Tag Archives: Gastrointestinal tract

Kutuka or Kutki

Botanical Name: Picrorhiza kurroa
Family: Scrofulariaceae
Synonyms: Black hellebore, black kutki, kali, kali kutki, kali-kutki, karru, katki, katukurogani, kaur, kuru, kuruwa, kutaki, kutki, picroliv, Picrorhiza kurroa, Picrorhiza kurroa extract, Picrorhiza kurroa Royle, Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth., Picrorhiza lindleyana Steud., Picrorrhiza kurroa,
Common name: Katuka
English Name: Gentian
Genus: Picrorhiza

Parts Used: Root(exceptionally bitter)

Tradition: Used in Ayurvedic medicine

Habitat: E. Asia – Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim.  Found in the higher mountain elevations at 2700 – 3600 metres

Description:
Kutuka is a Perennial harb.
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)  The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
click to see the pictures……….……………………………..

English: Bamboo with rhizome Français : Pousse...

English: Bamboo with rhizome Français : Pousses de bambou avec rhizome apparent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cultivation details:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. However, judging by its native range, it is likely to succeed outdoors at least in the milder areas of the country.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species. It is likely that the best way of propagating from seed is to sow it as soon as it is ripe, preferably in a cold frame or greenhouse. If this is not possible, sow the seed in late winter or early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out in the summer. Division of the rhizome in the autumn or spring.

Constituents:
*iridoid glycosides such as
*picrosides I, II, III
*kutkoside
*cucurbitacin glycosides (highly oxygenated triterpenes)
*apocycynin
*androsin

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Antiinflammatory; Antiperiodic; Bitter; Cathartic; Laxative; Stomachic; Tonic.

Kuru has a long history of medicinal use, especially in India but also in China where it is known as hu huang lian . The dried rhizome is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, cathartic (in large doses), cholagogue, laxative (in smaller doses), stomachic and bitter tonic. The root contains a number of very bitter glucosides including kutkin and picrorhizin. It also contains apocynin, which is powerfully anti-inflammatory and reduces platelet aggregation. In trials, the rhizome was shown to boost the immune system and to have a specific action against the parasie Leishmania donovani, which causes the tropical parasitic disease called leishmaniasis. The rhizome has a very beneficial effect upon the liver and digestive system and is used in the treatment of a wide range of conditions including fevers, constipation, dyspepsia and jaundice. It is also often used in the treatment of scorpion stings and snake bites. There is also some evidence that the rhizome can be of help in the treatment of bronchial asthma and a number of auto-immune diseases such as psoriasis and vitiligo, whilst it has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels and reduce coagulation time. The rhizome is gathered in the autumn and dried for later use.

Immune System Conditions
*acute and chronic infections
*treatment for allergies
*treatment for autoimmune disorders
*weakened immunity

Liver Conditions
*liver infections
*toxic liver damage

Respiratory Tract Conditions
asthma
Dosage: 500mg – 2g/day of the dried root    1-4mL/day of 1:2 extract

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider .

Resources:

Picrorrhiza Kurroa


http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Picrorhiza+kurroa
http://www.wellness.com/reference/herb/katuka-picrorhiza-kurroa/

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Right Eating Is Best Way to Optimize Good Gut Bacteria

Healthy eating, not supplements, is the best way to keep the good bacteria in your gut healthy, says a dietitian and researcher. As with vitamins, it’s best to get the bacteria you need from healthy food rather than taking often expensive and potentially ineffective supplements, says Gail Cresci, Medical College of Georgia, dietitian and researcher.
She equates the good bacterium in your gastrointestinal tract to another living being inside that helps keeps you healthy.

“If you do good by your bacteria, they will do good by you,” Ms. Cresci says.

There is even mounting evidence that a healthy gut microbiota helps maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown, for example, that when bacteria from a genetically fat mouse are placed in a lean germ-free mouse, it gains weight without changing its food intake.

Unfortunately poor diets are hurting the bacteria in many of us and the overuse of antibiotics is taking its toll as well, particularly the common, broad-spectrum antibiotics that wipe out anything in their path, good and bad bacteria included.

