Slow transit constipation and bowel surgery - IBS Network

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Slow transit constipation and bowel surgery

I have suffered with bowel problems for years. 9 years ago I got diagnosed with an under active thyroid and started taking lethrothyroxine which made my bowels work better for a few years.

3 years ago I had such horrific tummy pain I got rushed to hospital and an X Ray confirmed I had volvolus (my bowel had folded over itself due to severe constipation) I was given a truck load of laxatives and kept in hospital for a few days. Over the next 2 years things got worse and I was in hospital every 6 to 8 weeks for a week at a time on Iv fluids, morphine and an NG tube. I had every test and scan going and was finally diagnosed with slow transit constipation which means the nerves and muscles in my bowel don't work properly. My bowel was very long, loose and floppy due to years of severe constipation. Finally last year after being rushed back in I had a 5 hour operation to remove 1/3 of my large bowel. I was in hospital for 2 weeks but have not been back in since. I am now gluten, dairy and soya free and take 2 laxido drinks a day. I had to push so much to get the Drs to listen me even though I was in severe pain. Does anyone else on her have slow transit constipation? I had to have a shape study test to diagnose it. Also has anyone else had some of their large bowel removed due to poor function?

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I have slow transit time constipation. People don't realise how debalitating it is. I swallowed 3 capsules and was diagnosed. I've sort of trained my bowel by eating small and outer. It's very debalatating. Stick with it


What do you mean swallowed 3 capsules and was diagnosed. I have heard you can swallow a small camera device but have not done that. I am just so tired of spending money doing test and Dr.'s look at me like I am stupid or don't believe me or something. It is very debilitating. I eat small meals, no cheese and no milk and nothing I think will make it worse. I used to take RX laxatives and they helped somewhat but now since my insurance at work changed they cost about $400 a month and I am not going to pay that. Sorry to rant. I have been dealing with this for about 6 years.

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I have been dealing with severe constipation for years as well. No one can figure it out and I am done spending money with Dr.'s trying to find out. I have read about slow transit constipation and I think that is my issue but no Dr. has confirmed that. I eat laxatives like they are candy so I can go and I am so tired of it but what else can I do.

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It's a test for transit times


Are u in america


I'm in the uk. I had to swallow 2 tablets a day for 3 days the have an X-ray on the 5th day to see where the shapes that were in the tablets had got to. I had to stop taking my laxatives 5 days before I took the tablet until after the X-ray which was awful. Before my surgery I was taking linzess 250 which is really expensive, magnesium hydroxide and 4 laxido a day and still getting bowel obstruction. I'm now just on 2 laxido a day. I do still get discomfort sometimes but nothing like I was getting before. Google shape marker bowel test. X


I had the same test as you it is called a Proctogram. I also have slow transit and other problems. I was prescribed a new drug called Prucalopride. It worked but expensive as o paid privately. You should be able to get on nhs if you have a severe problem like yours. Now the best thing is to take high doses of magnesium citrate or oxide about 800 to 1200mg at night on empty stomach with lots of water. If I don't take it I don't go. Give it a try. There is also magnesium products for colon called Oxypowder, mag07 and Colosan. You can find them on Amazon or health shop or Finchley clinic. These have been amazing. The laxido type laxatives don't work for me as they make me bloated.


Pleased your doing ok. What other problems do you have? I think my thyriod problems have made my bowel problems worse. I do quite well as I still work full time at a school and part time

In the evening at Tesco. You do just have to get on with it no matter what.


I have slow colonic transit confirmed by the markers you swallow and they track them. After 72 hours most of them were not through my intestines. I have had chronic constipation for years and subsequent rectal prolapse from straining to empty. I am now looking at using softeners/movicol/diet to help me pass BMs more easily.


I have found being gluten, dairy and soya free has helped and is also a good diet to be on with a thyroid condition. I just have 2 laxido drinks a day now. I can't eat to much or drink to much booze either. Best of luck.


