barium x-ray & stricture - surely not a good idea?

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uklass
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 8/12/2009 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I've read loads about the test itself and am readying myself for the yukky taste of the barium drink for my small bowel follow through test tomorrow. What I don't understand is the appointment letter I got saying that I would likely be constipated for a few days afterwards. I had another visit to out-of-hours doctors last night (but managed to avoid hospital admission) because I was in so much pain and cramping/nausea which I can only put down to a partial blockage. My consultant wants to explore the extent of the inflammation in my small bowel but surely it's not a good idea to potentially cause more problems through constipation? Or am I not understanding it correctly? thought I'd ask you 'experts' as the nurse said they just have to put it in the letter but it's not likely to happen    confused
Diagnosed aged 31 in 1996 - emergency surgery (right hemicolectomy). Thought I'd only get 'it' once and have lived in relatively blissful ignorance, apart from a couple of hospital stays for obstructions (scar tissue), until March 09....major surgery, 2 resections, fistula and now only 195cm small bowel left. Not on any meds at present except B12 injections but know there will be some. Just getting used to my 'new' body and it's limitations........ July 09 hospital stay for obstruction & tests show disease back: now on Asacol and waiting to see which treatment I'm put on
 
Penny x


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/12/2009 8:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes the barium can be constipating, but you can help to avoid that problem by drinking LOTS of water afterwards. Some folks will even take a dose of Milk of Magnesia the evening after the test to help clear it out too.

The SBFT is a good test to see how a bad a stricture is. Good luck!
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"*

njmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 8/12/2009 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Nanners. Even when my daughter had a terrible stricture, she had no problem with the barium.
 
I, too, am not comfortable that these procedures upset the GI tract so like any procedure, they should be used only when truly needed and not just to have a "look-see."
 
In your situation, the procedure certainly seems warranted for diagnostic purposes and is much less invasive than a colonoscopy.    

uklass
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 8/12/2009 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Should I not eat stuff for a few days other than low residue or isn't that how it works?
 
I've got some Lactulose in my cupboard but I might go to the pharmacy and get a laxative just in case. sorry if I'm sounding like a worrywort but I'm fed up of the pain that I can only think are mini blockages because of the inflammation (Asacol doesn't seem to be working)and not knowing what's going on inside - just hanging in there until next thurs when I see the gastro consultant and desperately trying to avoid hospital. might have to do something about this anxiety: was doing ok for a while but struggling a bit.......
 
Thanks for your help
Diagnosed aged 31 in 1996 - emergency surgery (right hemicolectomy). Thought I'd only get 'it' once and have lived in relatively blissful ignorance, apart from a couple of hospital stays for obstructions (scar tissue), until March 09....major surgery, 2 resections, fistula and now only 195cm small bowel left. Not on any meds at present except B12 injections but know there will be some. Just getting used to my 'new' body and it's limitations........ July 09 hospital stay for obstruction & tests show disease back: now on Asacol and waiting to see which treatment I'm put on
 
Penny x


Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 8/12/2009 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry if this is TMI, but I will usually put a towel on the car seat for the ride home as the barium tends to go right through me. I do drink lots of water after, and it does upset the works for a few days just because it is harsh on the system, but i have never had it cause any constipation. And that is even when I had a severe stricture. You shouldn't need to do any type of laxative before hand or special diet, just usually nothing by mouth after midnight the night before the test.
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


gemini kiwi
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1136
   Posted 8/12/2009 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I went through this a few months ago after being unwell over the Christmas period,I was in agony that morning after finishing off that stuff so ended up taking Codeine for the pain. The results showed no stricture so it looks like the pain I get off and on is adhesions pain from all the surgery I've had. Drink lots of water to flush it all through like others have suggested, and good luck.
GK

inflamed
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 8/12/2009 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I've done the test several times and have a scar tissue stricture. It never was a problem. I've found that being hungry and thinking about food helps the barium move through faster. Learned that when I did the test once right before a holiday dinner. The next time I turned on a cooking show in the waiting area and that one went fast too.

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 8/12/2009 2:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Zanne, I'm the same way. Usually after drinking barium I have to stay there for a while to get some of it out of me, or I'd have an accident on the way home.

