Transit Study – The In’s and Out’s

Excuse the very obvious pun, but I thought the title was apt. Especially on this topic.

WARNING: Bodily functions discussed in a bit more detail than is discussed over a family dinner.

Since my appendectomy in 2013, I have had gastrointestinal issues – the worst one being constipation. Yes. That is where this post is going to go. Specifically, I have Slow Transit Constipation.

My time between eating food and “passing” it is about 11 days and I can go for a long time without going to the loo – the most being 34 days – I was almost hospitalised for the danger of rupture of my abdominal wall. It’s not pleasant in any way. When I am on top of my treatments for it I can look relatively normal. But sometimes no amount of treatments help and I look heavily pregnant and it is so uncomfortable. I also get extremely self-conscious as no matter how “good” or “bad” I eat it will make no difference to my physical mass.

To date, I have had the title procedure done twice. It is an investigation using radiopaque markers contained in a little capsule, taken by mouth. Then on days 5, 10 and possibly 15 since taking the pill, with the markers inside, an x-ray is taken of the abdominal region and then analysed for markers remaining. During this time I was not allowed to take any medical interventions to relieve my usual gastrointestinal symptoms.

Once you have had your required x-rays and it is confirmed that you do not need to return for any more x-rays you just need to wait till you next see/ hear from your GI specialist. However, depending on your transit time you may need a further x-ray.

Annoyingly, on my recent transit study, one of my other GI issues was mid flare – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This causes really bad acid reflux almost constantly that I treat with simple antacids. However, at this time mine was at the stage where I essentially have a “trampoline” in my stomach as I call it. , what goes in comes straight back out – like a trampoline. I have a feeling I may have got rid of the markers during this flare. Chances are I will need to repeat the procedure.

TL;DR

  • A transit study of the bowel is a painless investigation into slow transit constipation.
  • It involves taking radiopaque markers housed in a capsule and then follow up x-rays at 5-day intervals until markers are no longer evident.

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