Gadolinium

The mental torture of gadolinium toxicity

The mental torture of gadolinium for MRI

Gadolinium contrast agents have known toxicity

We talk a lot about how gadolinium contrast agents are toxic to the body. They’re toxic to mitochondria and our cells. They’re toxic to our tissues, particularly our connective tissues, like bone, skin and joints. They’re toxic to our organs, like our livers, brain, kidneys and gut.

Gadolinium toxicity symbolised by a gas mask

Why don't we discuss the effects of stress on people suffering from gadolinium toxicity?

But today I wanted to talk about how gadolinium is also toxic to us emotionally. I talk to quite a lot of people who’ve suffered from a real decline in their health after undergoing one or more gadolinium contrast agents. And on Facebook I’ve interacted with even more.

And I’m more and more struck by the fact that so many of us are going through a deeply painful emotional experience as well.

There's a lot to be righteously angry about, when it comes to gadolinium contrast agents

We’re absolutely furious that we’re going through this, and that more people after us will go through this too. We’re angry and bitter because no good long term safety studies have ever been done on gadolinium contrast agents. Not a single one. And they’ve been about for 3 decades now. How can this be?

We’re furious because it’s been clear for over a decade that people with renal failure have been suffering from and dying as a direct result of their exposure to gadolinium contrast agents. They’ve received diagnoses of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). It’s absolutely tragic what’s been happening to them. And yet there’s still almost no research on how to mitigate their symptoms. So we’re furious on their behalf, but we’re also furious on our own – those of us who aren’t in renal failure, but still suffer.

NSF is being blamed on gadolinium retention in renal patients. But now we know that all of us are retaining it. But suddenly the drug companies, FDA, and doctors are saying that gadolinium retention is probably not an issue for the rest of us? Really? Without any evidence? What a load of nonsense.

Skulls and bones

We’re furious that so little time and effort is going into really good quality research that would help to identify the long term effects of gadolinium contrast retention. There are some really poor quality studies out there now that should never have passed the peer review process. Take, for instance, this terribly designed retrospective electronic chart audit

There’s a study that showed petrifying increases in the aggression of multiple myeloma tumor cells and in mice, but a decade later and it hasn’t been cited in a single research paper. Nor has any further research been done on its remarkably concerning findings. What an absolute disgrace!

Are you anxious about how gadolinium contrast MRIs are affecting, or could affect, your health?

We don’t know what the future holds for us. How can we, without studies? Some people start to feel better. Some people seem to get progressively worse over time. Which group will you fall into? How will you know? Imagine the constant stress of living with this uncertainty, day in and day out.

And we aren’t just worried about how the future will affect us, and what other new chronic illnesses or symptoms we’ll suffer from. Or even whether the pain will ever abate.

Gadolinium and anxiety go hand in hand. In fact, recently I’ve looked at a few rodent studies showing that the anxiety that many people with gadolinium toxicity feel is highly likely to have an organic basis. But that’s for another post.

For now just be aware that if you’ve noticed a surge in your anxiety levels following a gadolinium contrast scan, you’re not alone. It seems to be a very common reaction.

Are you anxious about those closest to you, and how your gadolinium-induced illness is affecting them?

We’re worried about our loved ones. We’re worried about being a burden on them. We’re worried we won’t be there for our kids. We’re worried we won’t be able to look after the people in our lives whose health is failing, and who need our care. We carry all of these burdens, and some of us are lucky enough to be able to share these fears with wonderful, supportive family and friends.

A lone child carried in a sea of black veils

Does gadolinium toxicity make you feel isolated and alone?

But not all of us. Some of us feel horribly isolated and alone in all of this, even if we see and talk to other people every single day. Some of us feel that only other people who’ve been through the same thing will understand us. We only find understanding in the support groups for gadolinium toxicity.

 

Has it affected your relationship with health care providers?

And far, far too many of us feel like we’ve been dismissed by our doctors and health care professionals. When we’ve told them that we are sick and in constant pain after gadolinium scans, all we get in return are eye rolls and prescriptions for antidepressants and other psych meds.

And not only that, but some doctors go as far as to insist on us getting more of these gadolinium MRIs to look for the cause of our new symptoms.

And if we refuse? Some doctors have discriminated against us, and told us that they won’t treat us without it. Breaking their Hippocratic oaths, violating informed consent procedures, and going against many other medical ethics recommendations. It amazes me how often I hear this from people living in America. They feel absolutely bullied into getting contrast when they don’t want it, just so that their doctor will keep them on!

Is this how you feel, too?

So we feel violated. We feel betrayed. We’re petrified. We’re in anguish. We feel isolated and alone. We feel suicidal. We’re anxious, depressed, and sometimes the struggle to continue seems almost insurmountable.

Don't Give Up. You're Not Alone. You matter

We are grieving for our lost time. We are grieving because something incredibly precious has been stolen from us: our vitality, our life, our peace of mind, our hope, our independence, our ability to work and earn a living, our retirements, our savings, and even our trusted relationships. We feel like victims, because we are. But our hope of justice is remote.

Because sometimes our families, friends, colleagues and those we love flat out refuse to believe either that we’re suffering so much, or that gadolinium is the cause.

Does the conventional medical system have solutions for us?

We’ve lost our trust in the medical system that’s abandoned us and betrayed us. We don’t want more drug cocktails added to the mix. Even though so many of us are living in intolerable pain, many of us are reluctant to take pain killers. Or, when we try to get pain relief, some of us are treated like drug seekers. Or the pain meds just don’t do much, even if they are prescribed.

Depressed and anxious man in distress

Meanwhile, who’s had to seriously consider whether or not they can trust their doctor enough to even bring up gadolinium, or other drug side effects with their doctors?

Do you blame yourself for allowing yourself to be injected with gadolinium?

And do you know what possibly the worst part is? We all blame ourselves most of all. We blame ourselves for letting this poison be injected into us. Many of us had niggling doubts that we raised with our doctors, but were reassured about. Many of us, in retrospect, feel like we should have known better, and we should have refused the contrast, despite all the pressure, and the risk of delaying or missing diagnoses. Some of us even carry around shame because of this.

So gadolinium is an incredibly toxic element. But it’s so much more than just physically toxic. It’s psychologically toxic. It’s emotionally toxic. And it’s toxic to our relationships.

Know that you're not alone in this struggle

I wanted to start a conversation about this. It’s a truly vulnerable conversation. But I want people who are going through all these things to know that they aren’t alone. Your feelings and struggles are real. I can validate them.

What hope is there for the future?

And after all of that vitriol, is there any hope? Yes. All of these things can be addressed. It might take a lot of hard work. You might need extra support to help get you through it. You might need therapy to help you work through it.

A way forward through the winter

There are other things that can really help: Meditation, mindfulness, practicing gratitude, talking with a good friend who’ll listen to you, and working on forgiveness can all help. Trying to get into nature, relaxation, trying to reconnect with the things that bring you joy.

Together, we stand shoulder to shoulder throughout this trial

What sort of things do you do to help deal with the toxicity of gadolinium on the mind? Please leave an answer in the comments, because other people with gadolinium toxicity read this blog, and they’re trying to understand what’s going on with them too. Sometimes we all need to hear about the positive things we can do to regain our emotional balance.

Have you been affected by gadolinium toxicity or gadolinium deposition disease? Are you seeking a natural way to reclaim your health? Are you prepared to use diet and lifestyle to rebuild your life? Contact me to find out how I can help you navigate your journey back towards good health.

If you’d like to find out why I’m so passionate about helping other people with gadolinium toxicity, I’ve written more about my own experience with gadolinium here and here.

Stand tall and strong in the light

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