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 Chelation Therapy: Case Histories (by Simon Martin)  

In addition, we have access to the reports of two doctors he consulted for examinations during 1982, when his severe angina began after his prostate operation, and a full proposal for treatment from a specialist in an American coronary unit. This surgeon had seen the previous medical records and from them suspected 'significant' disease of our man's coronary arteries. Subject to a full physical examination in the United States, the proposal moved on to plans for surgery and warned of a possible cost of up to $20,000, a sum of money which puts into perspective the comparatively modest cost of chelation.

An opinion from the chief of this American unit was that our patient ­ let's call him George ­ would need an angiogram and probable angioplasty, with possible bypass surgery. George was told to proceed "immediately' with this schedule, and certainly not to leave it longer than two months. His angina by then had become unstable.

George did not have the bypass. His angina 'virtually ceased' after his first chelation infusion. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

George's problems really started in 1972. A specialist professional in a demanding job, he had an episode of dizziness and his doctor found his blood pressure had got way too high. To control it he was first given Reserpine, a drug isolated from the Rauwolfia plant, whose constituents are a traditional sedative. Reserpine pulls out of the tissues, nerve endings and the brain, circulating chemicals that act on blood vessels to raise blood pressure.

One of Reserpine's side­effects is that it can affect mood, and George's blood pressure medication was changed several times over the years until he had finally settled on two Catapres tablets a day. Catapres contains clonidine, a chemical which works on the central nervous system. It reduces blood pressure, slows the heart and is a mild sedative. It does nothing to treat the root causes of high blood pressure, but effectively does away with the symptoms ­ the body's warning signals that something is wrong and needs attention.

Towards the end of the 1970s, George was bothered by a fluctuation in his heartbeat and occasional chest pains. That was addressed with a prescription for two tablets of Trasicor a day. Trasicor is based on oxyprenolol, which is one of the class of drugs known as beta­blockers. These chemicals are firm favourites of some professional musicians, who find public performances so nerve­racking that they are unable to play, and even some sports people. The beta­blockers work by blocking nerve endings called beta­receptors. These are the receptors that pick up nerve stimulus to the heart ­ which can be sent down the line due to emotional stress, fear, aggression, tension and so on. The nerve signals, if received, would normally cause the heart to increase its work rate ­ so it beats faster.

Case histories

Beta­blockers are also used to treat angina, as if there are any deficiencies in the arteries supplying blood to the heart, when the nerve signals speed up the heart, the increased flow of blood against the resistance of a restricted artery can cause severe pain. George didn't experience full angina, though, until a few years later. In 1982 he had microsurgery on an enlarged prostate gland. Despite the drugs he was using, immediately after the operation he developed severe angina and was put on oxygen for three days. In an effort to control the angina, he was given two more drugs to take in addition to the two he was already taking. These were Nitrobid (four a day), a drug which relaxes the walls of blood vessels, reducing the amount of blood flowing to and from the heart; and Dyazide, later changed to three capsules of Adalat a day.

Adalat is one of a class of drugs known as 'calcium antagonists, an interesting choice knowing what we know about chelation's effects on calcium. Adalat works by slowing the entry of calcium (carried in the blood) into the heart and blood vessels. The idea is to prevent the flow of blood from 'silting up'; again, they do nothing to address the underlying problem.

By the time George's angina became worrying ­ despite all these drugs ­ it was the end of 1985. By then he reported his symptoms as:

  • Blood pressure of 180 or 170/100 without medication, controlled at about 145 or 150/95 with medication.

  • Onset of angina after four hours of working in the office, needing Nitrobid to control it.

  • Regular waking at night: three times, sometimes four times a night, needing more Nitrobid and sleeping pills to allow sleep.

  • 'Permanent feeling of lack of air (oxygen), requiring rooms to have low temperatures and windows open even on coldest nights. Inability to remain by a fireside or to sit in stuffy rooms, trains, shops, etc. I could not remain in a heated shop for more than a few minutes'

  • Ability to walk only about one and a half miles (2.4 km) at steady pace, and not up hills or steps. Shortness of breath.

  • Heavy chest pressure at end of day's work.

  • 'General malaise and disinterest in life, with condition and sleeplessness interacting to provide general deterioration in health,

    Christmas with the family was not pleasant. 'Life was difficult for my family due to my inability to stay in a room at a comfortable temperature, said George.

    At that point, faced with a recommendation for a $20,000 bypass operation with no guarantee of improvement afterwards, an old friend in Nairobi, Kenya, suggested that George investigate chelation, since doctors in Nairobi had successfully treated numbers of people with similar conditions.

