Why Do I Feel Drained After an MRI Without Contrast

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical procedure that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of the body. It is a non-invasive and painless imaging technique that helps diagnose various medical conditions. However, some individuals may experience a feeling of being drained or tired after undergoing an MRI without contrast. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this phenomenon and answer some frequently asked questions.

One of the main reasons for feeling drained after an MRI without contrast is the length of the procedure. MRI scans can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour, depending on the area being scanned. During this time, patients are required to lie still inside a narrow tube while loud noises are emitted from the machine. This can be mentally and physically exhausting, leading to a feeling of fatigue afterwards.

Additionally, the loud noises produced by the MRI machine can also contribute to the feeling of being drained. These noises can be loud and repetitive, causing discomfort and sensory overload for some individuals. The combination of the confined space, the noise, and the need to remain still can increase stress levels, leading to fatigue.

The magnetic field used in an MRI can also have an effect on the body. While the magnetic field is considered safe, it can cause subtle vibrations within the body during the scan. These vibrations, although not noticeable to most individuals, can lead to a feeling of tiredness or weariness afterwards.

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Moreover, the process of preparing for an MRI can also play a role in feeling drained. Prior to the scan, patients may be required to fast or refrain from certain medications, which can affect energy levels. Additionally, the anxiety or nervousness associated with undergoing a medical procedure may also contribute to feeling drained afterwards.


1. Is it normal to feel tired after an MRI without contrast?
Yes, it is normal to feel tired or drained after an MRI without contrast due to factors such as the length of the procedure, loud noises, and potential stress.

2. How long does the feeling of fatigue typically last?
The feeling of fatigue typically lasts for a few hours to a day after the MRI scan. However, individual experiences may vary.

3. Can the feeling of being drained be reduced?
Yes, there are ways to reduce the feeling of being drained after an MRI. These include practicing relaxation techniques, ensuring proper rest before and after the scan, and discussing any concerns or discomfort with the medical staff.

4. Are there any risks associated with feeling drained after an MRI?
Feeling drained after an MRI without contrast is generally not a cause for concern. However, if the fatigue persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.

5. Can contrast-enhanced MRI scans lead to the same feeling of fatigue?
Contrast-enhanced MRI scans involve the use of a contrast agent, which can have its own set of side effects. The feeling of fatigue may be similar, but the underlying reasons may differ.

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6. Can pre-existing medical conditions contribute to feeling drained after an MRI?
Yes, individuals with certain pre-existing medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia may be more susceptible to feeling drained after an MRI.

7. Can anxiety or claustrophobia worsen the feeling of fatigue?
Yes, anxiety or claustrophobia can exacerbate the feeling of fatigue during and after the MRI scan. It is important to communicate any concerns to the medical staff beforehand.

8. Are there any strategies to cope with the feeling of being drained after an MRI?
Staying hydrated, eating a balanced meal, and engaging in light physical activity can help alleviate the feeling of fatigue. It is also important to rest and give your body time to recover.

9. When should I seek medical attention for post-MRI fatigue?
If the feeling of fatigue persists for an extended period or is accompanied by severe symptoms such as dizziness or chest pain, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

In conclusion, feeling drained after an MRI without contrast is a common occurrence due to various factors such as the length of the procedure, loud noises, and potential stress. While the feeling of fatigue is generally temporary, it is important to listen to your body and seek medical advice if necessary.