They’ll make it sound as easy as snapping a photo with your cellphone.

“Just a scan,” they’ll tell you. “We’re just taking a picture to help us figure out what’s going on.”

Sure, sounds good. But wait a minute… what are you sticking in my arm???

Yeah, the scans they like to send you out for these days… like MRIs, CT scans, and angiograms… ain’t always a quick zap-and-go X-ray

They want to pump some dye into you so you light up like a flashy Christmas tree on the screen, letting them see what’s going on more clearly in whatever trouble spot they’re examining.

But those bright dyes have a DARK side…

Kidney damage.

And instead of trying to PROTECT you from it… the mainstream is working overtime to hide the risk.

The DARK truth about contrast dye

This condition has alarmed enough people that it’s got an official name: contrast-induced nephropathy.

See, all that dye eventually has to get processed and filtered through your kidneys.

If your kidneys aren’t at 100%… which is VERY common, even if you’ve never been diagnosed with kidney problems… OF COURSE they’re gonna choke on that dye.

Yet they want you to think it’s just some crazy old coinky-dink!

A new report in Medscape claims the risk is overblown… “unfair”… and maybe not even real.

 Don’t be such a chicken. Get the dye… get the scan… and stop worrying.

Care to guess the type of expert they cited?

Someone who just happens to be “…a scientific advisor for GE Healthcare, the manufacturer of a variety of contrast media products…”

Gee, no conflict there!

This is a little like saying the dangers of going for a swim in shark-infested waters are exaggerated… that sharks aren’t necessarily to blame for all those bites… and then citing a shark as your expert.

“C’mon in for a swim,” said Jaws. “Ignore the murky red color. The water’s fine!”

Of course, you can’t always say NO to these scans. Sometimes, you need the things.

Fortunately, there are 4 ways to minimize the risk

  1. CHECK kidney function: Make sure it’s in shape before they feed it a chemical.
  2. LOWER the dosage: It varies wildly from clinic to clinic. Insist on the LOWEST possible dose for the scan.
  3. DRINK UP: Unless there are special instructions to the contrary, get plenty of water the day before and day of the procedure. Avoid caffeine/booze/anything else that’ll dry you out.
  4. LOAD UP: Some studies have found that taking N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and vitamin C supplements twice a day before and on the day of the scan can protect the kidneys and cut the risk. Just let your doc know.

And if your scan is an outpatient thing, keep a close eye on how you feel in the days after the scan.

Get help ASAP if ANYTHING feels off… at ANY time.

In Your Corner,

Dr. Allan Spreen