Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Small Bowel Series Tomorrow - Terrified about drinking the Barium!!
About This Forum:

This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Small Bowel Series Tomorrow - Terrified about drinking the Barium!!

Hi,

I'm scheduled for a Small Bowel Series tomorrow as part of my ongoing IBS tests. However, I am extremely nervous about having to drink the Barium to the point that I have been gagging all day at the thought of it.

I've been told I have to drink 500ml of this stuff and am just so afraid of throwing it all back up again as soon as I drink it. Can anyone help alleviate my fears?

How long do I have to drink it? Should I drink it quickly? Is it likely I could throw it up again or is it not that bad?

Please please help!

Thanks.
Related Discussions
9 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
put the barium in the fridge ahead of time and make sure it's cold.  I prefer to chug, but that is just cause I've done it so many times.  you might want to get a long straw.  put the straw back far in your mouth so you avoid most of your taste buds.  hold your nose if you need to, since smell plays a big roll in your sense of taste.  good luck with the test!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the tips kimbacat. I don't suppose I'll have much choice in whether or not the Barium is cold as I presume it will just be handed to me in the X-Ray department. I'm scared that if I drink it fast, I'll just be sick. At the same time, if I take it slow, I might not be able to finish it. Maybe it doesn't taste as bad as they say though?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
The tast isn't great, but I too have found that if you can hold your nose, breath through your mouth and chug it down it helps.  When I had mine done they let me sit next to a large rectangular hazardous waste container - just in case it didn't stay.  Luckily I didn't have any problems.  I had been in the hospital with nothing to eat or drink for two days prior to having mine done!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had this test done earlier this year, and compared to some, it wasn't bad at all. Of course, they kind of "tricked" me, because I did not know ahead of time how much I would have to have. I would drink a small cup (sipped on it till done, it was flavored and kind of thin, so it really wasn't bad). I think I may have had a  straw too, can't remember. But it's really not bad. The stuff I had was the consistency of maybe a melted shake or thinner. And the test took place over at least a couple of hours, maybe more. Drink some, walk around, drink some walk around. They wanted me up and walking to help it go through. Sip, walk. No chugging, unless you are the kind of person that can do that sort of thing, and I don't think most are. They were very patient. It was also kind of cool at the end, because the radiologist came in to take the pictures, and I could see it all "live" on a screen, and he commented on what he saw as he took the x rays. Also nice to have the results immediately. Luckily, mine was normal. They were very smart in the way they handled it. I never saw the "jug", they just gave me a small cup and kept refilling it. Don't worry, it won't be bad, I think the procedure has improved a lot over the years. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water afterwards and probably take a laxative to help move it through your system. Good luck.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Several months ago I had a ct scan and had to drink barium the night before the test.  I had to drink some more the morning of the test (at home)  then I had to drink some more when I got to the hospital.  I can honestly say it wasn't bad at all.  I had no adverse reactions.  Good luck!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hey, I have a Barium Swallow small bowel follow through tomorrow too! I've just had a Barium Swallow before, not the follow through, but it shouldn't be that different, I don't think. I had my first (and only) Barium test a couple years ago, and they gave me 2 full glasses of the chalk to drink. (Chalk is my name for the Barium.) It was a good 500mL altogether. One I had to drink before getting on the xray table, and the other I had to drink while lying there. I didn't much like that test because I was only about 16 yrs old, and the technicians were a bit brusque. I wasn't allowed to speak or ask questions or anything. I do remember being asked to all the way around on the table to make sure the Barium coated my entire stomach, and so I started refering to it as the pig-on-a-spit test, because that's how I felt. I hope I get some better techs tomorrow. I wonder how long it's going to be because my work wants me to come in on friday too. Not for a shift, thank goodness. I booked the day off, but they just want me to come in for a couple minutes or something. We'll see how I feel afterwards. Wouldn't want to be gettin' sick if I can help it.

Anyway, good luck to you all, and happy holidays!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Had it done this morning and thankfully it really wasn't that bad. I was given the Barium and asked to drink it within 15 mins if possible. I thought, no chance, but once I tasted it, it was no problem. It wasn't as thick as I had imagined it and was more like the consistency of Milk or a little thicker. Didn't taste bad at all - I've tasted much worse alchohols than this stuff. Had finished drinking the Barium at around 9.30am and had my first X-Ray straight away. They then did 3 more about every 10-15 mins and a final X-Ray on a different machine. The doc was present at this one and made me lie on a round ball to compress my abdomen in two places.

All this within the sapce of an hour! I thought it was supposed to take much longer? Anyway, I passed most of the Barium as soon as I got home so hopefully no constipation.

All in all, it was much easier than I had expected and thankyou all for your reassurance. They didn't give me any results - I'll probably get them after Xmas now. Just wondering if the fast speed at which the Barium passed through me is a better indication that I might have IBS? I don't have any particularly serious symptoms such as blood in the stools or chronic pain. More like a general discomfort for years now (I'm 25 now).

Happy Christmas.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Barium is not too bad, I chug it because of the extreme nausea I typically have.  "get it done and over with!"

Make sure you drink PLENTY of fluids, to make sure it gets out of your system.  You will know it is out when your stool passes from normal, to white (the barium), then back to normal.

Bethany
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I realize this post is a little late (but someone else may read it), but I had to have a CT scan done (problem unresolved/unidentified) and they made me drink two (jars?) of the stuff.  It really isn't all that bad, the stuff I had tasted like a cheap orange smoothie.  The day of the scan, I had to drink the remainder of the stuff, and, they made me drink yet another cupful just prior to the scan! The stuff is definitely better cold.  I was really nervous about drinking the barium as well, but don't worry, it's nothing.  The only drawback to the stuff for me personally is that I didn't feel so good after having so much of it, and I drank tons of water to clean out the barium and wound up running to the loo a lot, and also wound up a little constipated, but that could be related to what I was going to the scan for, possible IBS/other.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank