*To what extent is chelation therapy considered an 'alternative' treatment?
== It is quite mainstream if there has been acute exposure--chemical factory accident. It is more of an alternative for long term low level exposure from Amalgam fillings,etc.
*Why is it that 'conventional' GPs have never looked for lead poisoning - and that it took an 'integrative' GP to find it?
== Tell me about it!!! My 6 doctors over 15 yrs never mentioned it even though I had bone density problems and broke a leg without contact! Thankfully after 1.5 yrs on Cutler's chelation protocol my bone density improved 8%. One of my hair tests while chelating reported lead in the red.
*Are there options other than chelation therapy?
== You could give the body more of the vitamins, minerals, etc that help to repair the damage. It is usually not adequate but can buy you some time. My parents who are in their mid-late 70's have decided to go that route even though they have seen my impressive gains.
*What are the different ways of receiving chelation therapy - eg at a GP? in hospital? At some kind of toxicologist?
== Lots of options. Remember to do what works well for YOU, not what is best for the doctor's vacation fund.
*What are the costs involved in chelation therapy?
== IV is rather pricey, oral DMPS is most expensive of the oral chelators but it is worth it for those with certain symptoms. DMSA + ALA + supporting supplements is not expensive for people who have a job.
Both had heavy metal related illnesses. They touch on the issue of lead but it is mostly on mercury. I strongly suggest that you account for the presence of mercury. Not doing so is Russian roulette. You could end up with more mercury in your brain.
== Remember the "natural" chelators were grown in the environment where their heavy metal "magnets" (thiol groups)could have absorbed HMs from the environment. this is one area where I want to take something made in a well respected lab.
== You might also check out the large yahoo chelation groups Adult metal chelation and the active Frequent dose chelation.