Understanding an Intestinal Obstruction

An intestinal obstruction means that something is blocking your intestine. Food and stool may not be able to move freely .
When your intestine works normally, digested food moves from your stomach to your rectum. Along the manner, your body breaks food down into available parts and turns the rest to feces ( fecal matter ). You finally eliminate it through a intestine movement .
An intestinal obstacle may partially or completely block this lifelike process. A complete blockage is an emergency and needs checkup care right away .
Among the many possible reasons for an intestinal obstruction are :

  • Abdominal adhesions. These are growths of weave in bands that may force your intestines out of place .
  • Hernia. A hernia is a split in the muscle wall of your abdomen. Hernias can cause bulges and pockets. These may block your intestine .
  • Volvulus. A volvulus happens when part of your intestine twists around itself. This creates a blockage .
  • Intussusception. This condition means that a segment of your intestine slides into another section. This narrows but may not block your intestine .
  • Scarring. When your body heals small cuts ( wounds ), scar weave forms. This can happen inside your intestine vitamin a well. These scars can build up and create fond or total intestinal blockages. Scarring can result from tears in your intestinal wall, belly ( abdominal ) or pelvic operation, or infections .
  • Inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn ‘s disease and ulcerative colitis are 2 examples .
  • Diverticulitis. bantam pouches ( diverticulae ) can grow off the bombastic intestine line. These may become inflame .
  • Tumors. Growths may be cancer or harmless ( benign ). Either room, they can block your intestine wholly or partially .
  • Foreign objects. Nonfood objects that you swallow on purpose or unintentionally may cause partial derivative or complete intestinal obstruction .
  • Meckel diverticulum. About 2 in 100 people are born with this extra little pouch inside the intestine .


Symptoms of intestinal obstruction are :

  • severe trouble in your abdomen
  • hard cramping sensations in your belly
  • Throwing up
  • Feelings of comprehensiveness or swelling in your belly
  • forte sounds from your belly
  • Feeling gassy, but being unable to pass boast
  • constipation ( being unable to pass stool )

Who’s at risk

You may be at risk of an intestinal obstruction if you have :

  • abdominal operation. This can increase the risk for scar tissue or other growths. They besides increase the gamble for hernia .
  • diverticulosis. This condition means that something irritates the liner of the intestine. It may cause inflammation, contagion, and scar, which can lead to blockage .
  • Cancer

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  • Inflammatory intestine disease
  • Swallowed extraneous objects
  • chronic constipation


To diagnose your condition, your healthcare supplier will consider your overall health and health history. He or she will ask you about your symptoms. Tell your provider where your annoyance is and how potent it is. besides tell your provider if you have had changes in your intestine movements or appetite. Tell your provider if you have any other unusual symptoms, such as digestive sounds or a feel of being bloated .
Your provider will give you a physical examination. You may besides need certain tests. These may include :

  • abdominal x ray
  • Barium line study
  • CT scan
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • Contrast fluoroscopy


The treatment your healthcare provider recommends will depend on what is causing the obstruction. For a simple blockage you may need to have alone fluids and no solids to eat. Your supplier will work to fix any metabolic problems. You may have an intestinal decompression. This is normally done with a nasogastric metro. You may besides have intestine lie .
You will need operation right away if your intestinal obstruction is more complicate. This could be from a tear ( perforation ) in the intestine or a trouble with blood flow. You may besides need operating room if other treatment does not remove the blockage. The finish is to remove the obstruction and repair your organs .
Your provider besides might recommend using a small, elastic tube to keep your intestine open, rather of having more invasive surgery .


Complications are problems caused by your condition. Complications of intestinal obstruction include :


abdominal adhesions that occur after operation may be prevented if your medical team takes certain measures. These include keeping the incision locate damp rather of dry. Discuss in advance what steps your medical team can take to reduce your risk for adhesions after operation .

When to call the doctor

Get checkup help right away if you have symptoms of intestinal obstacle. These include severe abdominal pain, vomit, and inability to pass stool .

How to manage or live with this condition

Follow your doctor ’ sulfur instructions. If he or she has told you to change your diet as separate of your treatment, stay to the fresh plan. The goal of the diet is to reduce the oeuvre that your digestive tract has to do, while even giving you the nutriment you need .

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