Radiation Exposure: Causes, Symptoms and Support Strategies
Radiation is the release or transmission of energy in streams of waves or particles. Radiation exposure affects all of us. You may be exposed to various forms of radiation, including microwaves, radio waves, and x-rays. It is impossible to completely escape radiation exposure. But is radiation exposure dangerous? How can you reduce your radiation exposure? What can you do to support your body after radiation exposure? Keep reading to find answers to all your questions related to radiation exposure.
In this article, you will learn what radiation is. You will understand the major forms of radiation and the symptoms of radiation toxicity. I will offer some support strategies for radiation exposure to support your health and well-being.
What Is Radiation
Chances are, you’ve heard the word ‘radiation’ countless times before. But you may not know what radiation exactly means. Radiation is the release, emission, or transmission of energy in forms of streams of particles or waves. It may travel through space or a certain medium. Some forms of radiation include electromagnetic radiation, including microwaves, x-rays, ultraviolet, infrared, or radio waves, particle radiation, including alpha, beta, and neutron radiation, acoustic radiation, including ultrasound or seismic waves, or gravitational radiation that makes gravitational waves.
Radiation can be ionizing or non-ionizing. Ionizing can carry over 10 eV to strip the electron from the atom’s electron shell. Examples of ionizing radiation include radioactive materials and x-rays. Non-ionizing radiation is too small to create charged atoms. It is made up of electromagnetic waves that can’t detach electrons from atoms. They are the lower frequency than ionizing radiation and include microwaves, radio waves, and infrared light.
You may wonder if radiation is dangerous for your body. The truth is that small amounts of radiation are normal. Even larger amounts for very short periods can have a hormetic effect. However, repeated large exposures or chronic mid-high exposures can hit a threshold and cause excessive oxidative stress and cell damage. Therefore, it is very important that you read this article carefully, reduce your radiation exposure, and employ natural strategies to support your body (1, 2, 3).
Major Forms of Radiation Exposure
Radiation exposure has various forms. Let’s look at the major forms of radiation exposure that you need to be aware of.
Environmental radiation is normal radiation that is part of our natural environment. There are natural sources of radiation in our soil, air, and water that can result in ionizing radiation exposure.
There are also man-made sources of radiation from mining and using natural radioactive materials for power generation, industrial applications, nuclear medicine, military application, and consumer products. Being in higher altitude, for example, flying on an airplane, can also naturally increase your radiation exposure (4).
Electromagnetic radiation consists of electromagnetic waves of the electromagnetic field. It carries electromagnetic radiant energy as it moves through space. It can take many forms, including visible light, radio waves, microwaves, gamma rays, and x-rays. Some forms of electromagnetic energy are non-ionizing, hence lower level and less dangerous. They include microwaves, cell phones, computers, and MRIs. Other forms of electromagnetic radiation are ionizing, higher level, and more dangerous. They include x-rays and ultraviolet light.
While some forms of electromagnetic radiation are more dangerous than others, a high level of exposure to any radiation can be disrupting your health. If you are specifically interested in the potential effects of cell phones, computers, WiFi, and powerlines, you may learn more about electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure in this article (5, 6, 7, 8, 9).
X-rays and Mammograms
X-rays use radiation of electromagnetic waves to detect health issues. They create images inside your body and can detect abnormalities by showing different shades of black and white on images. Your bones, for example, will look white on an x-ray as the calcium in your bones absorbs x-rays.
Your fat and soft tissues will look gray as they absorb fewer x-rays, whereas your lungs cannot absorb any, hence they will look black. X-rays can spot bone fractures, broken bones, tooth cavities, and pneumonia. Mammograms are a specific technology that also uses x-rays to detect breast cancer.
While the amount of radiation you receive from an x-ray is small, you are usually still asked to wear an apron to protect certain parts of your body that are not being examined, and your radiologist will also wear one and often step out of the room during imaging. While x-ray can be a fantastic technology to detect broken bones, radiation exposure still holds a risk.
