Recently, I had an MRI with gadolinium-based contrast dye. Gadolinium is a heavy metal and even a small amount is toxic to humans. Therefore, to use the gadolinium as contrast dye, it is bound to other molecules, which facilitate its travel through the bloodstream without causing harm (usually). The contrast dye has a black box warning label from the FDA, which is the strongest warning issued. This means that there is potential to cause serious harm. The majority of the gadolinium is removed from the body within the first 24 hours, mostly via the kidneys. It's important to drink as much water as you can during that first 24 hours, maybe even 48 hours, to eliminate the contrast dye from the kidneys quickly. My MRI was at 9:00 PM so I even set my alarm that night to wake up every couple of hours to drink water and go to the bathroom. Some people who have severe kidney disease may be unable to eliminate the gadolinium quickly enough, leading to a debilitating disease called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF), which causes severe swelling and tightening of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and internal organs. Here is a picture of someone with NSF:
It's an extremely rare occasion that someone develops NSF, and it only happens in those with kidney disease. However, I recommend making sure that your doctor checks your kidney function (creatinine blood test) before you have an MRI with contrast dye. Any good doctor will. Even if your kidney function is fine and you have no adverse reactions after the MRI, still know that small amounts of gadolinium probably remain in your body, and could cause health issues in the future. Remember, gadolinium is a heavy metal, and heavy metal toxicity in the brain is often associated with neurological diseases like Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's. I strive for a pure body so I'm doing everything I can to remove the Gadolinium from my body. My naturopath prescribed me EDTA, which is an oral chelating agent. I take it every other day for a month. After completing the course of EDTA I will take a different chelating agent for a week and then take a test to make sure I got most of it out.
2017 Update: Some of you have asked if the chelation worked to clear my body of gadolinium. I don't know. I haven't tested again. The test is expensive!