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What is Chelation?

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Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by Chris Weatherall

You are here because you have a question:  What is Chelation? And, does it really work for heavy metal toxin removal?

With the recent wildfires in California, ATMC is offering information about chelation therapy in order to raise awareness for this alternative treatment for heavy metals toxicity.

Wildfires, or any major fire, have the potential to spread heavy metal toxins through smoke to the air supply. Someone who is exposed to smoke or fumes after a wildfire may notice they begin to feel weird, sick, or even develop mental symptoms.

According to 1 it is wise to “Avoid hot ash, charred trees, smoldering debris, and live embers.”

However, for those worried about exposure to toxins in the air, it would be wise to monitor air quality as well. A good resource to monitor air quality in the wildfire areas is

Also keep in mind many cleaning supplies used during fire damage cleanup will include toxins. If using a fire damage restoration company, make sure to ask what type of products they use. For a listing of toxin free cleaning products please visit EWG.2

What Problems Can Heavy Metal Poisoning Cause?

“Symptoms and physical findings associated with heavy metal poisoning vary according to the metal accumulated. Many of the heavy metals, such as zinc, copper, chromium, iron, and manganese are essential to body function in very small amounts. But, if these metals accumulate in the body in concentrations sufficient to cause poisoning, then serious damage may occur. The heavy metals most commonly associated with poisoning of humans are lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. Heavy metal poisoning may occur as a result of industrial exposure, air or water pollution, foods, medicines, improperly coated food containers, or the ingestion of lead-based paints.” ~Rarediseases.org3

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Mental Health Symptoms Experienced in Individuals with a Toxic Burden:

At Alternative to Meds center, we have seen cases where a buildup of heavy metal toxins will lead to psychiatric and physical symptoms.

Signs of toxicity:

* If not properly diagnosed, symptoms caused by heavy metals buildup, like lack of sleep, could turn into a misdiagnosis, or long-term psychiatric treatment. It is imperative if you develop symptoms following a potential exposure to seek the proper type of medical attention.

Do I Have Heavy Metal Toxicity?

smoke toxinsHeavy metal toxicity may affect individuals who are near a natural disaster such as a fire, water damage or mold, and many other catastrophic events that result in exposure to toxins. For an individual who is a victim of a wildfire, or other disasters, that finds themselves feeling sick, looking at heavy metals levels through lab testing could be a good way to ensure the symptoms are not being caused by toxicity. If you are experiencing any mental health conditions following exposure to environmental toxins, please contact us immediately for help.

Will Chelation Help with Toxicity?

Finding out you have a toxic level of a heavy metal like lead, arsenic, or mercury is a scary moment to go through. Luckily, with the proper treatment, most instances of heavy metal toxicity can be treated or managed. Without proper treatment, heavy metal toxicity can cause severe sickness or even mental disturbances, according to WebMd: 4

“When metals like lead, mercury, iron, and arsenic build up in your body, they can be toxic. Chelation therapy is a treatment that uses medicine to remove these metals so they don’t make you sick.”

Is Chelation Therapy Safe?

While there are various types of treatment for environmental toxicity symptoms, many doctors use chelation therapy to safely remove heavy metal toxins.

“Dr. Weil5 views chelation therapy as an appropriate treatment for proven lead poisoning and the removal of toxic levels of other heavy metals from the body, in keeping with the conventional medical usage.”

“Chelation therapy was designed decades ago to trap and remove serious environmental toxins like arsenic. While using it, some practitioners noted improvements in symptoms of heart disease, and chelation began to be used in some clinics for heart patients.” – Dr. Joel Kahn 6

Additionally, thousands of studies have been conducted over decades in regards to the benefits or dangers of chelation therapy. Although it is considered an alternative treatment, the overwhelming evidence shows many people are finding alleviation of symptoms, and reduction of toxicity levels by utilizing chelation therapy under the advice of a licensed practitioner.

Get Toxicity Help from ATMC

If you or a loved one fear you have been exposed to heavy metal toxins, the safest idea is to see a local doctor if severe symptoms begin to take place, especially mental health symptoms. Alternative to Meds Center can help ensure a plan is developed to begin the recovery process. For over a decade, patients at our center have been able to recover from toxicity and the mental health symptoms associated with a toxic burden. Please contact our admissions team for more information about our inpatient environmental toxicity treatment program.

For Continued Reading on Chelation and Neurotoxicity:

The Chelation Way: The Complete Book of Chelation Therapy by Dr. Morton Walker

Medication Withdrawal & Neurochemistry By Lyle Murphy

1. “Wildfires” [cited 2020 Oct 14]

2. EWG’s “Guide to Healthy Cleaning” Environmental Working Group [cited 2020 Oct 14]

3. “Heavy Metal Poisoning” Rare Disease Database, National Organization for Rare Disorders [cited 2020 Oct 14]

4. “What Is Chelation Therapy?” WebMD [cited 2020 Oct 14]

5. “Chelation Therapy” Weil [cited 2020 Oct 14]

6. Kahn, J MD “Chelation Remains A Hopeful Heart Therapy”, 2016 Jul 1 [cited 2020 Oct 14]

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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