Research has linked mammograms to an increased risk of breast cancer and x-rays to other forms of cancer. It is important that you only get x-rays when it’s absolutely necessary and support your body to reduce the effects of radiation (10, 11, 12, 13).
Computed tomography or CT scan is a common medical imaging procedure that can show us much more than an X-ray about what’s going on inside your body. It uses many x-rays measurements taken from different angles to create cross-sectional images of various areas of your body processed by a computer. It allows doctors to see your organs and tissues.
CT scans, however, use a higher dose of radiation that most other imaging technology ranging from 1 to 10 mSv exposure. This is similar to several years of background radiation exposure. Increased exposure also means an increased risk of cancer. It can be specifically problematic for children and those under the age of 20 as they may be more sensitive to radiation. Due to higher levels of radiation, CT scans should only be used when it is absolutely necessary and there are no other lower-radiation alternatives, such as MRIs (14).
Radiation Based Medical Therapies
Radiation based medical therapies, also known as radiation therapy or radiotherapy, utilizes high doses of radiation for cancer treatment. The goal of radiation therapy is to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors, and slow the growth of cancer by damaging their DNA. It does not kill cancer cells immediately, instead it takes weeks for cancer cells to become damaged enough and die. It may take weeks or months after the end of radiation therapy for cancer cells to die.
Depending on the type of cancer, size of the tumor, the location of the tumor, the person’s medical and health history, other treatments involved, and other factors, one may receive external beam or internal radiotherapy, which are the two main forms of this treatment. External beam radiotherapy sends radiotherapy externally from a noisy machine. It is often localized directed to the area of your body with cancer. Internal radiotherapy in radiation that goes inside your body through a liquid or something solid through IV, injection, or swallowing, and affects your entire body.
While it may help to shrink or kill cancer cells, radiation therapy affects your entire body and can be very hard on your system. How radiation affects someone depends on the individual. Some may work through their treatment with little difficulty, while others have to go part-time or stop working completely. Radiation therapy can lead to unwanted side effects, weaken the body making it vulnerable to other health issues or even increase your risk of another form of cancer.
If you have cancer, it is important to weigh all your options, to understand the risks and benefits of each option, and make an informed decision that you comfortable with. If you are receiving radiation treatment, it is important that you support your body through a healthy diet and lifestyle (15, 16, 17).
Symptoms of Radiation Toxicity
If you have radiation toxicity, you may notice a variety of symptoms depending on the level of your exposure and health. Common symptoms of radiation toxicity include (18, 19):
- Feeling unwell
- Trouble concentrating
- Hair loss
- Rapid heart rate
- Irregular heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
Natural Support Strategies For Radiation Exposure
The truth is that we are all subject to some level of radiation exposure. While a low level of exposure is not problematic, repeated large exposures or chronic mid-high exposures can increase your risk of excessive oxidative stress and cell damage and consequent health issues. To minimize your risk, I recommend natural support strategies for radiation exposure.
Minimize Exposure To Radiation
It is important that you minimize your risk of radiation exposure. Be aware of the different forms of radiation and understand the potential risks. Get imaging done only when necessary and choose the least risky appropriate option. Thermography may be a safer alternative to mammography. Avoid or reduce the use of microwaves and pay attention to your EMF exposure from technology, devices, and appliances.
Make sure to keep your phone, other devices, and appliances turned off or on airplane mode whenever possible. Limit your WiFi use and use hard-wire internet connections whenever you can. Keep your electronic devices as far as possible, for example, use headphones while talking on the phone, and don’t sleep next to your phone. You may read my detailed guide to electronic use and reducing EMF exposure here.
EMF Mitigation Strategies
Besides the smart use of WiFi and technology, there are a few more things you can do. Test the EMF exposure levels in your home with the TriField EMF Meter Model TF2 Unit. It is important that you make sure that your grounding systems, interior electric wiring, and obsolete systems are up to code.
