An X-ray is a common imaging test that’s been used for decades. It can help your doctor view the inside of your body without having to make an incision. This can help them diagnose, monitor, and treat many medical conditions. Different types of X-rays are used for different purposes. There are some risks involved in getting an X-ray. But for most people, the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Conditions that may call for an X-ray include:

  • Bone cancer
  • breast tumors
  • enlarged heart
  • blocked blood vessels
  • conditions affecting your lungs
  • digestive problems
  • fractures
  • infections
  • osteoporosis
  • arthritis
  • tooth decay
  • needing to retrieve swallowed items.

If you ingest a contrast material before your X-ray, it may cause side effects. These include:

  • hives
  • itching
  • nausea
  • lightheadedness
  • a metallic taste in your mouth

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