How to Avoid These 5 MRI Side Effects

UPDATED April 2018: Questions to ask, or story to share? Check out the MRIguides Forums

When a doctor states that you need an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), scary thoughts can go through your mind. Often, every horror story you have ever heard of terrible side effects can be the first things you think about. Side effects are possible with any medical procedure, but most people do not have side effects and report no problems either during or after the scan.

1. One possible side effect can be feeling dizzy or fuzzy-headed during or after the scan. Often this occurs when the person is already anxious and worried. The sounds inside an MRI scanner are a continuous low hum and this can make people dizzy. Also, keep your eyes closed while inside. The claustrophobic feeling will be lessened and this may prevent the dizziness from occurring. Try to breathe deeply and relax while in the scanner to reduce the anxiety you are feeling.

2. Headaches or slight nausea have been reported after a scan. The nausea may come from the noises in the scanner, as it sometimes sounds as if the noises are spinning around you. Again, use relaxation techniques and stay calm. Deep breathing or visualization techniques can do wonders for de-stressing the body.

3. Another possible side effect that can happen both during and after the scan is what is described as pressure or a “pulling in the head.” While some people have described the feeling as something being in their head, what is most likely causing the feeling would be the noise inside the machine. Wearing a set of approved ear plugs may reduce these feelings.

4. Backaches and fatigue are other possible side effects from having an MRI. However, these are most likely due from lying still for so long on the hard table and not really from the scan itself. A very common side effect is being sensitive to health issues. After having an MRI, any strange feeling in the body is often attributed to the test, when in reality, the aches and pains occurred before the test also. People expect to have side effects from the test and sometimes, they are hypersensitive to their bodies afterwards because they are looking for those effects and wondering how bad they will be.

5. One extremely rare, but possible, side effect is having metal in the body that causes pain during a scan. Since you will always be asked, several times, if you have any metal in your body, this is not one worth worrying about. You will be asked to remove all jewelry before the scan. Some dental work may cause a little tingling in the mouth, but nothing painful.
An allergic reaction to the dye used is possible as well. Typically, a mild pain or burning at the injection site or a minor skin rash is possible. Nausea and hives were the most common allergic reactions to the contrast that was used.

Remember that stress and anxiety can cause more problems that the actual test itself. Try not to worry about the test or the results. Relax and you may not feel any side effects at all.

Tito Jankowski lives in San Francisco. Find him on Twitter and . His latest direction is learning about health and blogging about MRI scans. He's quite the biotech explorer, including designing lab equipment like a blue light transilluminator and PCR machines, and co-founding BioCurious, the largest hackerspace for biotech.

Latest posts by Tito Jankowski (see all)

70 thoughts on “How to Avoid These 5 MRI Side Effects

  1. I have had many MRI and this is the fist time I felt funny. Fuzzy, dizzy and anxious. Creepy since I never felt it before. I pray it wont last…Going on for an hour now !

  2. Hello Tito,

    Last night I went for an MRI scan. I was a bit anxious about it but not very much. During the procedure I had a panic attack but managed to calm myself in order to finish the procedure.
    After 5 hours (scan was taken at around 7:40 PM) so around 12:30 – 1:00 PM i tried to go to sleep but I had very big issues with dizziness and a general not doing so well feeling. During the night I woke up multiple times feeling dizzy and even hyperventilating only managing to get some sleep around 3:30 in the morning.
    Today I really felt generally very bad (huge head aches and nausea, feeling like vomiting) accompanied again by random hyperventilation and what I suppose is fever. Besides these symptoms I also have big burning sensations in the chest area (not the heart but I think at the skin level) and I’m usually very hot on my chest, shoulders and face.

    Now, I went to a general doctor and he did an EKG which looked all good, blood pressure and bpm were also fine and at that moment I only had a fever of 38 Celsius (which is rather small and wouldn’t explain the burning sensations). He only prescribed Paracetamol for the “fever” and sirdalud for muscle relaxation… Now am I or him missing something?
    I’m really anxious about it because I don’t know what it is and how to deal with it.

    • I know it’s late answering this but I had a MRI today and I had a panic attack ,I have anxiety and I was having a little anxiety being in the mechine, but after I had a really bad panic attack later on it was coming and I tried to avoid it..it sounds like this could be the case for you,I swore up and down something was wrong and had a deep Sense of danger like if I don’t get it looked at not knowing what it was I was gonna die..yea it was that bad

      • Hi crystal
        Ive just had an MRI scan on my head as i have ear problems with dizziness
        Did you find out why you felt the way you did after the scan …i am feeling a really weird feeling.i feel kinda dissorientated n spaced out ..im actually feeling scared that i too might die ..i also suffer from anxiety n im just hoping it anxiety that is causing this feeling ..can you please let me know how long the feeling you had lasted ..i had my scan at 11.45 lasted about 5_10 mins n its now 7.15pm n still feeling weird

        • I have just completed 3 MRIs. I too am feeling dizzy, nauseated and disoriented. I hope this is normal and not a symptom of a larger problem, like a tumor.

