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When is Chelation Therapy a problem?

It is likely that many readers/GDD sufferers believe that my answer to GDD is always chelation... and yet there are a number of individuals who post on FaceBook and elsewhere that chelation has ruined their lives (perhaps after GDD ruined their life, chelation continued that).

Chelation therapy is actually nuanced and has to be performed with wisdom-sense. I will not write on this in detail, because I have a major research work ongoing on this subject, and I cannot conflict with originality of research (essential to get a major paper published in a major journal).

Most of the problem with chelation is that it is not done well, it is not that there is a problem with chelation. Here are the golden rules of chelation:

1. Failure of using the wrong chelator. the only chelating agent that is available that should be used for GDD is DTPA, where Ca-DTPA removes the most Gd, and Zn-DTPA removes Gd more specifically, and not additional host metals. The other chelators result in substantial redistribution of Gd in the body. Stability constant is the essential key to knowing what chelator should be best. Also another factor I will write about later. Look at chelation stability with Gd to inform you if the chelator is appropriate to use, and compare against DTPA. As I have said before, there are other chelators that are stronger, but they are not yet available, and the questions of adverse reactions and bioavailabilty need to be known. The question to ask a chelating practitioner if they intend to use another chelator: " what is the stability constant of chelator X compared to DTPA for Gd". If they don't know the answer, and can't provide numbers that it is better - don't use what they are trying to give to you. Stability constants are published, and if they are not yet present for Gd, lead is similar enough to use in its place.

2. Failure of chelating too early. As a general rule I do not recommend starting chelation prior to 3 months after onset of GDD. Two reasons: i) the individual may still recover enough on their own - essential their immune system learns to ignore the Gd left in them. Recovery declines (nearly) exponentially beginning at day 1, and by 3 months the prospects of complete spontaneous resolution is something like 1% likelihood. Up to 3 months the at home remedies I have written about should be employed: alkaline water, healthy eating, some supplements, sweating, gentle exercise.

3. Failure of not managing the host response concurrently with chelation. This is the subject of my research. We use a FRAME drug regimen. We intend to publish this as quickly as we can. This may be essential in everyone, certainly essential in 100% of individual being treated with recent onset disease, but also those who are very sick and have undergone multiple GBCA injections.

4. Failure by performing too many chelations. This really ties in with pt 3 above. Every chelation recreates a mini-GBCA injection, which means the host will react to the passage of Gd in the blood stream each time. In essence this perpetuates the impetus for the GDD disease. It is a careful balance between removing enough Gd that the individual's immune system ignores the rest left behind, and performing too many chelations perpetuating GDD by continuing to recreate the mini-GBCA injection experience, so the immune system is never allowed to calm itself down. A FRAME type approach minimizes the possibility of this latter situation happening, because the immune reaction to each chelation session is dampened so the 'high alert' status cycle is not constantly re-ignited. This also is why the concept of pausing after a number of chelations is likely important - has enough Gd been removed that there is not a sufficient amount of Gd moving through the vascular system for the immune system to take notice.

5. Failure of not recognizing the appropriate time interval for the particular individual. This is likely the least important and most nuanced of the golden rules of chelation. We generally start at 3 week intervals between chelations. Simple reasons: i) most people come from some distance for treatment, so 3 weeks allows them to carry on with their life/work back where they live, ii) at 3 weeks we don't need to worry about chelation causing an electrolyte imbalance (specifically the reduction of host metals: Mg, Zn, Cu, Fe). The body has a remarkable ability to quickly restore this homeostasis on its own provided the individual eats a healthy diet and takes a reasonable vitamin/supplement intake. Probably this homeostatic rebalance occurs completely by one week (as we observed in our chelation paper). For the individual patient the commonest issue is when the interval between chelation sessions exceeds wha is ideal for them - most common is if they go to 5-8 week intervals. My opinion is that le Chatelier's principle of: everything moves towards equilibrium plays a major role in this. (More at a future date). Some people do best with weekly chelation sessions, others with 3-4 week intervals. At present this is an unpredictable individual factor, that only experience/trial shows which is optimal. It is possible to do near daily chelation. I would certainly do this for radioactive metals such as plutonium, where the rsisks from radiation well outweigh the risk of creating electrolyte imbalance. It can be done with Gd, but does require wisdom guided iv supplementation. This is also a source of current research interest by my team and I.

The experience I have to date informs me that the goal with chelation should be to get the patients about 80% better, and the remaining 20% is allowing the patient to heal the rest of the way on their own, probably most often requiring autoimmune disease treatment for the first 3-6 months, stopping that, and letting them heal themselves the rest of the way. This may be an additional 1-2 years though, so be prepared for that. Trying to get the patient 100% better with chelation creates what I describe in pt 5 above, the vicious cycle of giving them a booster of disease with each chelation session, so their immune system never is allowed to calm down. It appears that Ca-DTPA is such an effective chelator that it can always seem to remobilize Gd no matter how little Gd is left (presumably the final reservoir is just bone) even when there is essentially no native movement of Gd.

Ofcourse the most important treatment is to never get another GBCA injection again if you have GDD.

So the above explains why chelation 'fails' in an individual. Unfortunately even with taking all the above into consideration diminished success does happen. Primarily this is in the population of individuals who have had 10+ GBCA injections, and starting with chelation 1 or 2 they developed GDD, and the reason for the additional GBCA injections was to investigate what was making the patient sick - which was GDD all along. Each GBCA injection makes the patient progressively sicker. This situation unfortunately is analogous to treating patients with advanced cancer and hoping to get them better.... Cytokines may hold the answer though for these individuals.

Richard Semelka MD Consulting Stay tuned on the latest advancements:

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