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MRIs and contrast gadolinium

  • Broadcast in Health
Powerful Patient

Powerful Patient


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Medical images done using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines provide excellent images that can help your doctor see what is going on inside you, make a diagnosis, and work out a treatment plan.

We can best gain the benefits of any technology if we understand and respect its strengths and weaknesses, joys and cautions -- what does it do best, where it may be less beneficial than another, and what cautions are there that we need to be wary of.  Cars, phones, x-rays, nuclear energy ... each is wonderful in many situations, but can be problematic on other settings.  Without an eye to safety, they can be harmful.

The images are gray-on-gray, so it takes a great deal of experience and expertise to interpret the images.  Depending what the image is intended to study, it may be important to improve the contrast so that certain structures stand out more clearly.  The contrast medium most frequently used with MRIs is gadolinium (Gd), a chemical substance or "dye" which is injected into your bloodstream before the imaging is done.  

Joyce and Robin speak with Sharon Williams who exerienced symptoms following a series of MRIs that were determined to be caused by a buildup of gadolinium in certain tissues of her body.  Sharon and others have worked with Dr. Richard Semelka and other physicians to compile patient experiences and learn how to identify the problem, test for gadolinium retention, and treat the problem.