Autumn is coming… and I can’t help but wonder what my screwy neighbor is planning for his Halloween display this year.
Last year, this kook covered his windows with his own X-rays and CT scans.
Forget cartoon skeletons… this guy had the REAL deal.
It was the spookiest house in town!
But there’s something even scarier than having genuine body parts glowing in the windows, and that’s the glow of radiation lighting up your insides.
Every one of those window displays represented a blast of radiation aimed at my neighbor.
And Hank, if you’re reading this, sorry to break it to you — but over time, that exposure can cause serious damage inside your body, including where you least expect it.
It can rapidly age your arteries.
You might be a spry 70 years old on the outside. But if you’ve had even just a few CT scans, you could be practically turning 100 on the inside.
Talk about Halloween chills!
That’s not the only damage, either. That might not even be the WORST of the damage.
The study in the International Journal of Radiation Biology also finds that CT scan radiation can pound away at the critical endothelial cells that line your blood vessels, especially the most important one of all: your coronary artery.
Ever hear of someone “having a coronary?” That’s what we’re talking about here, and you could be on your way to “having a coronary” of your own if you let these docs keep zapping away at you.
The study finds that CT radiation damages the ability of those endothelial cells to pump out the nitric oxide they need to allow the artery to relax.
Lower levels mean they can’t relax… and you know what happens to a body part that doesn’t relax?
Try it right now — tense up your arm. It’s stiffer, right?
That’s what happens to an artery that doesn’t get enough nitric oxide. It gets stiffer — and stiffer means your heart has to work harder to pump blood through.
Sometimes, it can’t work hard enough. That’s when you “have a coronary.”
If that’s still not enough of a scare, the study also finds that CT radiation can lead to damage in the DNA of the endothelial cells.
It’s bad news all around, and these aren’t even the biggest risks linked to CT radiation.
That, of course, is cancer — a risk is so high that a 2007 analysis by the U.S. National Cancer Institute found the scans performed in that one year alone will lead to 29,000 future cases of cancer.
Now that’s TRULY scary!
I’m not saying never get a scan. But I will say think twice, ask questions, and avoid it unless it’s absolutely necessary.