Written By Anita Ginsburg / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
When your doctor recommends that you get an MRI as part of the diagnosis process, you might be concerned. You might be uncertain of the benefits and risks. You might worry about how much it costs. Finally, you might just be unsure about what is involved in the procedure.
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed pictures of your insides. Some of the most common reasons for receiving an MRI scan include back pain, neck pain, headaches, and unexplained weakness or numbness.
Here are five conditions that might require an MRI before a diagnosis can be made.
One of the most common reasons for an MRI is a brain tumor. A brain tumor, or growth in the brain, releases chemicals that can cause headaches and other neurological symptoms.
If you experience headaches and neurological symptoms and your doctor doesn’t know what’s causing them, they might recommend an MRI to reveal the source of these problems. In addition to this, if you have a compromised immune system, doctors might order an MRI to look for tumors.
Inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are often diagnosed through an MRI along with other tests. This is because inflammation can affect the tissues in multiple parts of your body, including joints and muscles. A doctor might not be able to tell if you have an inflammatory disease without an MRI.
Bone Marrow Diseases
If you have unexplained bone pain, infections, or easy bruising of the skin, an MRI might be necessary. It's important to know if it is a tumor or disease that is causing your symptoms before treatment can be administered. These diseases include multiple myeloma and leukemia.
Blood Vessel Problems
The brain is supplied with blood via two large arteries near the neck. Sometimes, these blood vessels are compressed by a tumor or other growth, causing pressure on the brain. An MRI can help diagnose whether there are any tumors or other problems that may be causing your symptoms.
If you have a fever and your doctor suspects an infection, it's possible they will order an MRI. MRIs can detect certain infections despite the lack of other symptoms, such as a cough or sore throat.
Blood tests and other tests may be done first with the MRI being a last resort if the other tests aren’t providing any insight. Sometimes, it is an early test depending on your symptoms and their severity.
An MRI scan can be a powerful diagnostic tool that helps doctors identify potential problems. However, the scan is not the only necessary step in the diagnosis process and it is not always the best option for all patients. Understanding when and why a doctor might recommend an MRI scan can help you make the best decision for your health in the future.
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Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.