Chelation Therapy


Chelation therapy is designed to remove the toxins and waste materials that lie within the human bloodstream. This is an intravenous procedure where the drug ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid is mixed with nutrients and dripped slowly into the bloodstream. The process takes roughly three hours. The treatment is not a one-time application, and most often is dosed in multiple treatments to start, and then followed up on a yearly basis. The number of treatments recommended typically depends on the general health of the patient.

Ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid, also known as EDTA, is designed to help remove things like the metals, and toxins from the blood. This type of therapy is thought to help clean arteries as well as stop the increase of atherosclerosis, and in some cases is thought to reverse it.

The general word of “Chelation” can be used to describe similar treatments that use a different type of chemical.

The History of Chelation Therapy

The process of Chelation Therapy was created during the 1950s. Its primary function during that time was to help remove metal substances from the blood. Heavy metal poisoning was much more common then, with substances such as lead, iron, mercury, and even copper a problem for possible poisoning. The chemical in Chelation Therapy would bind to these heavy metals and help to flush it out of the bloodstream.

Doctors quickly realized that this type of therapy had an added positive effect on their patients, resulting in less pain, more mobility, increased vision, and better hearing.

The term Chelation Therapy comes from the Greek word “chele” which means to claw, or bind. This helps describe the process perfectly, as the chemical used binds to the toxic and unneeded metals in the bloodstream and helps to flush them out of the system.

This treatment is also sometimes used for patients who have had multiple blood transfusions. The repeated blood transfusions can lead to a condition known as thalassemia, where there is an increased blood calcium level;calcium deposits, and even lead and iron flowing through the bloodstream. This problem is often found with patients who have advanced stages of cancer.

Chelation is also thought to reduce angina, improve  cholesterol levels, and have a positive effect on  a person’s overall metabolism.

This treatment has since been used regularly by doctors. The results, however, do vary, and there is still only a small understanding of how the therapy works to treat conditions other than what it was originally developed for.

Chelation Therapy in Practice

Chelation Therapy is accomplished through an intravenous drip system. More than ninety-five percent of the chemical is removed from the body through the kidneys after a twenty-four hour period.  As the chemical  is not absorbed into the body, Chelation Therapy has a low risk for potential side effects. While undergoing this type of therapy, a patient may feel a slight burning near the injection site, and often will feel tired when done. Rarer side effects after treatment can include symptoms such as headaches, sick stomach, throwing up, raised temperatures, and even diarrhea.

More severe side effects have been noted, but are rare. Some of the problems that could occur during a session include blood pressure drops, inflammation of the vein, heart rhythm changes, clotting problems, bone marrow suppression, and kidney damage. It is advised that this treatment not be performed without the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional.

What is a Chelation Therapy Session Like?

Sessions generally take around three hours, as the drug needs to enter the bloodstream slowly and disburse. This treatment is often given over stages, generally once a week, for two to three months. It is generally then recommended that the treatments be repeated on a once-every-few-months basis to enable the best benefit from the process.

This process should always be performed by a trained and qualified medical practitioner, as it involves a chemical entering the bloodstream.

Types of Problems Aided By Chelation Therapy

Chelation Therapy is a common and widely-used form of treatment to remove metal from the bloodstream. This can include problems such as lead poisoning. However, this therapy is being used to treat things such as atherosclerotic, and other conditions, though there is not a significant amount of science to back up such alternate use.

One of the conditions being treated with this form of therapy includes kidney disease. Some patients have benefited from treating kidney disease with Chelation Therapy, and it has been used in some cases to reduce or impede the progression of kidney failure. Heart disease has also shown some improvement through the process of Chelation Therapy. It has been noted to help improve the problems faced by those with claudiacation, improving their ability to go farther.

Cerebrovascular disease is another area where Chelation Therapy is being used. Cerebrovasular disease is the result of the arteries that carry blood to the brain narrowing, and it can cause many different problems including but not limited to stroke. There is not enough evidence for Chelation Therapy to become a commonplace treatment, but some studies have reported improvement in blood flow to the brain.

By far the most common use for Chelation Therapy remains the removal of metallic toxins from the bloodstream. This was the practice that it was invented for and it is still being used for this purpose today. Though it cannot undo any damage caused to the body because of things like metal poisoning, it can stop further damage to the human system. Chelation Therapy allows the chemical to slowly enter the bloodstream and latch on to the harmful metals and remove them.

It is best to consult with a medical professional before beginning any kind of treatment. As many of these conditions noted above are not approved for this type of treatment, it is important to make sure that no other health conditions are present and that your condition will be benefitted and not be harmed from this type of treatment.


  1. Bratman, S. The Alternative Medicine Ratings Guide: an expert panel rates the best treatments for over 80 conditions, Prima Health A Division of Prima Publishing (1998)
  2. Brown, L. Alternative Medicine, NTC/Contemporary Publishing (1999)
  3. Deepak Chopra, M.D. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Celestial Arts (2002)
  4. Nancy Allison. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines, The Rosen Publishing Group (1999)
  5. Servan-Schreiber, D. The Encyclopedia of New Medicine: Conventional & Alternative Medicine For All Ages, Rodale International Limited (2006)



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