The Pros And Cons Of Chelation Therapy

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What is chelation therapy?
Chelation (pronounced key-LAY-shun) therapy is treatment used in conventional medicine for removing heavy metals (including mercury) from the blood. It involves intravenous injections of a chelating agent, EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid), a synthetic amino acid. EDTA binds to heavy metals and minerals in the blood so that they can be excreted in the urine. Another intravenous agent used by some physicians for mercury detoxification is called DMPS (2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid).
An oral chelating agent called Succimer (Dimercaptosuccinic acid, also known as DMSA) is FDA-approved for treatment of lead poisoning and is used by some physicians to remove mercury from the body. The drug combines with
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Chelation therapy may stimulate release of a hormone that in turn causes calcium to be removed from plaques or causes a lowering of cholesterol levels.
3. Chelation therapy may reduce the damaging effects of oxygen ions (oxidative stress) on the walls of the blood vessels, which could reduce inflammation in the arteries and improve blood vessel function.
Despite the lack of scientific proof that chelation therapy can effectively treat problems other than proven heavy metal poisoning, the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that 111,000 adults 18 years of age and older used chelation therapy as a form of complementary or alternative medicine in the previous 12 months.
What should one expect on a visit to a practitioner of chelation
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The most common side effect of chelation therapy is a burning sensation at the site where the EDTA is injected into the vein. Rarely, side effects can include fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Serious and potentially fatal side effects, which are very rare, include heart failure; a sudden drop in blood pressure; abnormally low blood levels of calcium; permanent kidney damage; and bone marrow depression (meaning that blood cell counts fall). Infrequently, reversible kidney injury has been reported. Other serious side effects can occur if EDTA is not administered by a trained health professional.
Is there a governing body that oversees or credentials practitioners of chelation
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