Chelation therapy is a process used for removing excessive metals from the blood stream. It has proven to be very effective for those who are experiencing lead or mercury poisoning. In many cases the process can mean the difference between life and death.
However, just like any other medical procedure, it does have risks. In fact the risks associated with chelation therapy can be life threatening, but when compared to the condition, the risk is outweighed.
If you are undergoing chelation therapy, your doctor should inform you of the following risks or complications that can occur.
When chelation therapy was first developed many people died because of the development of kidney toxicity. During the 1950’s the dose used for the procedure was about 10 grams for each infusion. Since then, the recommended dose has been lessened to 3 grams.
The actual dose used for the procedure will depend on your current medical state, and the condition of your kidneys. Before the therapy is completed a renal function test should be completed to check for proper functioning of the kidneys. If the kidneys are too weak or damaged, chelation therapy may not be possible.
Excessive Removal of Minerals
During chelation therapy it is possible for essential minerals to be removed from the body. In some cases the levels may become too low, and immediate treatment is necessary.
The most common mineral deficiency that can develop is calcium deficiency. This is normally a result of an infusion rate that is too fast, or a mistake by an inexperienced technician.
If this condition does develop, it can be fixed very quickly with a shot of calcium gluconate. In most cases a simple blood sample can determine if the calcium levels are dropping too low during the procedure.
Hypoglycemia Can Occur
During chelation therapy it is possible for blood glucose to drop to an unsafe level, and insulin shock could occur. This reaction occurs most often in patients with a history of diabetes.
If a diabetic patient must undergo chelation therapy, it is best to eat a high carbohydrate meal or snack before, and during the procedure. A patient may also want to have a sugary substance such as juice or hard candy available during the procedure.
Congestive Heart Failure Is Possible
If a patient has a history of heart problems it is quite possible for congestive heart failure to occur. Fortunately, there have been no deaths up until now, but there have been complications. A patient with this type of condition should be watched closely, and the process should be completed with extreme caution.
All in all, chelation therapy is very safe if completed correctly with the right dosage. A patient’s medical history should always be taken into consideration. The technician should also be very aware of any complications that could occur and the treatments if they do.
Since the procedure has been closely monitored and regulated, over half a million procedures have been completed without one death.