What is Lower Gastrointestinal (GI) Series?
A lower GI series is a test conducted to diagnose problems with the large intestine. This test uses x-rays to detect a problem and is also known as barium enema. An x-ray creates an image using radiation and records it on a film or a computer. To make the images more clear, the intestines are filled with a chalky liquid called barium.
There are majorly two types of lower GI series:
- Single contrast lower GI series in which only barium is used during the test
- Double contrast or air contrast lower GI series in which a combination of barium and air is used to create a more detailed view of the large intestine.
Why is Lower GI Series Performed?
A lower GI series is used to diagnose the causes behind the following things:
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding from the anus
- Changes in bowel habits
- Chronic diarrhea
- Weight loss
What to Expect After a Lower GI Series?
Once a GI series is performed, a person can expect the following:
- Cramps in the abdomen and bloating which may occur for a short duration after the procedure.
- The person can get back to normal physical activities after leaving the hospital
- Barium used during the test can make the stools to be white or light colored for several days of the procedure.
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