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Author Topic: Anyone done a barium swallow?  (Read 729 times)

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Offline seychelles311

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Re: Anyone done a barium swallow?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2012, 12:42:18 AM »
I had a barium swallow quite recently and I was terrified before I got it!  I have a phobia of food induced anaphylaxis, and I was convinced I would have an allergic reaction to the barium contrast, or that it would become hardened and impacted in my GI tract.  I know exactly how you feel, and it can be very scary.  But I must tell you that I was actually pleasantly surprised!  My radiologist was wonderful!  Very kind and patient!  I immediately informed him of my fears, and he and his assistant were extremely patient and encouraging.  They told me no question was a stupid question, and they talked me through the entire procedure. 

I can tell you this.  The barium contrast is considered hypoallergenic, and an allergic reaction to the liquid is extremely rare, almost unheard of.  It tastes kind of like a berry milkshake, but is fairly easy to swallow and not bad at all.  The whole procedure only took about 10 minutes, so it's super quick.  You get your results within 24 hours, so you don't have to wait forever to find out about your tests.  And, as long as you drink plenty of water and eat a high fiber diet for the next 3 days after your procedure, there's virtually no risk of impaction / obstruction in your GI tract.  You will just have light colored stools for a few days, you pass the barium, and it's done.  Super easy!  Nothing at all to be worried about!  I promise!  :)
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Offline Hereismyusername

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Re: Anyone done a barium swallow?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 09:16:24 AM »
So glad to see all these answers and to be reassured! :)
One more question that I forgot to ask - were you guys allowed to eat beforehand? Or was it one of those things where you couldn't eat the night before or the next morning until it was done?
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Anyone done a barium swallow?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 02:50:48 PM »
Both of mine were done spur of the moment, not planned days in advance, and I don't remember being asked if I'd eaten anything that day.  I would advice against eating that day as a personal preference - my stomach felt huge and heavy after drinking the barium even though it had been empty (purely by coincidence) those days.  I think if I'd eaten anything I would've felt awful!
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Offline marc

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Re: Anyone done a barium swallow?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 03:58:46 PM »
EGD's are more accurate, the test of choice and used more often according to my GI physician.
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Offline dancer67

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Re: Anyone done a barium swallow?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2013, 11:33:20 AM »
Barium swallows are easy. But if they do the small intestine you can be there for hours. I was told by the Dr. the Upper/lower GI series only pick up very serious things. So if your test is normal, that still doesn't mean you do not have an ulcer or anything else. But good news is that it isn't big enough to see on the test. Endoscopy is the only sure way to tell what is going on. My 20 yo and 14 yo both had endoscopies and they said it is so easy. You sleep and it takes 10 minutes.
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