Some of the most popular posts on this blog have been those about gadolinium toxicity, moving a lot of folks to reach out to us with additional questions. Could their symptoms be a result of gadolinium exposure? How can you find out? How do you detox? How can you protect yourself if you need to have an MRI with contrast?
We’ve collected some of the most common questions below – and provided answers so others can learn more about this growing issue and what they can do about it.
Have a question not addressed here? Ask it in the comments!
(Note: Unfortunately, we can’t comment on specific medical situations here or offer medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, give us a call instead at 310-268-8466. We’d be happy to speak with you!)
Frequently Asked Questions: Gadolinium Toxicity
What is gadolinium toxicity?
Because of the risks gadolinium can present, we always prepare MRI patients with gadolinium detoxification and protection techniques. For harmful effects can follow gadolinium injection.
Things like dizziness, headaches, stomach upset, rashes, or itching usually last for only a short time. But some people experience prolonged symptoms after exposure to gadolinium, typically via MRI procedures. These include persistent headaches, bone pain, muscle weakness and pain, balance difficulties, “brain fog,” vision and hearing disturbances, fatigue, irregular heart rate, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath. Some may experience an uncommon but serious condition called NSF (nephrogenic systemic fibrosis).
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical evaluation and would likely benefit from the chelation and detoxification services we offer in our West Los Angeles clinic.
How long does it take for gadolinium to get out of your system?
Although some gadolinium is cleared from the body within a few hours or days, it can accumulate in the tissues – just as with other heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and aluminum.
Numerous published studies show that gadolinium is retained – often for many years – in bone, the brain, kidneys, and other organs. In some patients, this results in symptoms like the ones discussed above.
Can gadolinium be removed from the body?
With the help of chelation and detoxification, yes! These are procedures Dr. Joe routinely uses in our clinic for patients who have received gadolinium – procedures he recommends for all who have had this injection, even if they have no symptoms.
This is because we know gadolinium persists in the tissues for a very long time.
Like all metals, gadolinium is pro-inflammatory – that is, it can cause inflammation in the body. One breast cancer patient we saw had received gadolinium over 20 years previously. With chelation, we recovered an enormously elevated level in her urine, which was successfully reduced with treatment.
How do I detox my body from gadolinium?
We have found that chelation therapy and the use of specific oral supplements is the best detox for most patients. Chelation is especially valuable – a procedure which uses a specific binding agent to capture and remove gadolinium from the body. In most cases, a number of treatments are required to remove the metal.
We have been chelating gadolinium from patients successfully and safely in our clinic for over 20 years and recommend consulting with a physician with expertise in this.
How do I know if I have gadolinium toxicity?
If you are having symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, upset stomach, rashes, or itching shortly after gadolinium was injected, you may be having toxic side effects. If you notice symptoms which develop weeks or months after the injection, you should be tested.
Testing for gadolinium is best done by urine collection after a chelation treatment. This gives us an estimate of how much gadolinium may be present in your body. If levels are elevated, detoxification and chelation are typically called for.
Do be aware that symptoms that flare up weeks or months later may be due to gadolinium alone or in combination with other medical conditions that should be evaluated. Either way, we work with you to help you regain your optimal health!
Image by زرشک, via Wikimedia Commons