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Can I Drink Coffee Before an Abdominal Ultrasound?

There are important instructions given by physicians before any medical test, often barring the drinking of any liquids prior to the appointment.

This has led to people asking the question; can I drink coffee before abdominal ultrasound?

First, let’s discuss the benefits of coffee. Remember that coffee is a favorite beverage in the United States, around the world, and at my house. It is made from the roasted beans of a flowering plant.

There are different coffee bean varieties from varying regions of the world. You can purchase your brewed or Frappuccino coffee at coffee shops or brew it at home. When you are drinking this caffeinated beverage, you are enjoying beans from places like African, South America, Asia, Europe, and many other countries.

Coffee Nutrients

Brewed or roasted coffee beans do not diminish its benefits to the body. Coffee beans are filled with nutrients, antioxidants and caffeine. But did you know that caffeine has its medical benefits? Research into the benefits of caffeine has revealed that it increases the body’s insulin levels. This is good news for individuals who are diabetics.

The caffeine levels in foods, tea and coffee products contain beneficial antioxidants that help protect heart disease and more. Caffeine is absorbed by the body nearly instantly. Coffee bean nutrients include vitamins, niacin, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and manganese.

As natural/organic ingredients, their benefits help to heal and boost the body’s nervous system. For example, magnesium improves muscle mass and strengthens bones. Additional clinical tests have seen improvements in health conditions like Alzheimer’s, cancer, Parkinson’s, weight loss, diabetes, and cardiac conditions.

Everyone recognizes that caffeine serves as a stimulant to the central nervous system. But as a result of this, caffeine triggers the body’s ability to focus clearly and to concentrate more effectively. In other words, caffeine helps to increase brain power. Caffeine is also an additive in the production of food products. It is also used by the pharmaceutical industry to create pain relievers.

Coffee vs. Abdominal Ultrasound Exams

If coffee is so healthy, then couldn’t you have a cup in the morning before you keep your abdomen ultrasound appointment? The answer is yes and no! Depending on why you have been scheduled for an ultrasound for your stomach area, then your physician will give you the necessary instructions. As an example, a woman who is pregnant can have a small amount of caffeine each day.

Too much caffeine causes nervousness, sleeplessness, and mood changes. Years ago, caffeine was considered a dangerous drug for women to ingest for fear that it would harm the fetus. However, research has proven that drinking caffeine during pregnancy is harmless for both mom and baby. Ultrasounds do not use radiation to take images of the fetus.

There is no proof that ultrasound imaging causes any harm to the baby. Therefore, as a pregnant mom, having a cup of coffee before your abdomen ultrasound is safe and acceptable. But, again this will also depend on your physician’s instructions.

What Is An Abdominal Ultrasound?

woman having ultrasound in clinic

Let’s talk a little more about what an abdomen ultrasound is all about. An abdominal ultrasound is medically known as a sonography. Ultrasounds take images of our internal organs. An abdominal ultrasound shows physicians the organs, blood, muscles, and tissue surrounding the abdomen.

The purpose of having an abdomen ultrasound is to have a physician look at the growth of a fetus and/or the abdomen cavity. The vital organs that help to make up our abdomen are the kidneys, the liver, the gallbladder, the spleen, pancreas, large intestines, and small intestines.

Ultrasounds for abdominal images provides information for physicians to see our blood vessels, tissues, and any unexplained pain. Unexplained pain around the abdomen could be the result of the following:

  • appendicitis
  • blood clots
  • cancer
  • hernias
  • inflammations
  • tumors

The American College of Radiology and The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine strongly suggests that healthcare providers should use ultrasounds only when there is an ongoing medical issue.

How An Abdomen Ultrasound Works

As for your doctor’s instructions about drinking coffee before an abdomen ultrasound, many physicians would prefer you to fast up to 12 hours before your ultrasound appointment. The main reason is that undigested food within the abdominal cavity, urine and bladder walls, may block the sound waves emanating from the ultrasound. This could create a blurry image of the abdomen.

So, how is an abdominal ultrasound performed?

First, an abdomen transducer is used. It sends and receives sound saves. When the sound waves touch the body, it bounces back to hit the transducer again. An ultrasound machine interprets the information picked-up by the sound waves as images. Next, a gel is applied to your abdomen, yes it may tickle! The purpose of the medical gel is to prevent air pockets from forming between your skin and the ultrasound transducer.

When Coffee Before Exam Is A No

man denying coffee

An abdomen ultrasound is a very safe procedure. Therefore drinking coffee is okay, as are other clear liquids like water, tea, juice, broth, etc. However, remember above where we stated that drinking coffee or eating before the ultrasound is a yes or no?

Here is the definitive no; if your abdomen ultrasound is to capture a gallbladder image, doctor’s generally will not want you to eat nor drink. Again, as an example, a pelvic ultrasound exam allows you to eat and drink because a full bladder helps create clear images.

Coffee Alone Is Not The Culprit

Ingesting caffeine prior to an ultrasound, by itself, is not harmful. There is only one issue that physicians have with patients who have coffee before their appointment. The reason for not allowing a cup of coffee before an ultrasound is your lifestyle.

If you smoke, drink alcohol, eat pounds of chocolate weekly, or drinks cola daily, there may be a problem. Adding these habits on top of a cup of coffee prior to your abdomen ultrasound could cause your ultrasound to render an image that your doctor will reject.

Can you drink coffee before abdominal ultrasound? If you are nervous about the ultrasound exam and you want to feel more relaxed. Then, yes, have that small cup of coffee. Notice that the wording is a small cup of coffee. Will you be penalized by your physician if you tell them you drank coffee before the exam? Probably not, especially if not drinking coffee was part of your pre-ultrasound exam.