Portrait Dr Catriona Walsh, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach in Belfast with an interest in Functional Medicine

1-to-1 coaching for people with side effects from MRI contrast

1-to-1 coaching for people with side effects from MRI contrast

You’ve had an MRI scan using a type of contrast injection called gadolinium. Now you’re suffering side effects from MRI contrast. Ever since the contrast, you’re experiencing a litany of physical ailments. You’re exhausted, disheartened and feeling betrayed.

But that’s not even the half of it. You could be suffering from many more symptoms of gadolinium deposition disease. If you’re not sure what symptoms gadolinium contrast can cause, I’ve written about the commonest ones here. Of course, this list contains the types of problems people complain about most regularly. But from working with many clients who’ve gone through similar experiences I can tell you that these are just the tip of the iceberg.

You’d love to be able to hop into a time machine and travel back to before you ever had that scan. Maybe you’d ask for the MRI without contrast instead. Perhaps you’d check if you needed an MRI at all. But if you could, you’d make a very different decision. All you really want is to feel and be normal. You fantasise about being able to do everyday things easily like before. Ideally, you’d remove every last trace of gadolinium from your body again.

To get your health back and recover from side effects from MRI contrast dye, you’re prepared to do pretty much anything. That includes changing your diet and making changes to your lifestyle.

Getting help from your doctor to overcome MRI contrast side effects can be difficult. They might be as stumped as you

Right now you’re scared, confused, and you don’t know where to start. It’s overwhelming and your doctors haven’t been able to help your side effects from MRI contrast. 

In fact, some of your doctors and family members don’t even believe that gadolinium contrast scans can deposit gadolinium in your body longterm. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, they don’t think that gadolinium contrasts for MRIs can cause side effects, let alone that they can cause gadolinium toxicity. They talk about gadolinium side effects as if they’re only real if you believe in them. Like Tinkerbell. They accuse you of imagining gadolinium toxicity. It’s infuriating. 

You might even find yourself wondering if they’re right. Can you have a reaction to MRI contrast? The answer to that is a very resounding yes. MRI contrasts are powerful drugs which lodge in all of your organs and tissues long term and can cause damage. The damage from MRI iv contrasts can be permanent. Even if your kidneys are functioning normally.

What does this programme for people with side effects from MRI contrast help you to achieve?

Let me help you to get clear on what gadolinium contrast for MRI scans is doing inside your body. I can provide you with a suite of strategies you can start using right now to mitigate the damage caused by side effects after MRI with contrast. I’ll also help you learn how to boost your removal of not just gadolinium contrast, but other toxins as well. 

As part of my service, I perform a detailed dietary assessment to help you identify where you have deficiencies and imbalances in your intake of essential vitamins, minerals, fats and protein. This is one of the most powerful tools you can use to start making the right dietary choices and start planning your return to good health.

But it’s not just about what you eat, or even what you don’t eat, that’s important. Of course, those things are vital. But they’re not the whole story when it comes to recovering from side effects from MRI contrasts and trying to remove gadolinium from the body. 

You’ll need to also focus your attention on lifestyle choices that support gadolinium detoxification. Not only that, but the behaviours you engage in and your relationships with other people can also make or break your health and happiness.

That’s why so much of my work focuses on helping you with your mindset, stress reduction, restoring the joy in your life, and getting you back on your feet.

Imagine how it would feel to get your energy back after gadolinium toxicity.

Imagine what it would be like to start enjoying life again.

Imagine feeling stronger and healthier with more stamina and focus despite side effects from MRI contrast.

Transforming from being tired all the time and having side effects from MRI contrasts translated into girl with butterflies

What difference would that make to your life?

If you don’t know how to get there, I can help.

If you have side effects from MRI contrast, here are some of the areas I can assist you with:

  • Reducing or eliminating most of your new MRI contrast side effects,
  • Improved sleep and feeling well-rested when you wake up,
  • Feeling hopeful and optimistic about the future,
  • Feeling calmer. In fact, you should check out this article on how to deal with anxiety,
  • Being able to work with your doctor to reduce or get off medications started to treat the side effects from MRI contrasts.

My programme teaches people with side effects from MRI contrast:

  • Which foods to eat and which to avoid to best support your health,
  • What diet and lifestyle factors support better sleep quality,
  • Tools and healthy coping strategies to combat stress and overwhelm while feeling happier,
  • How to harness your relationships and community on your healing journey,
  • Ways to adapt movement and exercise to improve your strength, posture and reduce pain,
  • Strategies to boost your elimination pathways and speed up detoxification of gadolinium contrasts and other toxins,
  • Other sources of toxicity in your life you may not be aware of,
  • How to boost your metabolism, and
  • The importance of getting into nature and ways to do it that you’ll enjoy.

Who am I?

Portrait Catriona Walsh

I’m Dr Catriona Walsh, author of the book Contrasts: More than meets the MRI. Although I’m now a Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, I started my career in healthcare as a doctor and trained in paediatric medicine in Northern Ireland. My speciality was in paediatric allergy and immunology.

My own health challenges led to my career pivot and retraining in nutrition and lifestyle medicine. I’ve written more about that here, but a big part of my journey has been my own struggle with side effects from MRI contrasts. If you’re interested in hearing more about my MRI contrast side effect experiences following just a single injection with the gadolinium-based contrast agent, Multihance in November 2016, you can read about them here and here. 

Because I have a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, my doctor arranged the gadolinium contrast to look at my heart. This is called an angiogram or MRA. The scan was normal.

As you can see, gadolinium toxicity was a life-altering experience for me. When I turned to the medical community for help, I wasn’t offered much apart from physiotherapy to help rebuild my strength and get me moving again. I’ve had no access to iv chelation therapy to remove the toxic heavy metal, gadolinium.

To recover from side effects from MRI contrast, I've had to develop my own protocol

I’ve had to use the research skills I started developing at Cambridge University. When I went to Queen’s University, Belfast, I continued to hone these skills. Over the years practicing paediatrics throughout Northern Ireland everywhere from Belfast to Derry, Coleraine, Antrim, Craigavon and Newry, I’ve become more adept at asking the right research questions and extracting data from studies. My interest and training in functional medicine and nutrition have also shaped my approach. 

Combining these experiences and skills with observations from fellow sufferers allowed me to come up with my own protocol.

On many occasions, I felt discouraged, petrified, and overwhelmed. Like most people faced with difficult challenges, it often felt like I took 1 step forward and slid 2 steps back again. 

I won’t pretend that it’s been easy to get to where I am now, which is loving life, being active, energised, productive, and living largely pain-free, despite the side effects from MRI contrast. It also hasn’t happened overnight. In fact, some of the things I tried didn’t help. But every sacrifice that I’ve had to make along the way has been worth it.

Having searched for answers to the side effects from MRI contrasts for so long and struggling to find help myself, I understand what it feels like to not know where to start. That’s why I feel an obligation to be an ally to other people whose health was stolen by MRI contrast side-effects. I have a responsibility to pass on what I’ve learned. It can turn your life around.

Here’s what working with me looks like:

Happy woman after recovering from side effects from MRI contrast

Currently, I only offer individual coaching sessions. They’re pretty intense. We dive deep into your symptoms, pre-existing conditions, vulnerabilities, treatments and anything that could have a bearing on your health. 

Being thorough is my obsession. Clients appreciate this as it helps them to see connections with other aspects of their health. You’ll discover why it’s so critical to look at everything holistically.

During each session, we also review your progress and together we troubleshoot problems that crop up. We celebrate your successes, work on your mindset, and I provide you with gentle accountability to help keep you moving forward. 

At every appointment, I help you choose some diet and lifestyle action steps to start implementing. 

I’m not going to lie to you. You will have to make some changes. We’re talking about you making a commitment to yourself and the people you love. 

More than that, this is an investment in yourself and the most important people in your life.

And while I do use quite a few supplements, they don’t work on their own. The diet and lifestyle changes are 100% necessary.

The intake process:

Even before our first consultation, you complete a questionnaire that details your medical history and what your health goals are. 

You also complete a Medical Symptoms Toxicity Questionnaire so we have a baseline for how severe your symptoms are at the start. 

I use a powerful dietary analysis tool. So you record everything you eat and drink in a 3-day diet diary using an app. It provides a detailed analysis of the vitamins, minerals, protein, and essential fats and shows us both where you’re currently getting your nutrition from. 

Most of my clients are surprised at how helpful this is in identifying why their diets have some nutrient deficiencies. With this knowledge, they’re even more motivated and clear about the changes they need to start focusing on.

Healing hot chocolate

What else do you get?

As well as the individualised coaching sessions and the dietary analysis, I provide you with lots more value. You get a personalised meal plan with nutritional breakdown, lots of recipes, workbooks, handouts, educational links, audio, and more.

Coaching sessions are usually every 1-2 weeks, but since you’re in the driving seat you can choose the interval you’d like. We chat over Zoom, Skype, or sometimes FaceTime, unless you’re in Northern Ireland and can come to see me in Belfast. All consultations have been online during lockdown.

Schedule a free discovery call now to chat about whether we’d be a good fit to work together by clicking on this link. What have you got to lose?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. 

Here's what a couple of my clients have said about working with me:

"After encountering doctor after doctor who couldn’t help with my gadolinium-induced symptoms, I began to worry that there was nobody out there who could offer any valuable insight into what might aid my recovery. So my biggest hesitation was the fear that Catriona might be another person who would offer very little support. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. She helped me get my energy levels and happiness back. All my symptoms decreased while working with her."
Portrait of Client Mike O'Connor
Mike O'Conn
From Pennsylvania
Watch Claire talk about her miraculous recovery from burnout
Portrait of client Claire McGuigan
Claire McGuigan
From County Derry in Northern Ireland


Do you do group coaching sessions for people suffering from side effects from MRI contrasts?

At this point, I don’t. I wouldn’t rule it out in the future.

Do you offer advice on vegetarian and vegan diets for people with side effects from MRI contrasts?

Unfortunately, what I’ve tended to find is that people with side effects from MRI contrasts often develop intolerances to all of the vegetarian and vegan protein sources as well as some other plant foods. This is something that I’ve experienced myself. In fact, the only vegetarian protein source I can tolerate right now is dairy. So I no longer offer advice on how to modify these diet patterns. 

Will you bring out a physical copy of your book, Contrasts: More than meets the MRI?

Contrasts: more than meets the MRI

That is on the cards. It’ll be print on demand. But I don’t have a release date yet. You can find out more about the ebook here.

How long will it take to start to see improvements when you have side effects from MRI contrasts?

That depends on how fast you can make the changes. Very committed clients have noticed improvements in only 3 weeks. And continued gradual progress often keeps occurring for 9 months or longer.

How long does the programme last?

Typically about 4-6 months. Although for some clients it may take more or less time.

Do the newer macrocyclic agents also cause problems, or is it only the linear MRI contrasts that cause side effects?

Both macrocyclic and linear MRI gadolinium contrast mediums are retained in your body longterm. Both can cause symptoms. I know that many people describe the linear agents as being safer, but many of my clients suffer from horrible symptoms after the macrocylcic MRI contrasts. I had a linear agent myself. I won’t be having another gadolinium contrast again for any reason.

What are the different areas you support?

  • Nutrition
  • Stress management
  • Movement
  • Relationships and community
  • Toxin avoidance
  • Sleep
  • Getting into nature
  • Supplementation
Reducing Sleep Anxiety

What do you actually do?

I help people like you who’ve had MRI contrasts and are suffering from side effects from gadolinium-based MRI contrasts to optimise their health using diet, lifestyle and supplements.

Do you have any freebies?

You’re in luck. When you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get a free gift. For a quick overview of side effects from MRI contrasts, grab my free MRI contrast guide, “REVEALED: SECRETS ABOUT MRI CONTRASTS DRUG COMPANIES DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW

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