The History of Medical Imaging

The first X-RayMedical imaging is a form of technology that has revolutionized the medical field in the past century.  With these new innovations, doctors were able to elevate the standard of practice and the experience of the patient. Now, areas of pain or trouble can be non-invasively examined and treatment can begin without the patient even needing to go under. But when did the innovation of medical imaging begin?

Read below to take a trip down memory lane and find out how the medical field and the technology industry have been working together to build a better, healthier world.

Röntgen performs X-Ray in 1895

Professor Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally discovers the ability to look through the skin and see the bones of the body while performing experiments on another project. While working with a cathode ray generator, he noticed an image that was left when the cathode rays came into contact with the vacuum tube. He performed the first X-ray on his wife’s hand and even gave the technology the name we use today, calling this discovery “X” rays because they were unsure what exactly they were. This invention was eventually standardized by William Coolidge and his X-ray known as the “Coolidge tube” is what all modern X-ray machines are based from.  The first X-rays required at least 11 minutes of exposure to produce a quality image. Now X-rays take only a few seconds and they use about 2% of the radiation amount seen in the early 20th century machines.

Scientists Use Ultrasounds in the 1960s

The basics of sonar had been discovered and utilized during World War II as a form of maritime warfare. In the early 1960s, scientists discovered that sending sound waves into the body would bounce off the internal structures and then returned to the ultrasound machine to be reformatted into images for doctors to see. This allowed doctors to non-invasively search for tumors and other growths.

Damadian Discovers MRI in 1970

Dr. Raymond Damadian discovers that different animal tissues emit different signals, as well as that cancerous tissues, take much longer to return the signal sent through them. This is the basis for magnetic resonance imaging. In 1977, Dr. Damadian created the first full-body MRI machine which he named the “Indomitable.”

Hounsfield Invents CT Scans in 1972

The 1970s showed the first instance of computer technology mixing into the medical field with Sir Godfrey Hounsfield’s invention of the CT machine. He theorizes that you could see into an object if you took X-rays from different angles of the object through a machine that would appear as “slices” which could then be put together to form an image. With his idea, he formed the first “axial tomography” machine which we now know as the CT machine. In 1979, he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and was later knighted by the British Royal Family.

Since then, all of these machines have entered into the digital age and are now updated with the latest technology available. This means that there is less potential risk for patients as well as a greater ability to diagnose and treat.

Looking for medical imaging in Louisiana? At Doctors Imaging, we’re Radiologists concerned with patient care. Meet our Radiologists or request your next medical impaging appointment online.

A Look at Doctors Imaging’s Medical Equipment

At Doctors Imaging, we like to provide the best service, staff, and equipment along with the best price for our patients. We believe that everyone should have access to these machines so that they can be confident in their treatment plans and knowledgeable about their health conditions.

We have a 3T MRI and we offer an open MRI for the patients that feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic in the traditional MRI. A 3T MRI is the most powerful MRI machine for every part of the body and we are the region’s first freestanding center to offer its capabilities. There are other facilities and hospitals that use the 1.5T MRIs, but at Doctors Imaging, we want the most powerful equipment and since insurance companies usually charge the same price no matter what the equipment is, you can have the best equipment and images for a lower price than you would pay at a hospital.

In addition to our MRI machines, we also offer the low-dose CT machine, a powerful CT machine with the lowest radiation settings possible. We use the Toshiba Lightning Aquillon CT scanner with Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction 3D software. With this technology, multiple “slices” or pictures of the examined area can be provided to doctors allowing them to see further and deeper into the body so they can give a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan. This machine allows for up to 75% reduction rate in radiation as opposed to many other CT machines on the market. We understand that radiation exposure is a concern for many of our patients which is why we dedicate ourselves to providing the best and safest care possible.

At Doctors Imaging, we also provide digital X-rays so there is less radiation exposure from this as opposed to the traditional X-ray machines. We also offer 3D ultrasounds so that expectant mothers, as well as medical patients, can have the most in-depth and detailed images of their babies and bodies available to them.

We want people to know that if you need a medical imaging procedure, you are not required to go to a hospital. Instead, you can come to Doctors Imaging in Metairie and have an immediate appointment, almost no waiting time, fast results and a great affordable price.

Visit our Make an Appointment page or call 504-883-8111 for the best days and times for your imaging procedure.  

