What is the test?
A barium enema is an x-ray test used to examine the lower digestive tract (the colon and rectum). Because the colon and rectum are normally not visible on x-rays, you need to temporarily coat their inner surfaces with barium, a liquid that does show up on x-rays. This makes the outline of these organs visible on the x-ray pictures. This test is useful for diagnosing cancers and diverticuli (small pouches that may form in the intestinal wall).
How do I prepare for the test?
Tell your doctor if there is any chance that you might be pregnant. If you have diabetes and take insulin, discuss this with your doctor before the test.