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!
3/7/2013 10:43:28 pm
I got an MRI two years ago and I refused the dye. They didn't give me too much of a hard time about it, and proceeded with the MRI anyway. Maybe your situation required the dye (?). So glad you're taking the proper precautions. I'm sure that most people don't. Good luck!
6/5/2015 03:22:45 am
Thank you so much for all of this information. I have been feeling really uneasy about having an MRI this morning. My doctor wanted me to have it after finding small blood vessels in my brain during a CT scan. He said he wanted to eliminate something. Didn't tell me what. But I don't feel it is anything serious enough to warrant the risks that an MRI causes. I have one kidney due to kidney cancer, I have Type 2 Diabetes, and I'm 66 yrs old. All risks at some point. Thank you again for the information posted here.
2/14/2017 02:14:25 pm
This report is a LIE and even this blogger has bought into it. WARNING!!! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE ANY KIND OF PREVIOUS KIDNEY PROBLEMS to be harmed severely by contrast dye.....that is the BIGGEST LIE ever told, in order for hospitals and medical personnel to not be held accountable for any damage this is done to people who are given the drug ie contrast dye. when your kidneys start failing they can say, "YOU MUST HAVE HAD KIDNEY PROBLEMS BEFORE THAT YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT". This free them of all accountability. So no, do NOT let anyone tell you this affects only people who had kidney disease..blah blah blah. Contrast dye is a killer, sometimes FAST, sometimes SLOW, overtime you will suffer some form of illness from it, knowing or unknowing to YOU.
Crunchy Christian Mama
3/8/2013 03:53:41 am
Hi Jennifer, thank you for your comment. I had an MRI of my brain to see if I had multiple sclerosis, and in that case contrast dye is unfortunately necessary. But you are right, many times it is not necessary and I recommend that anyone getting an MRI do some research to find out if they really need it. Thanks again Jennifer!
3/20/2013 06:22:40 pm
Hi, just wanted to know if your tests showed if your body did get rid of the contrast?
1/23/2017 02:06:04 pm
Wuestionw i had to get thr dye injected well while i was. Getin it the tect messed up and it hurt my arm badly my arm swelled up and i was in a lot of pain.still am ..this was two days ago.how serious can this be since it got on my skin and hit a vein doc said oh your fine it will absorb in your skin
Crunchy Christian Mama
3/21/2013 03:46:09 pm
Lili, I finished taking the EDTA and now I'm taking DMSA. I will send my test off probably on Monday (it's a urine sample test). And I'm not sure how long it will take to get the results but I'll post a comment here when I find out.
2/23/2015 04:48:07 am
Here is a yahoo support group for gadolinium poisoning. MRI-Gadolinium ToXicity or https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/MRI-Gadolinium-Toxicity/info
Can you please tell me where to buy the EDTA and DMSA? I had an MRA w/ contrast in October and have had abdominal pain along w/ kidney pain and my primary care said kidney function is good. Why am I having pain? Never had an issue before the MRA w/ contrast. I am healthy and no history of kidney functions issues. I am wondering if I have the gandolinium metals in my system still and they did not flush out. Is there a test I can ask my primary care doctor for to see if I have this metal still in my system? Please assist me with this. Thank you.
2/22/2017 10:28:52 pm
Keep me posted on your results!!!!
7/18/2013 07:54:11 am
7/18/2013 08:51:12 am
11/26/2013 03:56:07 pm
Hi I am really Iinterested in the ph of the body and I know alot about the alkaline diet and how to raise alkalinity but not a lot about accurate testing. Isn't the blood ph and body ph different I. That the blood ph rarely changes as it uses the body to buffer it and in turn makes the body acidic??? So testing the blood to me doesn't make sense could you please educate me of your beliefs I'm really interested and open :)
8/6/2013 01:25:21 am
Hi! I had an MRI of my adrenals and MRI of my pituitary glands yesterday. I am now having headaches, and researched the possible side effects of MRI. I am so flabbergasted by what I read on the internet about the possible side effects of the contrast dye. Now I am worried sick knowing that they administered the contrast dye to me twice. Now I am thinking aI might have too much inside my body.