Using Medical Imaging to Diagnose Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that attacks the protective layers surrounding the nerve tracts in the brain and can cause difficulty walking as well as pain performing everyday movements. Every case of MS and MS symptoms are different. Some people have symptoms that resolve in a few weeks or months. But for others, the condition has a much more permanent presence in their life.

Multiple Sclerosis is a common disease, yet difficult to track. Because global health institutions do not mandate that doctors report new cases and because symptoms can be invisible for many years, there is no definitive number of those diagnosed with MS every year. Some experts estimate that there are about 2.3 million people with MS around the world with 200 new cases diagnosed every week. That is almost as many people as the entire city of Houston.

With such high numbers of people diagnosed, what causes multiple sclerosis? No one is sure, but most point to a genetic factor or some type of environmental contributor — the cause of MS is still debated. MS symptoms include sensational disruptions, problems controlling movement, lethargy and visual complications. As stated previously though, these symptoms can be minimal and inconsistent, making it harder for patients to recognize their symptoms and for doctors to diagnose.

One of the best exams for doctors needing to diagnose MS is using MRI. MRIs use a combination of magnetic fields and radio waves in order to create images of the internal organs. MRIs are particularly adept at imaging the tissues and nervous structures of the body as well as identifying musculoskeletal disorders. MRIs can detect the subtle changes in the brain and spinal cord that are indicative of MS. MRIs are extremely safe, noninvasive and require no radiation, making them the preferred method for MS diagnosis.

At Doctors Imaging, we also use
NeuroQuant to better examine patients suspected of having memory loss, Multiple Sclerosis, brain trauma other neurologic conditions. NeuroQuant is FDA-cleared software that is a part of the routine MRI protocol that is available upon request from referring physicians that need volumetric analysis when making clinical assessments for any disease that may cause alterations in brain anatomy.

If you have other questions about MRIs, NeuroQuant, or other services at Doctors Imaging, feel free to contact our offices at 504-883-8111 or Request an Appointment.

How Does a Head Injury Result in Sensory Loss?

Whenever accidents or injuries occur, there is always a concern for the residual effects. Prospects of surgery, rehabilitation, or discomfort are never welcome. But for many people, the problems that come after a traumatic injury can be even more debilitating. Ask any physician and they will readily tell you that the worse kind of injuries to treat are those that affect the head. Because the brain is such a complex and unpredictable organ, the effects and ramifications of injuries to the brain can be difficult to determine or map with consistency.

There are a number of factors that help doctors determine the extent and condition of the brain after an injury occurs including:

  • the severity of the injury
  • the location of the injury
  • the medical response to the injury (response time / procedures / medicines)
  • the rate of recovery

There are five senses and each can have different effects after a traumatic brain injury occurs. Sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch are the ways that our brain receives information and then interprets that information for us to use. But when the brain is the injured body part, any one of these senses can be impacted.

Sometimes the direct impact is not even needed to create an injury. Sometimes just the shaking or rattling of the brain inside the skull can be enough to cause damage. When this occurs, the brain can begin to swell or bleed. Because of the limited area within the cranial cavity, the brain has no space to relieve the pressure or release the blood and as such, damage ensues — or worse, death occurs.

Types & Causes of Sensory Loss After Brain Injury

To begin, the brain is divided into different sections. The different sections control different functions of the body and interpret different signals so certain injuries will exhibit themselves in different parts of the brain. The parietal lobe, located at the top of the head, is the part of the brain that interprets sensational signals and tells us where our body is in location to different objects in our surroundings. Injury to this area can be the cause of a sensory loss, particularly in terms of our translation of touch.

Let’s take a closer look at the types and causes of sensory loss that can happen after a brain injury.

  1. Loss of sight or disruption of sight is a common side effect of a traumatic brain injury. The occipital lobe, located at the back of the skull, is the part of the brain that controls one’s ability to see. When the occipital lobe is damaged, effects such as eye muscle weakness or double vision can occur known as diplopia. The sudden inability to optically tolerate light is a common occurrence known as photophobia. Other presentations of an occipital lobe injury include involuntary eye movements (nystagmus) or the loss of vision in one eye (hemianopsia). The loss of sight differs from other senses in that there is a slightly larger possibility of it returning as opposed to hearing or smell that are usually permanent injuries.
  2. Hearing problems are another sensory problem that often occurs after an accident or fall. Sometimes normal daily activities can sound unbearably loud. Other common symptoms of brain damage are the inability to filter or recognize sounds or prolonged ringing in the ears, a condition called tinnitus. Luckily with the advancement of technology, devices such as cochlear implants and hearing aids can help those who are dealing with hearing problems.
  3. Smell and taste are two senses that heavily influence each other. Almost 70% of taste is contributed to smell and the smell is the strongest sense in connection with our memories. So when one becomes damaged, the other usually suffers as well. Usually, if there is a frontal lobe injury, the resulting nerve damage can contribute to a loss of taste. The olfactory bulbs lie beneath the frontal lobe and can be the cause of anosmia (or loss of smell) if injured.