          -AM

        • I had an MRI this morning at 7:00.Since left the table, I was off balance and driving home I realized that my lack of balance was even affecting my driving. As I’ve walked around today outdoors and indoors, I have found myself stumbling and feeling like my head had something in it.
          I am, still feeling fuzzy and clumsy. Turning my head to look at something makes me feel uncomfortable.
          It’s been about 8 hours and although I am not incapacitated, I am, hoping things improve by tonight.

    • i have these same symptons and i am still dizzy and sick at stomach and really nervous. have been since the mri. that was done three weeks ago. am still really dizzy weak sick at my stomach is there something i can do about this and should i seek a drs help

  3. Ophiuchus Journal of Medicine Entry.

    I shall treat and cure MRI Scan side effects.

    Today, October 16th 2017, I Miguel Tinoco had an MRI scan and afterwards I felt like crap. Fatigue, weakness and a highten projections of pain all over my body even where I have not had pain in a while. Wheb I got home and ate a late lunch which made things even worst. I felt that my food was just sitting in the stomach with little or no digestion process. I decided to take a nap to regain some composure, but my heart was pumping faster and harder than usual and I felt restless. I managed to sleep a little but after 15-20 minutes I woke up with all the effects mentioned above intensified. I then decided to pray but I could barely get up of bed and kneeling was a bit harder than usual. I barely had any desires to pray and all I asked God with meager faith in the name of Jesus Christ was: “Please God, put me to sleep.” I got up and went back to bed again. As soon as I settled ready to try to go to sleep I heard or felt a still small voice which I recognized as God’s voice. The voice commanded me saying: ” Get up and do your rites.” And after struggling a little questioning God to what use, I was obedient and did as the voice commanded. My rites are to wash my hands systematically seven times by putting in and out my hands from the stream of water in a coping shape. After I did that I returned to bed to try to sleep but I noticed that I no longer had any of the issues I was complaining about above, but I gave it no further thought until a little later when I thanked God. I did not sleep but got up and felt hungry and decided to go and buy bread. During my drive, I was given to understand by the same still small voice that my hand washing rites had nothing to do with me feeling better or restored, yet it required a bit of faith and effort of my part.

    I do not know about other people, but the voice kept instructing me. I was also given to understand that the reason I was feeling so crappy was because the MRI scan or radiation had reversed or affected the polarity of my whole body. And the act of touching the metal faucet along with the fresh water which is probably grounded realigned or fixed my body’s magnetic polarity or so I think.

    I give all the glory to God for this observation. It may help alleviate somebody else in the same predicament. If a little water in the hands can work wonders, imagine what a 15 minutes shower, bath or a deep or a walk in the beach can do.

    Yours truly from an unworthy servant in the hands of Christ.

    Attentively

    Miguel Angel Tinoco Rodriguez

    • Thank you this made so much sense! I will use this new information for my MRI tonight. My last MRI had me feeling horrible for days afterwards. It so demeaning and frustrating when doctors tell you one thing, yet you feel another!

  4. I recently had MRI two days ago, for the past two days I experience nausea, w headache. I am claustrophobic and I did practice deep breathing, keeping my eyes closed. However I had to be pulled out a couple of x’s I also been diagnosed w Severe PTSD I wonder if that had anything to do w my experience. I am hypersensitivie when it comes to something as stubbing my toe lol from long term opiate use. I have been clean for three years now. I don’t ever want an MRI again.

  5. Had an MRI scan today (first one ever) and for the rest of the day have been very tired – like chronic fatigue. Funny enough it was for a Knee scan so I was only half way in but getting up, I felt very dizzy and then have been drained of all energy all day. I think science is still years away from figuring out the benefits or damage this large magnetic machine is having on our human energy field. I am hypersensitive to everything anyway so was prepared to be dazed afterwards but the energy drain is another level. Really wish they could come up with something less dramatic that can give us the same quality of images without all the drama.

    • Wow! Interesting! A guy I work with fell ill today at work. He looked terrible and I thought he was going to drop to the floor.. He said he had an MRI done on his knee this morning and thought that it was probably that.. He looked so unwell. I was quite concerned for him.. he ended up going home early. I googled this tonight to see what side effects their maybe.. Now I’ve read these replys it’s quite concerning..

    • I too had an MRI scan yesterday for hand so I was lay flat on my stomachs with hands in front and I was fully in the MRI scanner today I feel rough very down and headache and feeling sick and angry for no reason I’m a genuine happy person so those magnetic fields must put our bodies out of whack no scientists no for sure what these machines can physically do to you. I’ve had MRI scans before and have been 100% fine but this one I was in for half an hour and I feel horrible today I hope it passes.