9/3/2013 02:58:33 pm
Claire, are you still having headaches or did they subside?
9/18/2013 06:41:56 am
I need help knowing what to do to remove the dye, I knew nothing about the dye untill after they gave it to me.
9/18/2013 08:16:33 am
Also I was wondering, do I take charcoal pills? A heavy Metal Detox of that EDTA? Today I went and picked up charcoal pills and a heavy metal detox and have taken both right away, but unsure if that was what I really needed. Please help me find out. Thank you
2/16/2015 03:03:04 am
Please visit www.gadoliniumtoxicity.com for information on gadolinium poisoning in patients with normal kidneys.
2/23/2015 03:19:16 am
Please see the website: www.gadoliniumtoxicity.com This is a support site for people with Gadolinium Poisoning with normal renal function. Please understand that you are not alone. I hope this is of some relief. I am sorry about your side effect. Good Luck!
10/24/2013 10:02:42 pm
Did your body rid the gadolinium? how are you feeling ? Please email me instead, thank you
11/26/2013 03:59:59 pm
12/22/2013 02:22:28 pm
I am also having a breast MRI done this week. Can you please tell me where you get the metal detox and what your results were with regards to getting it out of your system?
1/8/2014 06:00:05 am
I had an MRI with contrast a month after fully healing from a brain injury. Too much contrast injected created an electric arc that burned through my sinuses/olfactory and caused complete loss of smell. A dangerous machine that should never be used on post head injury patients unless they are going into surgery and need the imagery.
4/24/2017 07:01:32 pm
please know that the contrast would have had little if anything to do with an arc in the sinuses. Your situation would be the extreme exception to any rule. Please do not spread fear based on supposition. Do you have scientific proof that the dye caused an arc???
2/15/2014 12:06:56 pm
4/24/2017 07:06:49 pm
Please know that CT and MRI dye are different. Though both can cause problems to people who are allergic, their dangers are much different. Your kidneys filter out the CT dye in a different way than the MRI dye. To my knowledge, CT dye does not deposit in tissues like MRI dye does. NSF is specific to Gadolinium based contrast used in MRI only.
7/31/2014 11:32:39 pm
I'm starting to suspect problems with the contrast as well. Had a dense breast MRI done 6 months ago and a rash of health problems and doctors ever since. Also suddenly kidney GFR Number dropped. Was a healthy person before all this happened.
8/8/2014 06:03:54 am
I recently had a brain mri and head mra - I had to get a contrast dye, that is done to show things more in-depth, if they are looking for something specific. I was totally fine during the whole procedure, til a minute after the dye injection. I threw up. I've only vomited twice in my life from food poisoning, so I was surprised by my reaction and so was the tech. After a minute I felt perfectly fine again! They say those who have other allergies (I have seasonal, maybe food?), but no other medication allergies that I know of.
4/24/2017 07:11:06 pm
Vomiting is a known reaction by people who are sensitive to the dye. Also known is the speed of injection is directly related to nausea and vomiting immediately after injection
10/17/2014 03:01:32 pm
Just don't get it done. Having it not done and not knowing is better than having it done and not knowing if things can get worse. Use ultrasounds, and contrast free scans, but don't get the contrast done.
3/15/2016 10:41:09 am
If you choose to remain in the dark then why even go to a Dr at all??? Gadoliniun is a naturally occurring element and as of yet the only proven negative side effect of Gadolinium, other than allergic response, is NSF which only happens in those with poor kidney function. As with any additive to the body you face a risk of allergy or negative side effect, but if you are ill and seeking medical attention let the best test diagnose you or maybe you shouldn't be going to the Dr at all. I am just against preaching fear and doom without all of the information. Yes there are risks and yes some people suffer but there are different chemical bonds of Gad and they do not all pose the same risks. So you must also ask what kind/manufacturer/bond the MRI site uses.