For those that do experience a loss of one of their senses, options such as surgery, physical therapy, and counseling should be considered in order to help combat the problem or learning to adjust to life without that sense. If you or someone you know has experienced a serious injury and is complaining of sensory disruption of loss, please seek medical supervision immediately.

The physician may order an MRI in order to determine if there is bleeding in or around the brain. Newer MRI techniques are now being developed to evaluate traumatic brain injuries. DTI is an advanced brain imaging procedure that can measure the extent of a brain injury when other tests are negative and symptoms persist. Learn more about these exams at theconcussiongroup.com.

If you have other questions about sensory loss, brain injuries or medical imaging procedures, speak to your physician or radiologist about scheduling a consultation. For more help, call 504-883-8111.

Car Accident Head Injuries, Safety and Precautions

Car accidents can be some of the scariest moments of one’s life. Despite the innovations and advances in automobile safety technology, human error is still hard to beat. About 20 percent of all reported head injuries are the result of an automobile accidents. Buckling seatbelts is a major preventative measure that everyone should apply when riding in a car. However, car accident head injuries can still come from steering wheel collisions, airbag deployment as well as window, windshield and debris injury.

Head injuries can vary in the degree of seriousness. Some people walk away with a bump on the head often referred to as a contusion, others suffer from conditions like concussions, and some have more traumatic brain injuries such as memory loss. In the event of a car accident, having the proper body and brain imaging can be a major protective measure against the progression of the injury.

At Doctors Imaging, we have lots of experience helping those who have suffered from car accident head injuries. Whether it is our digital X-ray capabilities for broken bones or more advanced exams to determine the extent of brain injury, at Doctors Imaging we are committed to providing high-quality imaging services for the greater New Orleans area.

Our most detailed exam for brain injuries is diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Because car accident head injuries are so common, we are proud to be offering this service to the Gulf South region because of the numerous benefits it provides. Diffusion tensor imaging is an advanced form of MRI that traces the movement of water and hydrogen atoms in the nerve pathways of the brain.

A DTI exam measures brain injuries that are not seen on MRI and CT scans performed elsewhere.

Conventional MRI scans are the best for determining internal or soft tissue damage in the body. However, CT scans and MRI are not adequate for tracing the nerve pathways in the white matter of the brain and highlighting otherwise unseen brain injuries. DTI goes further than a conventional brain scan. Water molecules follow a certain pattern in the brain along the nerve pathways. When you can see that the path has been disrupted, physicians know to look further into this area to find possible injury. Because head injuries can appear non-threatening, they can develop into more serious conditions in the weeks and months after the accident.

DTI is especially useful for patients who have suffered a concussion. Some concussions can heal in a few days while others can leave more lasting injuries. The only way that diffusion tensor imaging can be performed is with a 3.0 Tesla MRI and special software capabilities. Doctors Imaging is the only facility in the Gulf South. For this reason, we see patients from all over the region who are looking to determine the extent of their sport, work injuries and car accident head injuries.

If you have more questions about head injuries, diffusion tensor imaging or other injuries that require imaging, please contact Doctors Imaging at 504-833-8111 or visit the website of The Concussion Group for more information. If you would like to set up an appointment for imaging, you can use our Request Appointment page any time.

Can I Have an MRI During Pregnancy?

When we become injured or sick, it can be troubling, but with support and medicine, we can treat ourselves and our symptoms. However, when a woman is pregnant and becomes sick or injured, there are more lives than hers to consider during treatment. There are lists of activities and products that pregnant woman have to avoid but should medical imaging be one of these? We are going to discuss the precautions and protections in place to help keep both mommy and baby healthy.

The first thing that probably comes to mind when considering the danger of medical imaging while pregnant is radioactive substances and procedures that utilize this kind of medicine. And when we think of radioactive medical procedures, the first that come to mind are X-rays, CTs, and PET-CT scans. All of these procedures have a radioactive element. But before expectant mothers become worried, they should know that there are safety guidelines for their benefit.