That being said, Uklass, barium affects everyone differently. You may have a stricture, but because barium is liquid and your body doesn't use it, it may run right through you. It may on the other hand stop you up. You'll just have to see how it goes, and just act depending on how you feel. If you have a stricture, I'd check with your doctor and see what doseage of laxative they would want you to take if you do get constipated from the barium. Mine usually tells me to take a half dose, then another half dose later in the day if I need it.

I hope the test goes well for you. Hopefully you don't have problems from drinking the barium! Good luck!
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05
Currently on Humira, Prilosec, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12; phenergan, ultram, clonazepam as needed


Sloth
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 8/12/2009 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Barium tends to run right through me. The last SBFT I had (2 weeks ago), it was on its way out by the time I got off the table (glad they have a bathroom right there!). Though, I was made to do a prep the night before (MagCitrate, I don't recommend it) -- I hear that the major Chicago-area hospitals makes their SBFT patients do a prep now (ugh)...the prep might have had something to do with how fast the barium moved through me.

My SBFT showed a stricture (albeit a mild one), and I had no trouble getting the barium out of my system within a day.

Good luck with the test!
Diagnosed with Crohn's in April 2003 (first symptoms in 2001).
Current Medications: Imuran 125mg/day, Humira, Pred 2.5mg/day, Cortifoam, Phenergan as needed for nausea (have previously taken Asacol, Entocort, Flagyl, and Cipro)
Dietary Supplements: Flax seed oil, Folic Acid, B12, Culturelle


Blossom
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 8/12/2009 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Uklass,

Like Zanne and others, the barium generally moves quickly through me and gives me diarrhea.  I also had a stricture when doing this test several times over the years. 

When my stricture was recently at its worst, about 1 month before my 7/30 surgery, strangely the barium did NOT give me diarrhea.  However, it caused no cramping or blockages.  Drinking LOTS of water after you arrive home is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself.  And if that doesn't do the trick, using a stool softener usually helps.

If you're still concerned, you might want to ask your doctor about it.

Good luck!!


54 year old female;
 
Have had Crohn's of terminal ileum for over 9 yrs.   My first small bowel surgery was on 7-30-09.
 
On Humira since Dec. 2008.  Allergic/hypersensitivity to Pentasa, Entocort, and 6-MP.  


uklass
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 8/13/2009 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
hi all
 
I got through the test ok - yep the taste wasn't good but managed it and it didn't take long cos I've not too much bowel left (had to get me in quick!!) tongue
 
Good news is that the radiologist's prelim findings show I haven't got strictures elsewhere in my small bowel, even where I had one resection this year so the disease looks to be concentrated again around the TI where the original resection was done. I know I still have the disease, and I will need some strong meds to treat it, but it somehow feels better than hearing it is in other places as well. 
 
 
thanks for all your inputs - tests like this are new to me and it's so good that you are willing to share your experience of what must seem everyday occurrences to you who've lived with this illness for a long time. :-)
Diagnosed aged 31 in 1996 - emergency surgery (right hemicolectomy). Thought I'd only get 'it' once and have lived in relatively blissful ignorance, apart from a couple of hospital stays for obstructions (scar tissue), until March 09....major surgery, 2 resections, fistula and now only 195cm small bowel left. Not on any meds at present except B12 injections but know there will be some. Just getting used to my 'new' body and it's limitations........ July 09 hospital stay for obstruction & tests show disease back: now on Asacol and waiting to see which treatment I'm put on
 
Penny x


Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 8/13/2009 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Uklass
I'm so happy to hear that things went well! I work (well, not right now, but I did for 7 years) in xray and most of the time, people build up tests in their mind to be much harder than they actually are. It's more fear of unknown than anything, and going into a test scared sometimes makes the test harder than it actually is. If you go into it thinking you can handle it, you usually can. I didn't want to say that before because it seems really cliche, but in reality, that's how it is. Anyway, I'm so happy that it was an ok experience for you! I hope they get you on some good meds and get you feeling better soon!
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05
Currently on Humira, Prilosec, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12; phenergan, ultram, clonazepam as needed

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