Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (2022)

*An important note before we dive in that you should always check with your healthcare team before undertaking any of the suggestions below; you want to make sure that you are doing the things that will help you the most and not interfere with or worsen what’s going on in your unique body.

I have had probably 6 breast MRIs in the last 4 years. I have dense breasts, and so mammograms don’t work well for me; the mammogram that we did in advance of a biopsy before I was diagnosed came back negative, even though I could literally see the tumour with my own eyes when I pressed my skin down. So, that means it’s MRIs for me for my annual scan, until I can convince my oncologist to order something else instead (I’ll get into the other options at the end of this post).

Another reason I liked MRIs at first over mammograms was that they don’t use any radiation. They do however use a contrast dye to get a clearer image, and for the first 3 or 4 scans after my diagnosis, I didn’t know that this dye is NOT benign. It contains a heavy metal called gadolinium, which a 2014 study showed can be deposited and accumulate in the brain [1]. There is massive debate over its safety (this is a great article to check out for the arguments on both sides), and while many doctors consider it safe, enough patients have raised concerns over side effects that some are questioning it and more research is being pursued.

Until we know more, as with most things under hot debate, I always err on the side of caution and say better safe than sorry! And if you are receiving a different type of scan such as a PET, CT, or Xray, there is the radiation to think about. So, whether its dye or radiation being used in your scan, it’s a good idea to be on the safe side and take steps to protect yourself as much as you can ahead of time and ensure that your body properly detoxes them out as much as possible (and promptly) afterwards.

The possible risk was something I had heard about in years previous, but I only looked into it properly shortly after my annual MRI in 2020. Because I will be getting an MRI annually for the foreseeable future, I wanted to know how I could support my body each year in its detoxing efforts. There is evidence that suggests that the MRI dye cannot be fully detoxed, but we don’t know for sure. Either way, we want to help ourselves out and increase the amount being detoxed as much as we can! Some of the following come from my own experience and research, some come from recommendations in my favourite breast cancer FB group run by consultant Layce Murray and many of which come from Dr. Nasha Winters, and some come from my favourite ND ever, Dr. Lori Bouchard at Inside Health.

Let’s dive in!

PET/CT/Xray (or Anything with Radiation)

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (1)

With a PET/CT/Xray, you are going to be concerned first with protecting yourself from the radiation and then second detoxing it out. Before we get into what to do after the scan, there are a couple of things to do before the scan to offer radiation protection as well as some things to stop taking leading up to it (if they are things you are currently taking).

Things to do leading up to a PET/CT/Xray

*There is an easy-to-read recap list of all of these at the end of this section

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (2)There are two things that can interfere with your PET/CT scan and can therefore tamper with the results. If you are doing mistletoe injections as part of your protocol, take 72 hours off of mistletoe before getting a scan. Mistletoe’s purpose is to stimulate your immune system, so it can cause swelling and an immune response, and we want the system to be as calm as possible for the scan. Some research has shown that these mistletoe reactions can mimic nodular involvement on scans done with the radioactive sugar F-FDG, which is used in PET/CT scans [2]. This would of course lead to the potential of a false positive, which is extremely stressful and distressing and something that we want to avoid.

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (3)Additionally, if you do high dose IVC or take oral vitamin C as part of your protocol, take 48 hours off of IV or oral vitamin C before getting a PET/CT scan. Research has shown that vitamin C, especially high dose IVC, can lead to an inability to accurately measure a patient’s blood glucose levels before a PET/CT scan because the high levels of ascorbic acid interfere with the chemical reaction on a blood glucose test strip [3]. As already noted, PET/CT scans use the radioactive sugar F-FDG to detect cancer activity. This is because cancer cells love sugar and uptake it much more quickly and in higher amounts than healthy cells do. The radioactive sugar shows up in higher concentrations on the image, thereby showing areas where cancer may be active. It is important to have an accurate blood glucose reading before a scan using F-FDG because this sugar is in direct competition with glucose. This means, therefore, that if blood glucose levels are not in the optimal range for the scan and this is unable to be determined prior to the scan, it will cause a decrease in the absorption of the F-FDG and may lead to a false-negative on the resulting image [3]. This would not be good, for obvious reasons, and so it is best to avoid vitamin C before a PET/CT scan.

