The simple detection of a metal in the body at concentrations outside of a reference range provided by a laboratory is not adequate to diagnose poisoning.
Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) January 26, 2012
Medical toxicologists, who specialize in the diagnosis and management of human poisoning, have noted a growing trend toward inappropriate diagnosis and treatment of metal toxicity. An upcoming scientific conference will examine the evidence for use of chelation therapy, addressing accepted uses for treatment of acute and chronic metal poisoning and off-label uses to treat disorders such as autism and vascular disease. For more information about the American College of Medical Toxicology and the conference, Use & Misuse of Metal Chelation Therapy, visit: http://acmt.net.
Chelators are medications used to assist in the removal of metals from the body. Chelators− which include DMPS, DMSA, and EDTA−can be helpful in the treatment of persons who experience a large exposure to a metal that may result in illness. The diagnosis of "metal poisoning" is frequently made without specific symptoms or on the basis of incorrectly performed or interpreted laboratory testing. Long courses of chelation are then prescribed, resulting in high cost to patients and the potential for serious side effects as a result of the treatment.
The diagnosis of metal poisoning is complex. Not all potentially toxic metals are problematic at even moderately elevated concentrations in blood, urine, or other tissue. Everyone is exposed daily to metals in the environment, but typical low level exposures to most metals (including arsenic and mercury) are not dangerous.The simple detection of a metal in the body at concentrations outside of a reference range provided by a laboratory is not adequate to diagnose poisoning. Because many of the signs and symptoms associated with metal poisoning are vague and nonspecific, many patients attribute their illness to metal poisoning and undergo potentially dangerous and expensive treatment that has little to no chance of success.