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Home Health Diseases and Disorders Bowel Blockage – Functional Obstruction of the Intestines

Bowel Blockage – Functional Obstruction of the Intestines

An obstructed bowel is more than just a mild abdominal cramping because the cramps tend to progressively manifest painful waves accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal swelling, vomiting, and inability to clear the bowels. Known causes vary; nonetheless, a history on bowel movement irregularity can be its precursor.

Bowel BlockagePHOTO BY FLICKR.COM/EUTHMAN

Bowel Blockage - Overview of the Condition

The partial or complete obstruction occurs either on the small or large intestines. In partial bowel blockage, the patient tends to suffer from diarrhea, while in the complete obstruction; there will be a total absence on the patient’s bowel movement. Causes are generally attributed to the irregular bowel movement history that can be worsened by low-fiber and high-red meat diet.Usually, severe cases of the obstructed bowel condition require hospitalization as well as emergency surgery. During the surgical procedure, the bowel’s affected part is removed and the expert performs colostomy so that the bowel can be rerouted to another opening in the abdomen. However, for partial bowel blockage, the doctor may only tend to resort on liquid and high-fiber diet, or for milder conditions, only barium, air enemas, and expandable stents.

Obstructed Bowel - Most Common Causes

Minor conditions on obstructed bowel can be due to constipation which is considered to be an unpleasant symptom that leads to minor pains. Nonetheless, it is easy to treat through dietary modification. Fecal impaction, on the other hand, is a more severe type of constipation that lets the stool impossible to be passed without using a manual evacuation procedure of the rectum, or even the use of a combination of enemas.Other possible causes of obstructed bowel are the Crohn’s disease and bile duct blockage. The latter is a bowel and colon disease that results to adhesions as well as scar tissues, while the former occurs through the obstruction on the bile duct that connects the liver and the gallbladder caused by adhesions, scar tissues, and gall stones. Hernias and other foreign objects like gall stones or swallowed objects may also contribute to the bowel obstruction condition.

Symptoms of Bowel Obstruction - Common Signs

Some of the most common symptoms of bowel obstruction are cramps, sharp abdominal pains, vomiting, and nausea. Others simply experience diarrhea while some people can’t have a bowel movement at all. Worse conditions suffer from distended belly or swelling, as well as excessive tenderness in the abdomen. Usually, some individuals are more likely to experience this bowel disorder if there are prior pelvic surgery, Crohn’s disease, abdominal cancer and other inflammatory bowel problems. Should the condition be left untreated, the blocked bowel may result to a more serious medical problem such as relentless abdominal pain, death of the intestinal tissues, lack of blood flow, and limited capacity of the body to absorb food and other fluids. Worse, other people tend to develop peritonitis which may cause death.

Written by Troy Nelson

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