Barium in GI Procedure: Effects on Ileostomy & Dehydration?

Apr 23, 2018 4:09 pm

I'm scheduled for a GI Esophagus Pharynx procedure in two days. I was told this would involve barium, but not how much. Does anyone know how much I'll have to drink and, more importantly, what will this do to my ileostomy? Also, no food or water for 4 hours before. Will I be severely dehydrated? I am so grateful for any info. Thanks.

Apr 25, 2018 1:38 pm

Hi Firefly

I just had a GI procedure drinking barium. I have a colostomy bag and it made me nauseated for a couple of days, then diarrhea for two days. Hopefully you'll do better than me.

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Past Member
Apr 26, 2018 12:39 pm

Barium made me a blockage. Barium drink was pink color and I took 3 glasses. Drink water as much as you can before and after.

Past Member
Apr 27, 2018 1:43 am

I have a CT scan with contrast once a year. If you don't have a colon like me, I'm upper with no colon. I get one bottle of contrast 45 minutes before the test, then they inject dye during which comes on hot. You can feel heat going through your veins from head to toe. You get hot for a short time, then you're done. You don't need more than one 16 oz contrast plus one last small cup right before you lay down. Only if you take the 3 bottles when you still have a colon. You get used to contrast and barium. I've been getting yearly CT scans, no big deal compared to what you went through already. I hope you do well, live long, and prosper mate.

Apr 28, 2018 11:10 pm

Hi Firefly. Hope everything went well for you and hope you'll share the good news.  I'm not qualified to have offered advice regarding the barium but I am so very curious.

Thanks with respect,


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Newbie Dana
Apr 29, 2018 3:52 pm

What I found was that the barium drink went straight through me! It's a good thing I always carry spare supplies with me, as I filled up 3 or 4 pouches in the 30 minutes between the time I drank it and getting the test! (In fact, that's the reason I increased the number of spare pouches I carry with me.) Just let the testing personnel know that this is a possible side effect.

I have always advocated carrying spare supplies in an inconspicuous manner. It is much easier for women than men, of course, as nobody thinks twice about a woman carrying a purse. But my spare supplies are all packed into a small pouch - a former contact lens supply kit about 6"x4.5"x2.5" - not really very large at all. It contains 5 or 6 pouches (disposables) with disposal bags, one faceplate, a template for cutting out the stoma-shaped hole, a Sharpie marker for marking the faceplate and scissors to cut it, and miscellaneous stuff like a few wet wipes, Band-aids, etc. Everything you could conceivably need in a tiny package.

Apr 29, 2018 8:57 pm

I'm sure you'll be a trooper and do fine. I'm surprised they do it so often. I have a continent ileostomy and I never do this. My doctor in Boston inserts a camera every 5 years to look around my pouch and that's it. I should get that scheduled soon, whatever.