I've got slow transit and anismus for years I was on 10 senna a day + enemas + anal irrigation.... I was offered total colectomy then they diagnosed the anismus n changed their minds and gave me resolor tablet so I now use resolor ( prucalopride) + 4 senna + anal irrigation and enemas.... I hate life! I barley eat now because food is pain it bloats me then I'm in agony n either sick with the agony or become comstipated when it attempts to digest, I have the blandest diet known to man, I pretty much am incontinent once my bowel does work because my muscles in my butt don't work as they should so I end up a mess if I can't get to a toilet quick enough and I've lost countless jobs now because of this but GPs don't care! It's ok for them they prob poo like clock work! I'd bigged myself up for the total colectomy if I'm honest I was ready to be free from pooing myself and free to work and excersise and not worry but it was all taken away because some doctors agreed it was right and others didn't so I'm now left the same as I have been the last 15 years no further forward. I've never even been given a colonoscopy yet my symptoms get so severe I pass out often but they don't care. For any one starting out with this problem I'd say don't build up any hopes with the NHS they don't care and if you have money which I don't but wish I did go private!


Poor you. You have been treated really badly. I would demand to go back and see a colorectal surgeon to re discuss surgery. Sounds like it will be the only thing to give you back a quality of life.

I was in hospital so much with bowel obstruction. 15 times in 2 years for at least a week at a time that in the end they had to do something. I was messed around for a year before my surgery with different surgeons saying different things. They also found a 10cm fibroid in my womb which colorectal said was causing the problem but gynae didn't agree. Where do you live and what specialists are you under. If I were you and you don't get anywhere with your GP I would go to A&E when you are really bad and get admitted to a ward. They will soon get fed up of you and hopefully offer you surgery.

Sending you a hug and hope you get some help soon xx


This thread is old but just wondered if you do anything specific in your diet to help. I have a really healthy diet and drinks plenty of fluid.

I do not drink maybe every blue moon literally. I don’t smoke. Yet my health is in tatters.

I suffer from Slow transit constipation, anismus, Auto immune problems with chronic pain. Irritable bowel.

Obstructive defecation.

In 2014 I had the majority of my rectum removed through a STARR procedure as I had a rectocele caused by the slow transit and defecation.

I used to have to digitate to try and remove bowel movements.

I have even been hospitalised numerous times to have impacted movements removed under general anaesthetic.

My life sucks, this all started in 2012 and has just got worse.

I am under the UK’s best colorectal surgoeon a professor.

All they have for me is that there is no cure, no magic wand are he words they use.

The next step is a SNS device fitted to send electronic currents to my bowel.

Then if this does not work a colectomy which I do not want.

I already have no dignity or esteem certainly no confidence.

I gain weight even though I eat healthily it’s just wrong.

I don’t have a life, I work from home.

I dare not be far from a toilet as I never know whether I am going to have an accident or be impacted.

I have to use phosphate enemas every time I’m impacted.

I can’t take pain relief for my chronic pain as it makes my slow transit worse any type of Opiates.

I’m only 36, my children have seen me in some states.

The pain gets so bad when I’m impacted that I cry, I feel sick and like I’m going to pass out.

I just want my old self and my body back.

Life just is not fair.

No one understands, and like I say to people you do not realise how much you rely on your bowels.

I’ve suffered humiliation and bullying at work.

Don’t mock someone who has to deal with this as it can happen to anyone and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

I know even my partner finds it repulsive.

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I hope things are better for you?

I’m reading this and you sound very similar to me. I currently have the SNS fitted although after 5 years the battery has died and now I’m fighting funding for a new one.

They are more willing to preform bowel removal and my head is in turmoil at the moment as it seems like life changing operation for no good reason.

Please may I ask which hospital/professor your under as not many in England know or agree with the SNS.

You mentioned you suffer from a bowel obstruction, have you ever had impaction and how was this treated? Due to waiting for funding I haven’t had a natural BM since last year and have been surviving off private colonics. I’m severely impacted and the hospital kept pumping my with laxatives which do not touch me as it’s my nerves that don’t work.

Like you we have to try and get on with normal life as best we can but I’m developing more and more symptoms each day which isn’t surprising when there is such a toxic build up.

Sorry for all the questions and hope you can relate also.



I am so grateful to find others who are suffering from this awful condition. My 18 yr old son was diagnosed earlier this year after years of trying to find out what was wrong. My heart breaks for him. After suffering through high school, never wanting to go because of the embarrassment to him, he left this year and now I worry how he will cope in a job. He's had several types of liquid, movicol and fibregel but both make his condition worse and now he takes three laxatives a day. I feel like the drs don't want to know now they have diagnosed him and being a teenager he gets very flustered talking about it. They don't seem to offer any other alternatives. I asked about his diet they said more fibre which I've read can make it worse! I worry what the future will hold for him with a condition that no-one seems to know about!