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (4)In addition to avoiding these two things, there is something you can do to increase the clarity and accuracy of the image. Since PET/CT scans use this radioactive sugar that we’ve been discussing, it helps to go into the scan in full ketosis, for two reasons. Being in full ketosis helps to improve the image and make it as accurate as possible; lower blood glucose levels mean not as much competition for the F-FDG sugar, so uptake of this sugar is improved and therefore so is the image. There is also preliminary evidence showing that because fasting puts healthy cells into a dormant, protective state, fasting helps healthy cells to withstand stressors like radiation in both scans and radiation treatments [4]. This might be a good time to do a 3-5 day fast, if you are able to do that. If not, try for at least a 24 hour fast.

(Video) Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee [Day 3]

Things to do the day of, before a PET/CT/Xray

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (5)1. High-dose melatonin, 300mg 2 hours before the scan: It’s not just for helping you sleep! High-dose melatonin has a lot of indications when it comes to cancer, and many take it regularly as a part of their supplement protocol (anywhere from 60mg-180mg daily). Some of its effects that have been observed in studies include antioxidant activity, stimulation of apoptosis (programmed cell death), regulation of tumor metabolism, inhibition on angiogenesis and metastasis, and antiestrogenic effects through estrogen pathway signalling and the inhibition of aromatase activity [5]. Most important in the context of PET/CT scans, melatonin has been shown to have protective effects against radiation. “Melatonin has beneficial properties for the reduction of radiation toxicity in healthy tissue […] Potent antioxidative effects of melatonin reduce oxidative DNA damage and cell death during radiation treatment.”, and it has been shown to achieve these effects through the modulation of various things including the DNA repair system, antioxidant enzymes, immune cells, and transcription factors [6]. The recommended dosage for a scan is 300mg of melatonin 2 hours before the scan. Many people are fine with this dose, but some people experience drowsiness at this high level, so it might be a good idea to do a test run before your scan on a day where you don’t need to go anywhere to determine whether you will need someone to drive you home afterwards. Some people experience some pretty vivid dreams after a high dose as well, so don’t be worried if that happens to you! It’s a normal side effect.

2. Oxicell Cream: This is a glutathione cream. Glutathione is often referred to as the master antioxidant, and maintaining healthy levels of it in our bodies is extremely important. Its benefits include protection from mercury and other toxic metals, from alcohol, and from organic pollutants, but in the context of scans that involve radiation, its most important benefit is protection from oxidative stress [7]. Radiation causes the production of free radicals, and free radicals in turn lead to oxidative stress, which can have a number of negative effects in the body including mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage, and epigenetic dysregulation [8]. These are all things that can impact our cancer risk, and while one scan likely won’t cause long-term issues, annual scans year after year are more concerning. Using Oxicell Cream in targeted areas before and after a scan can help to protect your body from oxidative stress by supporting the scavenging of free radicals produced as a result of the scan. Use 1/4 tsp on your hands up to 3x the day of your scan, then rub over your liver and gallbladder (under your right rib cage) as well as your thyroid and adrenals (over your throat and on the left side of your lower back, below the ribcage).

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (6)3. To keep your blood sugar as low and even as possible (for the reasons listed above when it comes to F-FDG), do not have any food or drink other than water for 6 hours prior to your scan. This includes gum or anything that contains sugar; plain water only up until the time of scan.

4. Diet: If you cannot do a prolonged fast before your scan, follow a high protein, low carb diet for 24 hours prior to the test to increase the quality of the image by reducing the competition for absorption of the scan’s F-FDG sugar. For the same reason, it is also a good idea to avoid the following foods the day of your scan in addition to avoiding all food and drink other than water in the 6 hours prior: refined sugar, all fruits, raisins, beets, carrots, corn, beans/peas, all grains, yams, cereal, all breads, muffins, tortillas, potatoes, pretzels, chips, rice, granola, oatmeal, pasta, sodas, and fruit juices, and use pure olive oil or coconut oil for cooking.

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (7)5. Exercise: You should not engage in any strenuous exercise 24 hours prior to your scan. As we have discussed already, PET/CT scans rely on the love that cancer cells have for sugar and their increased need for it. These scans are very sensitive however, and exercise can cause issues with differentiating between normal sugar uptake and cancerous sugar uptake. Because muscles use glucose to burn for energy, muscles that have been exercised around the time of a scan can show increased sugar uptake that may mimic cancer and result in a false positive [9], something we definitely want to avoid!

6. It is fine to take any medications you are on as long as you can tolerate them on an empty stomach.

Things to take the day before, the day of, and for three days afterwards:

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (8)1. Vitamin D3,20,000 iu a day:

The many benefits of vitamin D, especially its most active form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, are becoming more and more apparent with continued research. Research suggests that vitamin D may be protective against various forms of radiation, potentially by helping to transcribe proteins that protect the body from the effects of radiation [10].

