New warnings recommended for MRI “dye”

This article was first published on Sept. 12, 2017

FDA advisors have voted overwhelmingly to add new warnings to commonly used MRI contrast agents or “dye.” This following our cover story describing patients who became seriously ill after their bodies retained the toxic gadolinium in the “dye” after repeated MRIs. One of the patients we spoke to was the wife of actor Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris and his wife Gena describe her ordeal caused by MRI “dye”

[hr]Gena Norris had three MRIs in one week to evaluate her rheumatoid arthritis. The MRIs triggered a cascade of mysterious health issues that nearly killed her.

[quote]“I was in the emergency room for like 5 or 6 nights in a row and the symptoms had continued to get worse and worse. And by the fourth, fifth, sixth night, the burning just kept traveling and I would go in and they’d say, well what’s wrong with you? And I’m like I, I don’t know. I don’t feel good. And I’m just, I’m burning. I, that’s all I can tell you is I’m burning all over. I feel like I have acid everywhere in my tissues, I’m just, I’m on fire.” –Gena Norris[/quote]

[hr]More information on this Sunday’s edition of Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson

[hr]Doctors tested her for everything from cancer to ALS, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, but were mystified. Gena began a desperate search and turned up published literature and patient accounts pointing to one thing: poisoning from a substance injected into her before the MRI. It contains a toxic heavy metal called gadolinium.

Gena continued: “When we got to the hospital in Houston this last time, and I’m so bad and I said, listen, I am sober enough in my thinking right now, because I had such brain issues going on, I said I’m only going to be able to tell you this one time and I need you to listen to me very closely. I have been poisoned with gadolinium or by gadolinium and we don’t have much time to figure out how to get this out of my body or I am going to die.”[hr]
Watch our Full Measure cover story for the rest of Gena’s interview:[hr]

For years, advocates have been asking the FDA to schedule a meeting to examine the latest patient complaints and data. When the meeting was finally scheduled for this week, FDA advisers agreed 15-1 to broaden warnings about MRI gadolinium-based contrast agents. The only dissenting vote was from an advisory board member who said the added warnings aren’t strong enough that that most people will never see them.

Chuck and Gena Norris, and two of their children

In 2015, the FDA approved the first gadolinium IRS contrast agent for infants and babies under age two. The new warnings, though, add children and pregnant women to the list of those who may be at higher risk for injury from MRI dye which formerly included only people with kidney problems.

Historically, doctors and scientists said the toxic gadolinium in MRI dye was expelled from the body quickly after the procedure. They now say that isn’t always the case.

Despite the recommended warnings, the FDA panel said there is no definitive, conclusive evidence linking MRI dye to a wide range of reported problems. The companies that make the dyes have said it is extremely safe. A European health commission recently recommended suspending use of the dyes. Industry specialists recently issued an advisory saying that MRI dye should be used only when absolutely necessary and after a risk benefit analysis in each patient. [hr] Order the New York Times bestseller “The Smear” anywhere today.[hr]

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6 thoughts on “New warnings recommended for MRI “dye””

  1. Interesting. My wife had an immediate reaction to MRI dye a year ago. Symptoms were similar to a stroke, slurring, loss of use of her left side. She was still in the hospital and was given several doses of anti histamine. It seems some are allergic to the dye.

  2. Gadolinium it flies in the face of any common sense to inject this into anyone ….like radiation , or the laundry list of chemicals used to treat illness.
    I know it took the American Doctors 50+ years to accept hand washing as a common ,needed hygiene practice …..How long will it take Doctors to accept gadolinium as a toxin I think it will take 50 years or until a patient has no one alive to Sue ……very sad ….just my opinion.