I personally love the Qi Home Cell™ EMF Protection technology that emits a healthy antioxidant-rich electromagnetic field that calms and protects your body. While it is an investment, it certainly helps to create a true sanctuary and offer EMF protection in your home (20).
The nice thing about this product is my family and I don’t have to be concerned about dirty electricity inside the house, 5G or anything else while we are in the home because of the protective field that the Qi technology provides. Check out the video below to learn more and see why I am so impressed with this.
Be sure to check out the free webinar on the Qi device coming up this Thursday, December 3rd at 4pm EST. We will speak to the inventor of the Qi devices in more detail and even show you a demonstration of the Qi in action. I have also negotiated a great group buy discount for my community if you are interested in getting one of these.
Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Plan
The food you put into your body can either create a base for a healthy environment or a base for an unhealthy one. To support your body from the effects of radiation exposure, I recommend an anti-inflammatory diet.
Remove inflammatory foods, including refined sugar, simple carbohydrates, refined oil, conventional dairy and meat, junk food, and highly processed foods. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet rich in organic leafy greens, vegetables, low glycemic index fruits, herbs, spices, fermented foods, healthy fats, and clean protein from grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and eggs, and wild-caught fish. To learn more about the anti-inflammatory ketogenic diet I recommend, read this article.
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that cycles between specific periods of fasting (not eating) and feasting (eating). Intermittent fasting is a fantastic strategy for radiation exposure effects because it may help to improve your health by stimulating cellular autophagy, improving genetic repair mechanisms, improving immune regulation, improving insulin sensitivity, and lowering the risk of chronic disease.
If you are new to intermittent fasting, start with the Simple Fast which involves 12 hours of fasting including your overnight sleep. Increase your fasting window gradually. Most people feel the best with a 16:8 approach and women tend to do the best on the Crescendo Fasting method. You can learn more about the best intermittent fasting strategies and how to get started by reading this article (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29).
Reduce Stress & Improve Sleep
Reducing your stress levels and improving sleep is a critical part of improving your health and supporting your body if you experienced radiation exposure. Reduce stressful situations and contact with people and events that bring you down.
Change your inner-talk to a positive one. Practice meditation, journaling, breath work, grounding, and gratitude. Pray or develop a spiritual practice that feels right for you. Spend time outdoors. Spend time with supportive friends and family, while also allowing some time for yourself. Avoid electronics and eating several hours before bedtime, and engage in relaxing activities instead. Make sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to support your body’s circadian rhythm.
Regular Movement & Exercise
Exercise and movement are critical to your well-being. Exercise at least 5 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Mix up cardiovascular exercise, such as hiking, jumping on the trampoline, or biking; strength- and resistance training, such as bodyweight exercises, weight lifting, or CrossFit; and low-impact exercise, such as yoga, pilates, or stretching.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a smart strategy to mix cardio with strength training within one short workout. It’s perfect for busy people who want a good workout. Stay active each day by going for walks and hikes, dancing to your favorite song, stretching, using a standing desk, playing with your kids and pets, taking the stairs, or gardening.
Good Hydration Strategies
Good hydration is important for your overall well-being, including your cellular health and energy. It also helps detoxification, which is crucial when you want to repair your body from radiation exposure. Make sure to start your day with 16–32 oz of water and drink throughout the day.
Drink at least 10 glasses of water a day or more if you are exercising, feeling sick, sweating a lot, or feeling dehydrated. Make sure to invest in a water purification system to reduce environmental toxicity and reduce your toxic load.
NrF2 Pathway Activation
Radiation exposure may increase oxidative stress in your body. NF-E2-related factor 2, or NrF2, is a transcription factor in humans encoded by a specific gene that regulates the expression of a set of antioxidant and detoxifying genes. It is activated under times of oxidative stress to improve the expression of a multitude of antioxidant and phase II liver detoxification enzymes that help to create and restore homeostasis.
