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Barium Swallow

Question:

Please describe your experience with barium swallow. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Mike B, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 05

It is 13 days after my barium swallow and I'm still backed up. Six days out I had what seems like an impaction. I was only barely able to clear out after several hours of struggling. Eight days out I experienced the worst searing, stabbing pain ever. My stool had apparently pressed against my urethra and bent it. The emergency room nurse couldn't even get a catheter in. That resolved after a day or two. Now on day 13, I still have a bunch of the stuff in my system, and can't even pass water after a Senokot. This is terrible.

Comment from: sm1l3y, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 04

The barium swallow test was a piece of cake! You start by standing up against the x-ray machine, and then the doctor hands you a little shot glass of water. Basically he pours in these crystals in it and you immediately need to drink it down. It tasted like Sprite to me, it does make you want to burp immediately, but you have to swallow when you get the urge. You then drink this chalky stuff (tasted like Pepto-Bismol) while the x-ray machine takes pictures and you later swallow a pill and get elevated.

Comment from: Colgar, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

Someone said their blood sugar went up with barium swallow, but mine dropped really low (I'm a diabetic). I was extremely nauseous and felt like vomiting all day. I got a sore throat. I didn't think the 3 things I had to swallow tasted bad, but after them rolling me side to side, I thought I was going to vomit. I drank a ton of water right away and it started clearing through my system right away. The key is to drink a lot of water!

Comment from: Elizabeth, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I had the barium drink between 9:30 and 10:30 am and started having abdominal pain at 2:00 pm. The pain became severe and remained so until 9:00 pm. Then the pain lessened, but continued until noon the next day. The test was not difficult or painful. I was asked to stand in front of a padded bed with the x-ray screen positioned in front of me. X-rays were taken prior to drinking the barium drink and throughout the process. I was asked to turn sideways, then drink while lying down, turned sideways. The barium drink and seltzer drink were easy to swallow.

Comment from: Patsy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

The barium swallow testing was actually better than I had anticipated. The liquid barium didn't taste bad. And it only took about 30 minutes. I've had no side effects.

Comment from: Carol Wilson, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

The barium itself was fine. About a week later I have lower back pain going round to my upper thighs and legs. I have pain in my lower stomachs and feel tired. As I have osteoporosis my doctor sent me for an x-ray and the barium is still showing g up on the x-ray. I wonder if this can be dangerous, I am drinking loads of water.

Comment from: hurting more now, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 27

I had the barium swallow test this morning. I will never do it again. After taking the fizzy mix I was told I didn't drink fast enough and she gave it to me again. I could not finish that part of test and wanted to throw up, it's been 4 hours and my stomach hurts terribly. Not worth it.

Comment from: GenaBaby, 55-64 (Patient) Published: January 26

I just had a barium swallow test. The test was not as bad as I had expected (thankfully). It only lasted approximately 30 minutes. I was fine after the test and the fizz and barium were not so bad. The fizz drink had a nice lime taste. The barium was not bad either. However I was in a lot of abdominal pain about 5 hours after. It hurt to push down to urinate; really bad. It hurt to bend over, again really bad. I took sleeping pills and finally went to sleep. The next day I got up and felt really good; until I ate quiche. About 20 minutes after I ate the pain returned. I took 2 Nexium tablets and the pain subsided a bit. That's where I am at now. I'm thinking about calling my doctor.

Comment from: Se, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I had a barium swallow. The fizzy stuff made me really sick. Seriously considered throwing up a few times and the barium on top of the fizzy didn't help. I felt better a couple hours later, but later that night I had a lot of trouble with fullness in my stomach that was really uncomfortable. I drank a lot of water and took Dulcolax and milk of magnesia later as I was afraid I'd get constipated, which continued even 24 hours after the test. My stools were rock hard and painful to pass. Now I'll probably have hemorrhoids. Over all, I'm not sure it was worth what I'm going through now.

Comment from: tiptip, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I hated the barium swallow test. The barium is like drinking chalk. I had to drink something like a seltzer first. You want to burp badly but technician told me to hold it in. Boy, was that hard! When the doctor comes in he tells you when to drink the barium and he takes x-ray. The last part was uncomfortable. The table tilted and the technician held a cup with a straw with the barium in it. She put the straw in my mouth and I had to suck. That was hard because I felt like I was sucking air. After it was over I had chalk all over my mouth and I let out a big burp. It's over. So if you do the test I hope you have a nicer doctor than I had.

Comment from: NEVERAGAIN, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

You don't know if you are allergic to it until the barium swallow is over. The barium burned my stomach lining and now I have issues months later. This is uncalled for, it wasn't a necessary procedure and still no results.

Comment from: SUE, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I had a barium swallow last week. The test took about 15 minutes and was painless. The drink didn't taste as bad as I thought it would and I didn't feel sick afterwards. The worst thing was the constipation which lasted for a week so I would just advise anybody to have something in place from the pharmacy to help with the constipation.

Comment from: Sandy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 23

I had a barium swallow and that night stomach pain on the right side. Two days later the pain is so severe with constipation. They should tell you what could happen and give you follow up on what to do. There is still barium in my stool. The pain is like pancreatitis. Hopefully it will go away in the morning. Of course tomorrow it is Sunday and no doctor appointments will be available. So emergency room is my only alternative.

Comment from: Mam maws 60, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

The barium swallow wasn't too bad, now don't get me wrong, it didn't taste like a milkshake or anything. I've had a hiatal hernia now for over 3 years, I may have to have surgery, not sure!

Comment from: renee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 20

Along with the barium I had to swallow things that were like Pop Rocks. They fizz when taken with barium. Six hours later I was vomiting and had diarrhea and I was sweating profusely. They said I should go to the ER but I was too sick to get off the floor. I finally got to the ER and they did an X-ray on my stomach. There were still signs of barium in my stomach the doctors suggested I do an enema and a laxative. I will never do this again because I was so sick from it.

Comment from: wbrr, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

The barium swallow went well enough, however, I did not get constipation. Quite the reverse, 3 days of intermittent diarrhea. Took immodium on second day and simethicone for gas.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE:

"Gastroesophageal Reflux Imaging." MedscapeReference.com. Updated Jun 25, 2015.

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