Cresci cites inadequate fiber and excess unhealthful fats as contributing to the problem, and states that a good daily diet has adequate high-quality protein, fiber, healthy fats and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Source: ScienceDaily October 22, 2009

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Uncaria Gambir

Botanical Name: Uncaria Gambir
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Uncaria
Species: U. gambir
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Common Name: :Catechu Pallidum, Terra Japonica, Gambier, Cutch; Gambir Cubique, Fr.; Catechu, P. G.; Katechu, Gambir-Catechu, G.; Catecu, It., Sp.

Habitat: It is a native of Malacca, Sumatra, Cochin-China, and other parts of Eastern Asia, and is largely cultivated in the islands of Bintang, Singapore, and Prince of Wales.

Description;
This is a climbing shrub with slender stems somewhat thickened at the nodes; leaves ovate or oblong, entire, rounded at the base but abruptly attenuated at the summit, opposite and stipulated, smooth on both sides.
click to see
The stem is woody, often angular; leaves oblong-ovate, 7.5-10 Cm. (3-4′) long, petiolate, acuminate, entire, smooth; flowers small, pinkish, in clusters, calyx and corolla 5-divided, stamens 5, ovary 2-celled; fruit 2.5 Cm. (1′) long, narrow, ovoid tapering at each end, dehiscent, pericarp dry; seeds numerous, minute, pale brown, rough, tailed at each end.
The flowers are small, crowded into a dense globular head on a hairy receptacle; the flower heads are borne on long axillary peduncles which bear in the middle a whorl of bracts. At the point where these bracts occur the peduncle breaks after the falling of the inflorescence and the remainder of the peduncle becomes elongated and curved into hooks by means of which the plant climbs. Corolla gamopetalous, trumpet-shaped, tube slender; fruit one inch long, pericarp dry, dehiscing vertically into two valves; seeds very numerous.

click to  see………>....(01).………(1)….…....(2)…....(3)....

The gambir is prepared by lopping off the leaves, shoots, and twigs of the plant, chopping them into pieces, and throwing them into an iron pot filled with boiling water. When the leaves are exhausted and the liquid sufficiently thick, it is poured into small wooden tubs, and so soon as sufficiently cool, a half-closed hand is plunged into the semi-fluid mass and a piece of light wood shaped like an elongated dice box rapidly worked up and down in the hollow formed by the hand. The extract begins to thicken by a process which is compared to crystallization. The mass is finally turned out, and cut into cubes, which are put upon trays and smoke-dried. This extract, which is known by the native Malays as pinang or siren was first brought to the attention of the profession by Campbell.

Enormous quantities of gambir are used both in Europe and America in tanning, calico printing, dyeing, as an ingredient in boiler compounds for preventing the hard scaly incrustation caused by certain kinds of water, and other art processes requiring tannic acid.

Vanderkleed and E’we call attention to the fact that the apparent alcohol soluble content of gambir may be unduly raised by the high moisture content of some of the commercial varieties, which they report as containing over 21 per cent. of moisture, all of which would be calculated in the alcohol soluble extractive by the ordinary methods in which no allowance is made for water. (J. A. Ph. A., 1914, 1685.)

Parts used for medicinal purposes:Leaves,Twigs
Constituents. Catechin,Catechutannic acid
Tannic acid 25-38 p. c, Catechin (catechuic acid) 20 29 p. c, ash 9 p. c.

Medical Action & Uses:

Gambir is a serviceable remedy in those cases where astringents are indicated.

The complaints to which it is best adapted are diarrhea dependent on debility or relaxation of the intestinal mucous membrane, and passive hemorrhages, particularly from the uterus. A small piece held in the mouth and allowed slowly to dissolve is an excellent remedy in relaxation of the uvula and the irritation of the fauces and troublesome cough which depend upon it. Applied to spongy gums, in the state of powder, it sometimes proves useful; and it has been recommended as a dentifrice in combination with powdered charcoal, Peruvian bark, myrrh, etc.

