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How Does Vascular Disease Affect Health?

Vascular or blood vessel diseases are leading causes of death in the U.S. and much of the industrialized world. When blood vessels become blocked by plaque, blood flow to vital organs is reduced, starving them for oxygen and other nutrients. The loss of circulation caused by this hardening of the arteries also known as arteriosclerosis – can lead to heart disease, stroke, and memory loss. It can also prevent sores from healing and lead to gangrene in the feet and legs. These conditions are more common in diabetics and smokers, and much of the time they are the result of lifestyle choices (diet, lack of exercise, high stress).

If you have chest pain or leg pain on walking, shortness of breath, painful or discolored feet, transient loss of vision or failing memory, see a physician! Any unexplained or persistent symptoms, which affect your heart, head or limbs, should be explored for circulatory blockage.

What is EDTA Chelation Therapy?

EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid) is a synthetic amino acid, which has the ability to attach itself to metals and minerals, forming a particular kind of bond called a chelate. Heavier metals such as lead have a greater affinity for EDTA and form stronger bonds.

In the 1940s and 50s, EDTA was found to be a safe and effective treatment for lead toxicity and was approved for use as a drug for that purpose. In many cases, patients who coincidentally had symptoms of heart disease such as angina, improved while undergoing lead toxicity treatment. Since that time, scientific opinion and evidence, that EDTA chelation therapy is effective in treating blood vessel disease, has been growing. To date, FDA has not approved EDTA chelation therapy for vascular disease, but the status of EDTA as an approved drug for lead toxicity permits physicians to use it for other conditions, including vascular disease. This kind of discretionary use of approved drugs by physicians is common to a number of medical treatments.

The exact mechanism of action by which EDTA improves blood flow has not been determined and it probably works in several ways. One theory is that it reduces free radicals. Free radicals are highly active molecular fragments formed during the production of energy in the cells. They have high energy, like sparks in a fireplace, and this energy can be used by the body, when properly handled. However, if free radicals get out of control, they can cause damage to surrounding tissues, just as sparks that get out of a fireplace can cause the rug to catch fire. Excess free radicals contribute to the obvious signs of aging such as wrinkling and loss of skin elasticity. Internal damage is less visible but even more serious.

In addition to the formation of free radicals in the body, people are exposed to them in the environment from various sources such as polluted air, certain foods and drugs. Heavy metals also cause an increased production of free radicals. One of the most significant properties of EDTA is its ability to remove heavy metals like lead and excessive iron that may have accumulated in the body. Free radicals are thought to contribute to the development of vascular and other diseases. The removal of heavy metals that increase free radicals may explain the effect EDTA has in helping to prevent and reverse vascular disease.

Another theory is that EDTA works by binding calcium in the bloodstream and altering the intracellular balance of calcium with magnesium. This also favorably affects circulation.

EDTA chelation therapy has been used by physicians for more than forty years to treat a number of conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetic arterial disease, decreased mental function from vascular disease, and intermittent claudication (leg pain on exercise). It is also used as preventive medicine.

Find out about how Arlington acupuncture can help you in the next post.

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