Health Glossary - For Everyone

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What are x-rays?

An x-ray (radiograph) is a type of painless medical test that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions.

X-rays similar to light in that they are a type of electromagnetic radiation.

An x-ray machine sends out x-ray particles called photons which pass through the body except they cannot pass through structures that are dense (bones), which will appear white. Body tissues (fat, muscles, fluid and even air) will appear as shades of grey. Sometimes special dyes will be inserted into the body (these also appear as white).

The result of an x-ray machine is to produce an image of the body part examined.


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Important x-rays facts

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Why x-rays are important

An x-ray involves taking an image a part of the inside of the body by exposing it to a small dose of ionising radiation.

X-rays are used to take images of almost every part of the body, but especially the bones as the x-ray is a particularly good diagnostic tool for any problems with bone tissue.


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Last reviewed: 21 August 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

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NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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