Radiation Poisoning

Radiation Poisoning: Overview

Alternative Names: Radiation sickness.

Radiation poisoning results when humans or animals are exposed to large doses of ionizing radiation.  This exposure can be in the form of a single large exposure (acute exposure), or a series of small exposures spread over time (chronic exposure).

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Ionizing radiation produces immediate chemical effects on human tissue.

Causes and Development

X-rays, gamma rays, neutron beams, electron beams and other sources of ionizing radiation exist.  Exposure from X-rays or gamma rays is measured in units of roentgens.

  • Total body exposure of 100 roentgens (or 1 Gy) causes radiation sickness.
  • Total body exposure of 400 roentgens (or 4 Gy) causes radiation sickness and death in 50% of individuals.  Lacking medical treatment, nearly everyone who receives more than this quantity of radiation will die within 30 days.
  • Extreme amounts of radiation cause almost immediate unconsciousness, and death within an hour.

Signs and Symptoms

Acute exposure usually results in a characteristic set of symptoms that appear in an orderly fashion.  Chronic exposure usually results in delayed medical problems such as cancer and premature aging.

Symptoms of acute exposure include:

  • Bleeding from nose, mouth, gums, and rectum
  • Bloody stool
  • Bruising
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation of exposed areas (redness, tenderness, swelling, bleeding)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Open sores on the skin
  • Skin burns (redness, blistering)
  • Shedding/peeling of skin
  • Ulcers of the esophagus, stomach or intestines
  • Vomiting blood
  • Weakness

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Radiation Poisoning:

Lab Values - Cells

Conditions that suggest Radiation Poisoning:

Lab Values

Neutropenia

Radiation therapy or exposure can damage the bone marrow.

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Radiation Poisoning can lead to:

Lab Values

Neutropenia

Radiation therapy or exposure can damage the bone marrow.

Recommendations for Radiation Poisoning:

Botanical

Sodium Alginate

Sodium alginate is a good chelator for pulling radioactive toxins from the body which have taken that place of their non-radioactive counterparts, for example Iodine 131 and Strontium 90.

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