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  • Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

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    Old 04-10-2008, 07:23 PM   #1
    amberwalsch
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    Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

    Hi there-
    I am going in for a small intestine series next week (where you drink the barium) and I have a few questions that I was wondering if someone could assist me with. I was wondering exactly what they can see or are looking for in terms of chrons disease. Does it take longer to digest if you are diagnosed with chrons? or a shorter amount of time? Also, how bad is the stuff to drink, similar in taste to the prep work for a colonoscopy?

    Thanks in advance!

     
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    Old 04-16-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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    Re: Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

    The barium is worse than the stuff for the colonoscopy, just not as much (if you are talking about the go-lightly). Sorry to tell you that.

    They aren't looking for how long it takes as much as x-rays of where the contrast shows inflammation or strictures. Then they use a paddle & push to separate the bowel loops or something & take flouroscopy pics.

    When I had mine, it went really fast to the large bowel, in about 15-20 minutes it was already there. (The nurse at the ER the last time told me that points to CD, but who knows. I also know that if you have a stricture, it will get caught so it will take longer for the barium to get to the large intestine.) Then it slowed & "clumped" up. This is where the results are saying there is inflammation. My radiologist pretty much told me. He asked me why I was having the test & I told him to determine if I had CD or UC & he said that this test didn't say one way or the other. But he did say there was something going on & he couldn't tell what. He tried doing the flouroscopy 2 or 3 times (that is kinda uncomfortable, tool), but couldn't get the picture he wanted & couldn't get the contrast to move or unclump, I guess. He kinda had that look in his eye like he felt sorry for me or something, but maybe I was reading into that. They sent me on my way with milk of mag., but the tech said I probably would NOT need that, but normally people need it or they get constipated because the barium will harden a bit inside your colon. But I was having BMs while I was there, so I didn't have to use it. Your BMs will be whitish, by the way.

    I hope that helps.

     
    Old 04-16-2008, 08:56 PM   #3
    amberwalsch
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    Re: Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

    Thanks hukleberrie! That really does seem to help! I hope my results on Friday show something one way or another. I just want answers. Thanks for the most though!

     
    Old 04-17-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
    whatthescrap
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    Re: Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

    I had slightly different results! I figured the barium would go right through me since everything else does! NOT! It took about an hour or so of taking x-rays every 15-20 minutes until the barium was in my large intestines. Then the x-ray tech came in and used a paddle with a balloon on it to press on my stomach and take pictures. I had already been diagnosed with Crohns disease after my colonoscopy. I had this screening done to confirm Crohns Ileum and determine approximately how much intestine was affected.

     
    Old 04-18-2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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    Re: Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

    Hello and thank you Hukleberrie and whatthescrap for your answers! I had the ultrasound and small bowel series (barium swallow today)... and as usual I feel discouraged.

    The ultrasound was first, looking to see all my organs, mainly my gallbladder. Tech didn't say anything about the ultrasound, but I don't think she has the authorization to one way or another.

    Then came time for the small bowel series. You were not kidding Hukleberrie, that barium was by no means fun. After taking down what seemed like two of the tallest glasses in my life, they did an x-ray. No movement. So they had me walk for 20 minutes. They then took another x-ray (assuming it would be to my colon), and it wasn't. They had me walk another 20 minutes (by this point they had to start taking other patients as well), so they took another x-ray and still hadn't gotten to my colon. They told me to walk again, this time for 30 minutes. I came back AGAIN for another x-ray... they said the barium had moved downward a bit but it still wasn't quite to my colon. They said they would call the radiologist (two nurses were performing the x-rays) to see if it was down enough for him to look or something along those lines. The radiologist came in real quick, took a spoon type thing (no paddle) pushed on my stomach for no longer than 5 seconds while looking on a screen. He asked me where my pain had been, I informed him that it was all over but most often central, or LRQ. As he was pushing he asked if I felt any discomfort. I told him I was experiencing a lot of pain as he pushed by my navel. He said "great, there's no bowel there". The whole thing took 5 seconds of him pushing. He then quickly said "well I don't really see much, don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing" and left. They then sent me on my way.

    I am sooo discouraged! 1. Because I felt he was beyond rude, very flipped. 2. Because he said nothing as to why it took so long to move down to my colon. And 3. Because he didn't even wait for it to move completely to my colon.

    It is now 4 hours later, I have had two BMs, and neither of them are white. The nurses told me it would be coated in white for a few days, and it still hasn't gotten white. I'm worried it still hasn't made it to my colon, but if not, why would they send me on my way? It's as if they were sooo busy (well they said they were), and they just tried to rush me out.

    I called my GI office to see if the results would happen to be in because I didn't want to wait the whole weekend. They called back and said the results weren't in yet but they'd call today if they came in, otherwise it would be Monday most likely.

    So, I feel as though that whole small bowel series, and everything was for nothing. All that is left to do is the capsule endoscopy and I don't even know if I want to do that anymore. I'm so sick of all the tests and no answers.

    Anyone have any idea why it would take so long for the barium to pass through? And any other advice would much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

     
    Old 04-18-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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    Re: Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

    Well, it's just slow moving, that's all. I was told before that I had "gastric dumping" because everything goes through me really fast. I was told it's normal for it to take about 2-3 hours total for it to move all the way to the colon. I think that's pretty normal. If there was a stricture, they would have seen it on the flouroscopy and/or x-ray. So, that's not the cause.

    Sorry you don't have more answers. But at least you got those two tests out of the way so you can move on to a test that DOES give you answers...

     
    Old 04-18-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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    Re: Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

    Im soooo sorry you are having to go through this! As I mentioned before, mine took a while to pass through, but not 4 hours!!! The tech I had was also very helpful, she would show me the x-rays after each one so I could see how far the barium had traveled. There was definitely progress but it did seem like forever!! Within an hour of leaving I had a white bm...then about 4-5 more within the next 8 hours or so before they returned to "normal".

    I know it is discouraging, but, DONT give up! Its better to have an answer, even if it takes a while, then to have no answer...and pain...that could last much longer!

    Hang in there!

    Dianna

     
    Old 04-18-2008, 01:48 PM   #8
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    Re: Small intestine series... barium swallow for Chrons?!

    Thanks for the reply whatsthescrap!
    Did your radiologist say anything during the Upper GI Series, as to what he saw... also what were your results? I guess I missed your story. Where you finally diagnosed with anything? Did your radiologist push around with a paddle a lot, or make you change positions? Lots of questions... sorry!

     
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