Risk Factors, Causes, and Symptoms Of Bowel Obstruction + Treatment – Bowel obstruction is a blockage occurring in the intestines, both the small intestine and the colon. This condition can cause impaired food or fluid absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. If it is not treated immediately, the intestinal parts that have obstruction can die and cause serious complications.
Blockages in the intestines cause food, fluid, stomach acid, and gas buildup. The condition will cause pressure on the intestines. When the pressure gets bigger, the intestines can tear, and remove its contents (including bacteria), into the abdominal cavity.
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Risk factors for bowel obstruction
One of the risk factors that can increase the risk of bowel obstruction is to undergo abdominal or pelvic surgery, which often causes adhesion, which is a common bowel obstruction. In addition, Crohn’s disease can also trigger the occurrence of bowel obstruction, since the disease causes the intestinal wall to thicken and narrow the hallway.
Cancer in the stomach also includes risk factors for bowel obstruction, especially if the people to undergo surgery to remove abdominal tumors or radiation therapy.
Causes of bowel obstruction
Common causes of bowel obstruction are intestinal adhesion or colon cancer. In children, the most common cause of bowel obstruction is the telescoping of the intestines (intussusception). Other possible causes of intestinal obstruction include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease.
- Paralytic ileus.
- Intestinal tumors.
- Complication post surgery.
Symptoms of bowel obstruction
There are many causes of bowel obstruction. Often, this condition cannot be prevented, so the early diagnosis and treatment is crucial.
Bowel obstruction can be recognized from the following symptoms, the symptoms of bowel obstruction
- Stomach cramps that comes and goes.
- Constipation or diarrhea.
- Stomach swelling.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Lost of appetite.
- Difficult bowel movements, because bowel movements are interrupted.
- Stomach aches.
Some symptoms will appear depending on the location and the length of time obstruction. Common symptoms are nausea. Bowel obstruction may partially cause diarrhea, but can still emit gas, whereas total bowel obstruction causes the body’s inability to emit gas or feces.
Bowel obstruction can also cause serious infections and inflammation of the abdominal cavity. The condition is known as peritonitis. This condition is an emergency that requires surgery.
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Diagnosis of bowel obstruction
The Diagnosis begins with a medical interview on the health history of the people with and the symptoms experienced. After that, physical examination is done to assess the situation, swelling or lump in the stomach, and bowel sounds.
Abdominal X-rays can be performed to confirm the diagnosis of bowel obstruction. However, some bowel obstruction cannot be seen using standard X-rays, but rather using a CT scan that combines a series of X-ray images taken from various angles to produce a cross-section image. This can result in a more granular image than standard X-rays, so it can exhibit bowel obstruction.
Whereas in children, the more commonly used type of imaging is ultrasound. In addition, air or barium enema can also be done to find out some suspected causes of obstruction. During the procedure, air or barium fluid to the colon is inserted through the rectum.
For intusution in children, air or barium enema can actually fix the problem most of the time, and no further treatment is required.
Bowel obstruction Treatment
Bowel obstruction is an emergency condition that should be handled immediately in the hospital. Most cases of bowel obstruction need to be treated with surgical action to remove intestinal blockage.
In addition, it is necessary to do the installation of nasogastric tube, which are connected hoses between the nose and stomach. The goal is to reduce gastric contents so that people with bowel obstruction more comfortable.
In addition, it will usually be carried out the installation of infusion and the provision of fluid through the blood vessels to prevent dehydration that is indeed prone to occur in these kinds of conditions. If there is suspected infection, antibiotics also need to be administered.
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