Digestion: How Long Does It Take?

It uses a special pill or some other method to traông chồng how quickly your body moves food from your stomach lớn your small intestine & on lớn your colon before you poop it out.

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Why Do You Get It?

If you’re experiencing constipation, diarrhea, bloating, heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea, và vomiting, your doctor might want lớn vị a bowel transit time chạy thử. It can help them determine the cause of your discomfort.

The following things can affect how food moves through your GI tract:

Your doctor also may want to lớn bởi this test if you’re considering surgery for constipation.

How Is It Done?

A bowel transit time kiểm tra typically means swallowing a pill with a wireless transmitter that sends signals to lớn a small data receiver you wear. The signals from the pill tell your doctor how long it takes food to lớn move sầu through your digestive tract. It can also point to lớn a problem in your stomach or small or large intestine.

Another way to measure bowel transit time is scintigraphy. In this kiểm tra, you eat a meal or swallow a capsule labeled with a radioactive sầu marker. This allows your doctor to follow the food or capsule’s progress through your stomach & gastrointestinal (GI) tract using a gamma camera.

Preparing for the Test

Before a bowel transit time test, you’ll need khổng lồ fast for 8 hours. You should also tell your doctor what medications you’re on. They may tell you lớn stop taking them in the days leading up to the thử nghiệm. Certain pain medicines slow movement in your GI tract. Laxatives & stool softeners tốc độ it up.

You’ll typically take the pill at the doctor’s office with water & a snaông xã. After 30 minutes or so, you can go back to your normal activities.

The pill measures pH, temperature, & contractions as it moves through your stomach & GI tract. You won’t feel it moving through your body toàn thân. Normally, your doctor will monitor you in a lab for about an hour after you take the pill.

For the next 3 khổng lồ 5 days, you’ll be allowed to lớn eat and drink lượt thích you normally would. You’ll be wearing the data receiver. Your doctor will ask you khổng lồ push the button on the receiver at certain times. They’ll also ask you khổng lồ keep a diary of meals, sleep, và bowel movements.

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This chạy thử will give sầu your doctor images at certain points to show how the radioactive food or capsule is moving through your system.

Within 5 days (plenty of time to complete the transit study, even if there are delays), the pill will come out with your poop. You’ll return the receiver khổng lồ your doctor.

Who Shouldn’t Get This Test?

Your doctor may decide not to lớn give you the bowel transit time thử nghiệm using the pill if you have Crohn’s disease or if you’ve sầu had surgery in your GI tract before. In these cases, you may have narrow spots called strictures that make it difficult for the pill to pass.

This bowel transit time chạy thử also might not be right for you if you’ve sầu got a bowel obstruction.

In these cases, you may vì the scintigraphy demo. That’s because the food labeled with the radioactive isotopes gets fully digested và turned inkhổng lồ liquid. That makes it less likely lớn get stuck than a hard pill.

What Do the Results Mean?

If your bowel transit time kiểm tra was done using the pill, your doctor will tải về the data from your receiver và analyze the results.

Once they find out how long the pill took to lớn move from your stomach through various stages of your GI tract, they’ll be able to lớn pinpoint the location of your problem và possibly the cause. That’ll help them lớn decide the best treatment for you.

A stomach that functions properly will empty in 4 to 6 hours. Food generally takes 5 hours to lớn move through the small intestine and 10 khổng lồ 59 hours to lớn move sầu through the colon.

bloginar.net Medical Reference


Ishfaq Bhat, MD, assistant professor Internal Medicine, division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, University of Nebraska College of Medicine.

Kyle Staller, MD, instructor Harvard Medical School & member of the Center for Neurointestinal Health and Clinical & Translational Epidemiology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.

American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society: “Gastric Empting Scintigraphy.”

Journal of Neurogastroenterology và Motility: “How khổng lồ Assess Regional và Whole Gut Transit Time With Wireless Motility Capsule.”

Journal of the International Medical Sciences: “Colonic Transit Time: Current Methodology and its Clinical Implications.”