Basically, radiation sickness is an expression which stands for damage to one’s organism due to exposure to radiation. In order for this radiation to cause radiation sickness, it needs to take place over a short period of time, while being very strong. Thus, radiation sickness is acute. Since regular X-ray or CT scans are not strong enough to trigger this kind of radiation, this condition rarely takes place. Nevertheless, it has been seen during WWII, when the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also, radiation sickness can affect people due to industrial accidents, such as the nuclear reactor accident which happened in Chernobyl in 1986.
Manifestations of Radiation Sickness
The severity of the symptoms depend greatly on your distance from the source of radiation and the strength of the radiated energy you get exposed to. While smaller doses are treatable or harmless, exposure to strong radiation can lead to death easily. The whole process lasts for about two days to two weeks, again, depending on the strength of the radiation and the distance from the source.
Radiation sickness manifests through vomiting and nausea. Then, an apparent healthy period takes place, only to lead to a state of even greater sickness and potential death.
Reasons behind Radiation Sickness
Apart from the causes mentioned above, radiation sickness can affect a person due to detonation of a radioactive device like a bomb or a nuclear weapon. This kind of high energy radiation emission destroys numerous cells in our body. Yet, the most affected parts of our organism are the digestive system, the stomach in general and blood-cell producing parts of our bone marrow.
Diagnosis of Radiation Sickness
First of all, the level of radiation and the damage manifested through exposure to radiation need to be analyzed. Therefore, doctors deal with this first, in order to see whether their patient has a chance for surviving this exposure or not.
Also, doctors observe the manifested symptoms. If the symptoms occur very fast, the radiation exposure was strong and intensive.
Furthermore, blood tests reveal the severity of the damage, especially when it comes to the DNA and the bone marrow. Finally, a dosimeter or a Geiger counter can be used in order to obtain this kind of data. Also, the type of radiation determines the treatment as well as the diagnosis.
All in all, radiation sickness is a serious condition which is not to be taken lightly. If you have been exposed to it, you should seek medical assistance immediately since your life may depend on it.