Chelation Therapy removes toxic heavy metals, that are found in excess and which are associated with disease states, through the administration of chelating agents. For the most common forms of heavy metal intoxication, such as lead, arsenic or mercury, the standard of care in the USA dictates the use of dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) or Dimercaprol. Other chelating agents, such as 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA), are used in conventional and alternative medicine. Your physician will help you perform Heavy Metal Testing to determine presence and levels of heavy metals in the body and how best to remove them.
Alternative medicine uses chelation therapy in the treatment of heart disease. Currently there is a US National Insitutes of Health trial (TACT) being conducted on the chelation therapy's efficacy in treating heart disease. Some alternative practitioners use chelation to treat hardening of the arteries. The use of EDTA chelation therapy as a treatment for coronary artery disease is currently being studied by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, but no claims or findings are expected before 2009. Chelation therapy is currently not approved by the FDA to treat coronary artery disease.
Chelation Therapy is also proposed to help in the treatment of Autism in combination with other naturopathic therapies. The hypothesis of mercury poisoning as a cause for autism was proposed by Bernard, Enayati, Roger, Binstock, and Redwood in 2002. These authors stated that symptoms of autism arise from exposure to mercury. They further state that symptoms of autism tend to emerge when children are administered vaccines, the rise in children with autism in the 1990’s coincided with the introduction of two mercury-containing immunizations, and finally, patients with autism have been found to have levels of mercury in their systems. An important problem with this theory is the fact that the symptoms of autism do not perfectly resemble symptoms of mercury poisoning. Though mercury poisoning can cause impaired social interactions, communication problems, and stereotypic behaviors, as seen in autism, it also causes “ataxia, constricted visual fields, peripheral neuropathy, hypertension, skin eruption, and thrombocytopenia” - symptoms not seen in children with autism.
Thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative found in vaccines, has been removed from nearly all childhood immunizations. Nevertheless, caregivers of children with autism have sought out treatment to rid mercury and other heavy metals from the body. Some parents of children with autism have reported significant gains in their children’s symptoms following chelation therapy. They contend that within weeks of the initial treatment, their children have made drastic improvements in behavior and social engagement. Younger children have reportedly made faster and more significant results. Once blood tests have been done to assess base lines your doctor will discuss the options and other adjuvant treatments recommended based on your health concerns.
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Naturopathic medicine is a healthcare practice that provides drugless treatment for a broad spectrum of health concerns. Its primary focus is to find the cause of a disease, bring the body into balance, and support its ability to heal.