Some Thoughts On Meniere's Disease and Chelation Therapy.
Learning About Possible Metal Toxicity In Your Body
I have had several
discussions about chelation therapy and how it relates to Meniere's
Disease lately and it caused me to do more
studying about the subject. So what I am describing here are the questions
from people with Meniere's Disease for which I sought answers while doing hours and hours of research. These
are very simple descriptions of my findings. This is a very serious and
Please do not make any decisions lightly or alone. You have to have
qualified medical personnel to help you to understand what might be
happening to your body and how it can be helped. Also you need to have a
qualified health practitioner to administer the chelating agent.
I want to share some of the questions I “asked” in order to learn more. I
wanted to know when chelation is routinely or most commonly used. I want
to know what it actually consisted of. Because I had come across a few
cases where the outcome was completely negative, I wanted to understand
the risks and how to evaluate when you wouldn’t want to do it…ever! How
does one know when to use it? What does it do? I wanted to understand why
it seemed to becoming a popular treatment and what kinds of risks were
involved. Were those risks were ever perceived to be too high? In other
words, why would you even consider using this treatment. Near the end of
this article, I am adding some information about mercury amalgam fillings.
That is a metal, too and many of us have no idea it could be causing all
sorts of health issues, including many symptoms you can think of.
I started out by looking up definitions: here is how Mosby’s Defined
“Chelation: A chemical reaction in which there is a combination with a
metal to form a ring-shaped molecular complex in which the metal is firmly
bound and isolated. Chelating agent: a substance that promotes chelation.
Chelating agents are used in the treatment of metal poisoning.” So it
seems to be similar to the concept of putting down sawdust to soak up an
oil spill...or adding a raw potato to salty soup to get rid of the excess
salt. It tells me that the agent gets together (bonds) and pulls out
(isolates) the offending destructive metal, taking it out of harm’s way.
Naturally that led me to wonder what metals I wanted to get out of my
I wondered what kind “chelating agents” I was looking for and who makes
the decision to do this procedure. The more I kept reading, the more
concerned I have become. This is not something to take lightly. I asked
myself if I want to have a chemical put INTO me (and by what route) to
take something out. But like all medical discoveries, risks are part of
the development of new practices. It’s fine to take a position when you
are relatively healthy. It’s an entirely different proposition when this
is presented to you as a life-saving treatment: your only chance. So one
needs to ask themselves how much risk is one ready to take. Is this
realistic or not? Is it a calculated, educated risk?
I will share some website links and a few paragraphs of information that I
hope will help you advance your knowledge just a little. Please do not by
any stretch of your imagination feel this information is conclusive. It
should raise a lot of questions for you. However, I feel the subject is
important enough for me to ask some questions and hopefully find both you
and me a few knowledgeable and trustworthy, objective sites to study.
(That last phrase presented a bit of a challenge in all I read.)
If you are honest with yourself, you are already doing things that are
somewhat similar. Any drug you put into your body via a medication uses
the concept of changing the internal chemistry of your body. In this case,
you are not drawing out, but I think you are binding to other chemicals to
get a different outcome or result. These could be alcohol, cigarettes,
antidepressants, sleep meds, high blood pressure meds or cholesterol
lowering drugs. They would include all prescribed, over the counter ones
(OTC) and recreational ones. It would include herbal products as well. You
really can’t get away from the idea that you are altering your internal
reactions. Chelation is another way, but it’s a little scary in that
relatively few people have participated in the procedure, and some have
not had good outcomes.
So in considering chelation, it’s not as though you are doing something
unusual: just something uncommon. And that would also have originated with
someone taking a risk to try this, to start the whole concept.
I wanted to find out what sorts of things could be “handled” by chelation
so I took the phrase "uses for chelation therapy" and found a few more
defined sites. I don’t know if you have ever done this, but I find the
HTML codes a bit distracting when I want pure information. So in this case
I copied the entire Google.com page of sites into Outlook Express,
converted it to plain text and then re-converted it back into HTML. (I
thought I was really clever to discover this procedure! I still have the
URLs in case I want to go back for more details.) Then in several further
steps, I proceeded to delete all the extra words and spacing, and came up
with a more complete list of conditions that suggest a use for chelation.
If you are interested in the information, use this link and do the same.
Basically I now had a list I could conceivably take to my doctor and ask
for their opinion. When you do this kind of research you come across
ideological squabbling in the health community. So it is quite difficult
to find answers that you can trust. In one site I found references to
“closet chelation” done by doctors for themselves or their families. As I
know this to be true in the use of nutritional supplements, I am now
wondering how effective this procedure is. Could it be more useful than I
am led to believe?
There are quite a few references to costs and comparisons and financial
gains. So the issue is very clouded for me. I am sharing this as I find
it, so please don’t use this for any kind of advice. There isn’t any.
These are just my thoughts, and as I am able to do quite a bit of detailed
research and understand probably a little more in the health field, I felt
it might be of interest to you.