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (9)2. Fish Oil, 6g in split doses (for example, 2g 3x a day):

Radiation can reduce levels of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in addition to causing oxidative stress, as discussed above. Research, including one study using rats to look specifically at fish oil and radiation on the brain, has shown that fish oil can reduce the severity of oxidative stress from radiation as well as counteract the decrease in EPA and DHA levels [11].

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (10)3. Probiotics, 1 capsule 3x a day:

Radiation can cause some serious disruptions to our gut health. It can damage the intestinal barriers and mucous layer, which are not good in and of themselves, but these also lead to leaky gut and bacteria escaping the intestines [12]. This results in the activation of an inflammatory response and contributes to systemic inflammation in the body. Cancer thrives in inflamed environments, and so this is definitely something we want to mitigate. Our intestinal health is also closely linked to our immune health, with 70% of our immune cells being housed in the gut. For these reasons, we want to support our gut health around the time of a scan that uses radiation by pumping up the number of probiotics (good gut buddies) that we are taking.

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (11)4. Liposomal Glutathione (DFH),2 pumps 2x a day or get aGlutathione Push(800mg) the day of or day after the scan:

We discussed glutathione up above with Oxicell Cream, so for the same reasons it is a prudent idea to get a glutathione push (IV) the day of or day after your scan. Many naturopathic clinics offer glutathione IVs, so do a search for one in your area if you don’t currently have an ND. If you cannot find one, you can opt for the liposomal glutathione instead, although some people find that it does upset their stomach when taken orally.

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (12)5. Binder of some sort, 1 tsp a day (not needed the day before the scan):

Binders do exactly what it sounds like they do: they bind to toxins and radioactive elements and carry them out of the body to more effectively detox these things from our system. Two recommended binders are Pectasol-C and Quick Silver Ultra Binder. If you don’t have either of these on hand or you find them to be too expensive, you can mix up a jar of equal parts bentonite clay, activated charcoal, and spirulina powders (note: if you struggle with high copper, leave out the spirulina, as it has high levels of copper). Each day add 1 tsp of the mix to water with a tablespoon each of aloe vera juice/gel and fresh-ground flax (unless you are taking the Quick Silver binder, as it already has fibre and aloe in it). Binders can be quite constipating, so the aloe and flax help with that.

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (13)6. Radium 30c (X-ray 30c) homeopathic medicine:

Homeopathic medicine is one of those things from the alternative world of medicine that is debated, like so much. Some believe it’s nothing more than sugar pills and the observance of the placebo effect, while others dedicate their entire professional careers to it as homeopathic doctors. My motto when it comes to things in my protocol has always been, “If it’s not going to hurt me and there’s a chance it will help me, I’m going to do it.” So, following the suggestion of taking one dose (3 pellets) of radium 30c (X-ray 30c) the night before, morning of, and for three days after your scan may help to mitigate some of the effects of the radiation from the scan.

7. If your body is really sensitive to radiation, you can also continue your use of the Oxicell Cream on these days as well.

Recap for PET/CT/Xray

Leading up to your scan:

  1. Take 72 hours off from mistletoe
  2. Take 48 hours off from oral or IV vitamin C
  3. If you can, fast for at least 24 hours prior to your scan, or even better, do a 3-5 day fast if you are able, so that you go into your scan in full ketosis

The day of, before your scan:

  1. High-dose melatonin, 300mg 2 hours before
  2. Oxicell Cream, 1/4 tsp up to 3x a day on your hands, over your liver and gallbladder, and over your thyroid and adrenals
  3. Do not eat or drink anything other than water in the 6 hours before a scan
  4. If you cannot do a prolonged fast leading up to your scan, adhere to a high protein, low-carb diet for 24 hours prior to your scan, especially avoiding simple carbs and sugary foods
  5. Do not engage in strenuous exercise for 24 hours prior to the scan
  6. Do continue to take your medications, as long as you can tolerate them on an empty stomach

The day before, the day of, and for three days after take:

  1. Vitamin D3, 20,000 iu a day
  2. Fish Oil, 6g in split doses
  3. Probiotics, 1 capsule 3x a day
  4. Liposomal Glutathione (DFH), 2 pumps of oral liposomal glutathione 2x a day for the 5 days, or get aGlutathione Push(800mg) the day of or day after imaging
  5. Binder of some sort (not needed the day before), 1 tsp a day in water + aloe and flax, if needed
  6. Radium 30c (X-ray 30c) homeopathic medicine, one dose (3 pellets) each of these 5 days

MRI (or Any Scan Done with Gadolinium-Containing Contrast Dye)

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (14)

Unlike with a PET/CT/Xray, MRIs do not use radiation. Instead, as I discussed above, you are concerned with detoxing out the contrast dye which contains the heavy metal gadolinium. However, the recommendations for an MRI are very similar to those for a scan involving radiation, with the difference being a few things that can be left out.