Expectant mothers should not be barred from accessing potentially life-saving imaging procedures. As such, medical imaging equipment manufacturers and researchers work hard to give the best quality equipment along with the safest for all potential patients. Being the oldest form of medical imaging technology, X-rays have been used by pregnant women since their invention. Having your X-rays performed at a facility like Doctors Imaging means that your doctor and our radiologists will seek alternatives to radiation and, if unavoidable, will work to reduce the dosage of radiation exposure. As with all medical procedures, if you think that you might be pregnant, be sure to let your doctor or the radiology technician know.

At Doctors Imaging, the procedures that seem to cause mothers the most worry are CT scans and MRIs. Please know that CT scans use X-rays combined with computer technology in order to compose images for medical use. Pregnant women: Please talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of CT scans.

The other procedure we hear the most concern about from expectant mother is an MRI. Fortunately, we can often alleviate these concerns because MRIs are one of the safest procedures for pregnant women. Having an MRI during pregnancy is safe because MRIs, or magnetic resonance imaging, only use the magnetic mechanical components along with radio frequencies in order to map the interior of the body. There are absolutely no radioactive components for mothers to worry about and the detail that can be gleaned from MRIs during pregnancy is both valuable and necessary. At Doctors Imaging, our 3T MRI technology is the most powerful MRI in clinical use for every part of the body. For MRI patients with claustrophobia, we also have an open MRI machine this tends to be much less intimidating.

Finally, please know that we don’t recommend PET-CT scans for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. PET (positron emission tensor imaging CT scans) use nuclear medicine in order to highlight differences between healthy and diseased tissue in the body and brain. This test utilizes a radioactive drug that is administered directly into the body. This drug can be harmful to the baby. Often, physicians will find an alternative diagnostic method in these cases.

We are committed to keeping both mom and baby as comfortable and healthy as possible at Doctors Imaging. If you have more questions about X-rays, CT scans or MRIs during pregnancy, please feel free to call our offices in Metairie at 504-883-8111, Monday through Friday.

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation and Insomnia

When we are babies, we spend about 16 to 17 hours a day just sleeping. Our brains are developing at a quick rate and we need sleep to help facilitate this rapid growth. We take a nap during the day until we reach elementary school age because we are still transitioning out of our infantile sleep cycles. Forgoing these naps usually results in mood disruptions and “crankiness”.  As we get older, the naps become intermittent but the danger of sleep deprivation is still a reality.

Sleep is the body’s biological healing system and is critical to healthy brain function. When we are teenagers, we spend the weekends sleeping until the early afternoon hours but as we get older the responsibilities and commitments of life take over, sleep becomes a precious commodity. That isn’t just a quirk of the generations, our bodies are biologically programmed for different sleep cycles at different points in our lives. Let’s discuss the benefits of proper sleeping schedules and the dangers of sleep deprivation and the damage of insomnia.

Sleep deprivation encompasses a number of symptoms. It might the student working part-time and staying up late at night to study. It could be the single mother working graveyard shifts and inhaling caffeine to stay awake. It could be the overworked doctor, short-staffed and busy, forgoing steady sleep for the sake of the patients. It might be the laid-off father tossing and turning all night thinking about the future. Sleep deprivation happens for a number of reasons and can affect anyone, but the effects can be severe if not treated.

Sleep deprivation affects almost every function of the body: cognitive, vision, digestion, and respiration, all of it because our bodies need sleep. Sleep is when our body does internal repairs. The brain needs to dream in order to filter and clean out the neurological clutter that fills our minds throughout the day. Sleep is necessary for the body to repair tissues and muscles, synthesize hormones and rejuvenate the brain. Lack of sleep can lead to “activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to a rise in blood pressure and an increase in cortisol secretion” both of these reactions are harmful to the body and the mind.

Thanks to research regarding the benefits of sleep, we can better understand the dangers of insomnia. Insomnia is more than just losing a few hours of sleep because your busy schedule can’t allow it, insomnia is a mental condition in which the mind cannot seem to transition from active mode to sleep mode. Insomnia affects as much as 20% of American adults. Not only does insomnia make the sufferer feel terrible and tired, but it can also lead to a host of health problems such as obesity and diabetes. Medications and therapies like hypnotherapy, meditation, and sleep training can help in some cases.

