DTPA chelation -What are Determiners of Success?
If you have GDD and are getting DTPA chelation (which is the optimal chelation available at the present time and the only one I use and recommend), you really have to commit to atleast 5 chelation sessions spaced 1-4 weeks apart. Many patients who follow this and have had 1 GBCA injection, and often fewer than 3, will achieve atleast 80% improvement, which is what I aim for. The plan is they recover the rest of the way on their own, with their immune system calming down on its own. So getting back to 100% over a year or two of letting the immune system calm down on its own. Any significant deviation: too great an interval between chelation sessions, too few chelations, then there will not be enough Gd removed, and poor management of re-equilibration Flare. So results will be suboptimal. If one perceives their results from chelation have not had any effect or have made them worse, while the chelation has been properly done and with DTPA, this is the overwhelmingly common explanation. They had too few chelations and/or coupled with too large intervals between chelations. One cannot expect to have one chelation and to be perfectly fine, there will always be the re-equilibration flare that needs to be countered with the followup chelations. Chelation is not a one and done scenario. Now patients with very mild GDD can achieve near cure with just 3 chelations, and that is fine, I allow the patient to decide for themselves when they are back to an acceptable level of cure. They can always return for more chelations if needed. Also since atleast 1/3 of cases of GDD are progressive on their own, so whether one is worse following chelation or experiencing the natural progression of disease, is impossible to distinguish. As I have written previously there are pre-existent Tcell dysregulation conditions that individuals have, that may render chelation therapy non/ less effective, which is probably the 1-5% unavoidable failures. Some of these conditions I believe have not even been described in the literature, and unique to that individual. Patients with multiple GBCA injections, especially if they have severe physical debility or extensive surgery, near cure may not be achievable (atleast with less than 50 chelations), but many do get atleast 60% better, which means they can function in society and not be essentially bed-ridden and in constant pain. This situation is analogous to having extensive full body metastases from a malignant tumor.... cure is generally not possible. Unfortunately that is the reality with essentially all advanced diseases of all kinds. We can still do better than the vast majority of treatments for the vast majority of diseases in being able to achieve some level of significant benefit even in advanced cases. The reality is that there is essentially no perfect cure and 100% positive results for anything PERIOD If you watch the commercials on tv for the various expensive DMARD drugs used for Crohns, psoriasis, eczema, etc, they describe often numbers like 80% improvement in 6 months time. While at the same time describe that there are risks for cancer and for serious infection with treatment. By this measure our technique for DTPA chelation with concurrent steroids for GDD is far better, far safer and far less expensive. But still not perfect - not 100%. Nothing in life, nothing, is 100%. Recognizing this, properly done DTPA chelation therapy as we are doing now, is far safer and has far better treatment success rate than virtually any other treatment for any other disease - but it still is not 100%. The commonest cause for failures in general, PRIMARILY is improperly done chelation: poor chelating agent, or not done as I describe above (5 chelations sessions with DTPA spaced 1-4 weeks apart with optimal technique using concurrent steroids). There are though 1% or so patients who just have a rare underlying Tcell dysregulation that chelation does not cure them and maybe in 0.1% makes them worse, even if done properly.
Unfortunately that is life, nothing is perfect. But you improve your chances by following the above.
In my practice, by far the commonest causes of apparently not good enough results are: 1) too few chelations (1-3 rather than a minimum of 5), 2) too long intervals between sessions while also getting too few chelations, and 3) refusing to get concurrent steroids as I prescribe them. That is why I also now tell patients if they refuse to get steroids I will not treat them, they can go elsewhere. I will not do a procedure that I know in advance has a high likelihood of failure. Without steroids, at least in the early sessions of chelations, Flares can be unpredictably out of control - and actually patients then think the chelation has made them worse and some will stop chelating. As I have written in early blogs, even though the Flare may have been 8-10 /10 in severity I suspect that once the re-equilibration Flare has started to subside, in 4 months, they will start to get at least modestly better because they now have less Gd in their bodies.
Richard Semelka, MD
1. If I understood