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Chelation Counselling

Synapse Africa Neuro-Nutritional Clinics specializes in Oral Chelation and Super-nutrition detoxification protocols.

Carin S. Smit is a Board-Certified C/CMT (C/Clinical Metal Toxicologist) (see listing on She is certified to provide oral chelation programmes and instructs in areas of Super-Nutrition (use of supplements, herbs, enzymes and other compounds, which accelerate detoxification).

The word “Chelation” comes from the root-word: “chelos” which means “claw” in Greek. To chelate means to remove potentially toxic substances by means of a chemical claw-like action from the bones, bone-marrow, adipose fat, other soft tissues in the body and brain tissue. It also means that we support the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands during this chelation process. Removal of toxic metals is a potentially dangerous process if not done under supervision of a certified Clinical Metal Toxicologist, so make sure that when you embark on chelation that you see someone who is properly certified and experience to perform the chelation supervision.

Before embarking on chelation there are certain preparatory steps that need to taken:

  1. Baseline testing establishes your toxic metal body burden
  2. These lab tests also establish whether your liver, kidneys and body mineralization can survive a period of intensive chelation therapy. Hence Liver Function tests, Kidney Functions, Adrenal Functions are assessed and a baseline Iron-study, basic Mineral Hair Analysis and serum minerals are tested.
  3. Peripheral live blood analysis and oxidized blood analysis gives further clues to the heath of the gut, the possible presence of yeasts (which thrive on the sulfur in the chelation drugs and must be eradicated BEFORE chelation is started!) and the status of the immune system and basic nutrition.
  4. Should your lab results return a verdict that your kidneys are failing, then chelation is not possible. Should we find that your liver functions are NOT optimal, we would embark on a period of hepatic support to see if we can restore optimal liver function. If your adrenals are exhausted, we would work on adrenal support.
  5. If baseline lab testing confirms that your toxic metal burden warrants chelation, we would commence, ONLY once the gut-issues have been addressed, once your mineralization is optimal and your immune system can support you through this process.


Chelation (removal of toxic metals) is not always a benign process as the chelation drugs have an affinity for the good as well as the bad metals in your system. Doing a baseline mineral hair analysis cantherefore go a long way towards helping your system cope with chelation in a healthy and optimal manner.

Oral chelation is a milder, yet just as effective form of toxic metal removal and entails taking oral chelators, such as DMSA every 2nd week for 3 days. Typically chelation lasts for a cycle of 4 months, after which lab tests are repeated. Once the process of chelation is commenced, it should be completed – sometimes with respite periods built into the programme during the months of chelation.

Typical Side Effects During Chelation

Toxic metals do harm whilst they are IN the cells of the body and on their way out, so one can expect some measure of metabolic disruption and dysfunction of metabolic processes during any chemical chelation period.

Side Effects In Children

As I specialize in chelation for children with autism, the list below has been compiled with the kind assistance of the many parents who have been trained to manage their children’s oral chelation:

  • increased hyperactivity
  • increased salivation
  • increased emotional lability
  • increased number of dirty nappies(diapers)
  • increased anger
  • increased self-injurious behaviours
  • decrease in appetite
  • decrease in hours of sleep
  • restlessness
  • thirst
  • dark rings under eyes (liver stress)
  • outbursts
  • skin rashes
  • fatigue
  • gas

These symptoms are usually ameliorated when giving GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) (fairly high doses – between 3000 mg – 5000 mg depending on age and weight of child) and Taurine (fairly high doses between 6000 – 10,000mg per day). As the latter might increase the efficacy of Magnesium, a close watch should be kept on bowel movements. If these increase beyond reasonable levels, Taurine should be reduced till a balance is reached.

I normally regulate behavioural outbursts by increasing minerals, GABA and Taurine for 3 days before and after each chelation block of 3 days.

Side Effects In Adults Are Typically Milder and Include:

  • restlessness
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • pain in joints, muscles
  • headaches
  • sleeplessness
  • need for excessive sleep
  • nausea
  • depression
  • tearfullness (women)
  • bloatedness
  • decreased appetite
  • bowel discomfort
  • gas

Example of a Chelation Schedule on DMSA Oral Chelation

The Green days represent the 3 days before and after each block of chelation

During the green days, I increase Calcium, Magnesium, and other minerals as well as high dose GABA and Taurine.

The Red days represent the 3 days of chelation.

During the red days, I instruct that no minerals are given (Ca, Mg, Zn, other minerals) but that high dose GABA and Taurine are maintained.

The Yellow days represent he days between each pre- / post-chelation block. In total one chelates orally for 3 days every 11 days – hence 2 chelation cycles in every month. The red days represent the 3 days of chelation. The yellow days represent he days between each pre- / post-chelation block. In total one chelates orally for 3 days every 11 days – hence 2 chelation cycles in every month.

During yellow days all minerals, other supplements, GABA and Taurine are given at normal pre-chelation levels.

