Barium Swallow Topic Guide
Barium Swallow: Barium swallow is a test used to determine causes of painful or difficulty swallowing, and diseases such as GERD, hiatal hernia, ulcers, dysphagia, tumors, or polyps of the esophagus and stomach. Risks of barium swallow include an allergic reaction to the barium drink, constipation, or aspiration of barium into the windpipe. The procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
Ulcers are caused by stomach acid which has eaten away at part of the inner lining of the digestive system. "Peptic" describes the location of an ulcer in the stomach or upper small intestine. Causes of peptic ulcers include NSAIDs, physical or emotional stress, cigarette smoking, radiation therapy, caffeine, and H. pylori infection. Symptoms of peptic ulcer include abdominal pain, gnawing or burning pain that may be felt in the back. The pain from peptic ulcer may last from a few minutes to a few hours. Treatment of peptic ulcer depends upon the cause.