Worried About Radiation from Medical Imaging?

Decades ago, the concern surrounding radiation and medical imaging was a valid concern. Since the advent of medical imaging with the invention of X-rays in 1895, the process toward finding the best methods and practices of imaging was a bumpy road. In fact, the reason why the procedure is termed “X” ray is because the physician who invented it, didn’t know what exactly was allowing him to see the silhouette of his bones but titled his discovery paper “New Kind of Rays.” Afterwards, scientists and doctors began to wonder if there were other ways to view the internal structures of the body without invasive means.

Luckily for us, ways of seeing deep into the body without a cut have been discovered. And yet, people are still highly concerned when it comes to possible radiation effects. Along with the inventions that allow doctors to see into the body, there has also been a very large increase in the study of radiology and the harm that can be caused. As such, doctors and medical imaging manufacturers operate in the vein of using the least amount of radiation as possible.

Even though more radiation would bring about better images, doctors and the machines that radiologists use are set to the lowest possible radiation settings. These machines have been carefully tested and calibrated so that the exposure to radiation is the least amount possible while still obtaining a clear and useful image. Patients are also outfitted with a lead apron on their bodies so that only the area that is being examined is what is exposed to the radiation. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we love looking out for our patients but we also do the same for our staff. Each member of the Doctors Imaging staff is given a film badge that helps to monitor the radiation signals. Since they are around these machines more often than their patients, the chance of exposure is slightly higher. However, we take every precaution possible to protect our patients and staff the best way we can.

It isn’t just our staff and radiologists providing the protection, our equipment does half the work too. Unlike some hospitals and imaging facilities, Doctors Imaging in Metairie only uses digital X-rays, meaning there is an even more miniscule amount of radiation exposure and the images are clearer than the traditional X-rays. Our ultrasound capabilities are also digitized so patients can see what is being examined with clarity and without the worry of radiation exposure. Many people come into their MRI procedure with questions concerning radiation where we kindly remind them that MRIs only use sound waves, magnets and computer technology to create images. There is no radiation involved when having an MRI performed.

The other procedures that do utilize radiation are CTs and PET-CT scans.  CTs are a combination effort of computer technology combined with X-ray capabilities. While CTs may use a small dose of radiation in order to create images, people come into contact with different forms of radiation on a daily basis. As stated earlier, the settings on all of the machines at Doctors Imaging are made for the lowest possible radiation exposure in order to protect the patient. While a PET-CT scanning machine doesn’t use radiation directly, before having the procedure performed, radiologists will administer a small amount of radioactive drug in order to highlight the difference between healthy and diseased tissue. These are the only procedures that would expose a patient to any radiation and we provide the most thorough protections possible.

If you have worries or concerns regarding radiation effects and your medical imaging procedure, feel free to contact Doctors Imaging at any time and speak to a technicians or representative. We know that the key to a successful imaging procedure is if the patient feels comfortable and knowledgeable.

You can get in touch with our experts by calling 504-883-8111 or by contacting us through this form.

The Dangers of Childhood Obesity in America

First Lady Michelle Obama has made it her mission to bring more awareness and publicity to a serious national epidemic: childhood obesity. More and more children today are appearing to be overweight, lacking exercise, eating unhealthy foods and having more health problems than ever before. But who is to blame? What can be done to help this problem?

With the advent of the internet age and the never-ending popularity of video games, children are the least active they have ever been. In between crushing school schedules and programs, they come home and want to relax which means staying indoors and occupying their time with mindless video games and television. Combined with shorter recesses and lack of physical education in public school systems, children have nowhere to play and form a healthy relationship with exercise.

But the children are not the ones to be blamed. There are more parents in the workforce than ever and because of this children are not receiving the same healthy homemade meals from their exhausted parents. Children are often given frozen dinners or fast food because it is faster to make or they are left to their own devices when making their food choices. And if you as a parent have poor eating and exercise habits, your children will likely follow the same patterns.

But besides finding out who is to blame, what are the dangers of childhood obesity? Obesity is defined as having an excess of body fat in comparison to the size and age of the body. Obesity is a difficult condition for the body to endure and causes a variety of health problems. Obese children make obese adults and obese adults have perilous health conditions to watch out for. Obese children have a greater chance of developing prediabetes and they have bone and joint difficulty from the pressure of that weight on the body’s structures which make exercise even more difficult. Children suffering from obesity can also develop hormonal imbalances or sleep apnea, a condition in which people will stop breathing during their sleep cycle. But perhaps the most difficult side effect of childhood obesity is the psychological impact. Overweight children are often bullied, stigmatized, ridiculed and suffer from low self-esteem and depression, which in turn makes them seek food as a form of satisfaction and happiness, and thus perpetuating the cycle.

As if these conditions were not difficult enough to deal with in childhood, the problems associated with obesity as an adult are even more frightening. Obese people are predisposed to heart disease and the probability of a stroke because of the high platelet count in the bloodstream. They have a greater chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes which can be treated by losing the excess weight. Those that live with obesity also have a much higher chance of developing several types of cancer and osteoarthritis from prolonged stress on the bones and joints.

As a nation, this alarming trend will cost taxpayers as more and more as the population becomes more and more obese and puts a strain on the healthcare system trying to help them. Despite all of this dire information concerning obesity, the one positive part of this condition is that it is conditional, not terminal. With proper diet, exercise or in extreme cases, weight loss surgery, people can fight back against obesity and lead longer, healthier lives.

If you or your child is suffering from obesity, speak to your physician about diet and nutrition plans to help lose weight. Sometimes in the course of a pediatrician evaluating the causes of obesity, an imaging test like ultrasound or CT or even MRI may be ordered. At Doctors Imaging , we have the tools to assist in the diagnosis of endocrine and other medical problems. To schedule an examination or to seek further information, please call 504 883-3555.