In the early 1950s several deaths occurred
from kidney toxicity after EDTA treatment. At that time the dosage used was around
10 grams per infusion. The recommended dose now is 3 grams.
Kidney toxicity is related to size
(quantity) of the dose and the rate of infusion. Experienced therapists adjust dosage so
that the infusion will not harm the kidney. Indeed, research has shown that, properly
administered, chelation therapy improves kidney function, especially if there is any
impairment present to this vital organ.
However, if the patient is very
elderly, or has low parathyroid activity or is suffering from heavy metal toxicity which
is damaging the kidney, treatment should be modified to use less EDTA less frequently
(once per week perhaps). Heavy metals damage the kidneys and too rapid infusion can overload
them. Heavy metals most likely to produce kidney damage during infusion therapy are lead,
aluminum, cadmium, mercury, nickel, copper and arsenic.
Renal function tests should always be
performed before chelation therapy is started. In any case of significant renal
impairment, lower dosage of EDTA infusions should be used. Use extreme caution.
Also make sure that the patient has sufficient
periods of rest between the infusions.
Excessive Removal of Calcium
If, through inexperience or error, there is
too rapid an infusion (or too much EDTA used), levels of calcium in the blood can drop
rapidly, resulting in cramps, convulsions, etc. An injection of calcium gluconate will
swiftly rectify such abnormal reactions.
Inflammation of a vein
If an infusion into a vein is performed too
rapidly, inflammation may occur. Reduce the dosage and dilute EDTA
infusion mix. Administer the infusion very slowly.
Insulin shock and hypoglycemia
During EDTA infusion it is possible
blood glucose may drop, leading to insulin shock. This is more likely to happen
to diabetic patients. Patients having EDTA infusions are advised to
have a snack before or during the three hours plus treatment period. Avoid dairy products
that are high in calcium. Eat complex carbohydrates; avoid foods containing sugar such as
ripe bananas. You may eat a fruit during infusion, if needed.
If you are diabetic and is taking
zinc-bound insulin, there is a risk of too rapid a release of insulin, leading to
hypoglycemia and shock. If this happens, make sure that you are given a rapid introduction
of sugar to stabilize your condition. Before further EDTA infusions, you will need to
change the form of insulin used. It has been found that, most people need less insulin
while undergoing chelation therapy.
Congestive heart failure
If the heart is already unable to cope
adequately with the movement of fluids, and there is evidence of congestive heart failure
(extreme shortness of breath, swollen ankles) and/or if digitalis-like medication is
being taken, extreme care is needed over chelation infusions, since EDTA prevents
digitalis from working adequately. Avoid sodium EDTA for such people as
it could increase the fluid retention tendency. Use a 5 per cent dextrose and water
therapy, when administered by an experienced therapist at the proper doses, is very safe. A very
large study, which had been monitored by the friends and foes of chelation therapy, found
that EDTA administered in the proper dosage was no more toxic than a placebo. American
College for the Advancement in Medicine estimates that over 500,000 patients have
undergone chelation therapy safely nationwide using ACAM protocol. No fatalities have been
reported. It is important that the therapist keep a close eye on your condition for the
toxicity and side reactions. Strict adherence to the dosage and rate of
administration is very important. Keep an eye on the calcium and magnesium in the blood as
these are removed during the treatment. Many suggest the availability of emergency cardiac
equipment as a wise precaution.
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