Uses. – Diarrhoea, leuchorrhoea, gonorrhoea, cough, chronic sore throat, phthisis, bronchitis, hemorrhages, relaxed uvula, ulcerated nipples, chronic ulcers, relaxed oral mucous membrane and spongy gums (mouth-wash). In the arts for tanning, dyeing.

Dose, from ten grains to half a drachm (0.65—2.0 Gm.), which should be frequently repeated, and is best given with sugar, gum arable, and water.

Extract (gambir)„ usually in cubical or rectangular pieces 20-30 Mm. (4/5 – 1 1/5′) broad, grayish-, reddish-brown, dull, porous, friable; internally light brown, dull earthy color; inodorous; taste bitterish, very astringent; microscopically – numerous acicular crystals, non-glandular hairs, tracheae, few starch grains, .005-015 Mm. (1/5000-1/1650) broad, bacteria (?). Tests: 1. Macerate 1 Gm. with water (50), brownish filtrate, + dilute ferric chloride T. S. – intense green; with copper sulphate T. S. – no precipitate. Solvents: water dissolves 65 p. c; alcohol GO p. c. Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.).

KNOWN EFFECTS
Shrinks tissues. Interferes with absorption of iron and other minerals when taken internally.

UNPROVED SPECULATED BENEFITS
Decreases unusual bleeding. Treats chronic diarrhea. Is used as gargle for sore throats.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Don’t take if you:
Have any chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, such as stomach or duodenal ulcers, esophageal reflux (reflux esophagitis), ulcerative colitis, spastic colitis, diverticulosis, diverticulitis.

Consult your doctor if you:
Take this herb for any medical problem that doesn’t improve in 2 weeks. There may be safer, more-effective treatments. Take any medicinal drugs or herbs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non-prescription drugs.

Pregnancy:
Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don’t use.

Breast-feeding:
Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don’t use.

Infants and children:
Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous.

Storage:
Keep cool and dry, but don’t freeze. Store safely away from children.

Safe dosage:
At present no “safe” dosage has been established.

TOXICITY
Rated relatively safe when taken in appropriate quantities for
short periods of time.
For symptoms of toxicity: See Adverse Reactions, Side Effects or Overdose Symptoms section below.

ADVERSE REACTIONS, SIDE EFFECTS OR OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS
Signs and symptoms:  What to do:
Diarrhea  Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
Kidney damage characterized by  Seek emergency treatment.
blood in urine, decreased urine
flow, swelling of hands and feet.
Vomiting

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/usdisp/ourouparia.html
http://www.healthse.com/vitamins/vitamin148.php
http://chestofbooks.com/health/materia-medica-drugs/Manual-Pharmacology/Gambir-Gambir.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncaria_gambir

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The Poop!


Stool – Healthy and Unhealthy Stool:-

Click to see the  pictures of ->
Bristol  Stool  Chart

This writing might “stink” a little, but this information might serve as an important revelation to many particularly for elderly and persons with contineus stomac problem!

Human poops or  stools, is the waste product of the human digestive system and varies significantly in appearance, depending on the state of the whole digestive system, influenced and found by diet and health.

Normally stools are semisolid, with a mucus coating. Small pieces of harder, less moist feces can sometimes be seen impacted on the distal (leading) end. This is a normal occurrence when a prior bowel movement is incomplete; and feces are returned from the rectum to the intestine, where water is absorbed.

Meconium (sometimes erroneously spelled merconium) is a newborn baby’s first feces. Human feces are a defining subject of humor.

Some persons have bloody stools on and off, usually accompanied by a sight tinch of discomfort. Many times, this doesn’t appear as a threat or danger to them as they often regard it as constipation though they may be passionate lover of fruits and vegetables. This might go  on for some time until one day, bloody stools became really “bloody” and the pain became increasingly painful. Alarmed and paranoid, they call their dear ones who will  recommend  to see the doctor over at his or her clinic.

Now let us see What Does an Ideal Bowel Movement Look Like?