Complications of Insomnia

Research has shown that insomnia can be caused by a number of reasons: genetic history, allergies, gastrointestinal conditions, neurological conditions, medication and stress. Conditions like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and depression are contributed to the insomniac brain. MRI research of insomniac patients reveals that their ability to “modulate brain function and development including gene expression, protein translation and memory function.” These studies help to educate both physicians and patients about the danger of sleep deprivation and hopefully, find more remedies for the sleepless.

Understanding sleep disorders requires medical attention but there are over the counter and holistic approaches that have been shown to improve sleep quality. Working together with your physician to find the right formula is crucial in your mental and physical health. Furthermore, for those that regularly forgo sleep, remember that you are only doing yourself and your work a disservice. Sleep is a necessary function that needs to be regulated and maintained.

For more information about our MRI capabilities for sleeplessness or other conditions, contact Doctors Imaging in Metairie. Our offices are open Monday through Friday 8.30 am- 5 pm and open on Saturdays from 9-12. You can call our office at 504-883-8111 or fill out our Request an Appointment Form on our site.

The Steps to MRI Preparation

If you have an MRI scheduled and have never had this procedure performed, there are a few things that you are probably wondering. What is going to happen? Will it hurt? What should I tell my doctor? Can I have an MRI performed?

Don’t worry, we have had these questions asked to us many times so we have compiled some helpful answers concerning MRI preparation and procedure. We understand that having these kinds of procedures performed can be frightening, especially for the first time. So we want to help minimize your fears and anxiety so that we can gain conclusive results and have you return to our office for your future medical imaging needs.

The first thing you are probably wondering at an MRI is “Will it hurt?”

The answer? No! Not even a little bit.

MRIs are a completely non-invasive medical procedure designed to take images of the interior of the body without making a single incision. MRIs use the power of magnetic fields along with sound waves in order to procure images of the body’s organs and tissues. This means no pain at all. Sometimes contrast material has to be used with a patient, in which cause we will administer it intravenously and besides a cool sensation at the injection site that is all!

The most uncomfortable part for most patients is lying still for the procedure. It can be frustrating but it is crucial that patients lie as still as possible while being examined. Movement can drastically reduce the clarity of the MR images. For some, the hardest part of having an MRI performed is the closed-in feeling that can come upon entering the MRI chamber. If you are a person that suffers from claustrophobia and you think these feelings might interfere with your appointment, ask our doctors about an open MRI to help keep you comfortable.

Now before the procedure begins, be sure to look over these few rules before the procedure actually begins.

  • Before your MRI exam, remove all accessories including hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, wigs, dentures. During the exam, these metal objects may interfere with the magnetic field, affecting the quality of the MRI images taken.
  • Notify your technologist if you have:
    • any prosthetic joints – hip, knee
    • a heart pacemaker (or artificial heart valve), defibrillator or artificial heart valve
    • an intrauterine device (IUD),
    • any metal plates, pins, screws, or surgical staples in your body.
    • tattoos and permanent make-up.
    • a bullet or shrapnel in your body, or ever worked with metal.
    • if you might be pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.
    • if you are claustrophobic. Some patients who undergo MRI in an enclosed unit may feel confined. If you are not easily reassured, a sedative may be administered.

It is really important that you be honest with your doctor about the above-mentioned details. Not only can they damage the machine but they can also interfere with your images. Just remember that the procedure is totally painless and lasts only 30-45 minutes if you follow our MRI preparation guide. The information gained from these imaging procedures can be extremely beneficial, all without making a single incision. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we use the Siemens 3T MRI, the most powerful MRI in clinical use for every part of the body. Not only are you getting access to state of the art equipment and years of radiology experience but our prices will beat that of the big metro hospitals.

If you would like to book your MRI appointment, you can do so by calling our office at 504-833-8111 or you can book online with our Request Appointment feature.

Should You Schedule an Open MRI?

MRI technology with its many capabilities, is one of the most requested medical imaging procedures for facilities like Doctors Imaging. There are varying kinds of MRI systems so that you, as the patient, have options, and as such can make along with your doctor, the best choice for your needs.

