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Small Bowel Follow-through?

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I saw my super fantabulous gastro today, and he reccommended that I get a small bowel follow through x-ray because I have some burning in my small intestine and they didn't see a cause in the endoscopy.

Um, anyway, what is this test like? How long does it take?

And how horrible will the effects of this milk of magnesia I just took be?


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First you drink a large class of chalk--well its not chalk, but it TASTES like chalk. Its very thick/bitter...the taste still haunts me :lol:

There is no set time for the test. It all depends on how long the barium takes to get down to the area of the stomach they are examining..they keep periodically taking you in for a few xrays to see how far down the barium has moved.--and for me it sure BURNED when it reached my sore spot!!

When its reached the point where it shoud, they put you under a different x-ray machine thats got a little bump under it which pushes everything else out of the way so they can get a clearer x-ray.

Of course, things can work differently if you're in the US, i'm not sure...

I hope this helps! And GOOD LUCK! :)

~ lisa ~

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I had the SBFT last week, and it was really quite easy. I had to drink two glasses of ick, one was barrium and quite thick the other was thinner and sort of like milk of magnesia. Then they xrayed me and made me walk around until my intestinal track did it's thing. Then they xrayed me again with a sort of thing that squished against my stomach but it wasn't bad at all. I felt sorry for the people in the change rooms around me because I gagged after chugging the second glass of stuff. Just remember to to drink tons of water the rest of the day and the next day as that barrium can lodge in there!!! And to be really really gross...it doesn't really flush down the toilet! It's a heavy metal and it goes out the same way it goes in.

Good luck! Why are you having it done, have you been diagnosed with celiacs?


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Hi C,

I think everyone else covered it - except when my hubby had his he had to lie on a bed which tipped him about in various positions (to sloosh the chalky stuff round I suppose :blink: )

He found the mixture gave him D, but I suppose everyones different.Best to drink plenty of water after to flush it through.

..and yeah ,the white chalky stuff apparently comes out as it went in (hubby tells me!) - not easily flushed!

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