      • I too was laying flat in one today and I actually fell at the check out after I’m still real dizzy and I read it affects the levels of fluid in my inner ear Being on my stomach I got dizzy going in the machine And I’m still really fuzzy Test ended hours ago

      • I had a mri yesterday on my neck, felt yesterday but this morning/today I’m feeling disoriented and dizzy and have now got a strange cough, I’ve been resting all day but don’t feel any better I hope it passes soon

  6. This is going to sound crazy but please, bear with me. I had my first brain MRI yesterday and the experience was something that I have had a hard time explaining. As you know, with each set of pictures taken, there are different pitches of hums and whirs. Well, initially, I noticed that I could almost feel certain areas of my brain being “targeted” by the sounds. As the MRI progressed, certain sounds became almost painful to various areas of my brain. Now, before I continue, I would like to say, I was wearing earplugs. I could hear the sounds (obviously) but they did NOT hurt my ears).

    Although I was uncomfortable, I was also intrigued by the way my brain was reacting the the scan. In order to pass the time, I focused on the sounds of the machine and the areas of my brain that seemed to be reacting. Those areas changed with each sound. Toward the end of the MRI, things got a little scary. In the third from last set of pictures, my body started getting very warm, starting at my uterus (oddly enough). I felt almost a flattening and pulling-type feeling around the temples. It also felt like the right side of my face was being dragged downward. When I closed my eyes and tried to breathe through it, I immediately felt like I was turned onto my left side.

    That lasted for about 3 minutes. The next set of pictures were ok.

    The last set of pictures truly scared me. Almost immediately, it felt like my frontal lobe was rolling, temple to temple: left to right and back again, repeatedly, and with increasing speed. Almost like a kneading motion. My eyes widened and became hyper-focused; I couldn’t blink. My jaw tightened, my tongue pressed to the roof of my mouth, my fingers flexed, and my vision alternated between clear and blurry. I was very much aware of what was happening but had no control. This did not last for the entire duration of the last set of pictures. I was able to force myself to blink about 30 seconds before the MRI was completed. Once I blinked, I was able to regain control of everything else fairly quickly.

    I’m sure all of this sounds pretty crazy but I have been researching since leaving the MRI yesterday morning and have been unable to find any information on experiences like mine. I had no sedation and am not claustrophobic. Today I have been unnaturally exhausted and have caught myself randomly falling asleep sitting up which is unusual for me. Please, have you heard of reactions like mine?

    • Hello Jessica
      I had an MRA yesterday with and without contrast. And I had a similar experience to what you are describing. Also, I had a lot of nausea, I’m still feeling nauseous today, and very tired. Did you have contrast in your IV?

      • No, no contrast. I also brought up my experience to my neurologist and he was very dismissive. He didn’t even let me finish describing the experience 😑

    • I had something similar – thats how I found this page, was looking for side effects likek mine. Youre likely an energy sensitive too and you know our bodies arent meant to be in large magnetized zone – no suprise you felt all these details.

      • Had an open MRI yesterday and tired and with migraine aching. No contest.
        Seems like additional research might be needed on side effects.

    • Hi Jessica!
      I had a MRI scan last week and felt the same thing as you did. The brain reacted to certain frequences and different areas of the brain was affected during the cyclus. There was a lower tone in which i could feel it more in the forehead, and a lighter tone that made the center part sort of «vibrate». I could feel this in only one of the scan cyclus which lastes around 2 minutes. The whole scan took 25 minutes and the rest of it was ok, I did not notice any of the other symptoms you describe, only the vibration/aching in the brain during this special sequence. I told the operator this and she said it was not normal, she also said the scan cyclus was a new one. Ive done many MRIs but never felt this before. I had a headache after the scan which is still present, 6 days after the scan. Im also fatigue now. I got to say it got me a bit worried, especially since the headache is still there. Hopefully it will normalize soon.
      Regards
      Peter

    • Just had my 1st brain scan few hours ago. Was very relaxed, pretty much meditative. No contrast. I was quite interesting to experience what you describe. ( was certainly not expecting to feel different areas of brain being scanned) Was to the degree that a few times others areas of my body involuntarily reacted (mildly w movement) In my case, right leg, then later left arm. Also, few facial sensations, seeming stimulation. Odd headache building since, mostly back of neck, head; with mild nausea.

  7. I’ve been having problems with my lower back and may need surgery. In order to be seen by the orthopedic surgeon I had to have an MRI first. The MRI was performed in Mequon ,Wisconsin at 3:45 PM on Monday December 18, 2017. I suffer from migraine headaches and they have been more frequent since my back problems have intensified. I had a bad migraine the day of my MRI and it was worse after the procedure. I’m glad to find this on the internet so I know it’s not all in my head. The loud noise the machine makes probably was a contributor to making it worse plus my heart was beating so fast the whole time I was in there. Since it was my lower lumbar of my back I had to go all the way in. Susan Linda Pagenkopf Grafton, Wisconsin December 19,2017

  8. I had an MRI yesterday, no dyes were used, the roof fell on me at work – I fell forwards and slammed my head into the wall and got knocked out, I woke up with no memory, other then knowing I had 2 kids, the doctor put me in traction and I had a stroke, today I have a horrible headache and nerves crawling across the front of my scalp, it feels like maggots under the skin and is enough to drive a person crazy ! I took 2 gabapentin for nerve pain and it isnt working, there is another pain on the left side of my forehead, it feels as if my brain is swelling though I know it isnt – this had never happened to me before. It isnt the noise of the machine, I dont mind it, it has a rhythmn to it –but today is hell !!!!!

