Colon Transit Study (Sitzmark Study)
A colon transit study is a diagnostic test that will allow your doctor to evaluate the function of your colon. The colon is the lower portion of the GI tract and is about 5 feet long. The colon transports food from your small intestine to your rectum. This study can help your doctor determine a diagnosis and the best treatment for you.
Preparing for the Test
- Purchase the supply of Sitzmark capsules you will be taking for the study. You can get these at the National Jewish Health pharmacy.
- You will not be able to take a laxative during the 6 days you are doing the test. You can take a product containing psyllenium such as Metamucil or Benefiber.
Begin the test when you have a bowel movement:
- Take the first Sitzmark capsule 1 day after you have a bowel movement.
- If you need to take a laxative to have a bowel movement, take the first Sitzmark capsule 2 days after you have a bowel movement.
- You will take 1 Sitzmark capsule every day at the same time for 5 days.
- On the 6th day after you start taking the capsules you will have an abdominal x-ray at about the same time you have been taking the capsules. This x-ray may also be called a KUB x-ray.
- Once the x-ray is done you may take a laxative.
- Once you have taken the first capsule schedule the abdominal x-ray for the colon transit study for 5 days from the time you take the first capsule.
During the Test
The colon transit study will take 6 days to complete. You will begin the test after you have a bowel movement. You will take 1 Sitzmark capsule every day for 5 days. On the sixth day you will come to National Jewish Health for an x-ray of your abdomen.
The x-ray of your abdomen does not hurt. The radiology technologist will explain the x-ray to you before you start. Ask questions if you don’t understand. .
Let the technologist know if you are pregnant or nursing.
The doctor will review the test results and discuss them with you at a later date.
Remember to schedule the abdominal x-ray for the colon transit study 6 days from the time you take the first capsule.
Length of the Test
The entire Colon Transit Study takes 6 days after you take the first capsule. When you come to National Jewish Health the abdominal X-ray will take about 30 minutes.
Day of the Test
On the day of your scheduled test, check in at the Front Desk. If you have questions please call 303.398.1355.
This information has been approved by Philip D. Hanna, MD (March 2012).