Intestinal obstruction is a disease that occurs when food or liquid are stopped from passing through the small and large intestine because of a blockage. It can be caused by fiber groups of tissue in the abdominal area that can be formed after surgery, because of infected pouches in the intestine, due to hernias or tumors. If there is no treatment, the parts that are being blocked can die what will lead to more serious problems. Anyway, if early medical care is considered, the intestinal obstruction can be effectively treated.



Signs and symptoms that can mean that the patient suffers from intestinal obstruction are:


  • Inconstant pain in the abdomen
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Sickness, nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Problematic bowel movement of gas pass


Is a person has some of these symptoms or severe pain in the abdomen it is better to seek medical care as soon as possible as intestinal obstruction can lead to serious complications.



There are few types of intestinal obstructions that can happen:


Mechanical intestinal obstruction of the small intestine

Some of the reasons that can cause something to physically block the small intestine are:


  • Tumors
  • Hernias
  • Volvulus-twisting of the intestine
  • Intussusception-telescoping of the intestine
  • Intestinal adhesion
  • Inflammatory bowel disease


Mechanical obstruction of the colon

This kind of obstruction is much less common. Some of the possible causes are:


  • Cancer in the colon
  • Volvulus
  • Diverticulitis
  • Colon narrowing because of inflammation or scarring


Paralytic ileus

Although paralytic ileus can cause symptoms of intestinal obstruction, there is no physical obstruction, but some nerve or muscle problem disrupt the normal way of contractions of the intestines what slows down or stops the food or liquid on its way through the digestive system. Paralytic ileus can affect any part of the intestine. Some of the causes can be:


  • Infections
  • Surgery of the abdomen or near the pelvis
  • Some medications such as antidepressants and pain killers that have an effect on the nerves and muscles
  • Muscle and nerves disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease


Risk factors

These are some of the factors that can increase the risk of intestinal obstruction:


  • Abdominal and pelvic surgery
  • Crohn’s disease (because it can thicken the walls of the intestine and make the passageways narrower)
  • Cancer in the abdomen



Although it can be treated efficiently, Intestinal obstruction can lead to serious lethal complications, such as:


  • Death of the tissue-The intestinal obstruction can diminish the blood supply to some part of the intestine, what causes death to the intestinal wall. Thus,  a perforation can be made, which can lead to infection.
  • Peritonitis-infection in the abdominal area (dangerous complication that calls for immediate medical care or surgery)