Coronary Artery Disease Chelation

Chelation therapy is a controversial treatment for heart disease, specifically for atherosclerosis, which is the fatty buildup of plaque in the arteries. The treatment puts EDTA, a man-made amino acid, into the body to chelate, or seek out and bind with, the calcium in the artery-blocking plaque. Once the calcium is removed, the rest of the plaque should simply break away, returning the arteries to their normal state.

Many people have claimed that chelation therapy changed their lives and cured them completely, but many medical professionals and scientific groups are skeptical of chelation therapy’s effects and value as a treatment. The effects of chelation therapy have not been conclusively proven, and some of the treatment’s effects are hypothesized to be the result of other changes that people are required to make in their lives before undergoing chelation therapy.

Chelation Therapy Effects

Chelation therapy treatments take two to four hours each and are administered five to 30 times per month. Supporters of the treatment say that it breaks away artery buildup and works as a cure for atherosclerosis, or the “hardening of the arteries,” which can worsen over time and cause heart attacks, strokes and other serious medical problems because of restricted blood flow.

In some cases, chelation therapy is even used to prevent future atherosclerosis. Some people claim that chelation therapy has increased their blood flow and reduced pain as well.

Despite seemingly positive effects, groups like the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration remain skeptical. The treatment’s effects have not been scientifically proven, and many who oppose or question the treatment’s efficacy point to the lifestyle changes that most chelation therapy patients make before and during treatment.

Chelation therapy patients are usually required to:

  • avoid fatty foods and eat a healthy diet with more fruits and vegetables
  • exercise regularly
  • quit smoking.

Many medical professionals feel that it is these lifestyle changes, and not chelation therapy, that is making patients’ conditions improve.

Chelation Therapy Cost and Risks

Patients spend thousands of dollars on chelation therapy, as each treatment runs between approximately $50 and $100. Insurance will not cover chelation therapy because of its experimental and investigational status. The treatment is not a medically accepted procedure for atherosclerosis.

While chelation therapy claims to reverse and slow the progression of atherosclerosis, many organizations have claimed that these assertions are unsubstantiated at best.

Chelation therapy has been associated with many risks and dangers, including:

  • bone marrow depression
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • convulsions
  • decreased blood coagulation ability
  • hypocalcaemia
  • kidney failure
  • low blood pressure
  • respiratory arrest
  • shock.

As a result of these dangers and risk factors, in addition to the fact that there isn’t substantial scientific proof that the treatment is effective, chelation therapy is not recommended as a treatment for atherosclerosis by most medical professionals. Until further studies and conclusive results are achieved, the treatment will be seen as risky and investigational by medical professionals and scientific groups.