Shielding Your Health: A Holistic Approach to Minimizing Radiation Exposure of CT Scans

As I have written about in the past, Gayle and I took an integrative approach to beating cancer. 

That kind of approach just makes sense to us. 

We took the best of what allopathic care and holistic care offered and integrated those modalities into her healing strategy.   

Her recovery has been amazing. Almost five years later, Gayle still has no evidence of disease.

It goes without saying, we are very happy with our integrative approach, but we still face a challenge every six months – CT scans.  

If you are someone who has been given a cancer diagnosis, then you will most likely relate to the next sentence. 

The scans, the scans, the never-ending scans.  

Every six months we have “the talk” with her doctor. She says it’s time for more scans, and we ask, “Is getting them this often still warranted in Gayle’s situation? How many CT scans can a human body handle without the CT scans themselves actually causing secondary cancers?”  

All screening tests, like CT scans, mammograms, MRIs, and X-rays increase your exposure to radiation, which could increase your risk of developing cancer, or a secondary cancer. 

Yet, these are valid tests that could be necessary to help rule out cancer or a cancer recurrence. 

What should you do?  

Some health care providers will tell you all scans are absolutely necessary when facing down a cancer diagnosis.  

Others will tell you to absolutely avoid all scans.   

I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle.  I think you should use all the tools available that will help you reach your health goals and avoid the tools that do more harm than good.  

As for the should you or shouldn’t you regarding the scans, here are two things I think each of us should consider when facing the decision: 

1.  Talk to your doctor. If you don’t think the risk versus reward of the radiation exposure is to your advantage for your health goals, then talk to your doctor about avoiding the scans. Or perhaps talk to your doctor about having them less frequently. That’s what we did initially. 

2.  Empower yourself.  If you and your doctor feel a scan is warranted for your healing journey, then consider employing a strategy to reduce the radiation’s impact. 

In their book Five to Thrive: Your Cutting-Edge Cancer Prevention Plan, Dr. Lise Alschuler and Karolyn Gazella provide one such strategy to possibly help protect your body from radiation before and after the test.

Here is their reducing radiation strategy:

Reducing Radiation Worries

Taking antioxidants just before the CT SCAN test can give your cells added protection from the radiation exposure. While there are no clinical trials that prove protective benefit, there is solid theoretical rationale. Plus there is little risk of harm and no danger of interfering with the scan. 

Take at least three of the following nutrients three times each – approximately two hours prior to the scan. Again within 30 minutes before the scan, and ideally within 30 minutes after the scan. These nutrients provide antioxidant support to help neutralize the radiation from the scans:

  • Vitamin D = 1,000 IU each dose
  • Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols only) = 400 IU each dose
  • Glutathione (Setria brand) = 250 mg each dose
  • N-acetylcsteine = 250 mg each dose
  • Alpha-lipoic acid = 100 mg each dose
  • Spirulina or blue-green algae = 200mg each dose
  • Selenium citrate or picolinate = 100 mcg each does (Note two Brazil nuts provide the same amount of selenium.) 

According to Alschuler and Gazella, these nutrients have been shown to support the detoxification pathway and increase the body’s antioxidant levels, thus helping to protect cells from damage.  

As a certified holistic cancer coach and wife of someone who beat cancer, I understand the importance of educating individuals on how to better manage treatment side effects through a holistic and integrative approach.  If the strategy in this article doesn’t resonate with you, book an appointment with me and we can discuss other options. Or discuss options with your trusted healthcare provider.  

I know from our experience, it can make all the difference for a cancer patient’s overall quality of life to have strategies that can help mitigate treatment side effects such as: nausea, fatigue, pain, neuropathy, mouth sores, changes in appetite, weight loss, and emotional distress.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and you are not my patient. This is not medical advice and is not intended to replace medical advice.  Always check in with your trusted healthcare professional before taking supplements to find out if they are right for you.

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Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC

Yetta is a certified functional nutrition practitioner, holistic cancer coach and speaker. She studied whole-food, plant-based nutrition with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. She is a food driven analyst and works with clients to help them use nutrition principles to solve the root causes of their health symptoms. She knows that functional nutrition is the answer to our current healthcare crisis, both for individuals and for society at large, and wants to inform as many people as she can of the power of food to heal. Her promise to clients - if you eat better, you will feel better.