Things to do leading up to your scan:
  1. Just like with a radiation scan, you should take 72 hours off of mistletoe before getting an MRI to avoid a false positive.
  2. Because an MRI doesn’t involve radioactive sugar, it may be unnecessary to stop vitamin C before an MRI; but, to be on the safe side, you can always leave it out for 48 hours prior to the scan.
  3. Because we want to prevent cells from absorbing the gadolinium as much as possible, it is also a good idea to go for an MRI in full ketosis as well so that your cells are in that protective, dormant state. Try for a 3-5 day fast, or at least 24 hours if a much longer fast is not possible for you.
Things to do the day of, before your scan:
  1. Just like radiation, gadolinium also causes oxidative stress, particularly in the brain [13]. For this reason, it is also a good idea to make use of Oxicell Cream, or another glutathione cream, the day of your MRI, following the same instructions as for a PET/CT/Xray above.
  2. If you cannot do a prolonged fast, take at least 6 hours off from food and drink (other than water) the day of your MRI.
  3. For an MRI, you should also avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours prior to the scan to avoid abnormalities in tissues that can lead to a false positive [14].
  4. Do continue to take your medications, again as long as you can tolerate them on an empty stomach.
Things to take the day before, the day of, and for three days after:

The gadolinium can cause similar issues with oxidative stress and gut health that radiation can cause. Therefore, take the same protocol as suggested for a PET/CT/Xray, minus the radium 30c homeopathic medicine.

  1. Vitamin D3, 20,000 iu/day
  2. Fish Oil, 6g in split doses
  3. Probiotics, 1 capsule 3x/day
  4. Liposomal Glutathione (DFH), 2 pumps of oral liposomal glutathione 2x a day for the 5 days, or get aGlutathione Push(800mg) day of or day after imaging
  5. Binder of some sort (not needed the day before), 1 tsp a day in water + aloe and flax, if needed

General Detoxing Good for After Any Scan

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (15)

Whether your scan includes radiation or contrast dye, there are a number of general detoxing habits that you can include in the days around your scan to support your body in getting rid of as much of the gadolinium and radioactive elements as possible.

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (16)1. Take a detox bath the day of and for three days after: mix 1 pound of sea salt and 1 pound of baking soda (about 1 ½ cups of each) in the hottest water you can stand. Soak for 30-45 minutes, and if you feel the need to shower after, refrain for at least 4 hours (I can’t find any info on why this is the case, it’s just the recommendation I received; if I discover the reason, I will update this).

2. Include chelating foods in your diet (foods that pull out toxins from your body): parsley, cilantro, brazil nuts, garlic and onions are all chelators and pull stored toxins out of tissues and fat.

3. Include natural binders, as discussed above: modified citrus pectin, chlorella, bentonite clay, spirulina, and charcoal powder are all great binders (clay and charcoal also help with chelation), which are super important to include when detoxing otherwise some of the toxins will just be reabsorbed in your gut.

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (17)4. The day before, day of, and for at least 3 days after you can include some of these supplements (in addition to those listed above) that support the gut, liver, and kidneys (some of your major detoxing organs) and protect against radiation:

  • Milk thistle, 150-600mg daily
  • R-lipoic acid, 300mg a day
  • Beta-carotene, 25,000 iu or 75mg daily
  • CoQ10, 100-400mg a day
  • Siberian ginseng, 1000mg daily
  • EGCG green tea extract, 725mg 3x a day (note here that if you have done any epigenetic testing from Nutrition Genome, 23 and Me, SelfDecode, etc., it is wise to check your genetic SNPs and avoid EGCG if you have a potentially problematic COMT genetic mutation, as EGCG can clow COMT activity further; the COMT gene is involved in estrogen metabolism, among other things, and it is important to support and not inhibit its activity)
  • N-acetylcysteine, 200-600mg daily
  • MSM, 1000mg daily
  • Selenium, 200-1000mcg a day
  • Drink some of these detoxing teas: pau d’arco, dandelion, fennel, lemongrass, and nettle teas support the liver and liver detoxification.