  9. I had an MRI on my left knee today. no major after effects yet other than it sounds like I’m in an airplane.. I’m quite tired too but that’s probably because I woke up 5 hrs before my alarm and couldn’t go back to sleep. I’m going on 4 hrs of sleep..nap time.

  10. I got a scan in December 2017 and I’ve had some pounding headaches since then. I’m going the homeopathic route from now on.

  11. Had a lower back MRI on Tuesday. Experienced a little dizziness for a couple of minutes before getting of table. More dizziness getting out of bed on Wednesday. Still dizzy Thursday morning. Seems to be dissipating, but concerned. Never happened before.

  12. I also had a MRI on my left knee this morning as some of the posters above. I was surprised with how drained I feel and foggy. I googled a few sites that all said that there are no after symptoms with MRI use until this site. It is interesting how many people talk of dizziness and fatigue. I dont suffer from claustrophobia or high anxiety and I am a builder so very use to loud noises, and yet since the MRI I have been struggling to not fall asleep every time I stop in a relaxing place for more than a few minutes. I am sure that the stress of doing something new, loud, and in a skimpy hospital gown makes your body go into a recovery mode after the event to allow it to ‘catch up’ but I cant believe how tired I am and why I have a headache on one side. Good to know its not just me!

  13. I had an MRI in January, 2018 of my brain . The MRI was done without contrast. I felt excruciating pain, as if an electric screw gun was being used on my head while in the MRI machine. I am not claustrophobic or anxious. The noise did not bother me either. I do not have metal in my body. I explained my experience to the attendant but he simply disregarded my experience. I have been to the Emergency Room twice since the MRI test for excruciating head pain, and prior to the test. I never had a headache. The MRI was ordered due to a fall that I had several months earlier. I have severe headpain daily and believe something happened in the MRI. I can not explain it and neither have my doctors.

    • We have a sort of similar experience going on with my husband. Is anyone listening to you or offering you any help towards healing from this? He is being dismissed as “this is not typical so just wait it out” – but I’m not taking that answer because he is getting worse.
      Are you getting any answers? So sorry for what you’re going through.

  14. I am a patient at Presence Hospital in Chicago. I have insurance, but their billing department tried to distort money from me. I finally got my insurance co on the phone with them on a three way called and they asked them to stop sending me bills. I then had a MRI on my chest because of heart problems. I believe the operator of the machine was told to turn the settings on the machine in such a way to really hurt me. I’ve had MRIs before but never felt like vomitting or weak after the MRI. My face droops, and I have veins popping out of my neck. I continue to feel weak all over. I think the damage was purposely done because they couldn’t except and Lost after I wouldn’t give into their extortion. This place should be investigated by the FBI. The facilities are clean and nice but the medical staff are psychopaths.

  15. Please help – any advice or thoughts would be appreciated. My husband had an MRI on his head Thursday evening. It is now Monday evening, and since his MRI he’s been getting progressively worse with severe headache, nausea, dizziness, and overall weakness and fatigue. We’ve contacted his physicians 3 times now and have been dismissed with them saying these results after MRI aren’t typical and he should just rest – BUT HE IS GETTING WORSE! And no one will listen to us. We’ve already taken on enough medical bills or I would just take him to the ER.. not that I think anyone would believe us at this point. I found this forum and it sounds like there are many others who have had bad reactions. What can we do? What is our recourse and how do we fix this?

    • Val, I had a brain MRI this afternoon…. I felt headache beginning as it was progressing and it continues. That is how I found myself here. I began drinking a LOT of water, coconut water, teas, ANYTHING to try to balance myself. I have a lot of essential oils and I am trying some of those. I am also going to take a long HOT shower followed by cool to see if that will help. I honestly felt like I got an EXTRA blast of magnetism when I told the tech I did not want the contrast, since they were doing 2 scans — one with and one without contrast. I am allergic to a LOT of things, including iodine and shellfish–all seafood and several drugs. I even had a reaction to the GoLytely for a colonoscopy. SO, I didn’t want to risk it.

      I am smelling Rosemary, a Mgrain combination and whatever else I have that works on my head.
      The feeling of “not right” is not fun. The symptoms are REAL. Prayers for your husband and all who are on this journey. I already decided I will NOT do another one unless my life existence depends upon it.

  16. I had one today, no contrast. I was unable to drive home from my sons and hour ago. I was feeling off balance, dizzy, blurry vision, tired, bad vertigo… I thought maybe it was my heart? Maybe my BP was low again? Maybe it is my Lupus or dehydration? Then I realized….I had an MRI thus afternoon. I wonder if it is that! It makes sense. So I researched and I found this forum. I am hoping it is gone when I wake. I don’t like this horrible feeling.

