Constipation markers, X-ray

Constipation markers, X-ray

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Credit: CNRI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Constipation markers. Coloured X-ray of silicone markers (dots, highlighted yellow) that are being used to diagnose the severity of a patient's constipation. Constipation is a condition where hard, compacted faeces build up in the colon and rectum, and the patient has difficulty passing them from the body. These markers are still in the digestive system 6 days after being swallowed. Normally, food passes through the digestive system in a day or two. Treatment for severe constipation include an enema, or strong laxatives. The X-ray also shows the bones (red) of the pelvis (across bottom) and the spine (down centre), as well as the lowest ribs (top).

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