Has anyone had a barium follow through examination?

I have low B12 and was tested multiple times for pernicious anemia, all came back negative. I have a very good diet and had an endoscopy for Coeliac disease which came back negative. My specialist has decided to request a barium follow through test to look at my upper intestines as that's where b12 is absorbed. I've had life long severe constipation which is treated with laxatives. Is it worth having this test done? I'm just wondering whether to give up and leave all this alone. I've already had an endoscopy at a different hospital and this found nothing, I don't know what else this test is going to achieve. I'm currently receiving injections but they're not happy keeping me on these for life when they can't see why I got low in the first place.

7 Replies

  • Hullo Carly's 123 Did you ask for your B12 levels, NiCE guidelines say you should be about 300 to 500 but that was much too low for me, I cannot function unless I'm up in the 900/1000 bracket. Most Doctors do not know much about B12 deficiency, I am now on an injection every two months, the levels some of the rest of Europe go by are much higher Han ours as are some places in America and also Japan. Amimaryann.

  • A barium follow through test is not invasive. If your specialist thinks it's worth it, why not go through with it? The X-Ray may show up something that has been missed by other tests.

  • Thanks, have you had it done yourself?

  • My experience with barium has been at the other end of the intestines...diagnosed diverticulosis.

  • I've had it done. It showed up nothing with me. I'm folate and B12 deficiency. Gluten intolerance. I have 12 weekly B12 injections. The barium is just drinking some stuff they give you and they do it in stages. It was hard to drink after a few cup fills but not nasty

  • As tetloww says there's nothing to it and it may well help you. You just drink some

    Barium....white stuff ....and they watch it going down till it reaches the large intestine.

    Simples !

  • Have a look at this information regarding PA:


    It could be that you have one of the other medical conditions that pose a risk of low B12.

    Have you had your thyroid function checked? Thyroid imbalances can be responsible for constipation, bowel problems, nervousness, etc.

    Your barium test will enable the whole of your small intestine to be screened (that's 20 feet!) - the ilium (B12 bit) is the last part of the small intestine, so a lot further than an endoscopy scope. They'll also be able to see your bowel. I'd have the test done if only to eliminate possible problems.

You may also like...