Can I eat before an MRI?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can I eat before an MRI?” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat before an MRI. Moreover, we are going to discuss the time it takes for an MRI.

Can I eat before an MRI?

Unless you are told otherwise, you can eat, drink, and take any medications as usual on the day of your MRI scan. You can be instructed to fast for up to 4 hours prior to the scan in some circumstances, and you might also be instructed to drink a lot of water. All of this is dependent on the scanning area.

An empty stomach may be necessary for some MRIs, such as those that involve the digestive system. A magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), a method of scanning the biliary and pancreatic ducts and is one of the MRIs in which you are advised not to eat prior to the scan. 

This treatment can assist in identifying any ducts surrounding the gallbladder that may contain gallstones. Your gallbladder releases its contents into your stomach after you eat to aid in digestion. By avoiding eating, you enable the gallbladder to continue to be hydrated, which results in clearer images.

What happens if you eat prior to getting an MRI?

You can often eat before getting an MRI. However, it may be recommended that people with specific medical issues, such as fecal urgency or acid reflux, postpone getting an MRI for 2 to 4 hours after eating and drinking.

What is a light meal prior to an MRI?

Eat light meals starting 24 hours before your MRI as jello, toast, applesauce, pudding, or soups made with broth.

Follow a low-carb, high-protein diet the day before your exam, staying away from desserts, slices of bread, pasta, rice, and cereals. Most medications don’t affect this test, so you can continue taking them as usual. Diabetics’ blood sugar levels must be low for the test to be accurate. Within 24 hours of your scheduled session, avoid exercising..

Can an MRI hurt you?

Although lying still for the duration of the MRI procedure does not hurt, it may be uncomfortable or painful for some people, especially those who have recently undergone an intrusive procedure like surgery or an accident.

What should you tell the technicians before an MRI?

The most crucial thing to avoid before getting an MRI is lying or withholding information from your doctor or the MRI professionals. MRIs are risky for some people. It would be advisable to inform your doctor of any metal in your body, including any implants. Your medical history is crucial since some of the following devices may not always be MRI-safe:

  1. Pacemakers
  2. Contraceptive implants
  3. Nerve stimulators inserted
  4. Surgically implanted infusion pumps
  5. Metal joint implants
  6. Heart defibrillators
  7. Artificial heart valves
  8. Implanted cochlea
  9. Metal clips
  10. Surgical pins, screws, plates, stents, or staples

How long does it take for an MRI?

The majority of MRI procedures take 15 to 90 minutes to complete. Your MRI may be shorter or longer in various circumstances. The number of images required and the part of your body being examined affect the time it takes to complete the MRI.

How may MRI anxiety be managed?

  1. Ask questions in advance. You are less likely to be surprised by something the more knowledgeable and prepared you are about the test’s intricacies. 
  2. Play music
  3. Close your eyes for a while.
  4. Take a moment to relax and think.
  5. Request a blanket if you need it.
  6. Before you start with the scan, stretch

You can read who can have an MRI scan here


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can I eat before an MRI?” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat before an MRI. Moreover, we discussed the time it takes for an MRI.


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