Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is a rare medical condition that has symptoms similar to those caused by blockage or obstruction of the intestines. This blockage, however, fails to be seen by a health care provider at the time of him/her examining the intestines, or bowel. The symptoms thus are because of a nerve or muscle problem that affects the movement of fluid, food as well as air that passes through the intestines.
Intestines are part of the gastrointestinal tract and include the small and large intestine. The maximum of the digestion occurs inside the lower intestine.
The different treatment options that a healthcare provider will use include medications, nutritional support and in some cases, decompression. Only rarely does a person need surgery. If intestinal pseudo-obstruction happens because of an underlying illness, the healthcare provider will first treat it before prescribing medication for the disease.
People suffering from intestinal pseudo-obstruction tend to often need nutritional support so as to prevent weight loss and malnutrition. With nutritional support, they get adequate supply of liquid food through a feeding tube that is fixed through the nose into the stomach. It may also be directly placed into the stomach or the small intestine.
The healthcare provider may prescribe medication to treat different symptoms as well as complications that are seen in the patients. These medications include:
· Antibiotics that will treat bacterial infections
· Pain medications
· Antidiarrheal medications
· Antinausea medications
· Medicines to make the intestinal muscles contract.
Decompression is given to a person who does not respond to medications and is suffering from acute colonic pseudo-obstruction and a severely enlarged colon. Decompression helps to remove gas from the colon. A gastroenterologist performs the procedure in the hospital or an outpatient centre. Decompression of the colon may be done with the help of colonoscopy.
As stated earlier, surgery is not the most commonly recommended form of treatment for intestinal pseudo-obstruction. It is given in rare and severe cases of the disease. In surgery, a part of the intestine may be removed. Removing a part of the intestine, however, cannot cure the disease.
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