Barium:

Barium:

Barium or barium sulfate is a drug that is used by radiologists as a contrasting agent for the purpose of imaging and diagnostics. This is often used in the form of a suspension. Barium in its natural form is an alkaline metal that is white in color and chalky in texture. Barium sulfate is a white powder (also comes in the form of a tablet) that is crystalline in nature. Barium sulfate is used as a radiocontrast agent while performing x-rays, CT-scans, and fluoroscopy for conditions like inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, ulcers, tumors, and others. Patients are asked to abstain from consuming any kinds of food or fluids by mouth except for the barium sulfate suspension. Once the barium sulfate forms a coat over the gastrointestinal tract, the imaging procedure commences. After the imaging, the patient can consume fluids. The barium sulfate consumed is excreted through the bowels. Barium is a heavy metal, but since the solubility of barium is less in water, it poses little risk for patients. However, there are some side effects of barium sulfate. They include constipation, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

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