John F. Ruhland, ND — Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine — 206-723-4891
Dr. Ruhlandís goal at the Natural Health Medical Clinic is
to help you restore balance to your body, mind, and spirit.

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Hours in Seattle by appointment: Tuesday 10am-7pm, Wednesday 8am-noon, Saturday 10am-7pm
House calls, on a limited basis in East Olympia area (Yelm, Rainier, Lacey, Tenino): Monday, Thursday, Friday

Chelation Therapy
by John Ruhland, ND

Chelation as used in the field of medicine is the act of binding a substance in order to form a larger molecule that is easier for the body to eliminate. Various amino acids are used to chelate heavy metals in order to allow the kidney and liver to remove them from the body. Chemicals used for chelation include EDTA, DMSA and DMPS. Several herbs and minerals are also used for chelation as well as to restore any beneficial nutrients that are removed during the chelation process. DMSA and DMPS bind mercury especially well. They also bind other metals, including lead, cadmium, aluminum (a metalloid), arsenic, and excess iron and copper. There are several methods of administration. The simplest form is oral, although this method takes a longer period of treatment than other forms of administration.

One chelating agent, EDTA, is primarily used to treat arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. It is a very safe and effective alternative treatment to surgery or other highly invasive therapies. Some of the actions of EDTA are that it:

  1. Binds heavy metals, especially lead, cadmium and arsenic;
  2. Acts as a potent anti-oxidant, preventing free-radical destruction in the body and preventing the oxidation of cholesterol;
  3. Helps thin the blood to prevent blood clots;
  4. Helps decrease excess deposits of calcium, thus reducing the hardened deposits in the blood vessels; and
  5. Reduces blood pressure.
Such actions are helpful to people facing heart disease and heart attacks.

In most cases, several months of chelation treatment with EDTA are prescribed in arteriosclerosis. Patients have reported benefits such as decreased angina/chest pains, less shortness of breath, increased stamina for activity and exercise, decreased need for medications for heart disease and high blood pressure, decreased diabetic complications, clearer thinking, and a better memory. In addition, some people experience a lessening of their arthritis pain. We have seen patients who have been told they needed amputations and would lose their legs due to hardening of the arteries, and as a result of chelation, their legs were saved. It is not uncommon to find patients who were told they would die soon without bypass surgery who are living a healthy life after chelation treatment, avoiding surgery.

Most patients do not have any side-effects from treatment. Due to the removal of toxins, some patients feel flu-like symptoms, tiredness, mild headache, or a tingling sensation. Patients getting chelation treatments are advised to drink greater amounts of water to flush their system. To avoid any possibility of nutritional deficiencies from treatment, we recommend that patients take a good supplement with important trace minerals to replace any that may have been lost during the chelation treatment. In particular, it is important to supplement zinc and vitamin B6.

Studies report that about 85 percent of patients have a measurable improvement in blood flow and/or a noticeable improvement of symptoms after a course of treatment. Whereas mainstream therapies such as bypass surgery or angioplasty may increase blood flow to part of the heart, chelation improves circulation within the entire body. Thus, perfusion to the brain, legs, and elsewhere is increased, rather than focusing only on one or more arteries of the heart. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of EDTA chelation is that it decreases free radical damage, which is partly responsible for cellular aging.

For further information, there are many good books available on chelation.


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John F. Ruhland, ND — The Natural Health Medical Clinic, LLC — 206-723-4891
On Beacon Hill, just south of downtown Seattle
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