What is it?
An intestinal obstruction (partial or complete) occurs when your small or large intestine is blocked.It prevents passage of fluids and digested food. If intestinal obstruction happens, food, fluids, gastric acids, and gas build up behind the site of the blockage. If enough pressure builds up, your intestine can rupture, leaking harmful intestinal contents and bacteria into your abdominal cavity. This is a life-threatening complication. 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 nausea vomiting inability to pass wind or stool constipation diarrhea 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 diarrhea, while a complete obstruction can result in an inability to pass gas or stool.
- If you have symptoms of mild bowel obstruction, then you should follow a low-residue diet (refined grains, soft or well-cooked fruits and vegetables, ground or well-cooked meats, and dairy products that are free from fruit or nuts.),
- If you have symptoms of moderate bowel obstruction, then you should follow a minimal-residue diet(drink clear, caffeinated or carbonated beverages and fruit juices and eat eggs, tender meat and certain white grains like pasta, bread, saltine crackers and strained oatmeal. At least one serving of citrus juice each day is recommended for individuals following a minimal-residue diet.)
- If you have symptoms of severe bowel obstruction, then you should follow a fluid-based diet(milk-based beverages; refined, cooked cereals like farina; fruit and vegetable juice; broths or strained soups; pudding, custard, yogurt, and ice cream; and liquid nutritional supplements. Individuals who follow a fluid diet should work closely with a registered dietitian to ensure nutritional needs are met.)
High fiber diets should be avoided
Things to watch out for
Immediate seek emergency services or call 000 if you have symptoms of intestinal obstruction because if untreated , it can rupture, may also cause serious infection and inflammation of your abdominal cavity, known as peritonitis. It leads to fever and increasing abdominal pain. This condition is a life-threatening emergency requiring surgery