  17. I’m going to join the list of people saying there is a problem. I’ve had at least 4-5 MRI’s (head, neck, back, knee) on older MRI machines, with no problems except a mild 1-3-day feeling of malaise/fatigue/nausea — just “not feeling quite right”. Those were in older machines with weaker 1.5 T magnets, no contrast, and no ‘time of flight’. (I’m not claustrophobic, so that’s not it.) Yesterday was different: on a 3T machine I had a bad experience with just the final ‘time of flight’ imaging series.

    I had a neck/cervical spine MRI (without contrast) in a “3T” machine (3-Tesla field, meaning a super strong magnet). The last scan was a “time of flight imaging” to see blood flow. With an MRI, they put you into a big magnet-tube and shoot radio waves into you (technically it’s electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength that’s considered safe; everyone has a radio), and the computer analyzes how the “electron spins” change in certain atoms of our body (if I understand correctly) to make images. I don’t know what’s different about “time of flight” scans, except the radio waves are a different frequency. I was okay for the first several (normal) MRI scans, although I was surprised to feel my neck and shoulders heating up as they scanned, which had never happened before in the older machines with weaker magnets. But the final “time of flight” scan was the real problem.

    I really wish I’d squeezed the emergency stop button on that one, because it HURT. MRI’s shouldn’t hurt. I was in the magnet from my hips or abdomen upwards, and that area at the entrance of the tube was where the biggest pain/discomfort was. As soon as the radio waves started for that last “time of flight” scan, my old lower back injury started aching, then twitching, then really HURTING. Then my abdomen started to feel like I had a gopher running around inside it, like all the muscles — and all my intestines — were seizing and unseizing, moving around, until I was writhing with back/ abdominal pain. I kept telling myself, of course it must be safe. I’ve been dizzy, headachey, fatigued, spaced out, and dealing with abdominal pain/discomfort and strange body sensations (numb/tingle) since then (pain is mostly gone after a day). Their MRI tech and online articles say MRI’s can cause ‘peripheral nerve stimulation’; the tech said ‘like stomach gurgling’. I got a lot more than a gurgle. I wonder if it didn’t stimulate intestinal nerves to dump their serotonin, causing intestinal twitching and mobility changes and other stuff. I don’t know. I don’t know enough about this to guess well.

    I don’t know if it will help anyone, but with past MRI’s, if I felt ‘funny’ after an MRI, I’d meditate, swim in water (as one other person in these comments mentioned), or lie on the earth ‘with head pointed to magnetic north’ as some new-agers claim will ‘realign’ your body’s natural electromagnetic field and chi/Qi. I figure: if it doesn’t hurt, and it might help, give it a try. I always felt fine within a couple days. But this MRI was much much worse, and I didn’t have the horrible sensations some of the people on this list are describing, of their brains pulling one way and another. I hope you guys will post again to say if you recovered, over time.
    I don’t plan on having another “time of flight” MRI in a 3T machine (that was the frequency/series of radio waves that caused my pain and discomfort).

    • I had an MRI yesterday at 6 pm of neck and head . I’ve been feeling like I have the flu 😷 I had to call into work today and have been in bed all day with dizziness , nausea and terrible weakness throughout my whole body . I have slept like 16 hours and still feel sleepy and week . This is scary I hope it goes away soon ,going back to sleep no energy whatsoever. Anyone else out there experience this ?

  18. I experienced a MRI 2 days back.My technician forgot to give me ear plug and to cover my head.Now I’m suffering from severe headache.is this the side effects of MRI?

  19. Wow. My symptoms the day after my MRI (preventative screening for breast cancer) make a lot of sense and are normalized now after reading what you all experienced too! I thought my headache and exhaustion was just an after-effect of the panic attacks I was fighting off for the procedure- my whole body aches including my head, and I feel like I am 200 years old! I hope everyone else who wrote is getting some relief. I am telling my work I am sick with “the flu” and just resting. This sucks! I think I’ll stick with breast ultrasounds from now on, this was my first screening by MRI. I did it b/c it is supposed to catch more cancer but feel nervous about what we don’t know about the MRI! Take care everyone!! <3

  20. I had a MRI today on my lower back. That was at 07:00. It is now 18:20 and I’m feeling dizzy and nauseous, like I want to vomit… for quite a while now. I have a headache, feeling anxious, sleepy and tired. I tried to take a nap, but could not really fall asleep. This is a crappy feeling. I Googled several sites, but according to them there are no side effects after having a MRI. I beg to differ.

  21. Had an MRI scan yesterday following a colonoscopy Monday so scan concentrating on bowel/pelvis area. It genuinely felt like I was being cooked in a microwave oven, a truly weird experience. My stomach/bowel area seemed to be lifting and rolling around, much as you see if you peer into a microwave oven when it is heating up a meal. Today I really ache and have had to go for a sleep this afternoon, something I very rarely do. I’m not claustrophobic but not an experience I would like to repeat in a hurry, oh dear, I’m also due a CAT scan already not looking forward to that. My overall impression? This can’t be good for my body?

