Before having specialised tests for constipation predominant IBS, it is important that the standard blood, stool and endoscopy tests have been done.
If these are normal, you may require one or more other tests. These can include:
Colonic Transit (Shapes) Study
This is a very simple first line test. You swallow up to five small capsules. These contain tiny markers which can be seen on Xray. These pass through the gut and out into the toilet. Four days later we take an Xray. We see how many of these are left inside.
This test checks how sensitive the rectum is. A small balloon is passed through the back passage. It is gently inflated until you feel it. When the balloon reaches a certain size, it should trigger a nerve reflex in the back passage. This would normally help you go to the toilet to pass a motion. We check that this happens. We then check that the muscles in the back passage are working normally so that you can pass the stool normally. If we find an abnormality we can offer treatments to sort the problem out.
This is perhaps one of the more embarrassing tests we offer. A thick barium paste is inserted into your back passage through an examining scope. It is the same consistency as normal stool (poo). You will get an urge to to the toilet. You will sit on a special toilet in front of an X-ray machine. The machine will monitor how you pass the barium. We know it is not very nice, so you will do this behind a screen. The room can also be darkened to make it easier for you. Although it does not sound too pleasant, the test can actually be really useful to work out what is wrong and how to treat it .
Particularly after childbirth, the muscles of the back passage can become damaged. This test involves putting a small probe into the back passage and moving it gently in and out. Scans (pictures) are taken which can show up muscle damage.
Pudendal nerve testing
This test checks that the nerves to the back passage, particularly the pudendal nerve, are working normally. This nerve is important for normal defecation It also involves passing a small probe into the back passage. This probe passes a tiny electric current to stimulate the nerves. You may feel a slight twitching or prickly sensation in your back passage during the test.
These specialised tests for constipation predominant IBS are only used in some people. A specialist needs to decide which tests are correct for you. Please feel free to contact us for a private consultation on 020 7183 7965. We understand that you may be embarrassed to talk about these very private problems. We will respect your privacy and dignity.