Constipation and Barium

I have gastroparesis, major difficulties with constipation and Chest pain that I have been dealing with recently. I just had an Upper GI with Small bowel follow-through today and had to drink 3 cups of barium. I am really concerned about constipation as I have had major problems with it many times before. Normally I take miralax, but the technician told me not to take any laxatives at all.....just drink a lot of water or gatorade. She said that the laxatives pull out the water from your system, and that it would end up making the barium more solid.........anyway, I am desperate to make sure I go, given how bad I've felt in the past. I have been taking miralax everyday for several years now to make sure I go. I am also on a liquid diet, and I still need it to be regular. Again any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Jeanne

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Hi Jem: I don't know if you stopped doing the miralax just for the test or if they want you to stop it permantly?

OTC constipation medicines are bad for you and so is anything that has cascara segrada in it. (this one you usually get from the health food store). Before they figured out how to keep me going and I will telll you about that in a minute, I went to the health food store and I tried colon cleannses and anyting else they suggested. Cascara Segrada was one they suggested and it worked. I thought that it was all okay because it was from the health food store. However, when I had my colonoscopy, they found melanosis coli. I don't think it is harmful to you, but they are now dead spots on my colon. I am sure if you have enough of those spots, it could be harmful. This melanosis coli is from OTC constipation meds.

Miralax, as far as I know is safe. They use to use it as a colonoscopy prep and you used to only get it as and RX. This is what my GI doctor has me on. I take two doses of it each day. One dose in the am and one in the pm. I also take a prescription drug called Amitiza twice per day. It is expensive, but if you go to their website, you can get a coupon for a year even if you have insurance. I rarely have to deal w/constipation anymore. But I do have diarrhea. I do not have regular BM's anymore and sometimes I have bowel incontinence because of this. Even if I have diarrhea in the mornings, I can still get consipated in the afternoon. Doctors don't understand this. I even had a GI tell me that it is normal to not have a BM for 3-4 days. Is he kidding me. I can't handle that. If I am having really really bad diarrhea, I don't do a pm dosage. If I am having trouble, I take a dose of MOM to get things kick started. This is what my GI has suggested for me. So far so good. But. . . I always have to know where the bathrooms are.

I still always have a distended belly and I am not sure what exactly that is, but it is very painful. I take pain meds for that and I know it slows things down, so I try to be careful with the pain meds.

I hope this might work for you.
Good luck: Tracy

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When I had my last barium test while I was in the hospital my doctor prescribed dulcolax to help it come out. Sometimes they recommend milk of magnesia after barium too. I understand your fear but I would check with your doctor. You will be okay. Also do drink things like gatorade, juice and broth to keep you hydrated. Good liuck

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When I had my barium test I took laxatives to be sure I went, but I tried to double what I took in for liquids Gatorade and broth. I was fine, it was still pretty solid once it came, I couldn't imagine if I didn't take anything. I was advised not to take anything as well.

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Dear Jeannie, after barium, all you can do is drink a ton of liquids. I can't imagine not taking a laxitive after. The only thing that works for me is Milk of Magnesia, it doesn't cause cramps and it works by bringing fluids to our colon. That Barium is the hardest thing to pass next to cheese. Hope it all comes out fast for you, and you start to feel better soon. Sending a Big HUG, Gina

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Thank you, thank you everyone for your comments and advice. I learned a lot, and I think I am starting to come up with some solutions for my constipation. I ended up taking 1 ducolax tab for several evenings. I was scared to take it because in the past it had caused me to vomit. So I crushed them and dissolved them and then I took them. They worked great, although it did take more than the 6-12 hours before they took effect. It took the weekend for all the barium to come out. And there may be more, I don't know. I also drank a lot of gatorade and broth and that really helped. In addition to all this, I had been having a hard time with chest pain and constipation since I got out of the hospital. It was so bad that at one point I was only able to get 3 cups of liquid in me every day. I was scared. Then I realized that constipation had a lot to do with it. With the ducolax I have started to take nutritional drinks and so far I've had no problems. I know that ducolax is not a long term solution, but I am hoping to talk to my doctor about taking Amitiza. I have heard that it has a lot of bad side effects though and would be interested in anyone's thoughts on this. At any rate, thanks again, so much guys. I appreciate it so much. May you all be blessed during this wonderful season! Jeanne

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