  22. I had a MRI on my knee yesterday and today I’m feeling so strange. Dizzy, tired, and fuzzy headed. Called the Open MRI place and spoke with the tech that gave me the procedure. She said she has never heard of any side effects. I am thankful to have found this site with comments from others who have had similar experiences. Clearly there needs to be more research on side effects from MRIs.

  23. Wow, I’m so saddened to hear all these stories. We obviously all were searching for information to explain our pain and suffering after an MRI. I had one with no contrast two days ago for my left shoulder so I had to go all in. I had one two years ago for my neck but didn’t have any issues afterward other than so glad to be out of it.

    I told the technician that I had issues with vertigo so to give me a moment to lay down and get comfortable. I had 6 pictures taken and it was the 4th or 5th that really made we want to squeeze the alarm. I had the cord in my hand but moved it up to the ball so I could squeeze it immediately. I didn’t but I really wanted to. Like one other poster, I felt like my eyes were wide open under my mask and I couldn’t blink.

    When it was over I could barely sit up. It took me a few minutes to stand and I felt my vertigo on the edge of being full on. The tech took my arm and walked me back to the dressing room. I had to sit down to put on my clothes. I wanted to just curl up right there and not move. The tech saw me and asked if I was okay and I told him I was very dizzy and nauseous.

    I sat in the lobby, drank about 5 glasses of cold water and got my cd from tech. But I couldn’t leave. Every time I got up the room started spinning. I took me nearly 2 hours to feel like I could drive home, which I really shouldn’t have done. When the tech saw me again before I left he told me at least 3 times that the MRI couldn’t possibly cause this reaction and it was unheard of. I sent a similar post to the Radiologist’s website for patient comments.

    When I got home and started researching, I Googled MRI and Vertigo. 2 years ago Johns Hopkins published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM is the most credible source of studies) showing that patients with inner ear or vertigo are definitely affected by MRIs and another article I found said people with these issues should definitely not get MRIs.

    It’s 2 days later and I’m still dizzy but not nearly as much. I did some treatments to get the crystals back in my inner ear channels and that seems to have helped. You can find the treatment on Youtube by Dr. Carol Foster. However, my right index finger has now blown up and is so painful at the second joint. I can’t bend it without excruciating pain. I’ve been icing but it’s not helping.

    I Googled “MRI and joint pain” and found some articles that said MRIs can cause inflammation afterward. Why it’s just in this one finger, I have no idea.

    I’m very angry and I feel like all of us have been subjected to this treatment without regard for our well-being. I feel like it’s a conspiracy after reading all of your stories.

    I hope and pray that all of you are better now.

  24. I had an MRI scan of my brain yesterday. Suprisingly I managed the claustrophobia and panic BUT afterwards I felt awful, giddy, woozy and feeling sick. I had feedback from the consultant about the condition I was being assessed for (transient global amnesia) but felt so sick I could barely listen. Following that I was violently sick and sick again. This was a horribly experience. Does anyone have any answers?

  25. I will join the crowd. My MRI was at 7:00 am and I have felt strange all day. Around noon I started getting weak, dizzy and nauseous. After resting and a nap, I’m feeling better, but definitely not normal. I don’t have any answers as to why since all the medical “experts” say there are no side effects. However, I do wonder if the magnetic fields and noise are causing the symptoms.

  26. I just had an MRI this morning for lower back. As soon as i got out I felt a little woozy and fuzzy headed. Driving home I still felt disconnected. Now that I’m home I am still all of those things plus I’m feeling extremely wrung out, drained, weak, very lightheaded and overall weird. I quickly started googling and reading that there are no side effects – so glad i ran across this forum. You can’t tell me that the professionals have not heard from patients about these aftereffects.

  27. Had my first ever MRI this morning on right shoulder. A couple hours later I became very tired with headache and neck aches and fatigue. I have slept 3 different times this afternoon for an hour each time and still tired and groggy. No nausea though. No one could ever convince me that this is NOT from the MRI.

  28. I just had an MRI this morning for left hip that is not caused by arthritis. I had no contrast and I am not claustrophobic. While in the machine, I had the following symptoms: I felt heat across my hips where the pictures were being taken. Depending on where they positioned me in the machine, my heart was SLAMMING and I found it difficult to breathe. I do not suffer from anxiety, but this did make me anxious. It stopped when they changed cycles and moved me in the machine, so I know it wasn’t me. I also felt nauseous. When I got out of the machine I told the tech, “that was so weird”. He said nothing, didn’t ask me how I felt, didn’t explain that there could be “side effects”, he practically ignored me.
    Thank God I had cold water in the car, so I took a few minutes and drank some cold water. I only had to drive for 10 minutes to get home.
    I texted my daughter who is a nurse in radiology, and she said yes, totally expected side effects, especially in the T3 machines like someone above stated. I’m assuming it was a T3 machine, because I had an MRI of my knee in the past, which was much louder, but no side effects at all.
    I just had the MRI at 7:00 am and it’s 9:13 am now, so I’ll have to wait to see how the day goes. I’d love to take a nap but I have plans to go out.
    My head was hurting, that seems to be subsiding a bit, I’m feeling hungry but still a bit nauseated. I still feel foggy and my head feels like it’s vibrating.
    I’ll come back this evening and update you all on how I feel. I think I’ll write a letter to the administration in the MRI center and tell them that they need to talk to patients about side effects from these strong MRI machines. Together we will get them to pay attention!!!