Activating your NrF2 pathways may offer various health benefits, including potentially reducing your risk of cancer, brain health issues, diabetes, and hormonal health. Some foods that help NrF2 activation include green tea, turmeric, pomegranate, broccoli sprouts, and blueberries which contain resveratrol. To learn more about NrF2 pathway activation, read this article (30, 31, 32, 33, 34).
Resveratrol & Quercetin
Resveratrol is a healing compound found in the skin of grapes and berries that offers antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune protecting properties. According to research, it may also offer protective benefits for radiation-induced small intestine injury in rats (35, 36).
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in vegetables and fruits, such as leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, and berries and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-supporting benefits. Research has found that quercetin may offer neuroprotective benefits for radiation-induced brain injury in rats.
While these studies have only been done on animals, these results and other research evidence on their antioxidant benefits are promising when it comes to the benefits of resveratrol and quercetin for radiation exposure. If you want to benefit from resveratrol and quercetin, I highly recommend taking Resveratrol Power (37, 38).
Curcumin & Boswellia
Curcumin is the active compound of the spice, turmeric. It is one of the most well-researched spices with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-reducing benefits. Research has shown that curcumin may offer radioprotective and radiodesensizing benefits. It has shown to benefit radiotherapy treatments by allowing them to kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. It may also reduce radioactive toxicity (39, 40).
Boswellia or Indian Frankincense is a potent herbal extract that comes from the Boswellia serrata tree and offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. It has also shown to potentially help to suppress tumors in breast cancer. To experience the benefits of curcumin, I recommend Fermented Turmeric. If you want to benefit from curcumin and Boswellia, I highly recommend taking Inflam Defense (41).
Pomegranate & Broccoli Sprout Sulfurophane
Pomegranate is a delicious superfruit with powerful antioxidant benefits that can support your body from the effects of radiation exposure. I have written about its benefits in this article. Research has shown that pomegranate may offer neuroprotective benefits from the effects of radiation-induced cognitive and behavioral skill deficits in mice (42).
Broccoli sprouts are another antioxidant-rich supportive food. Research has shown that sulforaphane in some cruciferous vegetables offer support for radiation-induced genotoxicity and enhance cancer recovery. While these studies have only been done on animals, these results are very promising when it comes to the benefits of pomegranate and broccoli sprouts for radiation exposure (43).
We have a product called Bioactive Carbon Foundation that combines the benefits of pomegranate, broccoli sprout extract along with wheatgrass, blueberry, olive leaf and other immune enhancing herbs and radioactive detoxifying bioactive carbons and zeolites.
BioActive Carbons and Zeolites
BioActive Carbons are created when billions of beneficial microbes break down old plant material in the presence of oxygen turning it into nutrient-rich dirt. BioActive Carbons contain plant-based fulvic and humic acid extracts. They offer various health benefits including detoxification, antioxidant benefits, mitochondrial support, and cellular repair. Zeolites are minerals and chemical compounds that offer various benefits including water purification and detoxification.
BioActive Carbons may bind radioactive particles, such as from nuclear disasters. Research has shown that zeolites can play an important role in radioactive waste disposal. Bioactive carbon products support detoxification from environmental and heavy metal toxins and are a fantastic starting foundation for any detox protocol as well as provides great maintenance support.
To experience the benefits of BioActive Carbons and zeolites for radiation exposure, I recommend taking BioActive Carbon Foundation. It is formulated using nanotechnology to bind unwanted elements and deliver nutrients at the cellular level to detoxify your cells and improve your health and well-being (44, 45, 46).
Final Thoughts on Radiation Exposure
Radiation is the release or transmission of energy in streams of waves or particles. It has many forms, including microwaves, radio waves, and x-rays.
While a low level of exposure is normal, repeated large exposures or chronic mid-high exposures can increase your risk of excessive oxidative stress and cell damage and consequent health issues. Follow my natural support strategies for radiation exposure to repair your body and improve your health and well-being.
If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach. At my clinic, we offer long-distance functional health coaching programs. For further support with your health goals, just reach out and our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey.