Constipation can be caused by a number of different factors such as dietary intake and lifestyle habits such as lack of fiber and liquid in diet, and lack of regular exercise. When there is excess water absorption in the colon or large intestine, and food moves too slowly through the colon, it results in hard and dry stool or constipation.
Other medical conditions may also be behind constipation including the use of certain medications, too much laxatives, and irritable bowel disease. While most experience the occasional constipation, there are some who suffer from severe or chronic constipation. Besides conducting a physical examination, your doctor may carry out other diagnostic tools and tests to diagnose problems in the colon. Your doctor will also need to be informed of your medical history to learn possible factors that may contribute to your constipation problem. These include changes in stool, duration of symptoms, frequency of bowel movement and any recent unexplained weight loss.
The colon transit study is a motility (movement) study of your colon (large intestines).
The purpose of this study is to check if the movement of faeces (stool) through your colon is normal or slow and assess the function of your bowel. This will guide the specialist in deciding on the type of appropriate treatment for your constipation.
You will have to swallow a small pill/capsule, which contains 24 small plastic rings inside or small ‘markers’ which are visible on X-ray.
After 5 days, you will have to come back for a simple X-ray of your abdomen, which are able to detect how many of the rings are retained and their movement through the colon. Depending on where they are distributed, the markers are also monitored to determine the transit time they take to pass through the colon. Markers concentrated in a single area in the colon may hint to a blockage, while markers scattered throughout the colon may suggested a delay in gut transit.
There are no risks from swallowing the capsule, as the ring markers are made of harmless inert medical grade plastic, and they will all get passed out of the body.
All X-rays involve a very low dose of radiation, therefore if you are pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant, you cannot undergo this study.
Is there any preparation for the study?
- NO laxatives, suppositories, enemas or herbal preparations during the 6 days of the study.
- NO prokinetic drugs eg. Motilium, Reselor during the 6 days of the study.
- Eat and drink normally during the study.
Where do I report for the study?
- Head to the gutCARE clinic to see the specialist before you begin the study and consume the capsule
- Report for the X-ray (5 days later) KUB at the designated X-ray centre
The X-ray images and report will then be set to your specialist within the next week, and he will review the test results discuss with you on a follow-up appointment regarding the best way forward in helping you overcome your constipation.
- Specialist Service