An imaging test can be harmful to your health because they employ substances and electromagnetic waves. These types of tests are usually prescribed by your doctor to assist with diagnosing a disease or injury. If you have taken an MRI, you may have been exposed to gadolinium. A contrasting agent used to obtain a clearer image produced by an MRI machine. An X-ray machine can also be harmful to your health because you are exposed to radiation during the examination.
What is it?
Gadolinium is a chemical element and a metal with fluorescent properties. It is used in medical magnetic resonance imaging and in color television picture tubes to enhance picture quality. When used for medical reasons it is injected into patients before they receive an MRI. Once injected into your bloodstream the chemical circulates throughout your body. This allows physicians to see your internal organs and on a screen.
Physicians can diagnose medical conditions and achieve detailed images of your bones, tissues and internal body structure. Even though gadolinium has been used to help patients and physicians diagnose medical maladies the chemical has been found to cause health problems. Many people have developed side effects and become ill due to this element.
What are the potential risks?
Once gadolinium is administered, it can be retained in your internal organs, skin, brain and bones for an unspecified period. It is estimated that the substance can remain in your body for up to several months or years. The dye can cause effect distinct parts of the body, including your kidneys, arms, legs and bones. While the chemical is retained in the body, it can cause poisoning that affects the kidneys. You can also experience brain fog, tissue burning and pain in your extremities. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, gadolinium deposition disease, and gadolinium storage condition are the known issues that have arisen in patients that have been given the dye.
If you have gadolinium storage condition, your kidneys will function normally, but you will be diagnosed with excessive amounts of this chemical being stored in your body.
When your renal function is impaired, and you have pain after being administered the dye within a few weeks this is related to gadolinium deposition disease. If diagnosed with nephrogenic system fibrosis condition, your renal system has been damaged by the chemical. This condition causes you to experience kidney malfunction and discolored skin. It is a fatal illness and can lead to shortening of your muscles and tendons.
What is being done?
Since the chemical has been administered to patients that have undergone an MRI, the Food and Drug Administration has added a warning about the risk of the contrasting dye. Physicians should also be informing patients about the dangers of gadolinium. There has been a mass tort, simply put a Gadolinium lawsuit, in progress since October 2016 and there are more lawsuits being filed.
There have been plenty of patients harmed by the chemical and plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages for the medical conditions caused by the dye. They do not believe they were warned about the toxicity of the dye and became ill due to its retention in their bodies.