5. Try these detoxing activities:

  • Apart from keeping your blood sugar in an optimal range and protecting your cells, fasting for 24 hours the day of your scan or doing a 3-5 day fast (if you are an experienced faster) with your scan in the middle of those days is a great idea so that your body can focus on detoxing versus digesting as well
  • Do a coffee enema daily for at least a week after the scan: coffee enemas get the gallbladder to open up and dump its contents (bile and toxins) into the intestines to be shuttled out of the body (you can learn more about coffee enemas, like what you will need, how to do them, and what to expect, in my full blog on them here)
  • Do a colonic the day of or day after your scan: colonics help to flush out the colon and can help get rid of candida, parasites, and toxins, among other things; this both supports a healthy gut and helps to keep this major detoxing pathway open and optimal
  • If you have access to one, do an infrared sauna for 30-45 minutes a day for at least a week after your scan (you can read all about the benefits of infrared saunas in my full blog on them here)

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (18)

6. Exercise helps us to detox in a number of ways, so make sure you are getting lots of exercise after your scan; exercise helps us to sweat toxins out, to move waste (and therefore toxins) through the gut more efficiently, and increases blood flow and oxygen levels to many organs including those that are major detoxers like the liver and kidneys (you can read about the detoxing benefits of exercise in my full blog on that here)

7. Drink lots and lots of water throughout all of this to help your kidneys flush everything out; aim for at least 2 litres a day, but the more the better

A final reminder here that you should ALWAYS run anything new by your healthcare team (in this context, preferably a naturopathic, integrative, or functional doctor who has knowledge of the risks and mitigating factors that accompany these scans) before embarking on a detoxing or supplement protocol.

Safer Alternatives to These Scans

Protection Before and Detoxing After a Scan: Contrast Dye and Radiation Detoxing - Solis Cancer Community (19)

There are a few alternatives to these types of scans, but you may run into problems accessing them. Ultrasounds are an alternative that don’t use radiation or contrast dye, but your oncologist may refuse to order it since an MRI or PET/CT is more sensitive and is usually the standard of care. Always good to ask though if this is something you are interested in.

The next is thermography, which uses thermal imaging to pick up heightened inflammation and increased blood flow. Cancer thrives in inflamed environments, and the area around a tumour is often inflamed; with inflammation comes heat that thermography can pick up on. Tumours also make use of something called angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels with which they feed themselves; this extra blood flow again creates extra heat, which can be picked up by thermography. Though thermography can’t diagnose, any unusual, asymmetric heat patterns give a heads up that something is potentially wrong and that additional scanning or testing is needed.

And finally, there are two relatively new scans that many of us are hoping become the standard of care, or at least more widely available. Prenuvo is very sensitive and specific and doesn’t use radiation or contrast dye, but it is currently only available in limited countries and cities and the cost is out of pocket; this may prevent it from being an option for you. If you would like to learn more about it however, you can do so here. And the second is specifically for breast cancer screening, and it’s called SonoCiné. It is a whole-breast ultrasound that is more sensitive than a traditional ultrasound. Again, it isn’t widely available and is out of pocket, so it may not be an option for you but is definitely worth looking into if you are screening for breast cancer. You can learn more about it, including where the closest one is to you, on their website here.

….

Whether a PET, CT, Xray, or MRI, there are definite risks for each from either radiation exposure or gadolinium toxicity. Even if you haven’t had issues in the past, these substances can accumulate in the body and cause issues down the road, so it is a prudent idea to protect your body ahead of time and do everything you can to support it in detoxing as much as possible afterwards. There was some heavy science in this one, so well done for making it all the way here! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or shoot me a message using the Contact Me page. And as always, there is a list of references below if you would like to do any further reading and researching of your own.

