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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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One more question about my barium swallow? Im getting this

Resolved Question:

one more question about my barium swallow? Im getting this soon and im very nervous about it.....i have problems swallowing, so what if i cannot swallow the thick drink? Also, is there anyhting i can do to prevent aspiration?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.

What types of foods are you having problems swallowing? Solids? Liquids?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
it is just and someitmes liquid.....They think its anxiety becuase its not all the time, but i think its different. I have been havnig trouble catching m breath also, as i feel like there is something blocking the airflow? Im just so nervous about this test.....I can still swallow, but sometimes i have to tilt my head, etc....Also, i have been burping excessively for the last few days.....
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
I understand the anxiety...

Burping is usually due to air swallowing. If you have been more nervous lately, you may be unconsciously swallowing more air, leading to more air buildup in your stomach.
If you eat quickly, gulp liquids or drink carbonated beverages, this also leads to increased burping.

As for the barium swallow, if you are not having trouble swallowing all of the time, it is highly unlikely you are going to have a problem with aspiration. If you have not aspirated yet, I do not think you are at risk for aspirating during the barium swallow at all.

If you have to tilt your head at times, then you can also do this during the test...

Keep this in mind as well...for people at risk of aspiration we often use thickened liquids to help prevent aspiration. So, while there is a small risk of aspiration during the barium swallow, it is not likely in someone like you.

I cannot completely take your anxiety away, I know that. But I can try to reassure you as best that I can.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions,

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i made it through! Im just nervous about the constipation part becuase i have been havnig painful constipatio nalready.....should i take a laxative?
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
Oh congratulations!! I actually thought you were having it tomorrow :)

I am so glad you are finished.
If you have are already constipated, you can take a stool softener like colace or dulcolax. The stimulant laxatives can cause cramping, so I recommend using the stool softeners first.

Again, I am happy you make it through. Go celebrate a bit :)

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

thanks again...

ps- would this test show esophageal cancer? Im just concerned because i am so short of breth always and have a tough time swallowing......

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
If it is large enough to cause an obstruction (problems swallowing and shortness of breath), it should show up on the barium swallow, yes.

Dr Abby
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