Click to see the pictures

Click for different pictures

Alternative practitioners often ask clients about their stool as part of their assessment. Find out what normal stool should look like, and learn about the causes of green stool, pale stool, yellow stool, blood in stool, mucus in stool, pencil thin stool, infrequent stool, and more.

What Does an Ideal

Look Like?
An ideal bowel movement is medium brown, the color of plain cardboard. It leaves the body easily with no straining or discomfort. It should have the consistency of toothpaste, and be approximately 4 to 8 inches long. Stool should enter the water smoothly and slowly fall once it reaches the water. There should be little gas or odor.

Stool That Sinks Quickly
Rapidly sinking stool can indicate that a person isn’t eating enough fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, or drinking enough water. This stool is often dark because they have been sitting in the intestines for a prolonged time. Click to learn 5 tips to boost your water intake.

Pale Stool
Stool that is pale or grey may be caused by insufficient bile output due to conditions such as cholecystitis, gallstones, giardia parasitic infection, hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, or cirrhosis. Bile salts from the liver give stool its brownish color. If there is decreased bile output, stool is much lighter in color.

Other causes of pale stool is the use of antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide. Stool may also temporarily become pale after a barium enema test.

Pale stool may also be shiny or greasy, float, and be foul smelling, due to undigested fat in the stool (see soft and smelly stool).

Soft, Smelly Stool
Soft, foul-smelling stool that floats, sticks to the side of the bowl, or is difficult to flush away may mean there is increased fat in the stools, called steatorrhea. Stool is sometimes also pale. Click to Learn more about the causes of soft, foul-smelling stool.

Mucus in Stool
Whitish mucus in stool may indicate there is inflammation in the intestines. Mucus in stool can occur with either constipation or diarrhea. Click to Read more about the causes of mucus in stool.

Green Stool
The liver constantly makes bile, a bright green fluid, that is secreted directly into the small intestine or stored in the gallbladder. Continue reading about the causes of green stool.

Loose Stool
In traditional Chinese medicine, loose stools, abdominal bloating, lack of energy, and poor appetite can be signs of a condition known as spleen qi deficiency. It doesn’t necessarily involve your actual spleen, but it is linked to tiredness and weak digestion brought on by stress and poor diet. Learn more about the causes of loose stool.

Pencil Thin Stool
Like loose stools, stool that is pencil thin can be caused by a condition known in traditional Chinese medicine as spleen qi deficiency.

Other symptoms of spleen qi deficiency are: easy bruising, mental fogginess, bloating, gas, loose stools, fatigue, poor appetite, loose stools with little odor, symptoms that worsen with stress, undigested food in the stools, and difficulty ending the bowel movement. Spleen qi deficiency can be brought on by stress and overwork.

Eating certain foods in excess is thought to worsen spleen qi deficiency. Offending foods include fried or greasy foods, dairy, raw fruits and vegetables, and cold drinks, all believed to cause “cold” and “dampness” in the body. Dietary treatment of spleen qi deficiency involves eating warm, cooked foods. Ginger tea and cinnamon tea are also warming.

Pencil thin stool can also be caused by a bowel obstruction. Benign rectal polyps, prostate enlargement, colon or prostate cancer are some of the conditions that can cause obstruction.

Infrequent Stool
With constipation, infrequent or hard stool is passed with straining. Learn about the causes of infrequent stool.

Pellet Stool

Pellet stool is stool that comes out in small, round balls. In traditional Chinese medicine, pellet stool is caused by a condition known as liver qi stagnation. Liver qi stagnation can be brought on by stress. Lack of exercise can worsen the problem. Find out more about the causes of pellet stool.

Yellow Stool
Yellow stool can indicate that food is passing through the digestive tract relatively quickly. Yellow stool can be found in people with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, sore throat, chronic cough, and wheezing. Symptoms are usually worse when lying down or bending. Foods that can worsen GERD symptoms include peppermint, fatty foods, alcohol, coffee, and chocolate.

Yellow stool can also result from insuffient bile output. Bile salts from the liver gives stool its brownish color. When bile output is diminished, it often first appears as yellow stool. If there is a greater reduction in bile output, stool lose almost all of its color, becoming pale or grey.

