What is it?
An intestinal obstruction occurs when your small or large intestine is blocked. It prevents passage of fluids and digested food. There are many potential causes of intestinal obstruction. Often, this condition can’t be prevented. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. An untreated intestinal obstruction can be fatal.
What are the symptoms?
Intestinal obstruction causes a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms. General symptoms include:
- Severe bloating.
- Abdominal pain.
- Decreased appetite.
- Inability to pass wind or stool.
- Severe abdominal pain and cramps.
- Abdominal swelling.
Some of the symptoms are specific to the location and length of time of the obstruction. For example, vomiting is an early sign of small intestine obstruction. This may also occur with an obstruction of your large intestine, if it’s ongoing. A partial obstruction can result in diarrhoea, while a complete obstruction can result in an inability to pass gas or stool.
What to expect?
If you are diagnosed with a intestinal obstruction you can consider discussing the following subjects with your doctor after the initial treatment:
- Was there a specific cause found?
- Is there anything you can do yourself to prevent another intestinal obstruction?