Happy Healing ❤️

References
  1. High signal intensity in the dentate nucleus and globus pallidus on unenhanced T1-weighted MR images: relationship with increasing cumulative dose of a gadolinium-based contrast material – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24475844/
  2. Homeopathic mistletoe adverse reaction mimics nodal involvement in F-FDG PET/CT performed for evaluation of response to chemotherapy in lymphoma – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27637868/
  3. The Impact of High-Dose Vitamin C on Blood Glucose Testing in 18F-FDG PET Imaging – https://tech.snmjournals.org/content/jnmt/early/2014/08/05/jnmt.114.140335.full.pdf
  4. Early Evidence Shows Fasting, Keto Diet May Make Chemo and Some Other Cancer Treatments More Effective and Easier to Tolerate – https://www.curetoday.com/view/early-evidence-shows-fasting-keto-diet-may-make-chemo-and-some-other-cancrer-treatments-more-effective-and-easier-to-tolerate
  5. Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5503661/
  6. The melatonin immunomodulatory actions in radiotherapy – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5425818/
  7. Glutathione – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684116/
  8. Radiation-Induced Normal Tissue Damage: Oxidative Stress and Epigenetic Mechanisms – https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2019/3010342/
  9. Think Twice Before Exercising When Getting That PET Scan – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060309073343.htm
  10. Could Vitamin D Save Us From Radiation? – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081107143847.htm#:~:text=Summary%3A,International%20Journal%20of%20Low%20Radiation.
  11. Fish oil omega-3 fatty acids reduce the severity of radiation-induced oxidative stress in the rat brain – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263206017_Fish_oil_omega-3_fatty_acids_reduce_the_severity_of_radiation-induced_oxidative_stress_in_the_rat_brain
  12. Radiotherapy and the gut microbiome: facts and fiction – https://ro-journal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13014-020-01735-9
  13. Impaired mitochondrial function and oxidative stress in rat cortical neurons: implications for gadolinium-induced neurotoxicity – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20398695/
  14. Can You Exercise Before an MRI? – https://www.gettingoldandfit.com/exercise-before-an-mri/

FAQs

How long does it take to flush contrast dye out of your system? ›

With normal kidney function, most of the gadolinium is removed from your body in the urine within 24 hours.

How can I protect myself from CT scan radiation? ›

Antioxidants help to prevent free radicals from forming – so they offset the effects of some of the radiation absorbed by the body during imaging studies. According to this small study, taking antioxidants before exposure to radiation from CT scanning reduces DNA damage.

How long does it take contrast from a CT scan to get out of your system? ›

Contrast agents are safe to use during scans, and your body naturally rids you of them within a day or two when you urinate or have a bowel movement.

How long are you radioactive after CT scan? ›

The radioactive tracer gives off very small levels of radiation. This goes away very quickly. For about 6 hours after your scan, keep any time you spend within arm's length of pregnant women, babies or young children as short as possible. Your radiographer will advise you about this.

How much water should I drink after CT scan with contrast? ›

When the CT scan is over, you can resume normal activities. If you had intravenous contrast, you should drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day to help flush the contrast out of your body. Your doctor will receive the results within 48 hours.

Do you pee out contrast dye? ›

Most patients will not usually notice anything abnormal after being given ICCM. Some patients might have some allergies or side effects, which are discussed below. The ICCM will leave your body through your urine in the hours after your test or procedure. You can help this by drinking plenty of fluids.

Why can't you have caffeine after a CT scan? ›

If you received IV contrast for your particular test then you need to drink at least 8, 500 ml glasses of water or juice each day for the following two days and avoid alcohol and caffeine the day of your exam. This will prevent dehydration and allow your kidneys to filter the contrast out of your body.

What are the side effects of contrast dye after a CT scan? ›

Side effects of iodine contrast can include: skin rash or hives. itching. headache.
...
Possible side effects of an abdominal CT scan
  • abdominal cramping.
  • diarrhea.
  • nausea or vomiting.
  • constipation.

How long does iodine stay in body after CT scan? ›

Median time for urinary iodine level to normalize was 43 days, with 75% of subjects returning to baseline within 60 days, and 90% of subjects within 75 days. Baseline iodine level was a significant predictor of postcontrast iodine levels.

How long does it take for radiation to leave your body? ›

Even though most radiation treatments only target specific collections of cancer cells, the effects of radiation can easily spread to nearby cells. Most recover within a few weeks, but some injuries develop later or require a longer recovery process.

Does radiation stay on clothing? ›

Take off your outer layer of clothing: Taking off your outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material. Be very careful in removing your clothing to prevent radioactive dust from shaking loose.

How many CT scans are safe in a year? ›

There is no recommended limit on how many computed tomography (CT) scans you can have. CT scans provide critical information. When a severely ill patient has undergone several CT exams, the exams were important for diagnosis and treatment.

What should you eat & drink after a CT scan? ›

Yes, you can eat and drink as normal after a CT scan. If you have an injection of contrast during your examination, it is beneficial to drink plenty of water (2-3 extra glasses) after your examination to help flush out the contrast from your system.

