Reasons for Upper GI Series

When your doctor informs you that you need the Upper GI Series procedure performed it can be scary. Learn exactly what the procedure involves, the reasons it needs to be performed and what the next steps could be.

Why Upper GI Series is Performed

Alternate Names for Upper GI Series:
Barium meal
Barium swallow
Upper gastrointestinal series

Reasons for Test

An upper GI series may be done if you have:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Regurgitation-when food and fluids flow back up from your stomach toward your mouth
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bloody stools or black, tarry stools
  • Bloody vomit or "coffee-ground" vomit

An upper GI series can help detect:

  • Diverticula -abnormal pouches in the wall of your gut
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) -when acid from the stomach moves up into your throat
  • Hiatal hernia -the upper part of the stomach moves up through a small opening in the muscular wall that separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity


Learn what Upper GI Series is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Upper GI Series
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Upper GI Series Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Upper GI Series Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Upper GI Series Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Upper GI Series
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO