What is chelation therapy?
Chelation therapy involves the use of chemical compounds injected into the blood stream , muscle or taken by mouth to bind metals that are present in toxic concentrations so they can be excreted (usually in urine) from the body.
What are legitimate uses for chelation therapy?
Chelation therapy is medically indicated when toxic levels of heavy metals such as iron, arsenic, lead, and mercury are present. While iron is a vital metal the other metals (arsenic, lead, and mercury) are not required by the body. Lead toxicity most commonly occurs with young children exposed to old houses with lead paint dust or chips. Occupational exposure (soldering, welders, smelters, battery reclamation) is also a risk. Lead screening for children has now become a standard part of a doctor’s visit for children in may states.
Mercury toxicity almost always occurs with high risk occupational exposures including dental workers, manufacturers of batteries/ thermometers, tannery work/taxidermy, and contaminated seafood. Arsenic poisoning usually occurs from exposure to insecticides, herbicides, rodent poisons, veterinary parasitic medications, or intentional poisoning.
Other heavy metals, mentioned only in passing because toxic exposure is extremely uncommon, include: cadmium, manganese, aluminum, cobalt, zinc, nickel, copper and magnesium. Heavy metal toxicity can cause a wide range of problems including severe injury to the body organs and the brain.
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