Intestinal obstruction is blockage of the intestine partially or completely, the obstruction does not allow solid and liquid to pass through it. Obstruction can occur in small intestine or in the large intestine.
It is also known as paralytic ileus, intestinal volvulus.
Intestinal Obstruction Symptoms
Symptoms of intestinal obstruction include
- Pain in the abdomen
- Pain can be colicky or continuous
- Distension of abdomen
- Inability to pass stools and gas
Causes Of Intestinal Obstruction
Primarily intestinal obstruction results when there is a mechanical blockage as in the case of intestinal hernia or a tumor. Or due to intestinal malfunction which can cause intestinal paralysis as incase of abdominal surgery or infection or due to certain medicines.
Common causes of mechanical intestinal obstruction are:
- Intestinal twist (volvulus)
- Intestinal worms( ascaris lumbricoid)
- Intestinal adhesions which form after surgery.
- Obstruction due to impaction of feces.
- Twisting of colon
Paralytic Ileus Causes
Paralytic ileus is a condition where there is no actual obstruction like mechanical one, but the intestinal muscles do not function or they get paralyzed. The movement of the intestine is reduced. The food and fluids does not flow smoothly.
- After abdominal surgery.
- Abdominal Infection. (intestinal tuberculosis)
- Muscle disorder.
Treatment For Intestinal Obstruction
Treatment will depend on the cause.
If your doctor suspects intestinal obstruction he will advise you to get hospitalized.You may be given intravenous fluids. A nasogastric tube may be inserted to withdraw the stomach content and decrease the distension. Further measures such as surgery or conservative treatment will depend on the condition of the patient.
Paralytic ileus is a temporary condition; your doctor may monitor you for few days in hospital and treat conservatively. It may resolve within a couple of days.
Some cases of intestinal obstruction may need surgical intervention.