Chelation therapy is considered a type of alternative or holistic medicine that reduces or removes a variety of wastes from the body. As food digests, amino acids and enzymes break down foods, infuses them with nutrients and transports them to organs and blood cells. Chelation actually defines a process by which minerals such as iron or lead adheres to or combines with red blood cells, removing excess accumulation of such minerals or toxic wastes in the body.
How Chelation Therapy Works
Chelation therapy is designed to remove excess heavy metals from the body, reducing the damaging effect free radicals can have on body organs. Chelation therapy is considered a type of alternative medicine commonly used to treat chronic degenerative disease processes such as arthritis, atherosclerosis, and other disease processes that affect connective tissues. Chelation is believed to help remove toxins from the body that increase and enhance the body's own ability to heal itself.
Chelation generally removes excess stores of minerals like lead, magnesium, iron, copper and calcium from the bloodstream, improving blood flow and circulation. Chelation therapy has long been used and recognized as a treatment to remove toxic levels of metals, such as lead, from the body, in cases of suspected lead poisoning. Chemicals injected into the bloodstream naturally bind to certain metals, which are then removed through urination.
Chelation and therapy utilizing various forms of EDTA (also known as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), has been used for nearly four decades in the United States alone, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You may have heard of EDTA chelation.
Because the body is unable to break down heavy metals, chelating drugs that lower the levels of such metals in the blood, including zinc, mercury, cadmium, and lead, are believed to reduce or remove blockages and help improve circulation and blood flow. You can read more about reversing mercury poisoning through chelation therapy in our article.
Common Chelation Agents
Chelation may also be conducted using different agents besides EDTA, including:
How Much Does Chelation Therapy Cost?
In the United States, chelation therapy may range between $75 and $125 per treatment. Alternative treatments are not covered by most health insurance companies and total costs to treat a variety of issues may range an average of $3,000 to $4,000. Duration and number of treatments necessary will also be determined by the level of toxicity. Costs in Europe are often higher. Travelers to holistic and alternative medical facilities in Mexico may save roughly 50% on such costs, ranging between $50.00 and $100 per treatment.
Benefits of Chelation Therapy
Chelation therapy is believed to help prevent or relieve a variety of illnesses, including hardening of the arteries, atherosclerotic disease, age related decline and degenerative disease processes. Proponents of chelation treatment believe that increased blood flow and circulation restores oxygen and nutrients to vital organs throughout the body, and may even be used as a cancer preventative. Chelation therapy is believed to reduce or destroy free radicals caused by environmental pollution or chemicals that cause damage to cells, tissues and organs.
Seeking Chelation Treatments
As chelation therapy is considered an alternative or holistic practice, patients should carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of such therapies. Discuss pros and cons with family health providers, and inquire about combining alternative or holistic therapies with conservative or traditional forms of treatments for treatment of chronic degenerative diseases.
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