Getting X-rays is safe, but it is not entirely harmless.
X-rays are ionizing radiation, which means they have enough energy to knock electrons out of atoms in your body. When you get an X-ray, the radiation passes through your body, and some of the energy is absorbed by your cells. When this happens, chemical bonds break down in your cells, which can damage DNA and cause cancerous mutations.
The most common way that X-rays harm the body is through ionization—the process by which energy is transferred from one atom to another to knock electrons out of orbit around their nuclei. This causes those atoms to become charged ions (called free radicals). These free radicals may be absorbed by other molecules and cause damage to them as well, causing cell death and cancer.
How many X-rays are safe in a lifetime?
Radiation is a way of interacting with the world around us. It can be either harmful or harmless, depending on the amount and frequency of exposure.
A chest X-ray, for example, exposes your body to a small amount of radiation—about 0.1 mSv (100 milliseconds). That’s less than 1% of the amount of radiation you would be exposed to from natural sources in one year (roughly three mSv). But because it’s cumulative, that number adds up over time—and if you get too much radiation over time, it can cause bone health problems.
The American College of Radiology recommends a lifetime exposure limit to radiation of 100mSv or 10,000 chest X-rays. That’s a vast number! If you’re getting an digital x-ray every day for five years—which is very unlikely—you’d reach that limit in just two years and eight months (107 days).
What are the diseases that can be caused by excess radiation?
Many diseases can be caused by excess radiation. These include:
- All cancers
Excessive radiation can cause cancer in a variety of ways. For example, cell damage causes DNA damage and mutations, which can lead to cancer. In addition, some cancers are caused by genetic mutations passed down through families. Suppose you have a genetic mutation that puts you at risk for certain cancers, such as breast or ovarian cancer. In that case, these cancers may be triggered by excessive radiation exposure.
- Parathyroid adenoma
Excessive radiation can also cause parathyroid adenoma. This tumor develops on the parathyroid gland in your neck and can cause problems with calcium levels in your blood and bones.
- Non-malignant thyroid nodular disease
Excessive radiation can also cause non-malignant thyroid nodular disease. This is when benign (not cancerous) tumors form on your thyroid gland and may cause problems with your metabolism and hormone levels if they become too large or numerous.
- Posterior subcapsular cataracts.
Excess radiation can cause posterior subcapsular cataracts on the eye’s lens. This type of cataract is characterized by a cloudy or opaque appearance in the center of the lens, which can impair vision and make it difficult to read or drive.
X-rays are known to increase the risk for several types of brain tumors, including meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, gliomas (brain cancer), meningiomas (tumors that start inside membranes covering your brain or spinal cord), neurinomas (tumors that begin inside nerves) and neurofibroma. The risk is exceptionally high in children undergoing repeated X-ray examinations before age ten. Still, adults who have experienced frequent X-rays may also be at increased risk for these cancers.
What are the signs and symptoms of getting damaged by an X-Ray?
When you think of radiation, you probably imagine something like cancer treatment or, at the very least, a nuclear explosion. But while the effects of those things are serious and sometimes deadly, there are plenty of other things that can cause radiation exposure and devastating health complications.
Here are a few of the diseases that can be caused by excess radiation:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss Of Appetite
- Dizziness and disorientation
- Weakness and fatigue
- Hair loss
- Bloody vomit and stools from internal bleeding (not just from radiation poisoning)
- Lower Blood Pressure
When should you conduct an X-ray session?
The answer is simple: when you’re unsure what’s going on with your body. Here are several times that an X-ray session can help:
- Check for a broken bone (fracture).
Broken bones are not only painful but can also be dangerous, especially if they’re not treated properly. The first step in identifying a broken bone is to get an X-ray.
- Identify cause
The second step in identifying a broken bone is to look at the symptoms that accompany it. If you have any pain or swelling in your body, it’s essential to get an X-ray immediately to determine whether or not a fracture is present.
- Look for foreign objects in your body.
Objects like bullets and shrapnel can remain in your body after being shot or injured by shrapnel from an explosion, which can lead to further injury if left untreated. An X-ray can help identify these foreign objects so that they can be removed from your body safely and effectively.
- Look for structural problems.
An X-ray session is a handy tool that can be used to diagnose structural problems in your bones, joints, or soft tissues. It is most commonly used to identify fractures and joint injuries caused by accidents or sports activities.
- Plan and evaluate treatments.
An X-ray session can also be used to plan and evaluate treatments for patients undergoing surgery, such as removing tumors or placing pins in their broken bones. The results of an X-ray session can help doctors determine whether or not their surgery was successful and if any complications need to be addressed immediately.
- Provide routine screenings for cancer and other diseases.
X-rays are also helpful in monitoring certain cancers, such as breast cancer, since they allow doctors to see how well chemotherapy works over time without having to perform invasive biopsies every few weeks, which could be painful for some patients!
What are the precautions to take while having an X-Ray?
Are there any precautions to take while having an X-ray? Here are four things to keep in mind:
- It is best not to apply lotions, creams, or perfume before you take the test.
- Remove metal objects touching the patient, like jewelry, hairpins, or hearing aids.
- It is best to avoid eating or drinking for several hours before having a gastrointestinal series (x-ray).
- It is best to wear comfortable clothing and change into a gown before undergoing an X-ray.
Valence Medical Imaging is the premier choice for X-ray services in the area. The company offers a full range of imaging services, from simple to complex, including bone density scanning and CT scans. They use only advanced technology and equipment to produce high-quality images that help doctors diagnose conditions accurately, quickly, and efficiently.
Even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms, an X-ray can be essential to maintaining your health. It can help you detect problems early on before they become serious issues. It’s also a great way to track how well treatments work for conditions such as arthritis or injuries caused by sports or work-related injuries.