EDTA and Blockage

Dear Dr. Dean,

I am a 36-year old Canadian male, and I’ve had a lot of neck pain for the past few years, which has been on and off. About a year ago, I went to the ER. They did an MRI with contrast of my neck, which came back clear of any issues. They told me to go home and not worry about the arteries or veins causing these pains.

Recently, I had a Doppler ultrasound of my neck, to check the carotid arteries. Now, my Doctor is saying that I have a few blockages in my carotid arteries. I haven’t been told what percentage or how bad this really is, but I am terrified!

They want me to do an angiogram, but I want a second opinion first! I’m confused why in one year’s time I have blockages. If it’s true that I have blockages, would chelation therapy be beneficial to someone like me?

Unfortunately, I was a smoker — but quit immediately, the day I left my Doctor’s office. Also, I have major issues with anxiety, especially needles, surgeries, blood, etc.

Could oral EDTA work for me? Or would it only be good as a preventative? Is IV the only option at this point, other than angioplasty or stent placement?


Giuseppe, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Dear Giuseppe,

Carotid occlusion is not a common cause of neck pain. More likely, your pain may have been due to a structural problem, for which a visit to a chiropractor may provide you with relief. The MRI you described was looking for bone and soft tissue abnormalities, not vascular problems.

The Doppler that you described will identify significant problems with blood flow, stenoses, obstruction, etc. It would be helpful to know the degree of obstruction and plaque. Significant atheromas are not common in someone your age. Also, you have taken a big step in preventing future problems by stopping smoking — congratulations!

A little-appreciated problem with smoking is the affinity of hemoglobin for carbon monoxide (in the cigarette smoke), which is many times the binding capacity compared to oxygen. Consequently, smokers have an excess of red blood cells that are carrying toxic carbon monoxide, instead of oxygen. As a result, your body must produce more red blood cells in order to carry adequate oxygen to the oxygen-starved tissues. This, of course, results in “thicker blood” (i.e., more red blood cells) trying to get through cigarette-smoke-induced narrowed arteries. By stopping smoking, this situation will correct itself, as there is a complete turn-over of your red blood cells in 120 days.

As I’ve previously written, IV chelation therapy is the fastest, most effective therapy for occluded vessels. For severe stenoses, I recommend using both oral and IV. Both have advantages. IV chelation uses a high-dose bolus of up to 3 grams of EDTA, which is excreted from the body within 24 hours. Thus, there is no EDTA “on board” in the interim between treatments. Although oral EDTA is poorly absorbed (up to 10%), there will be some EDTA in circulation throughout the week, to say nothing of the absorption of toxic heavy metals in the GI tract every day. Naturally, a good broad-spectrum mineral supplement should be taken when undergoing chelation therapy — especially, magnesium. EDTA is an anti-coagulant, which prevents stroke and heart-attack-causing thromoboses and emboli. With oral EDTA, there’s always some on board performing this protective function. Anti-inflammatory proteolytic enzymes such as SmartZyme (taken on an empty stomach) may also help.

As an example of chelation’s effectiveness — one of my recent patients, age 70, had over 60% blockage of his carotids, with “heavy” plaquing. Of course, his “mainstream” physician had referred him for stents and endarterectomy (a surgical procedure to remove plague). He chose to undergo chelation. After 35 weekly treatments, repeat ultrasound revealed less than 30% blockage with “mild” plaquing. He continues to undergo monthly “maintenance” treatments, although I believe he could switch to just oral maintenance at this time.

Bottom line … if you are currently asymptomatic with regard to blood flow to the brain, I recommend a basic series of 10 IV chelations, plus daily oral EDTA, and then re-evaluate (with your chelating physician) whether to continue with the combination, or change to oral only. An angiogram is a pre-surgical procedure, with not-insignificant risk of side effects.

With regard to your anxiety, I recommend you try Kava Kava, a South Pacific herb with dramatic anti-depressant, mood elevating, anti-anxiety properties.

Ward Dean, MD

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