1/13/2017 10:03:49 am
Thanks Paul, well said. The last thing I need to hear abiout is this negative stuff when I am faced with a major health problem Be Blessed
4/20/2017 02:55:04 pm
Thank you for this thought. Do you have any info on what are the different types of Gad/chemical bonds that are used? Which ones are safer? Which ones are less safe? Thank you!
4/24/2017 07:15:03 pm
I WOULD LIKE TO CORRECT AN ERROR IN MY STATEMENT. NSF DOES NOT JUST HAPPEN IN THOSE WITH POOR KIDNEY FUNCTION. It is just much more common. The mechanism is not fully understood, but what is known is that those with poor kidney function are way more likely to get the condition.
10/20/2014 09:30:07 pm
I was told by the nurse I had to have this dye injected and that was that, it's been 6 weeks now. I hate myself for not being brave enough to say no. Today I have read a Facebook post that unless absolutely necessary, do not say yes to injecting the contrast dye.
1/9/2017 07:07:26 am
Hi, I randomly decided to check out how much contrast is too much and ended up here. I noticed that you are in Brissy, a local. I have had brain surgery and have more contrast than I could count. My health has been going down hill and the increased symptoms I have put down to my fibro becoming worse but there have been odd sensations where my hands or toes, feet go into some form of set state and I cannot for example open my hands, by thought. The signal where I wish for my hands to return to normal is not a happening thing and I have to use my other hand to physically try and tame the fingers gently back into a normal position. My feet freak me out when it occurs as I feel my toes drawing up and I can do nothing but stomp and stomp to try and abort it pulling my calf muscles and feet, toes into some form of long lasting and painful (excruciating spasm). many other symptoms but my main concern is that i am to have another MRI with contrast tomorrow a.m. then ten days later another MRI with contrast. I must continue to have the MRI's as the specialists must check on the patency of the brain stent and the pituitary tumor. I highly doubt anyone is going to run tests to see how much of the dye is in my body, but I have developed severe psoriasis of the scalp and the itch is insane. I am worried that the stuff is leaching out of my scalp and it has increased dramatically and nothing can abate it. I can barely pull myself to the appointment tomorrow and am also immune compromised. My energy levels are at an all time low. Can I get some advice please, the contrast is not just a simple injection. I get cannulated and it is set up in a large device like a mini rocket ship and when I am told it will be happening, it starts to run into my veins. Thanks in advance, for any advice re: where can I get tested and what tests are required?
4/24/2017 07:22:57 pm
Please don't ever let anyone tell you that you must-MUST-have an injection of anything, You are the patient and you go to doctors for help, but you do not have to follow their directions blindly. Just know that they have lots of education and their could be consequences to not following their suggestions. It is called informed consent meaning that you must consent. Otherwise it is assault. Do not confuse the statement that you must have contrast with a better worded one like "The test cannot be done without contrast" There are some that will not show anything if the contrast is not used) and "The test will not show as much if the contrast is not used." Please use your best judgement and ASK questions if you don't feel comfortable.
11/8/2014 02:22:27 pm
please tell me if the EDTA and DSMA did the trick? I have a history or peritoneal cancer and have to get either a CT with contrast or MRI with contrast every year for the past 5 years. For the last 2 years I opted for taking the MRI. If some gadolinium remains, I am concerned about an accumulative effect.
11/17/2014 11:54:31 pm
I recently had a MRI to look at my old not working kidneys, I had a
1/29/2015 06:00:15 am
I had MRI with gadolinium.i didn't t know all these facts:(the radiologist said only it goes out in the urine after24h.had I known its nature I wouldn't t have accepted to be injected in my vein.doctors are just criminals they kill us with iron hand in a soft glove.i wish I knew the side effects.