Toxic Metals Chart

Psychiatric Disturbances:


Social Deficits, Social withdrawal, Repetitive, perseverative, stereotyped behaviors; OCD-typical behaviors, Irritability, aggressive behaviors, temper tantrums,Speech comprehension deficits, Loss of speech, developmental problems with language, Dysarthria; articulation problems; slurred speech, unintelligible speech,

Flapping, circling, rocking, toe walking, Problems with intentional movements or imitation, Abnormal gait/posture; in co-ordination, loss of balance; problems sitting, lying, crawling, and


Arsenic, Copper, Lead, Mercury

Depression, mood swings, flat affect; impaired facial recognition

Lead, Mercury

Irritability, aggressive behaviors, temper tantrums, Attentional problems (ADHD), lacks eye contact, impaired visual fixation

Copper, Mercury

Suicidal Behaviors

Lead, Mercury, Thallium

Sleep difficulties/ disturbances

Aluminum, Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Thallium

Chronic fatigue (CFS); weakness, malaise

Arsenic, Lead, Mercury

Anorexia; symptoms reflecting eating disorders, loss of appetite/weight


Anxiety; nervous tendencies

Speech and Language Deficits

Aluminum, Mercury

Speech disorders


Loss of speech, developmental problems with language, Speech comprehension deficits, Dysarthria; articulation problems; slurred speech, unintelligible speech

Cognitive Impairments

Arsenic, Lead, Mercury

Mental retardation, borderline intelligence

Copper, Lead

Uneven performance on IQ scores, low IQ scores

Aluminum, Lead

Poor memory (short term, verbal, and auditory)

X Metals

Difficulties understanding abstract ideas; difficulty carrying out complex commands


Dementia; pre-senile and senile dementia

Aluminum, Arsenic



Impaired reaction time; lower performance on timed tests

Sensory Abnormalities


Abnormal Sensations in the mouth and extremities

Arsenic, Lead, Mercury

Hearing loss, difficulty hearing


Abnormal touch sensations; diminished touch sensations, aversion to touch

Arsenic, Mercury

Blurred vision; sensitivity to light

Motor Disorders

Copper, Mercury

Choreiform movements, myoclonal jerks, unusual postures, Difficulty walking, swallowing, talking


Flapping, circling, rocking, toe walking, Problems with intentional movements or imitation, Abnormal gait/posture; in co-ordination, loss of balance; problems sitting, lying, crawling, andwalking

Aluminum, Arsenic

Decreased locomotor activity

Aluminum , Arsenic, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Thallium

Convulsions; seizure

Physiological Impairment Chart

Structural and Functional Abnormalities associated with various heavy metal toxins:

Brain and Central Nervous System:


Neuro-fibrillary tangles

Aluminum, Arsenic, Thallium

Neuritis, retrobulbar neuritis, neuropathy

Aluminum, Arsenic, Lead, Thallium


X Metals

Cerebro-vascular disease


Alterations in nerve conduction velocity


Alterations in the spinal chord

Aluminum, Mercury

Accumulates in CNS-structures

Arsenic, Lead

Abnormal EEGs

Copper, Lead, Mercury, Thallium

Autonomic disturbances

Peripheral Nervous System:

Arsenic, Mercury

Peripheral neuropathy


Alterations in peripheral nerves

Arsenic, Mercury, Thallium

Loss of feeling/ numbness in the extremities, paresthesia

Gastrointestinal Tract:

Arsenic, Copper, Mercury, Thallium

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; loss of appetite

Arsenic, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Thallium

Abdominal pain, stomach cramps; burning of the throat and mouth

Arsenic, Mercury, Thallium

Esophagitis, gastroenteritis, colitis


Cancers (colon, pancreatic, stomach, or rectal)

Renal and Hepatic Impairment:

Arsenic, Copper, Thallium

Hepato-toxicity; Liver dysfunction, damage


Cirrhosis of the liver; hepatitis

Arsenic, Lead, Mercury

Kidney disease ; kidney failure

Arsenic, Copper, Lead

Renal toxicity; tubular proteinosis

Arsenic, Lead

Kidney Damage, histological alterations

Cardiovascular System:


Blood vessel damage

Arsenic, Copper, Lead

Anemia; decreased red blood cell count

Arsenic, Copper, Lead, Thallium

Hypertension; increased heart rate (tachycardia)

Electro-cardiac disorders:

Arsenic, Lead

Peripheral vascular disease; cardiovascular disease; vascular collapse

Respiratory System:

Aluminum, Arsenic

Pulmonary Fibrosis

X Metals

Pulmonary edema

Aluminum, Arsenic, Mercury

Pneumonia, laryngitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis

Arsenic, Aluminum

Restrictive airway disorders, asthmatic conditions, pneumoconisis


Respiratory tract cancers

X Metals

Nasal ulcers, perforation of the nasal septum

Immune System:

X metals

Increased incidences of asthma, autoimmune-like symptoms, allergies & inhibition of lymphocytes, T-cells, monocytes



Arsenic, Thallium

Decreased white blood cell count

Reproductive System:

Aluminum, Thallium

Genital abnormalities

Copper, Mercury

Disturbances in menstrual cycle; menstrual pains

Arsenic, Lead, Mercury

Birth defects; premature births; Spontaneous abortion

Arsenic, Aluminum, Cadmium, Lead

Reproductive dysfunction

Other Physical Disturbances:

X Metals

Hypotonia or hypertonia; decreased muscular strength

Aluminum, Arsenic, Copper, Mercury

Rashes, contact dermatitis, eczema, itchy/irritating skin

Arsenic, Copper, Lead, Thallium

Muscle pain; headache; acrodynia; colic


Alopecia (hair loss)