sitzmark results - what does this mean?

I need help understanding what the results from my Stizmark x-ray mean . . . today is my 5th day and all the markers are all along my descending colon. I haven't had a bowel movement and probably won't for a while. What does this mean? I've had constipation forever (over 15 years) and my husband finally told me it's not normal to go a month without having a bowel movement or needing to take lax. and enimas to go to the bathroom.

Any advise will be appreciated.


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It probably means that you have an outlet disorder- that is, the problem is at the far end as opposed to along the whole colon. It could be some type of pelvic floor dysfunction and possibly could be helped by physical therapy and bowel training.
I just had a sitzmarker study, and on Day 5 all markers were still present. On Day 7, 80% were still there, most in the descending colon, but others along the transverse and two in the ascending colon. In those seven days I had also had two bowel movements, so I was kind of surprised that so many remained. I do have small bowel dysmotility, though, so it may be that it took them longer to get to the colon to begin with.
For the normal person 80% of markers will have passed by Day 5.
Did they ask you to come back for Day 7? Because that will show more where the problem might be.

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Today is the 5th day and 1 marker is in the ascending but all the rest (23) are throughout the descending colon. I guess there are a couple in the sigmoid area. I haven't had a bm during this entire time. In fact, I can go for weeks without having a bm.

I do go back on day 7 for another x-ray. I'm supposed to keep going back every 2 days until they're out of my system.

What are the cures for most of the markers in the descending colon?

Thanks for your reply - Kim

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Hi Kim- the "cure" depends on what the issues are. In my case, I have colon innertia, which basically just means it moves really slowly, and in my case they think it is nerve/muscle damage. I also have a bit of pelvic floor dysfunction- you can google it and find a lot of information about it. It basically just means that for some reason the mechanism where the poop (scientific term) is supposed to come out is not functioning properly, could be for a lot of reasons. It might be a nerve or muscle problem, or it could also be behavioral (which is the best case scenario). You may benefit from laxatives- generally they recommend miralax, which is over the counter and best prices for it are probably at Costco. Other people here use Natural Calm (also over the counter). My doctor has prescribed Lactulose which I haven't tried yet because it looks disgusting. Other people use dulcolax or suppositories.
I also have small bowel dysmotility and take domperidone for it- which also helps with the constipation.
Other stuff like plenty of fluids, exercise, etc. are pretty standard. The big question is fiber or not to fiber. Some constipation is helped by fiber, but if you have a certain type you want to avoid it (or at least certain types of fibers).
If it is a behavioral thing (like pushing wrong so your efforts are counter-productive) you can get physical therapy to help you retrain yourself. In this case, you push wrong and instead of opening, the anal sphincter closes tighter instead of opening. I have a bit of this and I didn't want to go through the testing and physical therapy, so I am working on it myself at home. I have taken a lot of yoga, bodywork, etc., so have learned how to isolate what I need to be using and am trying to retrain myself.
They recommend setting aside ten or fifteen minutes every day when you will not be disturbed and simply sitting there (in the loo) and relaxing- NOT straining or pushing. Try to focus on relaxing those lower muscles and allowing them to move on their own.
For a while with the domperidone, using this method I was able to have normal, daily BMs. Unfortunately it stopped working and I have increased my dose hoping it will come back.
I also eat an apple every single morning, drink kombucha and take a good probiotic. My doctors are split on the probiotics, one is all for them, the other thinks they have not been proven to be effective.
Good luck!

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Wow. Just what I needed to hear! Thank you so much for talking about your knowledge and experiences.

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