Why No Alcohol Before MRI?

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Why No Alcohol Before MRI?

Why No Alcohol Before MRI?

Yes. To diagnose problems or track the effects of treatments, doctors often use Magnetic Resonance Imaging or simply an MRI. An MRI is a complex medical treatment requiring extra consideration and care.

There are several dos and don’ts when it comes to an MRI scan. Are you wondering why no alcohol before MRI gets recommended?

In this blog, you’ll come across; in detail; if it’s safe to drink alcohol before the scan. In that case, we will ensure that; you are aware of all the side effects drinking can entail!

What Is An MRI Scan, and How Does It Function?

With the help of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, you can see body tissues, organs, and other anomalies. Doctors use a vast, robust machine with a tube-like design for MRIs to produce images of the inside of your body using radio waves and magnetic fields.

Have you ever stopped to consider how an MRI machine operates?

You lie inside an MRI scanner during the procedure as the powerful magnetic field of the scanner modifies the water molecules in your body. After realigning, these water molecules produce digital images in cross-sections when exposed to radio waves.

To prevent blurry images, the radiologist will ask you to keep your entire body steady throughout the scan until the doctor instructs you to relax.

It is never certain; how long the scan takes. One scan could take a few seconds or three or four minutes. Moreover, during quick scans, the radiologist might ask you to hold your breath.

The entire process might take 15 to 90 minutes. Such variation usually depends on the size of the area the audiologist is scanning and the number of scans collected.

Now, when you’re inside the scanner, you might notice that the tube generates audible tapping noises. There is no need to worry! The sound comes from the on-and-off switching of the electric current in the scanner coils. A nurse will provide you with headphones or earplugs to wear. So, no need to get tensed!

An MRI machine can generate either 2D or 3D images. It becomes easy for doctors to inspect your bones, tissues, and organs with the scan to look for malignancies, brain tumors, and other issues.

Nevertheless, not to worry! The scan is very safe!

During an MRI, you won’t experience any pain or be aware of the magnetic field or radio waves. However, if you have a fear of small and closed spaces or claustrophobia, the doctor might sedate you to complete the test.

Why No Alcohol Before MRI?

Are you going to have an MRI scan soon? You might wonder if consuming alcohol is permitted before the said scan.

You may need to do a few things to be ready for an MRI, just like you might for any other diagnostic exam. The good news is that relatively little preparation is usually necessary for MRIs!

You should be able to eat regularly and drink normally on the day of the MRI unless your doctor advises against it. You may also be able to take your medicines as usual.

However, why no alcohol before MRI is a salient question to ask as your doctor might pose restrictions on the consumption of alcohol 24 hours before your scan.

Beware! Alcohol consumption may cause serious side effects to the imaging. The blog mentions them as follows:

  1. A powerful magnetic field and radio waves are used in MRI to provide accurately detailed images of the organs of your body. Alcohol can make it difficult for you; to lie stationary during the MRI scan. Lying still is essential for getting precise images because it can impair coordination and judgment.
  2. Blood flow and blood circulation can change as a result of alcohol use. It may be more difficult for the radiologist to correctly interpret the images if these changes impact the contrast and quality of the MRI scans.
  3. For making certain parts or abnormalities of your body more visible during an MRI scan, radiologists may occasionally use contrast agents or dyes! These contrast agents may interact with the alcohol and lose some strength or show unexpected effects.
  4. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it can cause you to urinate more, as a result of which you might get dehydrated. Therefore, it may harm the signal-to-noise ratio in the scans, deteriorating the quality of the MRI scans.

You should typically opt for the MRI scan following the precise instructions your doctor gives and so as the radiologist who supervises the scan.

For a hassle-free MRI experience, listen to a medical professional!

How Do You Prepare For An MRI Without Alcohol?

It is essential to adhere to your doctor’s detailed instructions to have a safe and effective MRI scan. Here’s a list of things to keep note of:

  • Prevent dehydration and discomfort during your MRI scan by drinking enough water before it happens; upon consulting your doctor.
  • Before the scan, abstain from consuming any alcoholic beverages. It might affect the scan’s accuracy and raise the possibility of complications. You wouldn’t want that!
  • You should disclose any recent alcohol usage to your doctor. It is because it will help them decide the best course of action for you.
  • Pay close attention to any specific fasting instructions given by your doctor. You may have to refrain from eating or drinking for a specified amount of time before the MRI scan; in some instances!
  • Continue taking your medications as advised by your doctor until the MRI scan unless your doctor says otherwise.


Alcohol consumption is often discouraged before MRIs. It can have numerous physiological effects. It may bring reactions to the sedatives or other drugs involved in the procedure. Alcohol might also make it difficult to be motionless during an MRI scan because it can affect your senses and coordination.

Before getting an MRI, doctors advise against drinking alcohol also because alcohol stimulates blood pressure and blood flow. You can receive the wrong MRI results when this occurs!

It’s crucial to speak with your doctor before the appointment if you have any queries or worries regarding the intake of alcohol before an MRI scan. They can offer you guidance and solve your worries!

For more, visit www.mrichandigarh.com.

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Hi, I am Alka Tiwari, Founder & Patient Care Executive at MRIChandigarh.com. Helping you get the diagnostics scans services like MRI, CT Scan, UltraSound & PET Scan, etc at the best price. At MRIChandigarh's blog, I will be writing to create awareness and to educate you about how and where to get diagnostic scans done in Chandigarh at the best price with best-in-class services.
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