Chelation is a medical procedure that uses an intravenous medication to remove mercury and lead. While some people believe this rids the body of impurities and helps prevent and treat diseases, there are risks associated with chelation.
Chelation uses a synthetic amino acid called ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid or EDTA. A doctor or alternative medical practitioner administers the treatment.
Chelation is used to treat heart disease, stroke and autism.
A chelation treatment takes approximately five to 30 minutes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Side effects of chelation include burning at the site of the IV, fever, hypotension or low blood pressure, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Chelation can make it difficult for your body to create new blood cells and poses a risk for kidney damage or failure and even sudden death, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not approve chelation and has issued warnings about EDTA. In addition, the American Heart Association does not recommend chelation for heart disease and cautions patients about the procedure.