Did you know there isn’t just one kind of MRI machine? There are various manufacturers as well as range of capabilities when it comes to choosing an imaging facility. For example, at Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we use a Siemens 3.0T MRI machine. This differs from other hospitals and imaging facilities, because many use a 1.5T MRI. While these can still get the job done, 3.0T means that the machine is designed to look into the body with very high resolution. These machines are more expensive for us as a facility, and yet, we still offer better pricing as well as better equipment than you would receive at many hospitals

Not only do we offer powerful MRI capabilities, we offer different kinds of MRIs to fit your specific needs. For example, we offer both closed and open bore MRI services. Closed MRIs are the traditional form of MRI. This means that the magnet located within the machine surrounds the body. Most patients have no difficulty with the conventional machine and the images obtained are better than open systems. When necessary, we also offer open bore MRI scans, meaning that the machine allows the patient free access during the scan and leaves open a small portion of space. Open bore MRIs are offered to patients that have a claustrophobic feelings while in the machine. These kind of anxious feelings can have a negative effect on the image quality especially if a patient is breathing heavily or moving within the chamber. Furthermore, we at Doctors Imaging do not want a patient to have an uncomfortable experience at our facility. We are committed to providing the best quality of care for our patients, so feel free to ask your physician if a friend or family member can remain nearby or if you would like calming music and in extreme cases we can offer a light sedative to relax nervous patients.

However the benefits of an open bore MRI are obvious, but there are some disadvantages. The primary disadvantage of an open MRI versus a closed MRI is that an open MRI’s images will not be as high quality as its counterpart.

We also offer diffusion tensor imaging at Doctors Imaging, an advanced form of MRI used for brain injuries and concussions. Diffusion tensor imaging is used to trace the movement of water in the brain pathways when routine MRI examinations and CT studies are normal. Because hydrogen atoms move in a specific way in the brain, when there is a noted disruption, doctors can be confident that they have found a microscopic injury site and can treat the head injury better and faster.

If you have more questions about open versus closed MRIs, take a look at our MRI service page for more information. If you would like to schedule an MRI appointment, you can use our Request Appointment feature or you can call our office at 504-833-8111 Monday through Friday to speak with a representative of Doctors Imaging.

The Dangers of Fake Supplements for Your Long-Term Health

There are different definitions of healthy all across the nation. Some think that gluten-free is best, others think that organic foods is only way to go. Some argue for a paleo diet while others praise the value of ‘everything in moderation.” What most do have in common is the understanding that everyone just wants to be as healthy as possible. It is this popular desire that causes some companies to market ineffective products and fake supplements to consumers. This is where the danger begins.

Because the FDA cannot regulate the supplement industry, there is no check for these supplements and their claims, leaving it up the consumer to decide what is healthy and fits their goals. This would be fine if the advertising and marketing of these supplements was absolutely truthful. In recent news, the New York Attorney General Office tested  “24 different products” from major retailers in their area such as Walmart and Walgreens and found that “all but 5 contained DNA that was unrecognizable or from a different plant than was on the label.” These findings prompted the Attorney General’s Office to send cease and desist orders to the retailers concerning these products.

It is not just what is misrepresented on the bottle, it is what ingredients are omitted that can cause danger too. As one op-ed New York Times writer explains “the FDA estimates that approximately 50,000 adverse reaction to dietary supplements occur every year” because many supplements contain other ingredients that consumers might be allergic to. If it is not possible allergens causing adverse reaction, it could be dangerous chemicals such as “lead, mercury, arsenic and selenium.”

The most popular kind of supplement on today’s market are weight loss supplements. The FDA has seen reports of “increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, stroke, seizure and death” in connection to weight loss supplements. Even famous TV doctor and personality Dr. Oz was under Senatorial constraint after promoting “miracle” and “magical” weight loss supplements on his show, while knowing that these products did not do what they and he claimed they could.

Another supplement controversy is calcium replacement pills. Osteoporosis is a common condition for women and the elderly, so like obesity and weight loss supplements, calcium supplements are marketed to those that live in fear of calcium deficiency. However,  several studies have linked these calcium supplements to negative effects like “increased risk of heart attacks and death from cardiovascular disease.” Some studies have shown that taking a calcium supplement may not be as dangerous if it is combined with vitamin D, a vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium. If not, calcium can be deposited in the arteries, leading to heart disease.

Heart disease is a condition that once began, is difficult to reverse. If you have been taking nutrition and dietary supplements for an extended period of time and are worried about your potential for heart attack or stroke, consult with your physician about having medical imaging procedures such as a Calcium Score Heart Scan to assess your cardiovascular health. If you are noticing adverse reactions while using these supplements, stop taking them immediately and call you doctor with your symptoms. In addition, be sure to do research on any supplement before you begin a regime.

If you’d like to schedule an MRI for your cardiovascular health, feel free to call our offices at 504-833-8111 Monday through Friday 8AM- 6PM or fill out our online form.