This is probably the best site which has the most basic and easy to
understand descriptions of all I found. Chelation Therapy
This site answered many of my questions, for instance…quote “what is
chelation? “Chelation therapy involves the use of chemical compounds
injected into the blood stream, muscle or taken by mouth to bind metals
that are present in toxic concentrations so they can be excreted (usually
in urine) from the body.”
When could chelation be a treatment of choice? Quote: “Chelation therapy
is medically indicated when toxic levels of heavy metals such as iron,
arsenic, lead, and mercury are present. While iron is a vital metal the
other metals (arsenic, lead, and mercury) are not required by the body.
Lead toxicity most commonly occurs with young children exposed to old
houses with lead paint dust or chips. Occupational exposure (soldering,
welders, smelters, battery reclamation) is also a risk. Lead screening for
children has now become a standard part of a doctor's visit for children
in may states.
Mercury toxicity almost always occurs with high risk occupational
exposures including dental workers, manufacturers of batteries/
thermometers, tannery work/taxidermy, and contaminated seafood. Arsenic
poisoning usually occurs from exposure to insecticides, herbicides, rodent
poisons, veterinary parasitic medications, or intentional poisoning.
There are some heavy metals to which most people are not exposed, but they
might be a problem for some. They include cadmium, manganese, aluminum,
cobalt, zinc, nickel, copper and magnesium. Heavy metal toxicity can cause
a wide range of problems including severe injury to the body organs and
What are the common? They are Desfuroxamine Mesylate, Dimercaprol (BAL),
DMSA, D-penicillamine, Calcium Disodium Versante (CaNa2-EDTA).” (Close
Side effects of chelation can be slight or very, very serious. Do not play
around with this. Can it be dangerous? Quote “Absolutely! All chelating
agents have both minor and potentially life threatening side effects. They
must be used under the supervision of a physician in a hospital setting.”
Please visit this website for more details.
As with all drugs, side effects are a reality. You simply can’t put
something into your body without another reaction happening. Some of the
side effects can be kidney damage, skin peeling and blisters, headache,
chills, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, reduction of the body's ability to
make new blood cells in the bone marrow, dangerously low blood pressure,
fast heart rate, dangerously low calcium levels in the blood, increased
risk of bleeding or blood clots (including interference with the effects
of the blood-thinning drug warfarin [Coumadin]), immune reactions,
abnormal heart rhythms, allergic reactions, blood sugar imbalances and
convulsions. There have been reports of nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal
upset, excessive thirst, sweating (diaphoresis), low white blood cell
counts and low levels of blood platelets.
People using chelation have had severe reactions in which they have
stopped breathing. Death has been reported, although it is not clear if
chelation therapy was the direct cause. It has become very obvious that
you should avoid chelation therapy if you have heart, kidney or liver
disease or any condition affecting blood cells or the immune system.
Chelation should be avoided in pregnant or breast-feeding women and in
children. Chelation may not be safe for anybody. Weigh the risks and
possible benefits very, very carefully.
Faculty of the Harvard Medical School has another really good write up at
this link. I would encourage you to visit their site. First read their
caution and their summary. I would urge you to use this same caution in
all your research until you feel comfortable with your knowledge.
It states: “Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, you
should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in
scientific studies. Often, only limited information is available about
their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own
rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally
licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you
choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who
abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with
your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic
And their Summary: quote ”Chelation therapy with EDTA has been suggested
for many conditions. Chelation may play a role in the treatment of lead or
heavy metal toxicity. It should be used only under the direct supervision
of a qualified health care provider. Chelation has not been shown to be
effective for any other condition. Recent studies suggest that chelation
may not be beneficial as a treatment for clogged arteries or peripheral
vascular disease. Chelation may cause many adverse effects or death. It
should be avoided by patients with heart, kidney or liver disease;
patients with conditions affecting blood cells or the immune system;
pregnant or breast-feeding women; and children. Speak with your health
care provider if you are considering chelation therapy.
The information in this monograph was prepared by the professional staff
at Natural Standard, based on thorough systematic review of scientific
evidence. The material was reviewed by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical
School with final editing approved by Natural Standard.”
Acceptable uses for chelation from what I read as suggested by the
mainstream medical community include two groups: lead toxicity and heavy
metal poisoning. Chelation therapy with calcium disodium EDTA is an
accepted therapy in medical institutions for lead toxicity. Studies have
demonstrated that chelation therapy reduced lead levels in the body and
slowed progression of kidney failure in people with lead toxicity.
Chelation therapy may also be used when toxic levels of iron, arsenic, or
mercury are present.
So my concern is about getting enough tests and objective “second
opinions” to determine that metals are indeed the cause of your symptoms.
