(Barium X-ray; Lower GI Series)
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Reasons for Test
What to Expect
Prior to Test
- Eat a clear liquid diet.
- Take laxatives.
- Use a warm water or over-the-counter enema.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Description of Test
- Will be shown to the bathroom to pass the barium and may be given a laxative
- May feel mild-to-moderate abdominal cramping and may need to wait before driving home
- Can return to your regular diet unless your doctor tells you not to
- Can return to regular activities when you feel ready
- Should drink lots of fluids (barium can cause dehydration )
- May have white or gray stools for 2-3 days after the test (due to the barium)
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Follow-up testing
- Treatment options
Call Your Doctor
- Severe pain
- Inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement (two or more days after the exam)
- Abdominal bloating
- Bloody stools
American Society of Radiologic Technologists http://www.asrt.org
Canadian Association of Radiologists http://www.car.ca
Radiology Consultants Associated https://www.radiology.ca
Barium enema. McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign website. Available at: http://www.mckinley.uiuc.edu/handouts/barium%5Fenema.html/. Updated June 14, 2011. Accessed November 12, 2012.
Lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract x-ray (radiography). Radiology Info.org website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=lowergi/. Updated June 5, 2012. Accessed November 12, 2012.
Lower GI series. National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lowergi/. Updated April 23, 2012. Accessed November 12, 2012.
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -