What is the test?
A barium swallow, or upper GI series, is an x-ray test used to examine the upper digestive tract (the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine). Because these organs are normally not visible on x-rays, you need to swallow barium, a liquid that does show up on x-rays. The barium temporarily coats the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and intestine, making the outline of these organs visible on the x-ray pictures. This test is useful to help evaluate potential problems in the esophagus, stomach and first part of the intestine. Images may suggest conditions such as an ulcer, narrowing of the esophagus, or an abnormal mass that could be a benign tumor or cancer,
How do I prepare for the test?
Tell your doctor and the x-ray technicians if there is any chance you could be pregnant. If you have diabetes or take an SGLT2 inhibitor for weight loss, let your doctor know because medication adjustment may be necessary prior to the test.
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