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 Chelation Therapy: Case Histories (by Simon Martin)  

'Smoker's legs' and claudication

Probably the most seriously ill person whom we have treated, is how Chelation Centre's James Kavanagh described the lady whose case history we next look at.

'Smoker's legs' is the slang description for her condition. We'll refer to her as Eileen (not her real name). She was 64 years old when she arrived for treatment, barely able to walk even with a stick.

About 13 years before she had needed a heart operation to fix up her aorta, the huge artery growing out of the heart from which a complete system of arteries develops. It had become blocked, and the operation was described as 'aorto­iliac reconstruction in which the 'bifurcation was cleared out completely and was widened with a heart­shaped patch'

Unfortunately for Eileen, her condition had continued to deteriorate despite this excellent ­ and literal ­ unblocking and patching­up job. She needed another operation, but the surgeon refused to operate because of the state of her arteries. She would probably not survive the procedure.

Her blood pressure was a phenomenal 200/155. Asked about this, Eileen commented it had 'always been rather high'! She had been taking drugs to control it for years.

Her husband tells the story:

    It was a lucky day for Eileen when she saw the article in Here's Health magazine about chelation therapy.

    She had already had an operation for a blockage at the lower end of her aorta some 11 years ago and when a similar problem presented itself last year a senior consultant thought a second operation was far too dangerous.

    I don't doubt that he was right, but it created a very traumatic situation which seemed insurmountable ­ until we saw the article. Fortunately tests showed she was suitable for treatment. Twelve months ago she could only walk, very slowly, for a few paces with the aid of a stick. She was unable to climb any stairs. Today she walks well, climbs steps and has even been dancing. An additional bonus is that she has been able to give up her blood pressure tablets ­ she has taken them for years ­ and her general feeling of well­being is a pleasure to see.

Staff at the Chelation Centre did not think that Eileen was going to get better, as several times she arrived for an infusion still hobbling with her stick. It turned out that, encouraged by her husband, between sessions she had been overdoing her newly returned ability to walk and was actually suffering because her muscles were redeveloping.

At the end of her programme, the Centre's summary recorded her as looking, in her face, 15 years younger, able to walk more than a mile unaided 'and very gracefully' with her blood pressure stabilized at 135/80 and all drugs withdrawn.

'Thanks to chelation therapy', says her husband, 'Eileen has been given a new lease of life for which she and I are profoundly grateful'

Another person with walking problems, whom we'll call Gerry, had a classic case of what is known as claudication, and it was so bad that he could only cover 25 yards before the pain stopped him.

Claudication literally means limping, or lameness. It usually turns up in people with circulatory problems as intermittent claudication. It is usually caused by the arteries being severely diseased. The pain starts up soon after walking, becomes so bad that the person has to stop, and then disappears completely when the legs are rested.

    Gerry reports:

    In January I could walk no farther than 25 yards and was in acute pain at the end of it. I would have to return to my car walking flat footed on my left foot because it was too painful to take weight on the ball of my foot. There was a gradual improvement in that by July I could walk 200 yards ­ but slowly and with a lot of pain.

    I started chelation in July and noticed no improvement until the sixth infusion, when I realized one day that I had walked from Oxford Circus station to Wimpole Street with only marginal discomfort in the leg.

    After the seventh infusion I found a considerable improvement again, and after the eighth I was able to walk briskly, and I recall telling Dr P and several of the patients that I had turned a corner. The improvement continued and I have now had 11 infusions.

    Two days ago I walked one and a half miles (2.4km) at normal walking pace with no discomfort in the leg. I sat for a few minutes and did the return walk, at the end of which I had only marginal discomfort in the leg. Yesterday I set out on a brisk walk (service marching pace of four miles [6.4km] to the hour) without any problem.

    My legs were marginally uncomfortable at the end of it, but what one has to remember is that years ago, before claudication became apparent, my legs, like those of other fit people, would have some mild degree of discomfort after a brisk one­and­a­half­mile walk.

As a means of testing chelation, Gerry purposely did not lose weight or stop smoking during the 11 infusions! 'The benefits I have seen could only have come from chelation', he says. 'Now that I have conducted my own clinical trial, weight loss and cessation of smoking will be effected.'

Gerry also reported 'side­effects' ­ early improvements in fact: 'Better hearing, eyesight, mental alertness and erections.'

Another man who continued to smoke through his treatment worried James Kavanagh: 'He did not make as much progress as he might have done, and I was sure that his next step would be surgery.'

Michael (not his real name) had severe claudication when he first came for chelation. He had been unable to sleep properly for months, since as soon as he put his legs anywhere near the horizontal the pains in his calf became unbearable, since gravity was no longer able to help the flow of blood. He could walk only 100 yards (91m) before seizing up and had been forced to stop work. He looked very old.

The cause of his condition seemed to be his heavy smoking plus slightly high blood cholesterol readings. The tests showed severe circulatory disease in his legs, but no one could judge the exact extent of it since Michael was not about to let anyone cut into him. A professor at a leading London hospital had recommended an invasive check of his lumbar area and he had refused. In fact he wasn't all that happy about chelation, and had seemed to agree to a course ­ twice a week for three months ­ only because he was more afraid that if things got worse he would have to agree to invasive investigations.

He was, in the consultants terms, 'a real problem.' The Chelation Centre really thought he would need surgery, but Michael was set against it. The Doppler, sound­wave test used at the Centre revealed massive obstructions in his arteries. And he would not stop smoking.

Yet, against the expectations and against the odds, chelation was able to make a real impression in the three months. A revealing measure of the improvement was a walking treadmill test three months after completion of the initial course, which shows whether the improvement is lasting and is maintained. Michael initially stopped in pain at one minute 30 seconds at 2 mph (3.2kph) on the flat; his follow­up showed he could go for three minutes 50 seconds.

This added to the other effects: the night­time resting pain was relieved, and the Doppler test showed minor improvements in the flow of blood where previously there had been all the signs of an irreversible continuation of the blocking; these combined to relieve Michael of a great deal of anxiety.

James Kavanagh hoped that Michael's GP would be able to find the funds to enable him to take another course of treatment and would help him stop smoking, but could only be pleased at the results: 'He is able to walk and produce his own lactic acid (a by­product of exercise) to help himself and he now works fulltime again. And he is much more happy and confident as a result.'

Another huge improvement in claudication was seen in a 54­year­old man we'll call Peter, who could manage a maximum of 150 yards (137m) on a slight incline before being stopped by the pain in his right calf. This is no way for a 54­year­old to face life.

This man, a flight engineer, had faced ­ and passed ­ regular flying medicals. They had not picked up, or looked for, the cause of his problem ­ a generalized arteriosclerosis of the right leg with blockages ­ which the Chelation Centre tests found out to be due to very high levels of cholesterol.

Peter had given up smoking years before, so it was clear that the dramatic improvement in his condition was again due only to chelation. Dramatic? Well, he had only ten infusions starting in November. When he booked in for his seventh infusion in March, he had already taken part in a ten­mile (16km) crosscountry walk without any claudication pain.

After ten treatments, he was reporting that his walks on the Downs were back to the distances he was covering five years previously, walking a regular 4­5 miles (6.5­8km) with no pain.

Other ailments

Some people show their circulatory problems by not being able to walk too far; others are more dramatic ­ they pass out.

These are the 'cranial' cases. People with disease of the arteries that take blood and oxygen to the brain. On the way, the blood passes through the neck, and at the carotid arteries, the main highways from heart to head, Doppler sound testing can reveal where and how bad the obstructions are.

Luckily for the 'cranials' chelation can be as dramatic as their habit of falling over several times a day.

Catherine (not her real name) was 66 and was blacking out three or more times a day. This was not only embarrassing, but dangerous. If she felt herself 'going' at home she could usually avoid the corners of tables or 'arrange' to drop saucepans where they would do least damage, but she was rightly worried that she might collapse while out shopping and be hit by a car.

But it was an embarrassing moment that highlighted her condition at the Chelation Centre. The first thing staff knew about it was when she turned up for her first infusion and passed out in the toilet. Since then the locks have been changed so that they can be opened from the outside in emergencies.

The problem with cranial insufficiency is that you feel bad all over even when you're not falling over. The brain needs massive amounts of oxygen. When it doesn't get it you can feel washed out all the time, and generally ill every day for no good reason.

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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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