  3. Please see the following arachnoiditis video 27/7/2017 part of what was used at my Vigil outside the White House after traveling there from Australia. This is only part of my 25 years of research into chemically induced adhesive Arachnoiditis the end result of foreign matter injected into the body. My research is basically a journey of discovery of such use of toxic substances that lead to horrendous unrelenting pain and multiple ‘weird’ secondary medical conditions or symptoms. I am sure you are aware the 4 of the 6 gadoliniums have been removed of the market byway of the FDA. As l said, my research journey leads you to people like Chuck Norris wife, first it was x-ray dyes (my research) then ESI not approved by the FDA but millions carried out in America alone worldwide hundreds of millions all illegally, and now gadoliniums where are the regulators

    1. I’ve had about 80 ESIs after multiple failed back surgeries. I have severe nerve pain & 20 other comorbid conditions. These conditions piled on after a year and a 1/2 of MRIs with dye. -Brain, pelvis, parathyroid, etc. makes me wonder. All those ESIs were just a $$ maker for my dr cuz they couldn’t operate on me any longer. This is very frustrating & I know this won’t change in my lifetime. Worst part all the crazy addicts out there who have made it 99% impossible to get pain meds for all the damage done by drs. Crazy world we live in!

  4. (Important point: What follows is not in any way meant as criticism of Mrs. Norris. It is leveled at the current primary care catastrophe we now have.)

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an informed patient. She did very well taking things into her own hands in solving her problem. A not uncommon story, sad to say.

    This story struck me as a symptom of a far larger and more dangerous element lurking underneath and the big clue is that she did her own research. It doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Key questions are:

    Did she have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and where was he or she in this process?

    If she had a PCP, did that doctor have the time to do the research she did? (Key word is time. Most PCPs do not have that time now. They have 3000 patients and paperwork or electronic health care records to deal with on top of the care they provide. This results in our current 8 to 10 minutes and out the door primary care visit.)

    Who ordered the MRIs? A specialist? Her PCP? (If a specialist, was her PCP involved in the decision? I suspect not as we have an epidemic of self-diagnosis usually done by Internet research and then straight to a specialist. Very dangerous medicine. This has become the norm and we miss the value of the PCP’s role in patient care coordination.)

    Sadly, most people have have no clue of primary care’s comprehensive nature — when PCPs have the time to do their job and no outside influences on their work. A PCP is not just for simple things. They are the single most important element of great care — now more than ever with medical information overload being the norm.

    50 years ago, we had a ratio of 70/30, PCP to Specialist. It is now reversed. (The money is in specializing. That starts with teaching hospitals for doctors in residency. Guess who funds that? Taxpayers. Follow the money.)

    PCPs no longer have the critical patient time to connect medical dots. They are required by Medicare and insurance companies to document everything they do. When you are in your doctor’s exam room, you two are not alone. You have the government, and probably insurance company, sitting in there with you. Guess who the doctor is working for? You? Not really. You don’t pay the bill and yes, that does have an effect on the care you receive.

    On a brighter note, the solution to this mess is underway and in typical American fashion, some PCPs are leading the way by rejecting outside influence and moving to a membership (direct pay) model. This single change enables far better care and gives patients far more confidence about their health. It is called Direct Primary Care. Well worth firing up your favorite search engine and reading more!

  5. Hi, a few years ago in an MRI facility in Newport, OR I was given gadolinium during an MRI. I immediately had pain and burning at the point of injection. It spread down my arm, into my chest, into my face and then I screamed. Severe pain. Ended up being soaking wet with perspiration, my shoes we wet inside, my wallet soaked. I tried very hard not to scream.

    MRI techs shared a private joke and laughed. I was later told by and MD they thought I was pretending so I could get pain meds, even though I have no history of any drug abuse and certainly don’t look the part. Finally a radiologist came in and yelled at them, “What is wrong with you people, he’s having a reaction to the gadolinium, take him to the ER”.

    Suddenly after about an hour the pain disappeared. I thought I was OK. They sent me home. I don’t remember the drive home. I found myself lost wandering in my own house, confused. I called the hospital and they said to come back, so I drove back. I don’t remember the drive back.

    There wasn’t much they could do and they continued to act in a highly suspicious manner to me that was very disrespectful, and made me scared that no one would listen. For three days afterward I’d have pain come and go suddenly. And I’d have confusion come and go. After that I seem to be OK. I complained to the hospital about my treatment and received no response. When you have a bad reaction that’s rare or new, they act like there’s something wrong with you, and it makes them pretty unhappy with you, I got almost no sympathy or empathy or concern.

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