2/24/2015 07:30:00 am
Due to a brain tumor, I have had multiple MRIs with contrast (Gadolinium) in the past year, and in the most recent one, the technician missed my blood vessel and injected the dye into other tissues in my arm. It took several exclamations from me to the technician that it felt *really* weird in my forearm - that it didn't feel at all like the previous times when the dye was injected - but it was only after another minute of his continued injecting that he finally agreed to stop the injection. My head was entrapped in the MRI cage with a washcloth over my eyes, so I couldn't see what was going on during the injection or sit upright, and I couldn't very well pull my arm away from him to resist the injection because I couldn't see what was where.
3/15/2016 10:53:04 am
Dear E., I am sorry to hear about you extravasation of contrast. It is or can be a very uncomfortable thing. Also that the technologist did not inform you of what to do should anything change. As each person is different the way your body handles this can be different, but as you informed yourself there are "tricks" to help your body deal with this more quickly. I am curious as to how you and your hands/wrists are doing today and how long it has been since this mishap occurred.
Leslie Kim Bock
5/11/2015 01:51:17 pm
I had a CT scan with dye. The technician that put the needle in my arm was told 3 times by me that the needle was not in right. She wiggled it around than went and got another tech that told me all was okay. He even tried to flush it with saline. Told him I did not feel the saline. He just left the room & next thing I heard was they were starting the procedure. Immediately my arm started blowing up to several times its size. I was screaming, the pain was horrible. It seemed like forever for the young tech I told 3 times that something was wrong to come back in. She just stood there staring at my arm. I screamed at her to get the f---ing needle out of my arm. She still stood there, I screamed again she finally pulled the needle out. I was pissed, it was so very painful. She had totally missed my vein & all the dye went into my tissue. Another older nurse came in to calm me down & proceed in the right arm then escorted me out the door. No one tended the bad arm. I was also told since then that ALL hospitals have procedures in place in case this happens. Three weeks after this happened I went in for a follow up to the dye incident. The first thing the Dr. asked me was what my kidney function test was. Told him they never did the test...Why? He said a overdose of dye like that could of blown my kidneys out. Since then I have been diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome from the dye to the tissue. My mouth burns 24/7 I get horrible blisters & peeling of the roof of my mouth if I eat certain foods. It is horrible. Now I think this dye is trying to come out of my body. The left side of my face goes numb my left eye twitches all day I get very disoriented. The more I read up on this & the problems it causes I want to scream. It has been over a year & the hospital that did this to me has no record of what happened that day. Thank god I had someone with me & took lots of pictures. I have jumped thru their hoops for over a year now....from brain scans to MRIs. Ear nose throat dr. dentists. Nothing is wrong with me....it is from this dye. I just want my life back....and NO ONE will help me....
9/23/2015 11:03:02 pm
6/28/2015 02:16:38 am
i am one of those unfortunate ones that had to undergo a brain scan a couple of times...I became very sick for 6 months due to the contrast dye Gadolinium...I refused it the second time...they said I have a brain tumor..and need to watch it...my reaction to this dye is still going on...I went into anaphylaxis on the table..a asthma attack and my blood pressure shot up to 190/110 and I normally have a blood pressure of 120/70 and lower...I have been sick with nausea and dizziness for 6 months straight...went to my natural path and he put me on a supplement which broke the high blood pressure ..I thank God for that..but now it seems as though it has triggered my hypothyroid back again...I'm going back to him to see what I can do about this....I'm gaining weight for no apparent reason and I am gluten free and do not eat processed foods and limited to starch...this is just such a disappointment ..and I want everybody to know about this contrast dye and how it can seriously attack your health in various ways....I will post another comment when I have more info as to how to move forward from here ..my test was in November 2014.
9/23/2015 11:00:34 pm
Theresa- there is a website which offers a support group for people who've had an adverse reaction to the gadolinium. You can check it out:www.gadoliniumtoxicity.com Wishing you healing!
