A blockage in the intestines that hinders the usual movement of digested food, fluids, or gas is referred to as an intestinal obstruction. It can happen in either the small or large intestine and can be partial or complete. This medical emergency requires immediate evaluation and treatment since it can cause severe complications, such as tissue damage and intestinal perforation, if left untreated.
The intestinal obstruction causes to the following reasons:
- Adhesions: Previous surgery scar tissue can cause the intestines to become stuck together.
- Hernias: A hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall and becomes trapped, resulting in an obstruction.
- Tumors: Intestinal benign or malignant growths might obstruct the flow of contents.
- Volvulus of the Intestines: The intestines can twist on themselves, cutting off blood supply and producing obstruction.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can cause gut inflammation and constriction.
The following are common symptoms of intestinal obstruction, depending on the location and severity:
- Crampy, colicky pain that comes and goes in the abdomen.
- Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms are frequently accompanied by an inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement.
- Abdominal Distention: Abdominal swelling and bloating.
- Constipation: The inability to have a bowel movement despite the desire.
- Diarrhea: In rare situations, liquid stool may flow around the blockage.
- Dehydration is caused by vomiting and the inability to keep fluids down.
A healthcare provider may do the following tests for the intestinal obstruction diagnosis:
- Physical Exam: This includes a thorough abdominal exam for pain and distention.
- Imaging Tests: To see the obstruction and its source, X-rays, CT scans, or ultrasound may be utilized.
- Blood tests: These are used to look for evidence of infection or electrolyte imbalances.
- Endoscopy: In some circumstances, a flexible tube with a camera is used to observe the intestines directly.
intestinal obstruction treatment varies according to the cause and severity but may include:
- Nasogastric Tube: To relieve pressure and decompress the intestines.
- Intravenous (IV) Fluids: Used to rehydrate patients and maintain electrolyte balance.
- Surgery: In situations of total or severe obstructions, surgical intervention to remove the blockage or repair the afflicted part of the intestine is frequently required.
When To See A Doctor
If you have symptoms of intestinal obstruction, get quick medical assistance from a primary care provider, especially if they are severe or persistent. Delays in treatment can result in significant problems, such as tissue death and the danger of a life-threatening infection. Early detection and intervention are critical for a better outcome and lower risk of complications.
This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about intestinal obstruction or any other medical condition, please see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment suggestions.