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Gadolinium

By Lauren Kirckoff


What is gadolinium?


Gadolinium is a rare metal element that is highly malleable and has a silvery-white appearance. It contains a high number of neutrons, which makes it an effective choice for MRIs, x-rays, angiography, computed tomography, and ultrasounds. When it is used as a contrast agent, technicians and doctors are able to see the internal structures of the body more easily so that issues can be identified. However, gadolinium can cause serious diseases if the body retains it.


Since 2006, patients and physicians have been raising concerns about the safety of gadolinium, and it has now been linked to diseases, including gadolinium deposition disease, that can cause lasting harm to patients. Patients who have been injured by gadolinium have filed thousands of lawsuits across the U.S.


There are currently eight gadolinium-based contrast agents that have been approved by the FDA, including the following:

Prohance – generic name gadoteridol

Optimark – generic name gadoversetamide

Omniscan – generic name gadodiamide

MultiHance – generic name gadobenate dimeglumine

Magnevist – generic name gadopentetate dimeglumine

Gadavist – generic name gadobutrol

Eovist – generic name gadoxetate disodium

Dotarem- gadoterate meglumine


The symptoms of GDD may include the following:

Persistent headache/ head pain

Brain fog

Bone pain

Burning of skin

Joint pain

Skin discoloration

Tendons and ligaments that are thickened

Sponge-like appearance of the skin caused by a thickening of subcutaneous tissues


People may experience the symptoms for a short period of time, or they may continue to experience them for months.


In people who have GDD, the headache that they get is described as a severe head pain that is different than other types of headaches. Brain fog refers to a mental confusion that may arise in the early stages of the disease. Sufferers of GDD also report a sensation of burning of skin that arises early in the disease’s progression. This may be experienced all over or be localized to the distal extremities or the trunk area. The bone pain and joint pain that is common with GDD is described as an intense boring-type pain. In the later stages of GDD, people may experience skin thickening and skin discoloration that are progressive

 

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