4 Types of Diagnostic Imaging Procedures for Gastrointestinal Disorders

during a check up

Many people assume any gastrointestinal-related discomfort is only related to something they just ate. They will only change their diet, which, unfortunately, may only worsen their issues.

When experiencing rectal bleeding, fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, only a few people seek Crohn’s disease treatment. Salt Lake City-based clinics and other medical centers find that people usually assume such symptoms are only caused by a lack of dietary roughage.

But being an autoimmune inflammatory condition, Chron’s disease can eventually block your gut with strictures that necessitate surgery. When experiencing any gut discomfort, visiting a specialist is essential. The specialist will conduct different imaging studies based on your symptoms to make a proper diagnosis. Here are some of these imaging procedures:

CT Scans

With a computerized tomography or CT scan, a technician will take multiple X-rays of your digestive tract from different angles. These are then compiled in a computer to generate cross-sectional images, generally known as slices. A CT scan will give a clear view of muscles, fat, organs, and bones. A GI specialist can use these scan images to make a diagnosis of any growths and constrictions of digestive organs.


This uses a combination of computer, magnets, and radiofrequency to generate images of your body organs. During the procedure, you lie on a bed that slides into a cylindrical machine. A series of images of your internal organs are taken using radio waves and magnetic fields. An MRI is painless and will not expose you to radiation. Even so, it might be uncomfortable for claustrophobic patients. They are, therefore, often sedated before the procedure.

Radionuclide Scanning

In this test, you will swallow, be injected with, or inhale a radioactive material. A camera is then used to pick the radioactivity the material will generate within different organs. Radionuclide scanning is often used to diagnose gastrointestinal malignancies. The test also shows how well your organs are functioning. To this end, a specialist can differentiate a healthy and diseased organ easily and assess the efficacy of a treatment regimen. Though radioactive material is used for this test, it is safe, and the material will be eliminated from the body after drinking fluids.

Barium Enema

check up

This test involves the injection of a milky fluid known as barium into the rectum. This fluid will coat the interior sides of the organs in the lower gastrointestinal tract, including the large and small intestines and rectum. You will then undergo an X-ray procedure that will visualize any constricted areas and blockages that will affect the flow of the barium. Oral intake of barium is also possible. You just need to swallow the barium and undergo an X-ray procedure afterward.

With all the above tests and others, you are sure your gastrointestinal issues will be effectively managed. In addition to the imaging studies, a GI specialist might order blood tests to pick any microorganisms that could be contributing to your symptoms. So, the next time you experience gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s better to visit a GI doctor rather than self-medicate and end up worsening the issue.

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