Radiation sickness are the side effects that accompany radiation. It can occur after treatment for cancer or after effects of accidental exposure to radiation.
Causes of Radiation Sickness
Radiation may damage all cells. In particular, those which replicate frequently, such as the skin, the gastrointestinal tract and the bone marrow are at increased risk. Damage to the immune system can occur and long term damage to the genetic structure of some cells can lead to the eventual development of some forms of cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Radiation Sickness
The symptoms of radiation sickness depend of the areas exposed, the amount of radiation and the type of radiation. Many of the symptoms are temporary, if the exposure has not been life threatening. Frequently, there is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and fatigue. Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and bleeding and easy bruising can all be signs that the bone marrow has been affected. This is the area where the cells which form the red cells, the white cells and the platelets are produced. Damage can lead to anemia, problems fighting off infections and poor clotting. Among the other symptoms that can occur include yeast infection in the mouth, dry mouth, loss of taste, swallowing difficulty, worsening of tooth or gum disease, hair loss, dry cough, heart inflammation with chest pain, burning, inflammation or scarring of skin, permanent skin darkening, bleeding spots anywhere under the skin, and sexual impotence.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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