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Barium Meal

X rays of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The patient swallows barium before x rays are taken. Barium makes the organs show up on x rays. Also called upper GI series.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

About Barium Meal

The process of getting x-ray pictures of the esophagus or the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum).

The x-ray pictures are taken after the patient drinks a liquid that contains barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner walls of the esophagus and the upper GI tract so that they can be seen on the x-ray pictures. NIH - National Cancer Institute

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Constipation in Children and Young People: Diagnosis and Management of Idiopathic Childhood Constipation in Primary and Secondary Care

Without early diagnosis and treatment, an acute episode of constipation can lead to anal fissure and become chronic. By the time the child or young person is seen they may be in a vicious cycle. Children and young people and their families are often given conflicting advice and practice is inconsistent, making treatment potentially less effective and frustrating for all concerned. Early identification of constipation and effective treatment can improve outcomes for children and young people. This guideline provides strategies based on the best available evidence to support early identification, positive diagnosis and timely, effective management. Implementation of this guideline will provide a consistent, coordinated approach and will improve outcomes for children and young people.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Adults: Diagnosis and Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Primary Care [Internet]

This guideline covers areas relevant to the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) reflecting the complete patient journey, from the person presenting with IBS symptoms, positive diagnosis and management, targeted at symptom control. The guideline incorporates Cochrane reviews, published NICE clinical and public health guidance, Health Technology Assessment reports, systematic and health economic reviews produced by the National Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Supportive Care. Recommendations are based on clinical and cost effectiveness evidence, and where this is insufficient, the GDG used all available information sources and experience to make consensus recommendations using nominal group technique.

Common Syndromes in Older Adults Related to Primary and Secondary Prevention [Internet]

To create a systematic synthesis of the published evidence about the prevalence of eight geriatric syndromes and their association with survival and institutionalization, and to provide a review of models that report survival in elderly populations.

See all (21)

Summaries for consumers

Gastrointestinal Complications (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about constipation, impaction, bowel obstruction, and diarrhea as complications of cancer or its treatment. The management of these problems is discussed.

Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about tests used to detect or screen for stomach (gastric) cancer.

Terms to know

Duodenum
The first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach.
Esophagus
The muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.
Stomach
An organ that is part of the digestive system. The stomach helps digest food by mixing it with digestive juices and churning it into a thin liquid.
Upper Gastrointestinal Tract (Upper GI Tract)
The upper part of the gastrointestinal tract that includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.

More about Barium Meal

Photo of an adult

Also called: Barium swallow, Upper GI series

See Also: Imaging Tests

Other terms to know: See all 4
Duodenum, Esophagus, Stomach

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