This past two weeks, I had very bad pain in my stomach area- bloating, feeling too full, and it hurt to bend over and tie my shoes. This came out of nowhere, so it concerned me. On Sunday I went to an urgent care and was given an order for an upper GI X-ray. I questioned it “lightly” and asked about an ultrasound instead. The doctor did not share my concern for an X-ray, and told me the X-ray was no big deal.
Like most people I trust medical professionals; believing they will always choose the test that is least invasive, or that puts me in the least amount of danger.
I went and had the upper GI X-ray yesterday and it showed that I have too much acid in my stomach and gastritis. This is something I can address with medicine, diet and rest. I then began doing research about how much radiation I was exposed to- as I probably received 15 or so X-rays. According to one web-site, it was the equivalent of two years of “natural” or typical radiation exposure. Two years!
I am reminded this week that: X-rays are often given (at least here in the US) more than truly required and that we as consumers of health care- the patients- must be our own advocates. From now on, I will be incredibly cautious about X-rays. For more on this topic, please read the above article.