Originally published December 3 2009
Medical imaging tests expose patients to dangerous amounts of unnecessary radiation
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) A University of Wisconsin (UW) study has found that patients who receive computed tomography (CT) scans for various abdominal and pelvic conditions often receive a slew of additional scans that are unnecessary and that expose them to excess radiation. The findings were presented at the meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
A typical CT scan involves taking images of the patient using an intravenous injection of an imaging chemical in order to contrast the image. Occasionally it is helpful to take more than one image, but many times doctors will order multiple images unnecessarily.
In many cases, doctors are not being careful to assess the doses of radiation they are administering to patients. Though they are supposed to take certain measures to accurately ensure that the radiation dosages are as minimal as possible while still achieving successful scans, Kristie Guite, M.D., of UW emphasized that many doctors do not follow this principle.
Study coauthor J. Louis Hinshaw, M.D., backed up this point by explaining that CT protocols are meant to be custom-tailored to a patient's specific condition. In a great majority of cases, a one-size-fits-all approach is taken that puts the patient at increased risk.
Dr. Hinshaw suggests that patients who are prescribed CT scans should ask their doctors about the risks involved. They should also find out from the CT facility how many image exposures will need to be taken and if a lesser amount would suffice for their particular conditions.
Comments by Mike Adams, the Health RangerThese last few weeks have been huge for revelations about the dangers of medical imaging tests. It's not just CT scans, either: Mammograms are also under fire for exposing women to excess radiation and actually causing cancer.
Western medicine is strangely preoccupied with the desire to visually map physical tissues in the body as part of a diagnostic process. Why is this so strange? Because most modern illnesses have nothing to do with the physical structure of tissues. Instead, they are expressions of the function of the body's tissues and organs.
Some systems of medicine focus more on the functional relationship between organs than the physical, compartmentalized appearance of those organs, and they have far more success in helping patients without harming them. For example, I know a Chinese Medicine doctor who can tell you more about your heart, liver and kidneys by simply feeling your pulse than a whole hospital full of CT scans and MRI machines. Imaging your body is rarely necessary unless you've suffered some sort of acute physical trauma such as being struck by a flying pitchfork or hit upside the head with a heavy stack of health insurance forms. For most health conditions that exist today, medical imaging tests are not merely unnecessary, they are dangerous!
Medical imaging radiation isn't good for you. Just one CT scan exposes you to as much radiation as 100 chest X-rays. Shockingly, many doctors don't know this! And they fail to take medical imaging radiation into account when prescribing these procedures for patients.
The next time a doctor wants to subject you to medical imaging tests, ask WHY you need the test and WHAT the test might reveal that could be helpful to your physician. You might also ask if there's a safer alternative that could provide the same diagnostic information without the radiation shower.
And if you don't believe me, just ask yourself this: How come every time you get a chest X-ray, a mammogram or a CT scan, the doctor flees the immediate area and only returns after the imaging is done? The reason, of course, is because they're not stupid enough to hang out in the radiation zone and be exposed to the very same radiation they've ordered for you.
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