If your doctor is unable to identify the condition which you may be suffering from, he may recommend you to be administered contrast dye.
Contrast dye, a liquid administered to a person’s body during X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CAT scans, is used by physicians to detect diseases and injuries which are not visible under normal examination. Contrast dyes may be administrated either rectally, orally or intravenously. If your doctor chooses to give it to you intravenously, he would use a needle so that it goes directly to your blood stream. Depending on your age, height and weight the amount of this dye differs. If it is administered orally, usually barium sulfate, a thick, chalky substance is given. If given rectally, barium sulfate is administered with the help of a tube in the rectum.
Today most of the contrast dyes are safe, but there are times when adverse reactions may occur. It may not be worth the risk, if you have some other medical conditions. In case you have some other health complications or if you are pregnant it’s always better to consult your doctor about any side effects of the dye. After administration of contrast dye for an examination you may suffer from hives, coughing up blood in the morning, fainting, increase of heart rate, throat spasms, tongue swelling, facial swelling, wheezing, dizziness, seizures, black stools, changes in urination, extreme weakness or tiredness, bleeding or unusual bruising, consult your doctor immediately as it may lead to other health complications.
However, on the other hand, if you feel a warm sensation, nausea, headaches and food tastes differently, there is nothing to worry as these mostly go away after a day or two. There are some side effects like swelling of the feet, lower legs, hands, face, swelling or pain at the place where you have been injected, intestinal or stomach irritation and symptoms of cold which you may suffer from. These effects should go within a few hours and usually would not need medical help. In some very rare cases an allergy can result in anaphylaxis which is a severe life-threatening reaction. However, in some people it has been reported that these reactions become severe and this is where you should go to your doctor.
Before you are administered a dye, you may be asked to take premedications like antihistamines or steroids. These are given as a preventive measure so that you don’t suffer any adverse reaction. There are several instances where premedications have reduced the chances of side effects or any other reactions. There have been no reported side effects of medicines which are taken before taking contrast dye. Even though instances of severe reactions have shown to reduce, there is no such regimen which has altogether got rid of repeated reactions.
Use During Breastfeeding
Under normal circumstances, a lactating mother can carry on with breastfeeding even if you are administered with contrast dye. The main reason for this is that the material of which it is made of, does not get mixed up with the milk. However, you should make sure that no radioactive isotope is used. Today, these dyes are even used to detect injuries and diseases in babies. However, if you are still worried, then you may stop breastfeeding for a day or two so that all of it is removed from your body.
Thus, contrast dye which is one of the very useful medical test and tools to know if you have some underlying conditions. Though reactions to these dyes are common, you should report such occurrences to your doctor.