Symptoms of Intestinal Blockage and Its Effective Treatments

Intestinal Blockage Symptoms

  • Abdominal Distention. Patients will feel an elevated pressure in their abdomens coupled with a bloated feeling. This can also be characterized as swelling of the abdomen and can cause respiratory problems such as difficulties in breathing since it can put pressure into the diaphragm.

  • Always feeling full.

  • Flatulence and belching.

  • Pain that is felt anywhere between the chest and the groin area or the stomach region. The pain that is felt can be described as colicky and is partnered with spasms that can last for a few minutes. When the blockage is large, the pain will be centered on the lower belly area and the spasms will last longer.

  • Bad breath

  • Diarrhea that can become chronic.

  • Nausea and vomiting. Electrolyte abnormalities may occur due to vomiting together with dehydration.

  • Patient will have difficulties or will have inabilities to pass out gas and chronic constipation. This happens when the intestines are completely blocked.

Intestinal Blockage Causes

  • Mechanical blockage in the small intestines.

    This is contributed by adhesions in the intestines which happen when a group of fibrous tissues bind together in the abdominal cavity after a pelvic surgery. Hernias, tumors, and inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease can also lead to mechanical blockage along with twisting of the intestines or volvulus and intussusception.

  • Mechanical blockage in the colon. Factors that contribute to this blockage include colon cancer, impacted feces, twisting of the intestines, and narrowing which is caused by inflammations and strictures or scarring. Diverticulosis or the condition wherein the diverticula which are small pouches in the digestive system that bulge out get inflamed and infected can also cause mechanical blockage.

  • Paralytic ileus. The intestines will experience reduction in movement and function due to problems in the nerves and muscles. This condition is caused by surgery done in the abdominal and pelvic area, infection, nerve and muscle disorders like Parkinson’s disease, and some medications.

Intestinal Blockage Treatment

  • Patients will be hospitalized to stabilize condition before undergoing proper treatment. This will involve administration of intravenous fluids, nasogastric tubes, and catheters.

  • When partial mechanical blockage is observed, patients will recover after the stabilization without any further treatment. Doctors will recommend a specialized low fiber diet.

  • When full mechanical blockage can be determined or when nothing can pass through the intestines, surgery is done to remove the blockage and some tissues that have died.

  • For those that are caused by paralytic ileus, doctors will carefully monitor the condition for a day or two since the cause can heal on its own. When it will not improve after a few days, drugs that can cause muscles to contract will be prescribed.

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