In turn, that means YOU have to have enough courage to ask the right and
maybe recurring questions and to insist on a meaningful discussion with
your health care practitioner. That might be a challenge. But I urge you
to persevere. Do all the research you can do. Pretend you are sitting
beside me right now and asking the same questions. Incidentally, you will
bet much better results if you ask instead of tell or demand answers. I
suspect this might be a prolonged diagnostic search. Do not take any
shortcuts. Take your time and be thorough. This is your body: no one
else’s. Only definitive testing will show what is needed to be removed.
Some other points to consider: it is important to know that many studies
echo the point that chelation does not improve atherosclerosis (clogged
By now you will understand the concept behind chelation: it is to bind and
isolate a metal, and to get it out of your body. So in conditions where
there is no metal, why would someone use or propose to use this treatment?
That makes no sense to me.
The American Heart Association does not recommend chelation therapy for
arteriosclerotic heart disease (damaged artery walls). People with heart
conditions should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Studies suggest that chelation does not improve peripheral vascular
disease, or claudication (exercise-induced pain or fatigue in the legs
caused by clogged arteries). If you are considering chelation for heart
disease, it is advised to start with the traditional treatments as well.
Continue your research. My research mentions that repeated chelation
therapy may improve kidney function and slow down the progression of renal
disease. You need to study this further to confirm these results.
You may recall earlier articles in which I brought to your attention the
American Medical Association’s (JAMA) recommendation for the use a certain
configuration of nutritional supplements to reverse or prevent heart
disease (degenerative conditions.) Here is the link to that report.
“Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults”
There seem to be many claims that cannot be substantiated and they include
(amongst many others) include treatment of angina , gangrene , arthritis,
multiple sclerosis , Parkinson's disease, ...and Alzheimer's ...
psoriasis. It reads like a medical text and I do not want to add to the
confusion by even mentioning any of these. Some of these suggested uses
are for conditions that are potentially life-threatening. Please do not do
anything or plan to do anything without second and third opinions. As I
mentioned previously, I wouldn’t even consider many of these degenerative
medical conditions to be treated with chelation. (JAMA)
As I am reading list after list of conditions that could be treated with
this chemical, I am starting to get a little suspicious. In one spot it
speaks of calcium being used as an antioxidant. Calcium is not my idea of
an antioxidant. I know it as a mineral.
Therefore I set this site aside. I am only trying to find trustworthy
sites and my intelligence is saying that site doesn’t meet my credibility
test for now. It doesn’t mean it can’t act as an antioxidant, but for now,
I won’t spend any time checking it out.
These are all degenerative conditions. And the American Medical
Association has already told us they can be reversed under certain
conditions, so this chelation knowledge needs a whole lot more exploring
for me and maybe for you. I am open-minded to a point. However I do not
want to mislead anyone. For now, I think I will set this research aside.
Mercury amalgam is a metal which many of us innocently carry about in out
bodies. We have been led to believe it is harmless, yet we know it is not.
For more on this and any dental issue or questions, I strongly suggest you
contact Tom McGuire; DDS. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on
dental wellness and the founder of The Dental Wellness Institute. He will
provide a “second opinion” from a sound knowledge base.
Phone: 1-800-335-7755 (Pacific time)
Quote: Are Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings Toxic? There is no safe level
for mercury and even one atom of it will do some harm to the body. A
Mouthful of Poison by Dr. Myron Wentz: The Truth about Mercury Amalgam
Fillings. Both sites have a tremendous amount of information on dental
health, and things you can do now to prevent further problems. After all,
our mouths feed our bodies: having the “door” of your body healthy would
make a lot of sense.
I found a most interesting site that is looking for people to participate
in clinical trials. So if you wish to do something like that, check out
I do want to give you a “heads up” on this kind of participation. Do cheek
out the indirect sponsor for the trial. It might be sponsored by a
pharmaceutical company but the sponsorship is done very discreetly. If a
drug is involved, it may or may alter the study’s outcome. Just be aware
if you sign up. Studies like this are what is classified as scientific
objective research. And as you read through all my searching, you noticed
a profound lack of this kind of research. However, from my own experience,
not all studies deemed to be scientific, end up positively “pure”. Wish
that they were!
I found little
information on testing for residual levels or any helpful ideas of what
one could expect during treatment. I would assume that once the metals
were out of your body, life would be back to being normal, but no where
did I read that. I found little long-term projections of disease recovery.
Because most of the information came from health care professionals who
did not support this treatment, I found few positive results from the
treatment. I have to think they must exist. Otherwise, why would this be a
possible treatment at all?
So what did I achieve from all this research? I learned an incredible
amount about the process, and why or when it might be used. I learned that
there are still many unanswered questions. I also found that the medical
community is still not looking to solutions in other “non-traditional”
arenas. I found many Internet sites have a lot of dated material. My
suggestion to you is to continue to do your own research until you find
sites that make you feel comfortable and give you more confidence. I hope
this research has been as helpful to you as it has been to me.
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.