A Barium meal is an x-ray examination of the stomach and duodenum (1st part of the small bowel).
From midnight the night before the examination, you should have nothing to eat or drink. This is very important because if your stomach or bowel is not empty, the study will not be satisfactory and may have to be postponed.
Yes, however, diabetics who are fasting are advised to alter their insulin intake appropriately.
A radiologist and a radiographer will be present in the x-ray room. You will be given a small cup of granules and a small fizzy liquid to swallow. These together will expand your stomach so that the stomach can be clearly visualised. Then you will be asked to stand at the x-ray machine and be given a white liquid (Barium) to drink. This will outline the oesophagus, stomach and small intestine. The radiologist will be taking x-rays and viewing these on a screen within the room. The radiologist will lay the table flat and you may be requested to lie on either side so that the stomach can be outlined sufficiently.
The examination typically takes 15 minutes to complete.
Once the examination is complete you may cease fasting. Over the next few days you will be requested to drink plenty of fluids and eat plenty of fruit to wash the residual Barium from the patient system. Your bowels may appear white over the next few days and this is completely normal.
The results will be sent to your doctor who will discuss the results with you.