Barium Small Bowel Series Advice

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camjames
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 8/1/2009 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I have a barium small bowel follow through booked for this coming wednesday, August 5th. I did have this test done at a different hospital, about 8 years ago. At that time i was deathly sick, and I do remember the barium tasting nasty. I'm hoping since im probably less sick now, with some minor stricturing in the ileum, that this barium will go down easier this time around. I was hoping to throw out a few questions to calm my anxiety. about how much barium do they make you swallow?? 300mL? 500mL? Does anyone use straws or hold their nose shut to avoid the nasty taste? I'm trying to calm myself down as the day is rapidly approaching. I survived my colonoscopy a few months ago, which wasn't too bad actually.

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 8/1/2009 5:06 PM (GMT -7)   
My barium "milkshakes" didn't taste bad. Can't remember what exactly they tasted like, but it wasn't nasty at all. Had to drink two probably 8oz cups of it and it was like a foamy milkshake.

The thing I hated most about the BFT was the hours it took. My pain meds had completely worn off and I was in agony. They took an x-ray about every 30 minutes I think, then I got to lay on a hard slab between shots. The techs finally relented and said they had a portable x-ray machine which they could use to complete the BFT in my hospital room, where I could get med'd up again.

mmckenna
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 725
   Posted 8/1/2009 5:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had these done two different ways:

NG tube and they flowed it down the tube into my stomach. Not a lot of fun, but you don't have to swallow it all. Only issue I had was the tech left the barium flowing, left the room, and forgot about me. It overflowed, I puked up the tube and all the barium. Only positive thing was that when the tech came running in with a doctor, I did manage to puke on both of them. That was at a military hospital, and I think you wouldn't have that problem at a regular hospital.

Drink it. Last time they chilled the barium. It did help it go down easier. I've had a couple of these, and I've tried sipping it, sipping it through a straw, and just chugging it. For me the chugging worked best. The way I see it, it's gotta go down, so I might as well get it over with.
Matthew McKenna,
Joey's dad.

Remicade, 6MP and a few of their friends.

"I'm just along for the ride."


mmckenna
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 725
   Posted 8/1/2009 5:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, I think what I have the most trouble with is passing all that "sludge" afterward. It can really bind things up. Make sure you drink a lot of fluid afterward, or it can get stuck moving past the strictures.
Matthew McKenna,
Joey's dad.

Remicade, 6MP and a few of their friends.

"I'm just along for the ride."


Veebo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 8/1/2009 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey there....mmm mmm mmm nothing like some barium. Sorry you have to go through this test. The trick I use to help me get through them without gagging is to use a really big wide straw (the kind you might get with a travel cup). I actually have a special straw I bring with me to the hospital for these tests. I basically put it as far back in my mouth as possible , you still need to be able to suck the stuff up. That helps me get the stuff down without having to really taste it that much. My theory is to avoid it touching my taste buds as much as possible. Also I just pretend I am drinking some mylanta which for some reason makes me a little more ok with it. Good luck to you!

FallColors
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 8/1/2009 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Oh how can I forget.   shakehead    I was very sick at the time -- huge infection from an peri-rectal abscess and fistula, which was made very much worse by unncessary incisions by a bad doctor (but that is another story).  When I got in with good doctors, they quickly ordered a colonoscopy and SBFT.  So there I was really ill, colonoscopy on Wednesday and the SBFT on Friday.  A week to remember!!!  I was weak going in and soooooo weak afterward! 

But the SBFT itself wasn't bad at all.  I drank 2-3 shakes, and they didn't taste nearly as bad as the colonoscopy prep.  I held my breath while I chugged it, and continued to swallow for a few seconds afterwards, so it wasn't bad at all.  I sat in a waiting room with an attached bathroom, and the x-ray room was very close by.  They did the x-rays every 10 - 15 minutes.  Things moved fast -- not much in there after the colonoscopy 2 days before!!  What I do remember is feeling "toxic" for 2 days afterward.    skull      Not horrible or painful, but just like I had a medium flu.  I agree that drinking a lot is the answer.  The faster you can get the barium out of your system the better!!  My suggestion is to really reduce your food intake several days beforehand so you don't have much in your intestines.

Let us know how it goes!


Diagnosed with Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 8/1/2009 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if it was necessary, but I took some Milk of Magnesia the night after the SBFT. It helps with the constipation and in my mind, I thought that it might purge out the toxic barium ions that escape in trace amounts into your system. I also drank lots and lots.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/2/2009 7:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I never drink more than 2 cups of the stuff for my SBFT. I try to do as another suggested and just chug them down and then I start walking the halls to get the stuff moving thru me. Also, do drink LOTS of water afterwards to get it out of your system. Good luck, I am sure you will do fine, easy test.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/2/2009 7:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh one other tip, I always ask for a wet washcloth to wipe my mouth after each time I take a drink. It helps to wash it off your lips.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

ozonehole
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 559
   Posted 8/3/2009 2:59 AM (GMT -7)   
GDen said...
My barium "milkshakes" didn't taste bad. Can't remember what exactly they tasted like, but it wasn't nasty at all. Had to drink two probably 8oz cups of it and it was like a foamy milkshake.


I agree. The ones I had didn't taste bad, and I'm sure they were flavored. However, I don't think I'll be stocking them in my refrigerator anytime soon.

cheers,
Robert
Crohn's since 1988
3 resections

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