X-rays

X-rays are used to look at the parts of the gastrointestinal tractThe gut, which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. that endoscopyExamination of the inside of the body using a tube equipped with a light source and either a small camera or an optical system. is not able to reach. There are two types of X-rays techniques that may be used here - a plain X-rayA type of electromagnetic radiation used to produce images of the body. and a contrast X-rayAn X-ray that uses a substance given to improve the visibility of structures during imaging..

A plain X-rayA type of electromagnetic radiation used to produce images of the body. of the abdomenThe part of the body that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and other organs. is a simple, quick and painless examination. It can highlight enlargement of the liverA large abdominal organ that has many important roles including the production of bile and clotting factors, detoxification, and the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats., spleen and kidneys, widened loops of intestines, or the presence of free air (suggesting a hole or perforation in the gastrointestinal tractThe gut, which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus.).

A contrast X-rayAn X-ray that uses a substance given to improve the visibility of structures during imaging. uses barium sulphate, a chemical that shows up on X-rays. A liquid containing barium sulphate is either drunk by the patient (a barium mealAn X-ray examination of the stomach, taken after swallowing a liquid that shows up clearly on the X-ray (barium sulphate).) or introduced into the rectum The last part of the large intestine, where faeces are stored before being passed.(a barium enemaA series of images taken after the introduction of a substance called barium sulphate into the rectum, which allows the large intestine to be viewed more clearly.) before the procedure. X-rays taken subsequently can create an image of the gastrointestinal tractThe gut, which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus..

A barium mealAn X-ray examination of the stomach, taken after swallowing a liquid that shows up clearly on the X-ray (barium sulphate). and follow-through involves drinking barium, which passes through the intestines allowing ulcers and other inflammatory conditions to be demonstrated when X-rays are taken. THe barium can also be introduced directly into the intestineThe section of gut, or gastrointestinal tract, from the stomach to the anus. via a tube that is swallowed by the patient beforehand. After the X-rayA type of electromagnetic radiation used to produce images of the body. you will need to drink large amounts of water to clear out the barium sulphate from your intestines.

An image of the lower intestineThe section of gut, or gastrointestinal tract, from the stomach to the anus. can be created using a barium enemaA series of images taken after the introduction of a substance called barium sulphate into the rectum, which allows the large intestine to be viewed more clearly.. Barium sulphate is introduced into the rectum and allowed to fill up the whole of the large intestineThe section of gut, or gastrointestinal tract, from the stomach to the anus.. To make sure that the large intestineThe section of gut, or gastrointestinal tract, from the stomach to the anus. is clean, you will have to take a laxative and plenty of fluid in the 24 hours before the test. X-rays are taken that enable the lining of the lower intestineThe section of gut, or gastrointestinal tract, from the stomach to the anus. to be seen.