If the onset is sudden, yellow stool can also be a sign of a bacterial infection in the intestines.

Yellowing of stool can be caused by an infection known as Giardiasis, which derives its name from Giardia, an anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasite that can cause severe and communicable yellow diarrhea. Another cause of yellowing is a condition known as Gilbert’s Syndrome. This condition is characterized by jaundice and hyperbilirubinemia when too much bilirubin is present in the circulating blood.

Dark Stool
Stool that is almost black with a thick consistency may be caused by bleeding in the upper digestive tract. The most common medical conditions that cause dark, tar-like stool includes duodenal or gastric ulcer, esophageal varices, Mallory Weiss tear (which can be linked with alcoholism), and gastritis.

Certain foods, supplements, and medications can temporarily turn stool black. These include:

*Bismuth (e.g. Pepto bismol)

*Iron

*Activated charcoal

*Aspirin and NSAIDS (which can cause bleeding in the stomach)

*Dark foods such as black licorice and blueberries

Stool can be black due to the presence of red blood cells that have been in the intestines long enough to be broken down by digestive enzymes. This is known as melena (or melaena), and is typically due to bleeding in the upper digestive tract, such as from a bleeding peptic ulcer. The same color change (albeit harmless) can be observed after consuming foods that contain substantial proportion of animal bloods, such as Black pudding or Ti?t canh. The black color is caused by oxidation of the iron in the blood’s hemoglobin (haemoglobin). Black feces can also be caused by a number of medications, such as bismuth subsalicylate, and dietary iron supplements, or foods such as black liquorice, or blueberries. Hematochezia (also haemochezia or haematochezia) is similarly the passage of feces that are bright red due to the presence of undigested blood, either from lower in the digestive tract, or from a more active source in the upper digestive tract. Alcoholism can also provoke abnormalities in the path of blood throughout the body, including the passing of red-black stool.

Dark stool can also occur with constipation.

If you experience this type of stool, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Blue Stool
Prussian blue, used in the treatment of radiation cesium and thallium poisoning, can turn the feces blue. Also, substantial consumption of products containing blue food dye (things such as blue koolaid or grape soda)

Bright Red Stool
When there is blood in stool, the color depends on where it is in the digestive tract. Blood from the upper part of the digestive tract, such as the stomach, will look dark by the time it reaches exits the body as a bowel movement. Blood that is bright or dark red, on the other hand, is more likely to come from the large intestine or rectum.

Conditions that can cause blood in the stool include hemorrhoids, anal fissures, diverticulitis, colon cancer, and ulcerative colitis, among others.

Eating beets can also temporarily turn stools and urine red.

Blood in stool doesn’t always appear bright red. Blood may be also present in stool but not visible, called “occult” blood. A test called the Fecal Occult Blood Test is used to detect hidden blood in stool.

Silver Stool
A tarnished-silver or aluminum paint-like stool color characteristically results when biliary obstruction of any type (white stool) combines with gastrointestinal bleeding from any source (black stool). It can also suggest a carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater, which will result in gastrointestinal bleeding and biliary obstruction, resulting in silver stool.


You may click to see white stool:–>   : Should I be concerned

Note: Speak with your doctor about any change or abnormality concerning bowel movements.

Resources
http://gracemagg.blogspot.com/2008/07/poop.html
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/gettingdiagnosed/a/stools.htm
http://www.healingwatersaz.com/colon.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_feces

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Barium Swallow (Upper Gastrointestinal Series or “Upper GI Series”)

 

Definition:A barium swallow, or upper GI series, is an x-ray test used to examine the upper digestive tract (the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine). Because these organs are normally not visible on x-rays, you need to swallow barium, a liquid that does show up on x-rays. The barium temporarily coats the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and intestine, making the outline of these organs visible on the xray pictures. This test is useful for diagnosing cancers, ulcers, problems that cause narrowing of the esophagus, some causes of inflammation in the intestine, and some swallowing problems.

