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Upper Gi Test
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Has anyone here ever had an upper GI test? I have been hearing absolute horror stories about this test and do not want to have it done now...What were your experiences of this test and is it really THAT bad???

(I don't mean the endoscopy, but the one where they use tubes of liquid..)

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I. am not sure what you mean by tubes of fluid. Typically an upper GI is an Xray, where they use contrast in order to visualize the intestines, stomach, etc. You drink the contrast and then have the xrays taken. The contrast doesn't taste great, and its no picnic, but far from a horror story I think. Is this what you are talking about?

karina

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Well, that's what I thought - I thought I remembered having the test where I had to swallow the chalky stuff and I thought that that was called the upper GI - but then my co-worker told me that she had this total nightmare test and she called it the upper GI - Is there a lower GI? Maybe she got the two confused? or -Maybe she had it done a long time ago and the test is done differently now???

I was confused, too - I was hoping that someone may offer some clarity or recognize the correct name of the test that she was talking about... :(

She said she had 3 long tubes of liquid inserted into her whole intestinal tract - would that test be called the lower GI, by chance? She also said that they cannot put you out for that test or give you any drugs on account of blood pressure (???)

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The only test I can think of that your co-worker may be referring to is a barium enema...I am sure this would not be pleasant...I have not had this done and I havn't seen any of my patients have it done, so I can't tell you for certain about it. I don't know why there would be a general rule about sedation, unless the fluid causes some sort of vasal reaction, where the blood pressure drops. I am sorry I cannot be of more help. I can tell you none of that is involved in an upper GI.

Karina

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I've had at least 3 or 4 upper GIs in my life, and none of them bothered me much at all. There's no eating or drinking for 6 hours prior to the test in most cases, sometimes longer, and then they give you barium to drink. The baruim is not that bad in my opinion; after not being allowed foods or even water, I'm grateful to have anything enter my stomach! Then you must sit there and wait for the barium to pass through you, which takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 4 hours. Depends on the person. Then you take the X-Rays and that's it! No nightmare at all. I think your friend was describing the barium enema, which is a different process entirely.

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What is the barium enema? Which test is that used for? Is that the one where they look at your entire intestinal tract? That may be the one she was describing? Is that a painful one?

I'm asking because I have this sinking feeling that I may have to have additional testing :(

Thanks :)

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From what I've read, a barium enema is also called a "lower GI series" and would not be referred to as an "upper GI." The barium enema is a process where you lie on an X-Ray table and have a tube inserted into your rectum, then the colon is filled with barium, then X-Rays are taken. You don't have to be sedated or anything from what I've heard. You use the bathroom immeadiately after the pictures are taken. I've never had one, only read about it, so I can't say how uncomfortable it is, but most descriptions of it say mild to moderate cramps, that's it. It is mostly done to look for colon cancer, or further investigate Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (such as Crohn's.) You may only have to have an upper GI series, which in my opinion is nothing to worry about at all. Good luck!

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