      Treatment began on 15 January, 1986 after series of tests and I continued with my previous dosage of Catapres, Trasicor, Nitrobid and Adalat.

      After first chelation infusion, angina virtually ceased with no reminding' pains to call for the next medication due. Felt much brighter and began to make plans for remainder of year. Began to sleep properly, with maximum of one waking per night, but still with windows open, however cold.

      After second treatment on the 17th, found I could lie in bed on left side for 20 minutes before turning to right. Previously this was possible for only a few minutes. I had a feeling of some movement at left side of heart on Monday, 20th and Tuesday, 21st. Had severe heartburn in night due to acidity as a result of taking too many "make­up" yellow chelation supplement pills. This caused racing of heart and was assuaged by taking Milk of Magnesia antacid pills. Quite frightening at the time.

      On Monday morning, 10th February, after taking one Nitrocontin tablet with early morning tea, had a pain of some sort across top of heart. Before chelation, I usually had 'relaxation' pain in this place after taking nitroglycerin. Only one single, non­sharp, pain was felt. During the morning I noticed specks of white material up to 1/16 inch (1.5mm) or more across with white vapour trails swirling slowly in my urine.

      Throughout the first eight infusions, I gradually began to feel better, with much improved attitude to life. I began to breathe easily without the feeling that there was chewing gum stuck around my heart. I found I could sleep in a heated room with minimum ventilation, shovel snow slowly and do jobs around the house with enthusiasm again. Also, at various times during chelation, I had a 'feeling' at weekends that something around my heart was moving ­ not a pain, but a 'feeling', first on top and left side, then underneath and then at back of heart, etc.

      I had had arterial pains in my right calf and ankle swelling in my left ankle (especially after flying) before chelation. This was described as venous thrombosis by Dr T. I felt some slight pain in the right calf artery and in the veins of my right leg during the second week of chelation. Thereafter the pains, both right arterial and varicose, ceased.

      After eight infusions I felt altogether better. I reduced my Nitrocontin tablets (Nitrobid not available in UK) from four to three per day on 31st January, also Adalat capsules from three to two per day. On 7th February, I reduced my two Catapres tablets per day to one. I expected to reduce my Nitrocontin further, but Dr P required me to continue with this reduced dose until the end of treatment.

      I can now write for ten hours, with considerable concentration and without onset of angina. I think I see colours more brightly. No change was noticeable to general vision or hearing, but a change of glasses did improve vision.

      From eighth infusion onwards to the twentieth my ability to walk quite fast for long distances became much improved, including walking non­stop up a fairly steep long hill near my house. I have continued to feel 'movements' at weekends in various parts of my body, including right side of head and a return to top side, underneath and back of heart. I now sleep through the night regularly with normal minimum of room ventilation. I sometimes need a sleeping pill the night after an infusion.

      I cleared a 5 inch (12.5cm) depth of snow from our house drive and footpaths (quite extensive) at beginning of March.

      After the twelfth infusion my BP was down to 130/80 despite reduction of BP­reducing pills. I reduced my Nitroglycerin to 1 1/2 (2.5 mg) tablets per day.

      After the twentieth infusion, I had very definite movement activity all around my heart on the Saturday night and this woke me from sleep. It subsided without medication and I felt similar movements in the centre of my right calf. I wondered whether this was debris or plaque being moved. The faint feeling or slight pain in right calf remained. On Sunday, I slept well again.

      I feel the treatment has done all that I could have possibly hoped for and after a few months' rest I intend to have more chelation infusions.

      I have lost weight (about 8lb/3.6kg) but am still 5 or 6lb (2.5kg) overweight. At or around the twelfth­fifteenth infusion, I developed excess fluid around my heart and could feel slight bubbling beneath my heart at night. This was confirmed by X­ray and Dr P advised cutting fluids while on chelation. This I did and I believe the fluid had gradually dissipated by the end of the treatment.

      I informed Dr P of the slight 'pain' in my right calf. This was possibly brought about by my climbing 190 steps non­stop one day.

      Six weeks have gone by since my treatment ceased on 21 March, and the pain in my right calf and a slight pain at the back of my right knee have now virtually disappeared and I do not feel them even on morning waking (as I did before chelation).

    A few months after completing his chelation programme, George reported: 'I am feeling fine, though working a nine­hour day. I think in future it would be better to cease the work stress and I have this in mind a year from now!'

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     About The Author
    Leon Chaitow ND, DO, MROA practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the ...more
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