Can you eat straight after a CT scan? ›

What happens afterwards. You shouldn't experience any after-effects from a CT scan and can usually go home soon afterwards. You can eat and drink, go to work and drive as normal. If a contrast was used, you may be advised to wait in the hospital for up to an hour to make sure you don't have a reaction to it.

Can you wear deodorant for a CT scan? ›

Remove any jewelry or other objects that may interfere with the study. Patients should not wear any deodorant, powder, or perfume the day of the exam.

How does contrast media leave the body? ›

Following an imaging exam with contrast material, the material is absorbed by the body or eliminated through urine or bowel movements.

How long do the side effects of contrast dye last? ›

Patients at increased risk of late skin reactions are those with a history of previous contrast medium reaction and those on interleukin-2 treatment. Most skin reactions are self-limiting and resolve within a week.

What Colour should my pee be? ›

Normal urine color ranges from pale yellow to deep amber — the result of a pigment called urochrome and how diluted or concentrated the urine is. Pigments and other compounds in certain foods and medications can change your urine color. Beets, berries and fava beans are among the foods most likely to affect the color.

Can contrast dye cause blood clots? ›

It can cause a shortening of muscles and tendons causing muscle weakness, severe pain, limited mobility, reduced organ function, and blood clots. Patient advocacy groups have reported severe disease in patients who received Gadolinium-based contrast agents during MRI procedures.

What is the liquid they give you before a CT scan? ›

Take oral contrast or IV contrast.

For some CT scans, you will be asked to drink a special liquid called an oral contrast between 60–90 minutes before your test. This liquid contains barium sulfate and will help your doctor get a better picture of your abdomen. Alternatively, you may receive contrast dye through an IV.

Can you have a delayed reaction to contrast dye? ›

A small number of people have a reaction to contrast more than 1 day after they receive contrast. Most people who get these delayed reactions have rashes, itchy skin, headaches, or nausea. If you have a delayed reaction to contrast, you may need treatment with skin lotions, steroids, and antihistamines.

How do you protect your kidneys from contrast dye? ›

The inexpensive drug, called N-acetylcysteine, can prevent serious kidney damage that can be caused by the iodine-containing “dyes” that doctors use to enhance the quality of such scans. That “dye,” called contrast agent, is usually given intravenously before a CT scan, angiogram or other test.

What are the risks of contrast dye? ›

In most cases contrast dyes used in tests, such as CT (computerized tomography) and angiograms, have no reported problems. About 2 percent of people receiving dyes can develop CIN. However, the risk for CIN can increase for people with diabetes, a history of heart and blood diseases, and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Can you refuse contrast dye for CT scan? ›

Contrast dye: Doctors won't always choose to use dye for a CT scan, but it's always a possibility. If they do opt to use it for your scan, it may be administered via injection or taken orally.

What are the symptoms of too much iodine? ›

High iodine intakes can also cause thyroid gland inflammation and thyroid cancer. Getting a very large dose of iodine (several grams, for example) can cause burning of the mouth, throat, and stomach; fever; stomach pain; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; weak pulse; and coma.

Which is harder on the body chemo or radiation? ›

Since radiation therapy is focused on one area of your body, you may experience fewer side effects than with chemotherapy. However, it may still affect healthy cells in your body.

What is the most common acute side effect of radiation treatment? ›

The most common early side effects are fatigue (feeling tired) and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area. Late side effects can take months or even years to develop.

How do you remove radiation from your body? ›

There is no cure, but barriers can prevent exposure and some medications may remove some radiation from the body. Anyone who believes they have been exposed to radiation should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What can you wear to protect against radiation? ›

Ionizing radiation hazards

The fabrics used in single-use protective garments do not provide a barrier to electromagnetic ionizing radiation (e.g., gamma rays, X-rays). However, protective garments, like Tyvek® and Tychem® apparel, may provide limited shielding protection against radioactive alpha or beta particles.

Can radiation pass from person to person? ›

Radiation cannot be spread from person to person. Small quantities of radioactive materials occur naturally in the air, drinking water, food and our own bodies. People also can come into contact with radiation through medical procedures, such as X-rays and some cancer treatments.

How do you clean after radioactive iodine treatment? ›

First two days:
  1. Do not share cups, glasses, plates or eating utensils. Wash items promptly after using. ...
  2. Do not share towels or washcloths.
  3. Flush the toilet twice and rinse the sink and tub after use.
  4. Wash your towels, bed linens, underwear, and any clothing stained with urine or sweat.