So sorry for what you are going through .it really is great to find a forum were we can talk to each other !!the guilt is so hard when you have children and they see you I'll a story started with endometriosis always had severe costipation went onto have 15 operations for this they also diagnosed IBS as I was admitted to hospital a lot for constipation forward 15 years had hysterectomy,then found Crohns disease which I had all along I'm now at stage been on liquid diet 6 years enemas every day got to stage was underweight they did a ileostomy which failed so they reversed after 3.5 years as was still on liquid diet !!forward to now still can't eat solid food have severe slow transit,evacuatory dysfunction, anismus have osteopenia from rapid weight loss and no treatment is helping yet with my crohns I feel like I'm just going around in heart goes out to you all as I now exactly what you are going to talk to you all anytime


Hi all , I've just recently been diagnosed with STC and my head is all over the place. I'm happy to finally have a diagnosis after years and years off being fobbed off , but concerned about the future. We know there isn't a cure , but we all know how debilitating this condition is. How much it effects our quality of day to day life. I've lost all faith in the dr's and NHS , so much so that I'm really concerned with what's gonna happen next. It's not just effecting my physical health but also my mental health , as I feel like I've been fighting the system for so long to try and get someone to take me seriously that I'm worn out. I know I'm only at the start of my treatment plan but that's what's worrying me the most , were it's taken me over 15 yrs just to get a diagnosis is it gonna take that long again just to regain at least some sort of quality of life??? I have a 10 week old granddaughter and I can't put her through what my son went through. Any advice on how to take these dr's on would be appreciated. Sending humongous hugs to all my fellow suffered.


I have spent 19 years trying to find a doctor that understands slow transit constipation and been to more specialists and surgeons than I can count. I've been left to self medicate and that doesn't even work anymore. I understand your pain and it is a massive struggle everyday. There feels like there is no quality of life there and depression sets in. I am only 28, I have a vaginal prolapse, megarectum, suffer from incontinence from bowel and bladder and I've had miscarriages due to my bowel treatments while pregnant. You are not alone.


I have had slow transit Bowel for 15-20 years and managed 3years ago to get a great team to treat me. I have tried FODMAP diet which helped but still in pain and constipated. I have just had surgery as you did for the baggy Bowel and they gave repaired with mesh . I am 2weeks post op and doing ok but not had Bowel movement I am taking so many laxatives I cannot believe but the Consultant does not want me yo use enemas or suppositories. Any idea what I can do????


Did you have a section of your bowel removed? I didn't go for 8 days after my surgery and was in hospital for 2 weeks. I would speak to your surgeon and see what they suggest. Hope your surgery makes you feel better


Hi, I had emergency bowel surgery a few weeks back - it was twisted bowel and they removed that section. After 2 weeks in hospital I was discharged. My stomach was so swollen nearly 2 weeks later (I looked 6 months pregnant). I am now back in hospital and after a scan have been told I'm badly constipated and have slow transit constipation - been given an enema and can only go home when all cleared out! Have to come back in 2 weeks for a further X-ray and if still not functioning properly then may have to consider surgery to remove colon! This terrifies me! Has anyone got any methods they use to get the bowel working and prevent constipation? Has anyone tried colonic irrigation or hydrotherapy? Do these help?

Getting very scared! ☹️

Lisa x


Hi all, I was diagnosed with slow transitional bowel constipation 2 years ago after the transit study (nothing had passed through my bowel). I was taking 5 dulcolax every day but in the end nothing worked, I am now registered with peristeen and have a colonic every day (which does not always work). I feel bloated, sick and very tired. I have an appointment with the bowel surgeon to see if there is any kind of electric stimulation that can be done failing that I may need a stoma so the bowel can be flushed.

Happy days

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I also have slow transit constipation and spent 2 years in and out of hospital with volvolus and bowel obstruction. 3 years ago a had surgery to remove 1/3 of my large bowel. I am on a gluten, dairy and soya free diet and have to take laxido every day to keep things moving. I am much better now but still have to be careful with food etc. Best of luck and keep me posted on how you get on

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Hello Kerry

I havent been to the loo for 6 weeks apart from a tiny bit of watery stuff. the GP just gave me Movicol, which didnt help, now I am supposed to have a colonoscopy but how can they do that if nothing will empty my bowel? How do I get a stool transit test, or get someone to take me seriously? Thanks

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Hi all,

Its so nice to hear im not alone in this awful whirlwind of issues although i wouldnt wish this upon anyone.

