One type of alternative fibromyalgia treatment that has been gaining popularity is chelation therapy. Chelation therapy has been used to treat heart disease for years, since the treatment relies on the elimination of toxins in the form of metallic substances from the body. The term “chelation” comes from the Greek word “chele” meaning “claw,” and the concept of chelation therapy to alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms relies on the basis that certain organic substances can “grab” harmful toxins associated with fibromyalgia syndrome and eliminate them from the body.
Fibromyalgia Treatment: What is Chelation Therapy?
Chelation therapy is based on the concept that when an amino acid complex known as EDTA (ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid) comes into contact with positively charged metals and other substances, it will bind these toxins and remove them from the body. When EDTA binds to toxins, a stable compound will be formed that will then be excreted from the system.
While synthetic amino acids are used in chelation therapy, the process actually takes place naturally in our bodies. For instance, during digestion, amino acids will naturally bind to minerals such as iron in order to transport them to other parts of the body where they will be released.
Chelation therapy for fibromyalgia treatment can help eliminate built-up ionic substances such as lead, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, plutonium and manganese.
What Can Chelation Therapy Treat?
The Food and Drug Administration has approved chelation therapy for the treatment of metal toxicity such as lead poisoning. Beginning in the 1940’s, the amino acid complex EDTA (ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid) was used to treat heavy metal poisoning; however, chelation therapy has been recognized as an effective treatment for hypercalcemia and ventricular arrhythmias as well.
Other studies have suggested that it is an effective treatment of vascular disorders. In fact, over 800,000 Americans have undergone chelation treatment in the past 40 years, predominantly for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Chelation therapy is used to treat many chronic, degenerative diseases involving the circulatory system.
Chelation Therapy and Fibromyalgia
Chelation has been used for fibromyalgia treatment as well as the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome which is believed to be aggravated by heavy metal toxicity. Exposure to environmental toxins is believed to possibly contribute to fibromylagia symptoms, making it important to remove any toxins that are stored in fatty tissue from the body. Chelation therapy can be used as a natural fiibromyalgia treatment for its cleansing properties, as the accumulation of toxic exposure may contribute to cellular damage and future health problems.
Chelation therapy for fibromyalgia treatment may help reduce symptoms including:
- neurological symptoms
- cardiovascular symptoms
- respiratory problems
- urinary problems
- gastrointestinal symptoms
Chelation Fibromyalgia Treatment
Prior to receiving chelation therapy for fibromyalgia treatment, patients will likely undergo a series of medical examinations. You may be asked questions about your lifestyle including diet, emotional status and stress levels. You will be given a physical examination and other medical tests such as x-rays or blood tests may be performed.
Chelation fibromyalgia treatment will typically involve a blood infusion of EDTA. However, in some cases EDTA may be administered orally. In addition, organic complexes other than EDTA may be infused.
EDTA infusion will likely require a series of treatments of up to 20 to 30 sessions, scheduled two to three times a week. A needle will be inserted into a vein in the hand, arm or leg, and the EDTA fluid will be drip fed into the body for approximately three and half hours. Additional minerals or supplements that may be infused along with EDTA may include B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and heparin (to prevent clotting) if the health care provider believes that the patient will benefit from these.
Chelation Side Effects
Fibromylagia patients who opt for chelation therapy should take into consideration that the body is likely to be chemically addicted to the substances that will be eliminated. For this reason, chelatin therapy will often result in short term withdrawal symptoms as the body begins to build up its natural immunity. A patient may actually experience worse symptoms following fibromyalgia treatment; however, this stage should pass quickly.
Side effects associated with this alternative fibromyalgia treatment can include the following:
- headaches due to low blood sugar
- local skin irritation due to zinc or vitamin B6 deficiency
- nausea or upset stomach due to vitamin B6 deficiency
- feeling faint due to low blood pressure
- extreme fatigue due to nutrient deficiency
- cramps, especially at night
- joint pain
Ensuring that you receive sufficient levels of nutrients while undergoing chelation fibromyalgia treatment can help reduce these symptoms. Talk to your health care provider about the benefits and risks of this alternative fibromyalgia treatment.