Just wondering if anyone else had to swallow this and how bad it tastes. I have to swallow it during the procedure, if I gag is it a problem?
Any flavour recommendations if I get a choice?
@AB Bride: What choice of flavors are you getting?
I had to drink those a few times to test for Crohn's disease, and they are not pleasant. The taste isn't so bad as the consistency is hard to deal with. It's thick, and heavy. And btw, when they tell you to drink plenty of water afterwards, they aren't kidding. I made the mistake of running errands afterwards, and I was so miserable afterwards. It will turn into clay if you don't hydrate.
Also, the taste isn't as bad as the amount they want you to drink in a specific amount of time. It's just so heavy! I know I said that already, but it's so true. But you can do it. I've had worse things enter my mouth.
@StuporDuck: Luckily, I don't think I have to drink a great amount of it. Everything I have to drink is during the procedure itself, it's a complete fast before I go.
No idea about the flavours, the link to info from other sites, but the link mentioned strawberry and chocolate.
@AB Bride: Same with mine. I had to fast, and then drink some maybe 20 minutes before the procedure. The size of the serving though is just really thick and filling.
I had some fruity flavor. I think black berry once and strawberry another? Really the flavors don't matter much. If I had the option for chocolate, I still think the outcome would have been the same.
@StuporDuck: Thanks! You're making me feel a little better about it. I'm sure I can get the stuff down eventually, but I worry about gagging as I think they need the xrays as I'm swallowing the stuff. Maybe if it's so thick just the coating is fine and the xrays are taken right after though?
Fasting just makes me nauseous as it is.
I worked in an off site imaging place. That barrium is nasty. We would tell patients to keep it chilled and use a straw. It helps you pretend it's a milkshake :)
I'm assuming if you're fasting it's an ab/pel scan? Try to get as much in as possible. It's really important.
@FutureMrsShrewsbury: No, esophagus and stomach.
I'm one of the people who make people drink this for a living. It's not so much the taste that's the problem for most people, it's the consistency. Almost chalky.
The amount you'll have to drink and how quickly will depend on what test you're having done.
It shouldn't really be a problem if you gag, lots of people do.
The only time I've ever seen flavor options is at a children's hospital, where they had chocolate and strawberry Nesquick to mix in. All the adult ones I've seen the bottles are labelled as being some sort of berry flavor, but let's be honest: it all tastes like chalk.
Good luck. It really is not as bad as I'm making it sound, I promise. Everyone gets through it. It's usually over pretty quickly and then you get to go eat/drink whatever you want.
@StuporDuck: So right. Water water water and extra fibre afterwards makes a difference.
@cb336: Do you know if the xrays are actually taken right when I'm swallowing the stuff then? Or do they do it right after you get the stuff down for the esophagus?
@AB Bride: Every radiologist and hospital is slightly different, so it can vary a bit, but in my experience the procedure has gone something like this:
You'll have to first swallow some gas pills to help expand your stomach (not sure if they use these everywhere, but if you do have to take them they're pretty much just like pop rocks candy, not bad at all). Then you'll have to drink a small cup of thick barium. This will coat the lining of your stomach. Then you'll be given a larger cup of thin barium with a straw. You'll drink the thin barium while the radiologist takes x-rays to watch what happends in your esophagus when you swallow and watch your stomach empty into the first part of your small intestine.
@AB Bride: I had to do a barium swallow test a few summers ago. As PP stated, it's not the flavor; it's the consistency. I had a cherry flavor and it tasted like cherry flavored chalk. It was really thick, so I couldn't drink it as fast as I would have liked.
@AB Bride: OK, I think I've had the test you're talking about. I've had to drink Barium several times for different GI tests, so sometimes I've had to drink 2 full containers of it, and others just a few sips while they took images of me swallowing and the solution emptying into my stomach. Honestly, it's not THAT bad. Yes, it's not something anyone would drink if they had a choice, and it's quite thick and chalky, but nothing you can't swallow quickly without really tasting it.
For the test I think you're talking about, I had to lay on a tilting table, and it was: take a swallow, they'd tilt the table a certain way, take an image, take another swallow, tilt another way, take another image, etc. In total, I didn't have to consume too much of the solution, and it wasn't as filling as when I had to drink 2 whole containers.
Unless you have a super crazy sensitive gag reflex, I think you'll be OK!
As long as they can get the images needed, I don't care if I gag on the stuff. Sounds like it shouldn't be too much of an issue other than maybe needing one extra xray the first time.
@AB Bride: I'm a radiographer in the UK and I give patients barium to swallow for lots of different examinations. Over here we don't give the patients flavoured barium so it's pretty gross. Most patients dont find the exam difficult though - you be asked to take a sip of the barium and hold it in your mouth. The x-rays will be set up and you will be asked to swallow it while they take the x-rays, so they watch it going down your oesaphagus. If they're looking at your stomach aswell youll probably lie down and theyll get you in lots of different positions to look at your stomach. Lots of patients gag (mostly due to their condition rather than the barium) and it doesnt affect the exam at all. Good luck, you'll be grand!
@MrsDD: Thanks! That takes away all my concerns about the test. I'm pretty good about worry about stuff.
I don't know why they don't including gagging on their FAQ
@AB Bride: Hey how did it go? Have you gone yet?
Not yet, I just wanted to get all the worry out of my mind while I wait! It's next week.
@AB Bride: Gotcha! Well, I'll check on you then!
@StuporDuck: Thanks! I'll update.
I had it once. No real taste, neither pleasant or unpleasant. Not too different from when you dissolve a tablet than have to swallow it. No big deal. Way preferable to, say, a blood sample :)
It was fine. I wasn't as nauseous as I can get, so that helped. They also did the stomach images first, so I could drink the stuff slowly first. After those images were taken I had to do a bunch of small sips of the stuff, by then I was fine.
No choice of flavours, I think it was vanilla.
On the way home I did start to feel sick, and I figured I may as well just throwup if I could easily to get the crap out of me. I think the stuff was too thick to come up easily though. I heaved a few times, then drank some water and all what came back up was water. I guess I'm stuck with having to have it go through my digestive system.
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