Going in for an Upper GI anyone had this?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 2/15/2010 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, so I know I have had this kind of x-ray in the past, when I was really sick. Quite a few yrs. back.
And i remember I had to drink this really gross chalky white crap!!
And I recall having to drink like 3 or 4 plastic cups of the bleepin' stuff. shocked

My question is why do you have to drink so much of the stuff?
I chucked up most of it cause they make you drink it like super fast....within an hour or so...

I don't know why for the life of me, they don't measure it out as per your body weight.
The guy next to me was twice if not 3 times the size of me and we both had 3 cups of the crap in front of us trying hard to get it down.
How can this be justified???
I am a very small person - why do I have to drink the same amount as a man bigger than me???
And with all the technology they have now - why can't they make it taste better?

I just don't get it! confused
I am NOT looking forward to this exam!!! Anyone got any good advice for me?
Please wish me the best - I'm going to need it!!!

I'm such a sap!
33 yr. old female CANADIAN
dx with UC October 1998
had temp j-pouch: '98-'99
disease free & back to norm: '99-'07
dx. with CD March 2009
Currently taking: Remicade mthly & Imarun
Next test: Upper GI scheduled Feb. 25/2010

In my next life: I want to be a big beautiful oak tree ... so I can live off of just sunshine and water.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 253
   Posted 2/15/2010 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I HEAR YOU!! I hate upper GIs with a passion... I had to drink the same amount as the big guy beside me too, not cool. I'd rather get a colonoscopy, prep and all. My experience was terrible, they had to stick a hose in me and blow air and it hurt so bad...
I am probably not doing anything to quell your fears and for that I'm sorry... I just needed to rant cause I hate anything to do with drinking those stupid cups of chalky stuff.
Just know it will be over soon and show lots of useful things :) GOOD LUCK!
female 19, diagnosed crohns december 2008
entocort/pentasa previously, now prednisone(tapering) & 100 mg imuran, probiotics, calcium w/d3, biotin, folic acid, zinc, omega 3s, digestive enzymes & prenatal multivitamin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 2/15/2010 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had too many to count and I feel your pain. As far as drinking the same amount, I would guess its because we all have the same length of intestine, well before surgeries, that is.

But the only way I can get the stinking stuff down is to hold my nose while drinking it. If you can't smell it, you can't taste it. It really does help. You may look a bit silly, but who cares. And don't tell any one, but I stick one tic tac in my mouth after I'm done drinking to take the taste out of my mouth. Just one, because I can't take the taste.

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.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 2/15/2010 9:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Gotcha! Thanks so much fellow crohnies!
33 yr. old female CANADIAN
dx with UC October 1998
had temp j-pouch: '98-'99
disease free & back to norm: '99-'07
dx. with CD March 2009
Currently taking: Remicade mthly & Imarun
Next test: Upper GI scheduled Feb. 25/2010

In my next life: I want to be a big beautiful oak tree ... so I can live off of just sunshine and water.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 2/16/2010 2:55 AM (GMT -7)   
An upper GI only takes about 10 minutes, and at the most, you have to drink about 6 oz of barium. You seem to be talking about a small bowel series, where you generally have to drink more barium, and it takes longer. Which test are you actually having? Let me know and I can explain the test to you (I'm an xray tech so I've done all of the tests as a tech and also as a patient).

Sickandlucky...sounds like you had a small bowel entercolysis, which is a horrible test that isn't done too much anymore.

For any of the tests...my advice...don't worry yourself ahead of time, it'll only make the test worse for you. The more you tell yourself that you can do it, it'll be fine. The more you tell yourself it'll be a horrible experience, it will be. You can talk yourself down so bad that you do get sick...and most people get sick not because of the barium, because it actually coats your stomach like pepto bismol and it's heavy, so it usually stays down, but because they convince themselves that barium makes them puke. I'm not saying that people never throw up barium because it makes them nauseous, but usually, as a tech, I could talk someone down from nausea.

Also...drink from a straw-you don't taste as much that way!

The reason for drinking the amount for a small bowel series is not because of your size, or the length of your small intestines. It's because some people's body pushes barium through quickly, and only 2 cups go all the way to the end of your small bowel...other people it takes putting more in your system to make it keep moving. It's not to torture you or anything, but if you drink one cup, sometimes it goes really slowly, and when the radiologist takes pics they can't look around because it's all at one point. If you drink a few cups, over time it's spread in your intestines and the radiologist can see the majority of your bowels when they come in to take pics.

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, Coumadin

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 2/16/2010 6:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh I've had this a few million times! HEHeh...I HATE IT...so does everyone else but I only had to drink 2 of the bottles....PLus holding ur nose does nothing cause the texture right away makes ya gag then it's chalky after u finally breath EWWW....The life of a crohnie! They should seriously find a BETTER way to do the test I mean hey they did put PPL on the moon...HEhehEH...Good Luck....

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 2/16/2010 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I always ask for a wet washcloth and after everytime I drink a bunch down, I use the washcloth to wipe my mouth to get rid of the residual. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & 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"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 2/16/2010 9:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I am assuming your are speaking of an upper gi (x-ray) series and not an upper gi scope?
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 457
   Posted 2/17/2010 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I always take someone to talk to while I am drinking the barium. That way it keeps my mind off of the taste. I also ask for a straw. Luckily I am always the first one out because the barium moves through my intestines extremely quickly. I tell myself over and over.... "at least you aren't doing a barium enema."

Dx'd with Crohns 1984
Polycystic kidney disease in 1996
Bowel Resection surgery 2006, Now on Asacol, Endocort, Prednisone, Imuran, Folic acid, and Enalapril.

AB crohnie
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 2/17/2010 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
When I had my test done I had another woman beside me trying to drink the same stuff. We both had straws and sat side by side and told each other that we were drinking Pina Coladas on a beach somewhere. If you say it enough times you can almost taste the coconut! Good luck Sofee!!
Diagnosed on my birthday in April 2008. Happy birthday to me!!
Currently on Imuran and Pantoloc and various vitamins
Resection in October 2008, feel great now
Tried Pentasa and Prednisone

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