How fast and how dramatically we age has a great deal to do with impaired circulatory efficiency. If arteries could be kept supple, prevented from hardening and narrowing, the free flow of blood would be assured and both the risk of a rapid degree of ageing as well as many diseases associated with age – such as forms of cardiovascular degeneration, athero- and arteriosclerosis, peripheral circulatory dysfunction, some types of kidney disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular accidents and premature senility as well as, in many instances, cirrhosis and kidney disease – could be prevented or significantly helped if they already existed.
Supporters of chelation therapy claim just these benefits and yet, despite the many published papers supporting these claims (see References), many doctors find such claims for the usefulness of chelation therapy to be controversial, and tend to dismiss out of hand the chance that they might just possibly be
Prevention and treatment of degenerative diseases
Although chelation therapy for prevention and treatment of degenerative circulatory diseases is practiced by hundreds of medical doctors in the USA and Europe, it remains controversial, inasmuch as it is misunderstood, its use being grossly underinvestigated by mainstream medicine except in treating a narrow range of conditions such as lead and other heavy metal toxicity or acute hypercalcaemia (increased calcium levels in the blood). Ironically, as will be explained in later chapters, it was the medical use of chelation therapy in removing toxic metals which first led to the discovery of its hugely beneficial ‘side-effects’ of dramatically enhanced circulatory function.
Those doctors who have examined chelation therapy in action and who have seen its outstanding results in preventing and reversing so many degenerative diseases, usually change rapidly from critics to supporters of this essentially safe system.
Imagine someone (a loved one, friend, a patient if you are a physician, or even yourself) being in great pain, or being virtually disabled, as a result of chronic circulatory dysfunction. It might be that there is so much narrowing of the blood vessels to the heart muscle itself that any exertion would be enough to produce the agony of angina, a fist-like gripping in the chest, accompanied by severe pain, a vice-like pressure, gasping for breath and almost total helplessness. Or it might be that the circulation to the legs is so impeded that taking just a few steps across the room brings on cramp-like gripping of the muscles of the lower leg, or severe aching of the upper leg, or both. These symptoms can be so severe that only a few steps can
be taken before stopping is imperative while the circulation trickles through and the cramp eases (often taking several minutes), followed by a few more staggering steps as the cycle of intermittent claudication repeats itself. Or it might be that the abilities to function at all, perhaps to speak or to use one or other limb, or even to be able to think rationally, have been largely lost due to impeded circulation to the brain.
Imagine any one of these catastrophes and consider what options remain open to the person facing this hell.
What choices are there?
Chelation is one. In several hundreds of thousands of cases such as those briefly listed above, chelation therapy has helped to restore normal function.
It does not always do so, damage may be too severe and irreversible. But it offers a chance for a very safe form of intervention which can often take the person involved to the stage where surgery and increased medication become unnecessary and where effective long-term preventive methods, including exercise and dietary strategies, can be introduced.
Is chelation natural?
Given the nature of the damage which has already taken place in such conditions, of the dangers which apply and of the emergency status existing in many such cases, it is as natural an option as is likely to be found, and is certainly the safest.
What does medicine have to offer?
Many of the problems listed above relate specifically to obstruction, to the impeding of the flow of blood, often caused directly by the presence of concretions in the lining of major arteries.
Drugs can certainly help, but frequently at the cost of severe side-effects, and none address the causes of the problem, thus leaving the likelihood of the development of further disasters. Certainly there are now a host of drugs of varying degrees of effectiveness, all of which have major side-effects and some of which, while reducing the risks of the patient dying from the particular circulatory problem, actually increase the risks of their dying from other causes (see EDTA: how it works and what it does).
Bypass and other interventions may be possible. These methods (see EDTA: how it works and what it does) help some but not all, and most are risky in themselves or have major drawbacks and few can do anything for brain function if this is the area of the body most affected.
Without question modern surgeons have evolved amazingly skilful techniques, including the following:
- Balloons are carefully threaded into an appropriate artery before being inflated in order to compress the concretions, thus making more space through which the blood can flow.
- Alternatively, instead of a balloon, a minute laser might be threaded along the artery to the place where there are concretions so that these can be ‘blasted and burned’ away.
- By means of the similar insertion of a minute, high-power drill or cutting instruments, the obstruction is partially chiselled or cut away.
- There is perhaps the choice of the grafting of veins from other regions of the body, or use of those donated by animals or manufactured from special plastics, by which means the circulatory obstruction may be bypassed.
It is against the considerable known risks and variable and often very short-lived benefits – and of the limited success rate – which most of these methods offer, that we should measure the ‘naturalness’ or otherwise of a series of gentle infusions into the bloodstream of a synthetic amino acid, EDTA (ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid).
This was initially thought to ‘lock on’ to the calcium cementing material which binds these concretions together and, by removing it from the scene, to allow the absorption of the rest of the material in the concretion (cholesterol, etc.). This somewhat simplistic picture of what happens has since been replaced by more recent research (described in Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5), which explains a scientifically more acceptable concept of just how the improvements seen in chelation therapy actually do take place. It was originally thought that as well as leaching out calcium from atheromatous deposits, chelation therapy removed ionic calcium from cells in which it should not be present, thus reducing the chances of local arterial muscle spasms, increasing the free flow of tissue-enhancing, nutritive-rich blood. These benefits are certainly often apparent after chelation therapy, even if the precise mechanisms are not as simple as those which pioneer chelation therapists imagined.
What is known is that once atheromatous concretions lose the calcium which bind them, after a series of chelation infusions, the innate natural defence mechanisms of the body aided by dietary and exercise methods where appropriate, safely take over the removal of the remaining debris which is impeding the blood flow.
Diet and exercise
For many, these can certainly offer help in the long term and should be included whatever else is done (drugs, surgery or chelation), but may not offer the speedy result needed. The exercise element may also be virtually impossible for anyone with intermittent claudication and out of the question, or at best extremely difficult, for someone with cerebral ischaemia or who has had a stroke.
Chelation therapy (combined where possible with dietary and exercise strategies, and by means of mechanisms which will be discussed in later chapters) encourages the circulatory obstructions to be dissolved by the body’s own efforts after the concrete binding the blocking material has been dissolved and removed.
Without doubt it would be better to use totally natural methods such as exercise and preventive nutritional approaches. But even if the person so affected were able to comply with the strenuous demands for compliance in such a programme there might not be time to do this before time ran out. Compromise as to what is totally ‘natural’ would seem to be a small price to pay if the method chosen is safe and is used as part of a comprehensive approach which not only attempts to restore normality to the circulation, but to ensure prevention of any recurrence.