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Upper GI Series
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
An upper gastrointestinal (GI) series is an x-ray of the esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of the small intestine. An x-ray that only takes pictures of your throat and esophagus is called a barium swallow. Liquid barium (a white chalky liquid) or another type of contrast liquid is given to help the pictures show up more clearly. This test may be done to find the cause of problems such as trouble swallowing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or reflux.
Seek care immediately if:
- You do not have a bowel movement for 2 days after this test.
- You have severe abdominal pain.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have severe constipation.
- You cannot pass gas.
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Laxatives may help relax and loosen your intestines to help you have a bowel movement.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
The barium liquid may cause your bowel movements to turn a gray or white color for 48 to 72 hours after the test.
Drink liquids as directed:
Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids will help flush the barium from your system and prevent or help relieve constipation.
Eat high-fiber foods:
This may help decrease constipation by adding bulk to your bowel movements. High-fiber foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, and beans.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return to go over the results of your test. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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