What with all the CT SCans, MRI's Xrays?? Am I radioactive now? Has anyone approached this radiation question with a doctor by any chance and have any reassurance for me? For someone who was prior a fitness finatc- I'll admit, I ouldn't even stay in the kitchen when the microwave was running! I was obsessed with health and fitness! I wouldn't let even a day go by without cramming some form of activity or healthy vegetable down ! How do I reconcile all this radiation my AVM brought to my temple? I can only drink so much Green tea ! Thoughts/or suggestions?! Thanks friends and welcome to my mania!
Nicole, quietly glowing in the dark

I have the same concerns but knowing the alternative I have to hope it is worth it. I have started seeking my own information so that I am in control of my care and not getting unnecessary scans or radiation exposure for someone else's monetary gain.

As a fellow health net I completely understand your concerns!

I'd like to know the answer to this question myself. After CT scans every day for several days immediately following my bleed, then CTs several times following my crani I do wonder what kind of things I've got to look forward to in the future. I don't believe there is any radiation with MRIs but certainly with Xrays and CTs. However, I know at least most of the CTs were necessary and helped the doctors save my life. I'm sure that is the case with you as well. I agree with Holly though. Going forward I'm sure to question the necessity of any future tests. I will continue trying to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. I can't worry about what ifs.

Hi Everyone...if anyone talks to a doctor about all the radiation (we probably all have had quite a few CT Scans), please let us all know what your doctor thinks. Thanks.

Radiation can be some scary stuff, but if it is being used as something that potentially save your life, then it is worth the incresed exposure. MRI and CT machines are big, loud and scary by themselves, so to be in a hospital with a cold and sterile environment and the being aware that these machines subject us to radiation, electromagnetism and radio waves is enough to cause fear of being irradiated. Fact of the matter is, darn near everything subjects us to radiation... TVs, radio signals, computers, etc. How about the things that most people do not think about? Did you know that a coast-to-coast flight subjects the passengers to half as much radiation as the average medical X-ray? What about frequent flyers? How about the flight attendants and the crew in the cockpit? They are subjected to this type of radiation almost daily. Did you know that two years' worth of drinking water subjects us to as much radiation as an X-ray?

High enough levels of radiation can cause radiation sickness, burns, cancer, cause deformation to any children that you may parent, etc. I have have had more MRIs and CTs than I can count. Add to that the 3 angiograms that I have had, which subjected me to both X-rays and large amounts of contrast dye being pumped directly into my brain. The majority of this was spread over about 4 years. To put things into perspective, people who work at nuclear plants and wear monitors on the job are limited to 2,000 mrem/year. If we were to try to reach this limit via medical X-rays (which emit 10-20 mrem per x-ray), we would need to have 100-200 X-rays per year in order to reach the limit set for nuclear employees. A CT scan is about 110 mrem, which means that we would need to have approximately 2 CTs per month for the course of a year in order to reach the nuclear level.

One of the first parts of the body to react to radiation is the thyroid. When exposed to enough radiation, the thyroid will either begin to develop cancer, or will cause the individual to develop hypothyroidism, also known as Hashimoto's Disease. My wife had the opposite, hyperthyroidism, also known as Grave's disease. The common treatment for Grave's disease is giving the patient a doseage of radioactive iodine. Since the thyroid is responsible for the synthesis of iodine, the radiation kills off the thyroid gland. The patient's thyroid then becomes hypoactive and needs to take synthetic hormones for the remainder of ther life. If a person were to be exposed to highly damaging levels of radiation, the thyroid would be one of the first things to show it. As of my last physical exam, which took place last week, with the exception of having high blood pressure, all systemsin my body, including endocrine system (thyroid et al), are working as they should. I have yet to be diagnosed with cancer, I still have (most) of my hair, and I do not glow in the dark when I turn off the lights.

It is understandable to be afraid of radiation, but I have a feeling that your doctor and the radiologists that have been running your CTs are keeping track of your records and know much radiation they have been exposing you to.

Thanks for your reply to my radiosctive question! I like your answer I am always partial to facts! My neuro told me that's awfully right brained of a Woman :) Nice to mrrt you by the way!

Hi Nicole and Jake,

I too was a health/fitness freak (for lack of a better word) for awhile. I even presented a "birth plan" to my doctors before my daughter was born which was kind of funny in hindsight.

Honestly, I nevered asked specifically about the radiation question when I started my AVM journey but you do bring up a concern for all of us. Jake, thank you so much for all the radiation information that you provided in your reply. Nicole, I also have to admit that your comment about "quietly glowing in the dark" made me smile but it seems that even though we've been exposed to radiation in one form or another we haven't been exposed to dangerous levels. (At least that's what I got out of what Jake said). Not to downplay the effects of radiation but I doubt that we've been exposed to dangerous levels and doctors have an ethical responsibility to tell us if we had. I imagine if we were concerned about it others would be too. Thank you again Jake and I hope others can benefit from this. :)

Jake has helped me greatly during my AVM journey! Once again, thank you, Jake!

I do what I can!

I think the half life of the radiation used by these machines is quick, even the stuff they put in your blood for the MRA and angiogram doesn't last very long. I knew a person who had an implantable radiation thing in him to treat his cancer, he passed away and had to be buried in a lead-lined coffin. So unless you have something implanted in you, I don't think you are radioactive! I would hope we would at least get some superpowers out of the deal if we were!! :>D

Hi Nicole. In this day and age…a lot of us are glow in the dark. I took a cardio/stress treadmill test last Dec. my doctor said I was fine and passed with flying colors. Oh and now you can go to lunch. A week later I was going thru customs in Philly. I set off the Geiger counter!!! Who knew they had geiger counters in customs? I was detained and not allowed to talk to anyone for almost 2 hours. Finally my doctor called back and told them I was not a terrorist and that their Geiger counter was set too high. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I'm all for having superpowers...bring it on...lol.

While I think the actual radiation levels that occur in our brains from these tests is much less than a common X ray was 50 years ago, I agree that it would be good to have actual numbers. However, at this time, I don't have that information.

While this AVM thing has given me severe problems with memory, a few things have made it through the haze to become permanent memories. Once was a conversation my wife and I had with the brain surgeon when he explained the AVM problem with his recommendation of a crainiotomy. As usual, it fell to me to ask the dumb question, so I asked, "Well, what would happen if I didn't get the surgery?"

He smiled (I don't like doctors to smile)and said "There would be an 80% probability that you would die within 5 years."

Being the dumb swamp boy, I said "Then, I'd have a 20% chance that I'd survive and be fine."

At that comment, his smile disappeared and he said "There is a 20% chance that your body would live that long, but the probability for your brain is much lower than that."

I apologize if the story's not funny, it makes me laugh. The point is when faced with two bad choices, we have to pick the least objectionable one. The good news is that we're still alive to talk about these questions.

Love it ! Love your mathematical calculation as presented to a neurosurgeon ! Sounds like my physics lecture as presented to a life-flight helicopter piolet, that my 10th grade physics teacher told me helicopters can't fly as according to the law of physics! I can imagine your neur Nicoleosurgeon and my piolet were equally thrilled with our scientific theories! Nice to meet you, and thanks for the moment of humor!!

My mutant superpower is apparently extreme forgetfulness!!

Look squirrel!.. I’m sorry did you say something? I forgot :wink:

Mutant Superpower: Chocolate Addiction, beware may be contagious Lol this is really fun! Must be my Left Brain!