CLICK & SEE

An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series looks at the upper and middle sections of the gastrointestinal tract. The test uses barium contrast material, fluoroscopy, and X-ray. Before the test, you drink a mix of barium (barium contrast material) and water. The barium is often combined with gas-making crystals. Your doctor watches the movement of the barium through your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) on a video screen. Several X-ray pictures are taken at different times and from different views.

A small bowel follow-through may be done immediately after a UGI to look at the rest of the small intestine. If just the throat and esophagus are looked at, it is called an esophagram (or barium swallow).

Upper endoscopy is done instead of a UGI in certain cases. Endoscopy uses a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) to look at the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine (duodenum).

Why It Is Done:-
An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series is done to:

1.Find the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing, vomiting, burping up food, belly pain (including a burning or gnawing pain in the center of the stomach), or indigestion. These may be caused by conditions such as hiatal hernia.

*Find narrow spots (strictures) in the upper intestinal tract, ulcers, tumors, polyps, or pyloric stenosis.

*Find inflamed areas of the intestine, malabsorption syndrome, or problems with the squeezing motion that moves food through the intestines (motility disorders).

*Find swallowed objects.

Generally, a UGI series is not used if you do not have symptoms of a gastrointestinal problem. A UGI series is done most often for people who have:

1.A hard time swallowing.
2.A history of Crohn’s disease.
3.A possible blocked intestine (obstruction).
4.Belly pain that is relieved or gets worse while eating.
5.Severe heartburn or heartburn that occurs often.

How To Prepare for the Test:-
Tell your doctor and the x-ray technicians if you :

1.Are taking any medicine.

2.Are allergic to any medicines, barium, or any other X-ray contrast material.

3.Are or might be pregnant. This test is not done during pregnancy because of the risk of radiation to the developing baby (fetus).

4.You may be asked to eat a low-fiber diet for 2 or 3 days before the test. You may also be asked to stop eating for 12 hours before the test. Your doctor will tell you if you need to stop taking certain medicines before the test.

The evening before the test, you may be asked to take a laxative to help clean out your intestines. If your stomach cannot empty well on its own, you may have a special tube put through your nose and down into your stomach just before the test begins. A gentle suction on the tube will drain the stomach contents.

If you are having the small bowel follow-through after the UGI series, you will need to wait between X-rays. The entire small bowel follow-through exam takes up to 6 hours, so bring along a book to read or some other quiet activity.

You may be asked to sign a consent form. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form (What is a PDF document?) .
How It Is Done
A UGI series is usually done in your doctor’s office, clinic, or X-ray department of a hospital. You do not need to stay overnight in the hospital. The test is done by a radiologist and a radiology technologist.

You will need to take off your clothes and put on a hospital gown. You will need to take out any dentures and take off any jewelry. You may not smoke or chew gum during the test, since the stomach will respond by making more gastric juices and this will slow the movement of the barium through the intestines.

You might also be asked to swallow some tablets that “fizz,” causing air-bubbles to be released in your stomach. This might make you feel like burping, but try not to. You will get better pictures if you can keep yourself from burping.

The x-ray technician may ask you to stand or lie in different positions over the next few minutes, to help spread around the liquid you have swallowed. Most often, the x-ray pictures are taken while you lie on your back on a table. The x-ray machine or the table is moved a few times so it can take pictures of all of the internal structures. You are asked to hold your breath for each picture so that your breathing movement does not blur the image.

You will lie on your back on an X-ray table. The table is tilted to bring you to an upright position with the X-ray machine in front of you. Straps may be used to keep you safely on the table. The technologist will make sure you are comfortable during changes in table position.

You will have one X-ray taken before you drink the barium mix. Then you will take small swallows repeatedly during the series of X-rays that follow. The radiologist will tell you when and how much to drink. By the end of the test, you may have swallowed 1cup to 2.5cups of the barium mixture. See a picture of a barium swallow test.

The radiologist watches the barium pass through your gastrointestinal tract using fluoroscopy and X-ray pictures. The table is tilted at different positions and you may change positions to help spread the barium. Some gentle pressure is put on your belly with a belt or by the technologist’s gloved hand. You may be asked to cough so that the radiologist can see how that changes the barium flow. See an image of a barium swallow.