I have been suffering from what I have been told is Slow Transit Constipation since the age of 13 years and I am struggling now more than ever. I am now 30 years old.

This was not fully diagnosed until 2013 when I was fitted with an SNS device (similar to a pace-maker for your bowel) and it has been manageable until now. Unfortunately, this year (since January 2018) I have not had any natural movements. I have been surviving off Private Colonics which I have had to reduce to once weekly due to the cost and fitting around my work schedule.

I am still under my original hospital who has advised I need a ‘Wash out’ procedure and will apply for funding for a new battery as mine is currently low-dead. I have no idea why the low battery was not picked up before now. They have also informed me funding is very unlikely and the next step if this is not successful is bowel removal/stoma. They are not willing to investigate why I am in the position I am before offering me a life changing operation. I have never had a CT scan and any tests I did have were 2013 and before.

I am very concerned there is more to this than a slow-transit.

I am beside myself in pain and discomfort, and really need to seek a secondary opinion of where I can go from here.

I’ve been to my local hospital recently after being sent to a&e from my GP after experiencing bleeding and using a home colonic kit which was given to me by the hospital. Needless to say this was unsuccessful and leaving me in more pain. My local hospital does not understand my condition or willing to investigate further as logged as a patient at the other hospital, interesting they did inform me a ‘wash out’ procedure does not exist.

Most recently i have been asked to take a double dose of Moviprep which is suppose to make you go and completely empty. Guess what - complete fail! I haven't been and its just made me alot more bloated, I look 9 months pregnant.

I feel very alone and like I’m being past from pillar to post.

I am severely impacted, suffering from a distended abdomen, struggling to keep food down after I eat as my body can not digest and I’m in a lot of pain as you could imagine as my bowels do not work at all.

I do not understand why the hospital can not investigate this further. I am suffering each day with more symptoms and taking more time off work.

I’m not a doctor but it’s not difficult to work out if your body is full of toxins of course that will have an affect and result in further issues.



Hi I hope your symptoms have improved. I’ve had slow transit for 4 years which has got significantly worse over time. It’s so miserable and depressing. Things I’ve tried which help with BMs (but haven’t really helped pain and bloating are):

1. Dulocolax liquid -15-25ml before bed

2. Eating breakfast and having cup of coffee and then sit in the loo 30 mins later. Helps to retrain bowel.

3. Brisk walk for 30 mins a day

4. Sweet potato - help me with BM but I’ve stopped eating them now as they bloat me so much

5. Prucolopride - I have a love/hate relationship with this! It does help with having a ‘normal’ BM most days but I think long term it made bloating and pain worse.


Hi aw I feel for you but it’ horrible.

I recently went to a and e as I was told I had impacted stool I just could not have a bowel movement it was so uncomfortable I just cried all the time.

I had a contrast ct scan then another scan after drinking some horrible liquid.

But I took movacol 8 sachets a day for a few days I felt so much better now I’m down to two to three sachets a day and am going twice a day it’s not like a normal bowel movement just a pile of squiggles but I feel Better.

Now waiting for another appt at the hot clinic where they will decide what to do.

I’m scared as I don’t want to end up with having bowel removed but try the movacol hardcore I’m sure you will feel much better

Let me know how it goes.

Really hope it works for you 😀



Hi was diagnosed with slow transit constipation at the age of 9 but I have had it from birth. I have been crying out to doctors for help all these years but finding not many know about this condition. I am on 7 times the normal dose of laxatives twice a day and I am recently having to keep upping them and adding in other laxatives. Mine has caused me to have a prolapse on the back vaginal wall that needs surgery but no one will operate until my bowel is fixed. I am in a lot of pain with this every day and now will be looking at having surgery done for my bowel. The level of constipation has cause me to now have incontinence from both bowel and bladder and I'm only 28 years old. I am struggling with exhaustion everyday and starting to struggle to do everyday things for myself and my children. I would love to hear from others that have the slow transit constipation and if you have had surgery how it the outcome was.


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