According to research in 2018, about 2% of future cancer diagnoses among Americans could be due to CT scans they underwent way back in 2007. An individual who receives medical imaging procedures more often can exceed the safe exposure limit over time. It’s important to know which medicine radiation procedure puts you at risk of radiation exposure.
If you’re here to learn how to protect yourself against radiation exposure when undergoing medical procedures, you’ve come to the right place. In this detailed analysis, we’ll take a closer look at how much radiation these medical procedures generate every time a patient receives treatment.
Keep reading as we will also tackle the best supplements you can safely take before having the procedure and after the treatment in order to avoid the negative health effects of radiation on your body.
Differences Between Non-ionizing and Ionizing Radiation
Before we discuss the different medical procedures that emit radiation, let’s first talk about the differences between non-ionizing and ionizing radiation. Each medicine radiation procedure uses a different types of radiation. So let’s get to know these two main types of radiation to understand more about the potential danger of getting exposed to these certain medical procedures.
Non-ionizing radiation lacks the energy needed to divide an atom. Generally, it is considered less harmful compared to ionizing radiation. In some cases. Non-ionizing radiation is linked to brain and heart tumors in rats, while reproductive issues and certain cancers in humans.
On the other hand, ionizing radiation has the required energy order to split an atom or change its physical structure. It can also eliminate an electron from the orbit, damage DNA, and create free radicals. Higher levels of exposure to this form of radiation can cause cancer, while small and targeted amounts of exposure can treat cancer.
Common Medicine Radiation Procedures
The following are the most common medicine radiation procedures:
A computed tomography scan utilizes a concentrated amount of x-rays in order to take a patient’s image. A CT scan machine is designed with a circular hollow tube where the patient goes in. The tube contains an x-ray beam that rotates and takes cross-sectional images of the patient.
The images are referred to as “slices”, hence image slices produced by the CT scan machine help diagnose internal bleeding, pneumonia, and cancer. It also helps provide more vivid results to an abnormal x-ray result. Since CT scans utilize x-ray technology, this medical procedure emits ionizing radiation. However, they produce significantly higher amounts of radiation than x-ray machines.
This medicine radiation procedure involves targeting a concentrated x-ray beam into a patient’s body. A receiver picks up the beam on the other side of the body while transmitting an image to the monitor. In some cases. Doctors utilize an x-ray dye in order to illuminate a specific body part in the image.
This procedure is usually taken to diagnose potential issues in the heart, muscles, joints, bones, and even in the bowels. Fluoroscopy machines also emit ionizing radiation just like x-ray machines. In fact, the concentrated beam means that the machine produces higher levels of radiation than x-rays.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
An MRI machine takes an image of the internal organs of a patient using powerful magnets. The machine also uses a magnetic field to see the patient’s insides. Once the patient is inside the MRI machine, the body’s protons align with the machine’s magnets. The machine and the body of the patient are both pulsed with radio waves.
The patient’s body emits a signal when the radio waves are switched off, which is then utilized to produce an image. When taking images of the body, there are various frequencies of magnets used. MRI machines can diagnose tumors, spinal cord and brain issues, and other medical problems.
If you receive MRI scans, then you are exposed to non-ionizing radiation because the machine produces a magnetic field which is considered ELF-EMF radiation. Moreover, the radio waves pulsed through the body of the patient are categorized as RF-EMF radiation.
This is another medicine radiation procedure that uses X-rays to identify tumors which can help in diagnosing breast cancer. Mammograms, however, produce a smaller dosage compared to traditional x-rays. The machine is designed with two metal sheets to compress the breasts of the patient so that the x-ray signal can pass through. On the monitor, an image is shown to help the doctor see if there are tumors.
This umbrella term covers various types of medicine including PET scan, stress test, immunotherapy, and HIDA scan that is used to examine gallstones. Nuclear medicine uses radiopharmaceuticals such as pharmaceutical drugs containing ionizing radioactive materials. They are often used to determine medical issues like heart and thyroid disease, and they can also destroy cancer cells.
This medical procedure uses a probe to pulse a high-frequency sound wave to the body. Once the sound wave hits an obstacle within the tissues, it will bounce back to the probe which is connected to the computer. The probe then creates an image according to the information given.
An ultrasound is often used to check the health and growth of a baby during pregnancy. In addition, it can also be used in diagnosing Deep Vein Thrombosis, gallbladder problems, and other health issues. Ultrasounds produce radio waves that are considered non-ionizing radiation.
An x-ray machine takes a patient’s internal image through ionizing radiation. X-rays are basically thinly spaced rays that pass through your body to create an image using a metal film. The black areas in the image are softer tissues including the internal organs and the skin. On the other hand, the white area in the image is harder tissues such as the bones.
X-ray machines are designed to diagnose health problems including cancer, pneumonia, dental cavities, and broken bones. To protect you from radiation when receiving an x-ray, you will be asked to wear a lead vest to cover parts of your body that aren’t part of the procedure. For instance, you need to wear a lead vest over your stomach and chest if you will receive a dental x-ray.
Medicine Radiation Levels
Perhaps, you are wondering how much radiation these medical equipment emit during the procedure. If you often receive any of these medicine radiation procedures, it’s important to know how much you get exposed to radiation. Overall, chest x-ray and dental x-ray only give you minimal exposure to radiation. CT scans produce significant amounts of radiation, while stress tests have the highest level of exposure to radiation.
If you’re exploring some natural ways to protect yourself against radiation every time you need to undergo any type of medicine radiation, there are supplements you can take before and after to minimize exposure. For example, you can take Reishi, milk thistle, ginseng, and potassium iodide supplements to build up your body’s immunity and reduce your risk of developing EMF-related illnesses. You can check out our article about anti-radiation herbs and supplements for complete details.
Wrapping It Up
Medicine radiation procedures are part of our lives and nearly impossible to avoid in a lifetime. Even healthy individuals need to undergo some of these procedures such as CT scans and x-rays at some point. They may have some benefits to our health, but medicine radiations also have some negative effects on the body.
When you receive medicine radiation, you get exposed to ionizing or non-ionizing radiation, depending on the machine used. The risk of exposure should not be ignored because it can cause serious medical problems in the future. Since you can’t avoid them, the best thing you can do is to take precautions such as taking supplements daily to protect your body from radiation and reduce your risk of having cancer and other EMF-related problems.