*To what extent is chelation therapy considered an 'alternative' treatment?
=== There are standard methosd that doctors are trained to use when there is an accident in a chem factory, etc. Low level long-term exposure is less frequently treated.
*Why is it that 'conventional' GPs have never looked for lead poisoning - and that it took an 'integrative' GP to find it?
== May be due more to what your insurance will cover.
*Is chelation therapy considered 'conventional' at certain levels (eg for heavy cases of poisoning) but not for less heavy cases?
*Are there options other than chelation therapy?
== Not that I'm aware of but some say there are certain supplements that help to offset some of the effects of HMs.
*What are the different ways of receiving chelation therapy - eg at a GP? in hospital? At some kind of toxicologist?
*What are the costs involved in chelation therapy?
== This is a huge issue. Do your homework!!!
Everyone will probably agree that you use DMSA, a US FDA approved drug for lead in kids. However you have to decide on the protocol--how often to take it, how much per dose, whether to use large occasional doses or a series of doses over several days.
== After considering several options I chose the latter, specifically, Cutler's protocol. I broke my leg playing non contact sports--snapped like a piece of chalk. Bone density test showed osteopaenia--low bone density for my age (43) and sex. I also had other symptoms of heavy metals--ADD, poor mood, brain fog, fatigue, lethargy, sensitivity to certain foods and odors, etc.
== A followup Dexa bone density scan a couple of years later did not report significant improvement and my back actually got slightly worse while on my endocrinologist's supplements and medicine.
== A year or so later I started on Cutler's protocol. After 1.5 yrs on it a followup DEXA scan reported an 8% bone density improvement in my back. I had improvements in mood, memory, food sensitivities
and was only taking a tiny amount of ADD medicine.
== Hair tests while chelating reported cadmium and lead in the red. My symptoms were consistent with this; however I suspect mercury was somewhat involved too.
== I strongly recommend that you do some reading before jumping in. You might check out this intro to Cutler's protocol here.
You might also check out the Adverse Reactions folder in the Links section of the yahoo frequent dose chelation group. It has many reports from members about their reactions to various protocols.
== Good luck.
Many thanks indeed