If you are having an air-contrast study, you will sip the barium liquid through a straw with a hole in it or take pills that make gas in your stomach. The air or gas that you take in helps show the lining of the stomach and intestines in greater detail.

If you are also having a small bowel study, the radiologist watches as the barium passes through your small intestine into your large intestine. X-ray pictures are taken every 30 minutes.

The UGI series 30 to 40 minutes. The UGI series with a small bowel study takes 2 to 6 hours. In some cases, you may be asked to return after 24 hours to have more X-ray pictures taken.

When the UGI series is done, you may eat and drink whatever you like, unless your doctor tells you not to.

You may be given a laxative or enema to flush the barium out of your intestines after the test to prevent constipation. Drink a lot of fluids for a few days to flush out the barium.

How It Feels
The barium liquid is thick and chalky, and some people find it hard to swallow. A sweet flavor, like chocolate or strawberry, is used to make it easier to drink. Some people do not like it when the X-ray table tilts. You may find that pressure on your belly is uncomfortable. After the test, many people feel bloated and a little nauseated.

For 1 to 3 days after the test, your stool (feces) will look white from the barium. Call your doctor if you are not able to have a bowel movement in 2 to 3 days after the test. If the barium stays in your intestine, it can harden and cause a blockage. If you become constipated, you may need to use a laxative to pass a stool.

Risk Factors:
There are no significant risks.

Barium does not move into the blood, so allergic reactions are very rare.

Some people gag while drinking the barium fluid. In rare cases, a person may choke and inhale (aspirate) some of the liquid into the lungs.

There is a small chance that the barium will block the intestine or leak into the belly through a perforated ulcer. A special type of contrast material (Gastrografin) can be used if you have a blockage or an ulcer.

There is always a small chance of damage to cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation, even the low level of radioactive tracer used for this test.


How long is it before the result of the test is known?

It takes the x-ray department 30 minutes to an hour to develop the pictures from your barium swallow, and it will take additional time for a doctor to examine the x-rays and to decide how they look. Typically you can get the results within a day or two.

Must you do anything special after the test is over
After the test, you can eat normally and do your normal activities. You should drink more water than usual to help clear out the barium and to prevent constipation, which might be a side effect of the test. Your stool may appear light in color for a couple of days.

Results:-
An upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series looks at the upper and middle sections of the gastrointestinal tract. Results are usually ready in 1 to 3 days.

Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series  Normal: The esophagus, stomach, and small intestine all look normal.

Abnormal: A narrowing (stricture), inflammation, a mass, a hiatal hernia, or enlarged veins (varices) may be seen. Spasms of the esophagus or a backward flow (reflux) of barium from the stomach may occur.

The UGI series may show a stomach (gastric) or intestinal (duodenal) ulcer, a tumor, or something pushing on the intestines from outside the gastrointestinal tract. Narrowing of the opening between the stomach and the small intestine (pyloric stenosis) may be seen.

The small bowel follow-through may show inflammation or changes in the lining that may explain poor absorption of food. This may be caused by Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.

What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

*Eating before or during the test.
*Too much air in the small intestine.

ABOUT THE TEST:
*A gastrointestinal (GI) motility study may be done if the squeezing motions of the small intestine are not normal during the UGI series and small bowel follow-through. The movement of the barium through the lower intestinal tract is recorded every few hours for up to 24 hours. A barium enema or colonoscopy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

*Upper endoscopy is done instead of a UGI test in certain cases. Endoscopy uses a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) to look at the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine (duodenum). For more information, see the medical test Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

*The UGI series test:

*Cannot show irritation of the stomach lining (gastritis) or esophagus (esophagitis) or ulcers that are smaller than about 0.25in. in diameter.

*Cannot show an infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which may be a cause of stomach ulcers.

*A biopsy cannot be done during the UGI if a problem is found.

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/upper-gastrointestinal-ugi-series?page=4
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/barium-swallow.shtml