  29. I had a breast MRI done two weeks ago. While in the machine, I had a severe cramp in my back that hurt like hell. The MRI Tech did not hear me screaming for him (or chose to ignore me). I have had pain in my back ever since and it radiates to the front under my breast. I think I either fractured a rib, have a severe muscle sprain or something else. This pain just will not go away. Does anyone have any ideas what I should do? I didn’t have this problem before the MRI.

  30. I have to admit that I was more than hesitant to post my story, but after reading so many accounts, I figured I should write down what happened today, in an to feel less crazy.

    Let me start by saying that I am no stranger to doctors, hospitals, medical or surgical procedures. I was an active kid and between football(soccer) and skateboarding I managed to break more bones than I could count. I had spinal meningitis twice (but have had a total of 10 spinal taps), had a hand reattached, chronic kidney stones, and was blessed with seizures in my 30s after bad car accident (of no fault of my own)! Yay me, ha ha! While the list continues, suffice it to say — I’m no stranger to xrays, ct, and mri scans. With and without contrast. I have metal plates and screws in my hand and lower spine. But it CAN always be worse. I preface what happened today by sharing my body problems, only to show that my familiarity with how an MRI SHOULD WORK has me all the baffled and questioning my own sanity!

    I met with the same technician who happened to working this past February when I went in for an MRI of my brain. Answered the same questions: only metal continues to be in my hand and spine from surgeries years ago, correct. Yes, I’m still a bit claustrophobic, but I can deal with an MRI no problem. We walk to the imagining department, I lie down, he hands me the emergency bulb, I place the ear plugs in, and he slides the table into the machine.

    The first minute or so felt warm on the lower 2″ of my back, but I mostly ignored it and moved along. The technician asked how I was doing (through the speaker), and I responded “Ok so far” but as soon as the words left my mouth I was filled with regret.

    The machine began with the much louder knocking and spinning sounds, and almost instantly from my lower spine to my chest I began to feel an intense heat and pressure! I wasn’t sure if an invisible force was pushing down from above, or pulling me from below, and while I didn’t squeeze the emergency bulb, the technician shut down the power and pulled me out quickly!

    I began apologizing profusely, while thanking him for “saving me” as I could feel something was going wrong with the scanner, but I was too stunned to ask for help! He gave me an obviously puzzled look as I explained what I was feeling. He asked me again about any other metal in my body. He was VERY patient with me, gave possible explanations: “maybe the ink in some of your tattoos are reacting to the process,” etc. That may have worked had i had back tattoos or had I not had the same tattoos for 20 years.

    We tried again. The heat and pulling sensation only intensified. We began doing 3 min scans with a 2 minute break. I don’t know what was happening but I felt as though I was being pulled into the scanner by someone who was tightening their grip around my spine by the second!

    I couldn’t take it! I had 7 minutes to go, but I couldn’t make it, and it drives me insane because I have NO idea why this was happening for the 1st time in my life! It scared me if for no reason other than the tech couldn’t explain why I was feeling that way!

    By the time I made it home my doctors office was closed. I plan on calling 1st thing in the morning even though I know the nurse will tell me I panicked. I don’t have panic attacks, but if I did why would I panic over some I’ve done hundreds of times before??

    It’s 2 hours later and my spine still hurts and is hot to the touch. I’m not imagining that.

  31. I had my first MRI scan today – two hours ago.
    I have head/neck ache and I feel dizzy and disoriented, brain feels a bit scrambled/fuzzy almost flu-like – hence the reason I searched and found this blog.
    I’m not an anxious person, sound didn’t bother me during the scan.

  32. I had a no contrast MRI yesterday, and when I was walking out of the hospital I starded feeling terrible…dizzy, headache, nausea. and just general awful feeling. 18 hours later and feeling awful. Never again.

  33. I have a defective hip implant that has left me poisoned with cobalt and chromium. I told the MRI tech, but was told it wouldn’t be a problem. She was wrong.

    • I had an open MRI yesterday Sept 19, with dye.
      I feel so sick today. Weak all over and my head hurts. My stomach hurts when I eat.
      It’s a scary feeling.
      I hope it goes away soon.
      Sending good health to others who feel the same.

  34. I have had at least a dozen MRI’s in the past with no problems. I went to a different MRI place today and had a very strange experience. I was having 2 MRI’s done. The first on my hip was fine as usual. The 2nd on my spine made my hand feel like electricity was shooting through them and was very painful. I squeezed the emergency bulb and the tech moved me out. I told her what was happening and she said she never heard of this. I moved my hands from my chest to my sides. This time they felt hot but not as bad as the pin pricks before. My head started heating up and I felt dizzy. Tears were streaming down my face by the time it was over. I was dizzy and weak. A doctor came in to see me and said she never heard of anything like this. I really wonder if she doesn’t know or doesn’t want to know. I’m glad I found this site so I don’t feel so crazy.