7/15/2015 08:47:41 am
Crunchy Christian Mama
8/23/2015 01:29:48 am
9/21/2015 06:07:28 am
I had an MRI 3 weeks ago with the dye. I wish I was told about drinking lots of water!! My right wrist has since had a dull pain near my thumb and at night it feels weird almost like I'd been sleeping on it. I have no kidney issues and am healthy (except for the uterine fibroid that I needed looked at, which was the reason for the MRI.) is it too late for me to get this junk out of my system? I am so nervous now that I am going to develop some awful fatal condition because I was told I needed the dye. I am calling my primary physician but what tests do I ask for to check if it's out of my system? Aside from water, what else can I take. thanks for any suggestisons.
5/31/2016 03:15:45 am
I am going thru something similiar. Did you ever figure out what tests the doctor needs to verify it still in your body? How to detox it out quickly?
9/23/2015 10:58:34 pm
10/15/2015 06:48:20 pm
I think that a lot of you are just too fearful. Yes there are risks with gadolinium use, but there are risks with living and breathing. You can always have an MRI without the gadolinium, but it can reduce the quality of the test and its diagnostic ability. Gadolinium is a naturally occurring rare earth element/heavy metal. Trust me the drug companies have done their homework as much as they can to change the way your body reacts to their products. Make sure you research each gadolinium contrast agent made as there are very different compositions. Macrocyclics and microcyclics, ioniic and non-ionic all of which are processed differently by the body. Please do not just spread fear with incomplete knowledge of contrast agents containing gadolinium.
2/9/2016 11:00:13 pm
DON'T LISTEN TO DANGEROUS PAUL! STAY AWAY FROM GADOLINIUM!! PERIOD! After just one MRI my life is changed forever. I would have literally rather have died than got this junk. It has ruined my life. MRI 2006, found lethal amounts still in body 2014! Breaking my body down to nothing and I was a powerhouse. Don't do it!!
3/15/2016 11:15:22 am
Hey Pita, I am sorry that you had a bad experience, but if you had a lethal dose 8 years ago how did you post this?? Time also breaks a body down as do disease processes. All I said was to educate yourself and get the whole story not just from those who had bad experiences. There is a place and a time where the risk of not having Gadolinium out weighs the risks of having Gad, unless you don't want to know and then why did you go to a Dr who ordered the test in the first place? Yes the FDA has changed its outlook on Gad with new discoveries of deposition in the brain, BUT there have been no studies that prove the deposition has caused any problems AND the studies have found GAD in the brains of those who have never had an MRI though there was a significant increase in those who had the contrast injected. Do you have NSF??? How did the test change your life. And your statement about "rather have died" is exactly what some people face WITHOUT having the injection. So once again I say to educate yourself and talk with your Dr., but he/she is only human and cannot promise one way or the other that you will develop a problem. But they should be able to give you an idea about what not having the contrast could mean to the test. And then make an informed decision, not an emotional one when you are already worried about what may be going on with your body. I wish you the best and pray for a cure to your problems.
11/6/2015 06:50:30 pm
Dear Crunchy Christian Mama,
11/6/2015 08:42:21 pm
I found this on the web. It doesn't explain specifically for Gadolinium. It talks about other heavy metals & it seemed to have some helpful tips.. (about halfway down).
3/7/2016 06:23:59 pm
Hi I go for an MRI with contrast next wk. I'm very upset that I asked my doctor to do it without and he said no. I have RA and am having a bad flare up at the moment and try to keep my body as clean as possible. I'm having it because I've been extremely off balance and lost some hearing in my right ear so he wants to check for acoustic neuroma and says I HAVE to have dye for it to show. Did you ever find out if it was removed from yourt body!?
