1. MRIs can use a dangerous chemical

    New warning for patients getting MRIs

    Looks like someone at the FDA has been reading House Calls!

    Over the summer, I fired off a warning about a hidden risk linked to MRIs... one that hasn't gotten nearly enough attention from the mainstream.

    One in three patients getting an MRI gets something ELSE in the deal.

    They get injected with a metal that lights up their insides on the screen to make everything easier for the radiologist to see.

    There's just one problem: As I've warned you, recent studies show that your body doesn't flush that metal out the way that docs previously thought.

    Not all of it anyway.

    Some of it lingers inside, where it can monkey around in your body and even make its way up into your brain.

    Once up there, it doesn't leave very easily.

    Now, the feds are saying maybe patients should know about this.
    Gee... ya think?

    While they previously claimed that the metal, called gadolinium, is perfectly safe, they're starting to hem and haw a bit.

    They still won't flat-out admit that it's dangerous (after all, this is the industry-friendly FDA we're talking about). But now, they're ordering that all MRIs involving the use of this metal come with the warning that it can linger in the body and brain for months or years.

    They're also ordering the companies that make the gadolinium-based dye to conduct more research into its safety.

    That'll take ages.

    If your doc is trying to stuff you into an MRI tube for a scan this week, a maybe-someday study isn't going to do you much good.

    Fortunately, there is a way to minimize your risk.

    First, if you have any history of kidney problems, let the doc know... and you might be off the hook.

    This stuff is a no-go for kidney patients.

    Second, ask about other types of tests and scans, such as ultrasounds. They're not as revealing as MRIs, but in many cases, they can give the doc enough information to figure out what's going on.

    If there are still questions, then you can consider an MRI.

    Third, ask your doc about non-gadolinium dyes. Some hospitals have been offering a manganese-based contrast that may be safer.

    And last, if you do need the scan and the doc wants to use gadolinium, take steps afterward to help your body flush it out. A holistic medical doctor can work with you to detoxify naturally to cut your exposure and any risks that come along with it.

    If you're in the San Diego area, make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine for one of the most complete natural detox regimens in the nation, custom-tailored to your needs and risks.

    Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

  2. MRIs can leave toxic compound in the brain

    Hidden dangers linked to MRI scans

    They're supposed to be the better, safer option for looking inside the body.

    Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRIs use no radiation and often provide a sharper, clearer image. But while an MRI is certainly safer, it's not risk-free -- and the latest science reveals a possible problem that the doctor who orders that scan won't warn you about.

    MRI scans can leave behind a compound that can linger inside your body, rushing through your arteries until it reaches your brain.

    And once it gets into your skull, it doesn't leave.

    It's an element called gadolinium, and it's found in one type of the "contrast agents" used in MRI scans.

    That's the dye they pump into your veins before a scan.

    Once inside your body, the dye acts like an internal highlighter pen, helping to light up whatever it is your doctor hopes to see and expose possible trouble spots.

    Docs have assumed the gadolinium is flushed out via the kidneys, and SOME of it certainly is.

    But the new report finds that SOME of it lingers behind... in the brain.

    The amounts appear to be low -- but, over several scans, you could end up with a secret stash of this element building up inside your skull.

    Now, it's not yet clear what that gadolinium does inside the brain. It hasn't been studied extensively enough yet for anyone to say for sure if it's harmless or if it could lead to problems.

    But I wouldn't want to be the first to find out, either.

    That's not the only risk. In some cases, gadolinium can damage the kidneys, especially if they're already not operating at full strength due to other health conditions.

    Of course, if your doctor has any indication that you might have a serious health problem and you need an image, then of course have the procedure.

    But you can take these three steps to protect yourself from those risks:

    1. In some cases, your doc might be able to use an ultrasound instead of an MRI. It won't always reveal as much, but it could reveal enough to determine if an MRI is truly necessary.
    2. If you do need the scan, ask your doc if a non-gadolinium dye will work for you.
    3. After any scan such as this one -- especially if you've had several -- work with a holistic medical doctor on natural detoxifying therapies to help rid your body of gadolinium and anything else that might be accumulating.

    If you're in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

  3. The patient made me do it!

    CT scans, X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds -- you name it, people are getting them far more often than necessary, leading to extra stress and excess treatments. And in the case of those CT scans and X-rays, patients are being dosed with high levels of radiation for no reason at all.
  4. The MRI Myth

    There's no question that MRIs have changed the way breast cancer is diagnosed and, as a result, how the patients who get them consider their treatment options. But have MRIs been better than mammograms? No.

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