What is Bowel Obstruction?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 17, 2012
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

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Quick Bites

  • It is the blockage of the small or large intestine occurs.
  • Blockage prevents the passage of fluid or digested food.
  • Intestinal obstructions occur when something blocks the part of the intestine.
  • An intestinal obstruction requires prompt medical treatment.


When the blockage of the small or large intestine occurs, the condition is known as bowel obstruction. The blockage prevents partially or totally the passage of fluid or digested food. There are number of potential causes that could lead to intestinal obstruction.

Intestinal Obstruction


some of the common uncomfortable symptoms of the intestinal obstruction include:
•    nausea
•    vomiting
•    constipation
•    diarrhea
•    severe bloating
•    abdominal pain
•    decreased appetite
•    severe abdominal cramps
•    abdominal swelling
•    bad breath
•    High fever

large intestine

Causes of Intestinal Obstruction

Intestinal obstructions occur when something blocks the part of the intestine or when the intestine fails to work properly. Causes of intestinal obstruction may include:

  • Strangulated hernia
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • adhesions - scar tissue from a previous abdominal surgery
  • Colon cancer
  • Parkinson’s diseases
  • Gallstones
  • volvulus
  • Intussuception
  • Ingesting foreign objects
  • Paralytic ileus

Infections, organ diseases and decreased blood lead to intestinal obstruction. It is generally considered a birth defect that requires prompt treatment.


An intestinal obstruction requires prompt medical treatment. One should not attempt to treat the problem at home. The appropriate treatment depends on the type of intestinal obstruction. A flexible tube is passed through the nose or mouth to remove fluid and gas to relieve the swelling of the belly.

Most intestinal obstructions require surgery and will be given fluids intravenously for as many as six to eight hours to relieve dehydration by restoring electrolyte levels in the body and to prevent shock during surgery. This therapy is typically administered in the hospital or at other certified health care facilities. If the affected part of your intestine has died, the surgeon will perform a resection, removing the dead tissue and joining the two healthy ends of the intestine.

Image Courtesy : Getty


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