How many is too many CT scans? ›

There is no recommended limit on how many computed tomography (CT) scans you can have. CT scans provide critical information. When a severely ill patient has undergone several CT exams, the exams were important for diagnosis and treatment.

Do all tumors show up on CT scans? ›

5 Cancers a CT Scan Can Easily Detect

But not every cancer has a regular screening test—especially if you have a cancer that's harder to detect. That's where a CT scan for cancer comes in.

Is the dye in a CT scan harmful? ›

Although rare, the contrast material can cause medical problems or allergic reactions. Most reactions are mild and result in a rash or itchiness. In rare instances, an allergic reaction can be serious, even life-threatening. Tell your doctor if you've ever had a reaction to contrast material.

How do you cleanse your body with contrast dye? ›

If you're receiving contrast dyes for your medical imaging exam, be sure to drink plenty of water afterwards. Your body will expel the contrast naturally.

How long do side effects of contrast dye last? ›

Patients at increased risk of late skin reactions are those with a history of previous contrast medium reaction and those on interleukin-2 treatment. Most skin reactions are self-limiting and resolve within a week.

How long does IV contrast stay in the brain? ›

The current standard of care for such discrimination is repeat follow-up imaging1: Contrast staining generally washes out within 24–48 hours, while hemorrhage persists for days to weeks.

What are the side effects of contrast dye after a CT scan? ›

Side effects of iodine contrast can include: skin rash or hives. itching. headache.
...
Possible side effects of an abdominal CT scan
  • abdominal cramping.
  • diarrhea.
  • nausea or vomiting.
  • constipation.

Should I shower after CT scan? ›

A shower is not required before or after an X-ray. As no such ointment or lotion is being put on the body and patients are dry and usual. The point is, taking showers after the radiology test is neither forbidden nor made a mandate. There is no medical proof of either of the thing.

Why can't you have caffeine after a CT scan? ›

If you received IV contrast for your particular test then you need to drink at least 8, 500 ml glasses of water or juice each day for the following two days and avoid alcohol and caffeine the day of your exam. This will prevent dehydration and allow your kidneys to filter the contrast out of your body.

How long does it take for iodine to leave the body after a CT scan? ›

Median time for urinary iodine level to normalize was 43 days, with 75% of subjects returning to baseline within 60 days, and 90% of subjects within 75 days. Baseline iodine level was a significant predictor of postcontrast iodine levels. Age, sex, weight, and estimated glomerular filtration rate were not significant.

How do you protect your kidneys from contrast dye? ›

The inexpensive drug, called N-acetylcysteine, can prevent serious kidney damage that can be caused by the iodine-containing “dyes” that doctors use to enhance the quality of such scans. That “dye,” called contrast agent, is usually given intravenously before a CT scan, angiogram or other test.

What are the risks of contrast dye? ›

In most cases contrast dyes used in tests, such as CT (computerized tomography) and angiograms, have no reported problems. About 2 percent of people receiving dyes can develop CIN. However, the risk for CIN can increase for people with diabetes, a history of heart and blood diseases, and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Can contrast dye damage kidneys? ›

Nearly 20% of women developed RCIN after the procedure, versus less than 14% of men. The dye may injure the kidneys by causing the blood vessels of the kidney to narrow, and damaging the structures inside the kidney, said study author Dr.

Can you refuse contrast dye for CT scan? ›

Contrast dye: Doctors won't always choose to use dye for a CT scan, but it's always a possibility. If they do opt to use it for your scan, it may be administered via injection or taken orally.

Is a CT scan with contrast better than without? ›

CONTRAST MEDIA: CT scans are most frequently done with and without a contrast media. The contrast media improves the radiologist's ability to view the images of the inside of the body. Some patients should not have an iodine-based contrast media.

What should you not do before a brain CT scan? ›

If your doctor ordered a CT of the brain with contrast, do not eat anything three hours prior to your brain CT. You are encouraged to drink clear liquids. Diabetics : Diabetics should eat a light breakfast or lunch three hours prior to the scheduled scan.

How many CT scans are safe? ›

The typical CT radiation dose is 10 to 20 millisieverts (mSv), which is associated with a lifetime risk of fatal cancer of approximately one per 2,000 CT scans.

What is the dye they inject for a CT scan? ›

The most commonly used MRI contrast agent is the element gadolinium. As with radiographic agents, gadolinium can be injected into the blood vessels or injected into a joint.

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