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Author Topic: barium swallow?
hs123
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So, I finally got those tests scheduled to see if I might have crohns... I'm getting tested this week.

I'm really quite nervous. I had a barium swallow test when I was younger because I've had GI problems since I was little, so I don't remember much about it except for that I felt like I was going to throw up.
Could anyone tell me more about it... What it does, how it works, how you feel afterwards? What it does to your body... My mom said i might feel bloated afterwards...
I know it's not invasive or anything, I'm just a little nervous.

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Leabug
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I haven't actually had my barium x-rays yet- I'll be going for my first pretty soon here.

But I have heard about a billion stories, so here's what I know about it. They'll give you some liquid barium to drink, which is kinda gross but often flavored so it's a little easier to get down (I've heard it has the consistency of a milkshake, so you may have some trouble getting it down if it grosses you out). Barium coats surfaces and shows up on x-rays, so it helps doctors see the linings of your guts, basically. There are a couple of different barium tests that are done, but they all involve drinking this stuff and then having x-rays done. You'll generally be asked to fast before the test, too.

Barium's not so bad, really- apparently the most common side effects are feeling a little bit nauseated by it for a couple of hours after, and that's about it. You may have white poop after, so don't get freaked out if that happens- that's just the barium coming out. Some people also feel constipated afterwards so drink a lot of water after to help avoid it.

There's nothing to be nervous about- it's kinda gross, but it's not so bad, apparently. I'm right there with ya though- I'll be going through my own first barium tests in a few weeks! [Smile]

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask, we'd be glad to help you out.

[ 02-09-2008, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: Leabug ]

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Lea

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hs123
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Thanks Lea...
I'm still a little nervous, but I guess that's all normal. I'm just nervous I'm gonna like, throw it up or something... But if that's the worst that'll happen, I guess it's not that bad, right?

Anyways, my mom's gonna come with me and all that, moral support I guess...lol. I don't actually know what she can do for me, but I'm glad she's gonna come.

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September
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Lea pretty much covered it all. The barium x-ray is a pretty harmless test. The worst part is really having to drink all that barium, as even the flavoured kind tastes like chalk, and you have to drink a lot of it in a fairly short time. Taking small sips helps. So does distracting yourself - watch TV or talk to someone to help you take your mind off it. The x-rays themselves are just like any other x-ray, so that's easy.

Hope all goes well!

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-joey
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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hs123
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I had the barium swallow test today. I feel like I've gained 10 lbs. I had to drink the barium without any flavor first and then I had to drink almost 9 cups of the flavored stuff, which was still pretty bad.
It's also pretty nauseating...
I'm bloated, and my system isn't working quite right yet. Not sure what to do about that except to drink...
Anyways, they said my doctor would have to call with the results... I'm really nervous...
I've been missing so much school lately because of this that I'm worried they're gonna fail me, not because of my grades, which are good, but because of my absences. My principal knows, but still...
And some of my classmates are starting to make rude comments to me about it all... It's getting irritating, and causing a lot of uneeded anxiety.

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Leabug
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Aww, I'm sorry to hear people are being so insensitive about all this. Have you perhaps gotten a parent to talk to your principal about this? If your grades are good, I see no reason why they should fail you, provided you can prove you have a health issue making you miss classes. I had a friend in a similar situation because she had mono and complications from it for several months, she kept her grades up but was worried about being flunked due to absenses... they seemed to listen much better when she went in to see the prinicipal with her mom and with a doctor's letter in hand.

(And I'm here with ya for the bloated feelings- I had my first colonoscopy today, so I can totally sympathize with the general yuck factor of these tests. [Smile] )

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Lea

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Stephanie_1
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Leabug's right ... going to see the principal with a doctor's excuse is your best bet. Because it's federally mandated that we go to school (and with that there's a certain number of days required except in "extenuating circumstances" as it's written.) I had a lot of health problems that took me away from classes as well in High School, so I know how frustrating it is when people don’t understand.

I think they could improve a lot of the tests they do. I remember drinking barium, and while it makes you sick for a bit you’ll feel better soon – I promise. My doctor told me to drink lots of water and do my best to sleep through the discomfort (because when you’re sleeping you don’t feel the effects). I know another one that tastes really bad is sterile water. I thought it would taste like water – I was wrong! They always give me nausea medications when they do tests on me though … I have a better gag reflex than most people I think. Hope you feel better and good will for your results!

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Leabug
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Oh, and about those classmates... just try to brush it off. They're simply uneducated. If they're your friends, you could try explaining this stuff to them, that it's a very real illness and can be quite debilitating. (I just can't believe the responses you're getting- not once have I had anybody make fun of me or tell me I'm lying or anything. [Frown] Trust me, people in university will be way, way more understanding about this stuff.)

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Lea

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hs123
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I pulled one of my classmates aside today and told her that it really hurt me when she made comments about my absences... She seemed to be pretty understanding... My teachers were much less understanding....
I was gonna only go to school for a half day today because I felt so sick, but I stayed the whole day because of the way my teachers were acting...

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Stephanie_1
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Teachers at times can forget that there is life outside of school. Some teachers are more understanding than other's because they or someone they know are going through tests themselves for health related things - but you'll always run into the people that (for use of a better phrase) just don't get it.

It's difficult to concentrate when you're not feeling well, so don't try to force yourself to make it through a day if you really feel sick. Sometimes forcing yourself to do what our body isn't ready for can really make things worse. Try to keep an open communication with your teachers, not only will this help them to beter understand the situation, but it will make them more inclined to help you catch up when you're physically ready to do so. ~Feel better!

[ 02-14-2008, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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