For years naturopathic medicine has professed the importance of decreasing toxins in the body. Chelation therapy is the administration of a synthetic amino acid that binds with heavy metals and removes them from the body. By removing the heavy metals, Chelation reduces free radical damage to blood vessels, neurological and other tissues and helps to improve circulation throughout the body.
Heavy metals refers to metals that our body cannot detoxify on its own. These include lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic, nickel and tin among others. These metals are stored in body tissues. Heavy metals build up in various tissues including the cardiovascular system, bones, the nervous system and fat. Elevated levels of toxic metals have been linked to a variety of health problems including cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, autoimmune disease, fatigue, Autism and allergies.
Heavy metal exposure happens through a variety of environmental sources including: seafood, gasoline, paint, cleaners, dental amalgams, lead pipes, smoking and various industrial processes that contaminate the air we breathe.
The first step in Chelation is to perform a challenge test to assess the presence and amounts of specific heavy metals. Chelation patients are given an IV treatment of the amino acids ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (known as EDTA) and dimercapto propane sulfonic acid (known as DMPS). These substances bind to the metals and they are excreted in the patient’s urine. Therefore a six-hour urine collection is performed following the initial IV treatment. The urine is sent for laboratory analysis and a detailed report is generated that indicates potential heavy metals affecting the patient’s health.
Once the levels of the metals are determined, individualized plans are created for each patient to help to remove the metals from their body. This typically consists of weekly chelation IVs and IV vitamins to help with detoxification and maintaining healthy mineral levels. Patients typically notice improved energy, a decrease in symptoms, clearer thinking and improved cardiovascular function.
Chelation therapy should only be performed under the supervision of a naturopathic or medical doctor who is certified in chelation therapy.If you have a known exposure to these metals or suffer from the symptoms mentioned above you may consider discussing chelation therapy with one of our naturopathic doctors.