3/15/2016 09:42:45 am
3/8/2016 02:15:12 am
verry scary as i have lot of cr scansn mri w this contrast. last mondythymiss the vein ni had an infiltration with skin. i was swollen n red. they had a doc look at me n put ice pckmon for 15 mins. swelling went own a bit n i was allowed toleave with an instruction sheet., which scared me also. having a brain mri tomorrow n am nervous. need to drunk lots ofvwater i guess.
3/15/2016 11:20:53 am
Hey Lacey, You have probably had your MRI by now, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows that they do not have to follow a Drs order. It is a choice and if you need to, please get a second opinion to make yourself as comfortable as possible with your decision whether or not to have the contrast. Yes there are risks to any injection and you must weigh the risks based on your specific situation.
Catherine Nichols Pogorzelski
4/2/2016 11:29:29 pm
Paul, we are NOT being fearful WITHOUT REASON! These Gadolinium contrast agents are being found in our water supply, courtesy of yours truly(Patients getting between one and nine MRI's with Gadolinium contrast) I personally have HIGH amounts of Gadolinium in my body from 9 MRI's with Gadolinium contrast (8 were Magnevist and 1 was Multihhance) I have two areas of FIbrpsis dermal, I have fibrosis of the bowel and I have scleral plaques (inm y eyes) I have suffered a stroke, I have carotid stenosis and my tongeu is now 1/3 the size it used to be.
4/19/2016 08:42:00 pm
Hey Cathy, I have read and or scanned your listed articles and I have yet to find any hard numbers that link Gad use with proof of disease. I am not saying not have I said that there is no risk of Gad use. I am sorry that you have been affected the way you have and that you believe that it is all related to Gad. I agree that more studies need to be performed, but once again, sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks. That is my point and I am assuming your 140+ number is incomplete or your idea of dangerous is way different than mine. There are 100's of millions of MRI's with Gad done yearly so comparatively, 140 is nothing. Also I follow the studies being done about Gad toxicity. There has been no proven link other than NSF to date. So yes I will take you and your fears on. Do you know how many lives poison saves/lengthens every year? Millions It is called warfarin. AKA rat poison. How about the chemo drugs that are considered poison yet help so many people every year? I could go on and on. Try me if you want. I deal in numbers not supposition, but I do not hide my head in the sand and say there is no possibility of problems. I just say weigh the risk to benefit ratio.
7/12/2016 07:17:45 am
7/26/2016 11:48:08 am
Just an FYI to the poster worried re. possibility of brain surgery.
1/29/2017 12:11:37 am
My husband had a MRI brain scan with gadolinium contrast and was fine after the test. We went home on the way home stopped to eat and that's when he was kinda feeling tired. The next morning (today) he woke up nauseas and some vomiting, defiantly Headache and just plain couldn't handle it so he stayed in bed. I called the VA hospital where he had it done and they said there was no possibility that it would be because of the MRI performed. So now I'm wondering after reading all these articles stating that everyone has had these symptoms after a MRI or pet scan. What do you think I should do?
2/13/2017 09:32:35 pm
Apparently, the crunchy Christian mama is not going to answer the question regarding if the EDTA worked for ridding her body of the gadolinium. First she was very forthcoming with her info and then not. I assume the chelating agents did not work well for her. Medical Medium, while not based on science, has some interesting ideas for removing heavy metals from the body and brain...they can't hurt to try.
4/21/2017 02:49:51 pm
Has anyone ever had their throat fill up with fluid right after the injection of the gadolinium? Right after the injection my throat filled up with fluid and I got choked. I got myself under control but had to repeatedly and rapidly swallow 13 times in a row after that before everything settled down. Nobody I know including doctors have ever heard of a reaction like this before. Comments welcome.
4/28/2017 08:02:29 am
Had a brain MRI with contrast on the way home about 45 minutes after MRI. I had a momentary blackout. Woke up as car hit curb. Dr said it was not likely caused by GAD. If it was because of GAD it would have happened in the first few minutes, 45 minutes to an hour later. I think he is wrong
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