  35. Wow this is so weird. I had an MRI years ago and was fine but I just had another one 5 days ago on my lower back and I haven’t been right since. An hour after the MRI, I started feeling a bit off – almost like I had a flu. I thought nothing of it & had a nap but when I woke I had a bad migraine and couldn’t face eating. Now, I’m a girl who usually loves her food so it’s really unlike me. Here I am five days later & I still don’t want to eat, still have a migraine, feel really lethargic & just want to stay in bed. I’m well used to medical tests so it’s not like I’m just being a drama queen. I never even thought this could be related to my MRI until an hour ago so I started googling it. It’s so weird we’re all having similar issues. On one hand being unable to face eating is good for my diet but I don’t know how long this’ll last so I can get back to feeling normal again…

  36. I had a 45 minute mri scan today for my jaw and everything but my legs were in the machine . That was at 10:35 this morning and I’ve felt really week, dizzy and tired all day. I had a nap and when I woke up I just felt out of it for about 2 hours. I still feel weak, tired and out of it. Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to feel right again?

  37. I knew I wasnt crazy!! Ive never noticed a direct link before but after 12 hours something told me to goole possible side effect of MRI and CT I had both today . I am dizzy , very spacey, literally looking for items in my hand almost a drunk feeling , blurry vision, my body and eyes hurt, nausea, headaches. Weakness, tired, freezing and achey but no fever …Ive been thinking I was coning down with the flu all day but this buzzing in my head and spinning finally gave me motivation to look deeper. Ive always been sensitive i have on going health issues including fibro so I thought a flare up but this messed me up …idk it wasnt my longest MRI ..but ive had a few xrays this month anyway just wanted to do my part sharing I know drs. Keep dismissing us …but we know our bodys ….nor are we crazy and I found comfort I wasnt alone. It took me all day and most of the night to actually look this up ….because I kept telling myself “thats crazy” well this site prove Its not ..thank u

  38. A list needs to be made of the following:
    All doctors and nurses and technicians who said “I’ve never heard of this before…”
    Then we can compare and see if there are any names who have said it twice. Catch them in the deception. Hold them to account.

  39. Just another note in common sense: It makes sense why someone would hear noises during the exam because the noise is currently happening. How can anyone be hearing these noises after the MRI scan is complete? It is obvious using logic and reason that if noises are still being heard after the exam when the noises have stopped, that there was damage done during the exam. These new 3T machines are too much magnetic pull for the human body, just read up on the safety and pre exam contraindications protocol. 1.5T is the most a human body should come in contact with. Also, read up on G forces and magnetic pulls under NASA. Too much can cause brain damage that are equivalent to the whiplash forces in rear end collisions. These same 3T MRI after effects and whiplash symptoms are the same when there’s brain injury/concussion. Seems like humanity has become a living experiment. Request a 1.5T only MRI or do without is my opinion. Praying for justice and restored health to all of you. And stand up to these days, techs, and whoever else did this to you. Get an attorney for further advice.

  40. I’ve just come back from my MRI and I am frantically looking for information on side effects.

    I realised when I was getting changed into the gown and looked at my feet I’d left glittery nail polish on my toes. I mentioned it to the hospital person but she said it would be fine.

    As soon as I lay on the bed with my feet facing the tunnel I could instantly feel my toes prickling and tingling. I asked again about the polish and told her about the tingling. She looked concerned and got her colleague’s advice. She said not to worry the glitter wasn’t a problem. They then asked if it was my imagination which I felt pressured into agreeing with so I sheepishly continued, still feeling the tingling. It intensified when I went in but my whole body felt weird. Tingling, almost vibrating, crawling sensation under the skin over my whole body, especially in my limbs and extremeties. I kept calm, focused on my breathing until the 2nd last scan began. This time felt very different. Suddenly, a crazy spasm twitching sensation took over my lower abdomen, similar to that gopher feeling described above by another poster. It caused my tummy to physically jolt, then I got an intense pain in my left elbow, it had gone stiff and seized up, at the same time I felt a shooting pain in my head. I thought that was it, I was going to die. I felt like I could almost go into proper panic, I almost squeezed the alarm to get the hell out of there, but for some reason I just battled through it, probably as I knew it was almost over. If I knew it would have went on for any longer than it did I would have got out of there. I felt very dizzy and fuzzy afterwards, exhausted, anxious. 5 hours later I still feel dizzy, fuzzy and “off” with this strange, squirmy feeling in my legs, feet and toes. I have a very sore head. What the hell is going on?
    I feel like there was stuff in me moving around that shouldn’t have moved. It felt like my molecules were moving around (if that makes sense). It’s a very hard sensation to describe. I am worried something serious is happening but I know the docs won’t believe me.

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