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Getting an MRI When You Live with Diabetes: What You Need to Know

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a well-liked medical expertise used to diagnose illnesses and observe the effectiveness of medical therapy.

Docs use MRI scans to assist precisely picture components of the physique to find out the basis reason for signs.

This text will define what folks with diabetes have to know earlier than getting an MRI. 

Doctor stands next to patient in an MRI deviceDoctor stands next to patient in an MRI device

What’s an MRI?

MRI scanners are machines that use highly effective magnets, radio waves, and computer systems to generate detailed pictures of the physique.

The MRI machine itself seems to be like a big tube or doughnut with each ends open. A bed-like platform for the affected person slides out and in of the open house within the center. 

One other kind of MRI is an open MRI. Quite than a tube for the affected person, there’s a wider opening, which some folks discover much less confining or claustrophobic.

A diagnostic radiologist will sometimes learn the outcomes. The radiologist will then relay the data from the scan to the medical supplier who first ordered the check.

More often than not, getting an MRI will final half-hour to at least one hour. The quickest scans are about quarter-hour, whereas the longest scans are about 90 minutes.

Why would somebody want an MRI?

Getting an MRI is secure. It doesn’t expose you to ionizing radiation or to X-rays. 

MRI pictures play an vital position in serving to medical professionals to diagnose a illness or harm. They’ll additionally assist observe the progress of a course of therapy. 

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A physician might order an MRI to diagnose a large number of points, together with:

  • Issues with circulation and the vascular system 
  • Digestive tract points which might be tough to diagnose
  • Coronary heart or lung points
  • Points with the organs within the stomach
  • Tumors or lots
  • Bone situations, spinal points, and sports activities accidents
  • Mind abnormalities

What’s the distinction between an MRI and a CT scan?

MRI scans and computerized tomography (CT) scans are two widespread sorts of medical imaging.

MRI scans use robust magnetic fields to develop pictures of areas contained in the physique.

CT scans are a collection of X-ray footage taken in fast succession. These footage are mixed to create cross-sectional pictures.

Usually talking, an MRI gives higher decision and distinction when imaging mushy tissues, together with the mind and among the organs within the stomach. 

CT scans are a lot quicker than an MRI and are sometimes higher at resolving points with the lungs and bones. 

Are you able to get an MRI if in case you have diabetes?

Individuals with diabetes can get an MRI. 

Let your medical staff know that you’ve got diabetes in case there are particular concerns or precautions wanted. 

What ought to folks with diabetes know earlier than an MRI?

Communication is essential! Ask your medical supplier if there’s something particular you should do to organize due to your diabetes. You also needs to ask the radiologist or MRI tech questions earlier than the scan begins.

Managing your blood sugar can also be an vital a part of making ready for an MRI.

Some folks with diabetes discover it simpler to have an MRI within the morning. Normally, blood sugar ranges are usually larger as a result of Daybreak Phenomenon. 

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Schedule your MRI throughout a time of day when your blood sugar tends to be larger than common. It is a good strategy to keep away from needing to cease the scan to deal with a low throughout an MRI.

For a similar motive, it’s additionally finest to keep away from scheduling an MRI over a mealtime if you happen to can assist it.

You’ll need to take away any insulin pump or steady glucose monitor (CGM) you might be carrying.

Most insulin pumps and CGMs are thought of “MRI unsafe” as a result of they comprise metals. The highly effective magnets within the MRI machine can harm or destroy these units.

If you happen to use an implantable CGM just like the Eversense, additionally make sure to inform your MRI tech and medical supplier. It’s probably the implant will must be eliminated earlier than a scan.

Additionally, you will be requested to take away any electronics or metallic that you’ve got—this consists of metallic medical alert bracelets.

An MRI tech can be available to teach you on respiratory and aid you keep nonetheless. It’s vital to allow them to know if you happen to really feel like your blood sugar ranges are getting critically out of vary. 

Don’t be afraid to talk up in case your blood sugar may be very excessive or low. If you should, you must be capable to exit the MRI room to get a snack or take a correction dose of insulin.

Do I have to quick earlier than an MRI?

Your physician or radiologist will inform you if you should quick in your MRI. It’s a good suggestion to ask to make sure.

Usually, you’ll not be requested to quick for a very long time earlier than an MRI. A brief quick between two and 4 hours earlier than a scan is a little more widespread. 

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Whether or not or not a quick can be wanted typically is dependent upon the a part of your physique being imaged. 

It’s more likely {that a} fasting MRI can be ordered if you’re having a scan of your gastrointestinal tract or adjoining organs within the stomach.

Moreover, many individuals desire to not drink too many liquids earlier than an MRI to keep away from needing to go to the toilet through the scan.

Can an MRI affect blood sugar?

Whereas not less than one research has linked receiving an MRI to a slight drop in common blood glucose,  there are presently no medical machine warnings that relate to hypoglycemia.

There may be additionally no proof that receiving an MRI will make your blood sugars excessive.

Regardless of this, it’s all the time a good suggestion to make sure the particular person performing your MRI is aware of that you’ve got diabetes. 

It’s additionally good to know your personal blood sugar ranges earlier than your MRI begins. 


An MRI scan performs an vital position in serving to medical suppliers to diagnose illnesses and accidents, in addition to observe the progress of a course of therapy.

MRI scans are very secure, together with for folks with diabetes. 

Nonetheless, it’s vital to inform your medical supplier and the particular person performing the MRI that you’ve got diabetes in order that they’re conscious of any particular concerns.

In case your MRI is pre-scheduled, it’s additionally a good suggestion to consider what time of day to get an MRI to dodge lows or highs you routinely expertise. 

Just be sure you’ve informed your physician and the particular person performing the MRI if in case you have any medical tools like pumps or CGMs, as these will typically must be eliminated. 

Additionally it is a good suggestion to ask if you should quick or change something about your meals or water consumption on the day of your MRI. 

Hopefully, with the following tips, you’ll really feel higher figuring out that getting an MRI is nothing to fret about if in case you have diabetes! 

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