A couple of weeks ago, I explained how my wife, Gena, was near death over the gadolinium injections she received through her multiple Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRIs.
Gadolinium-based contrast agents, or GBCAs, are injected in about a third of 60 million MRIs performed annually – 30 million in the U.S. alone. (That’s one in 10 Americans.)
Gadolinium is a heavy metal chemical agent that is injected to enhance the images of an MRI. It is not naturally found in the human body. Its proponents say it is always expelled from the body, primarily through the kidneys. But studies have shown it can be retained in the brain, bones, skin and others parts of the body.
Let me echo just a couple things I mentioned a few weeks ago for emphasis and also for those who didn’t read that previous column, “The poison in MRIs.”
We’re not overlooking the good MRIs can do. We’re speaking out against the dangers of gadolinium use in MRIs. (We are so concerned about gadolinium’s adverse effects on human health that we recently took to the airwaves and broadcast our concerns in an episode of “Full Measure.” You can watch it here.)
More and more doctors, medical researchers and other health-care professionals are speaking up about the potential dangers of gadolinium, like Dallas toxicologist of internal medicine Dr. Alfred Johnson and Dr. Emanuel Kanal, the director of magnetic resonance services and professor of radiology and neuroradiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Internal scientific documents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, that are over a decade old reveal the agency has known about the potential adverse affects of GBCAs for a long time, but it did nothing about it.
Starting in 2006, that data documented a “strong association between gadolinium contrast agents and NSF [Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, a deadly manmade disease].”
In 2007, the FDA issued a “black box warning” to those with weak kidneys to avoid GBCAs at all costs.
In 2015, the FDA issued another warning that GBCAs could linger in the bodies of those without kidney problems.
In March 2017, Medscape reported that “Findings of gadolinium deposits in patients who have undergone MRI body scans have led the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA’s) Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) to recommend suspending marketing authorization for four contrast agents.”
“After examining studies that directly measured gadolinium deposits several months after patients’ last injection with the contrast agents, the committee found ‘convincing evidence’ of gadolinium accumulation in the brain.”
That should be enough to cause anyone great concern, but there is much, much more, and it pertains to our children.
One crazy practice is that gadolinium components are injected in children even under 2 years of age, despite the fact that they are not FDA approved but considered “safe.” The agency advises physicians to “use best judgment” and consider the “risk of adverse reaction.”
In a July 28, 2016, edition of Radiology, Colorado researchers discovered that pediatric patients given a GBCA had increased magnetic resonance signal intensity in a certain region of the brain.
The lead author and third-year radiology resident, Dr. Thomas Flood, from the University of Colorado Children’s Hospital, explained: “There is indirect evidence that this change in signal intensity is related to gadolinium deposition in the dentate nucleus, which is in line with adult data.”
Dr. Flood elaborated: “We did see a dose-dependent increase in dentate nucleus signal intensity with total cumulative gadolinium exposure. Taken together, these two findings suggest that gadolinium is depositing in the dentate nucleus and staying there, without significant clearance over time.”
Further medical studies have yielded proof that there is an even greater field of gadolinium permeation in children’s brains, according to a 10-member team of doctors and specialists published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology.
Drs. Roberts, A.R. Chatterjee, M. Yazdani, B. Marebwa, T. Brown, H. Collins, G. Bolles, J.M. Jenrette, P.J. Nietert and X. Zhu concluded: “Pathologic evaluation of the brain in patients with normal renal function who were administered GBCAs has shown that gadolinium is deposited not only in the dentate nucleus but throughout the brain, including the frontal lobe white matter and frontal cortex. While the clinical significance of the long-term retention of gadolinium in the brain is unknown, it is particularly concerning for pediatric patients, who are undergoing neurodevelopment.”
The FDA also admits the “link between Nephrogenic Systemic Sclerosis and the under developed renal function of infants has yet to be reported.” (NSS is a dramatic hardening of the skin and subcutaneous tissue – including lungs, joints, liver and muscles – that is reported in uremic patients who get gadolinium contrast and “may be fatal.”)
According to Dr. Alexander Towbin, an associate professor of radiology and the Neil D. Johnson chair of radiology informatics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, an article in Pediatric Radiology recorded how “there have been 23 documented cases of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis in children between January 1997 and October 2012. It should be noted that of these 23 cases of NSF, only 17 were associated with a documented GBCA exposure.”
Only 17? Isn’t one too many? Do we really want to risk gadolinium injections and NSF in a single little one who has been entrusted to our care and protection by God? Injecting them with gadolinium as little adults while going through neurodevelopment should be criminal!
Many of those infant poisonings and NSF cases based upon tumor diagnoses could have been averted, according to researchers from Stanford University, who published a study in the 2016 January issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
The article explained, “There is no need to use gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) with MRI scans to evaluate tumors in pediatric patients, since image quality is essentially the same with no contrast enhancement at all.”
Study co-author Heike Daldrup-Link, an associate professor at Stanford and pediatric radiologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, summarized: “Initially, we thought we would find some advantage to contrast-enhanced scans, but we didn’t. We found that the diagnostic accuracy was not significantly different from unenhanced sequences, if we look at MRI alone or PET/MRI studies.”
Gadolinium poisoning is an example of why Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alternative medicine proponent and osteopathic physician, recently put out a short video titled, “The Death of Blind Faith.” The film is just one more reminder why we shouldn’t check our brains at the door of conventional medicine.
“Do you have faith in conventional medicine?” the video asks. “How long can you turn a blind eye to the truth?”
“The film points out that 7,000 patients die each year because of sloppy handwriting while 1.5 million are hurt by preventable medication mistakes. There are 7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures annually, and at least 106,000 deaths from adverse reactions to drugs,” as reported by Reset.Me, which provides journalism on natural therapies and medicines.
“In fact, over half of the people in the United States have been given medical treatment unnecessarily, or 50,000 people per day. Out of all Americans, 42 percent have been affected by a medical mistake, and 84 percent know someone who has been.”
We must cry out and voice our concerns about gadolinium poisoning from sea to shining sea: to the FDA, the World Health Organization and every medical community, including your local one. Take the following steps, and sign the petition here:
- Encourage others to watch Gena’s and my “Full Measure” interview.
- Warn physicians and patients about the risks of gadolinium. Make sure physicians are properly informing patients about its dangers.
- Restrict GBCAs to much smaller and infrequent doses and use only in cases where the benefits far outweigh the risks, like in matters of life and death or the most serious of health issues.
- Invest in rapid development of safe gadolinium alternatives.
- Sponsor large studies of gadolinium toxicity in patients who have undergone MRI scans.
- Promote the development of effective treatments to remove toxic gadolinium from patients affected by it.
- Get connected with other anti-gadolinium groups on Facebook and the blogosphere.
As Medscape.com recommends, report any problems with GBCAs by contacting MedWatch, the FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program, by telephone at 1-800-FDA-1088, by fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, online, with postage-paid FDA form 3500, or by mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20852-9787.
For the latest information about gadolinium toxicity, please visit the above links embedded in my column, including MRI Gadolinium Contrast Awareness, MRI Gadolinium Toxicity Illnesses and The Light House Project.