment can greatly benefit patients.
Chelation therapists usually require their patients to make lifestyle changes that include quitting smoking, losing weight, eating more fruits and vegetables, avoiding foods high in saturated fats and exercising regularly. Regardless of the degree of effectiveness of chelation therapy, these are definitely healthy choices.