The chelation therapy, long treatment for mercury and lead poisoning, is not a proven treatment for heart disease, and it can be dangerous when used as a treatment for heart disease. Despite this, some physicians and alternative medicine practitioners have used heavy metal chelation therapy to treat heart disease and stroke.
The theory behind the use of heart disease by chelation therapy is that the drug used in the treatment binds calcium which fatty deposits (plaques) in the arteries. Once the drug binds to calcium, the plates are scanned as medicine moves through your bloodstream.
Chelation therapy for heart disease
The safety and effectiveness of chelation therapy for heart disease can not be determined even after the results of the largest study conducted to date, the trial to assess chelation therapy (TACT), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
Neither the American Heart Association nor the European College of Cardiology recommend chelation therapy as a treatment for heart disease, and the Food and Drug Administration has not approved chelation therapy for use as a treatment for heart disease.
Why it’s done
In chelation therapy, a dose of a drug called ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) is delivered intravenously (IV). This drug seeking and binds to minerals in the blood. Once the drug binds to minerals, it creates a compound that leaves your body in your urine.
Chelation therapy is a proven treatment for lead or mercury poisoning. Some doctors believe that chelation therapy might begin to reverse heart disease by binding to calcium in artery-clogging plaques and sweep them away. No study has shown that this process actually works.
How you prepare
Before choosing heart disease by chelation therapy, talk to your doctor about all the risks associated with the procedure.
After weighing the risks, if you decide to have chelation therapy, there is no special preparation is required. You will need to sit in a chair for several hours to receive chelation therapy, so wear comfortable clothing for your visit.
What you can expect
During the procedure
Chelation therapy is done in five to 30 treatments with a doctor or a professional alternative medicine. During each treatment, you sit on a chair and an IV line inserted in your hand or arm. A liquid solution given to you by the IV line. Each treatment usually lasts several hours. You may feel a temporary stinging or burning sensation at the injection site.
After the procedure
After the procedure, you can go about your daily activities. You will be able to drive you home, eat your usual diet and do tasks normally. You may notice some swelling around your ankles or have to urinate more than usual. Both result from the amount of liquid which is injected in the solution during chelation therapy.
Because the solution used in chelation therapy also binds to vitamins and minerals in the blood, you will need to take supplements after your procedure to replace them. You take the pill until you have completed your series of chelation treatments. Because supplements are strong, carefully follow the instructions for taking them.