Even just the thought of a bowel obstruction is unpleasant, let alone experiencing one! Not only is it uncomfortable, it can be a serious problem that needs immediate attention, so it’s important to be aware of any potential signs. A bowel obstruction occurs when something is blocking the bowels, either in the large or small intestine, says WebMD. It is sometimes also referred to as an intestinal obstruction.
Not surprisingly, when things come to a halt in the digestive system, it can cause serious or even life threatening complications. To keep people safe and better informed, here’s a look into all the signs a person may encounter while suffering from a bowel obstruction…
What is a Bowel Obstruction?
A bowel obstruction occurs when there is something blocking either the small or large intestine. This blockage makes it difficult for anything to pass through and can cause a buildup of food, gastric acids, gas, and fluids. As this continues, pressure builds which leads to a multitude of other symptoms (i.e., bloating, abdominal pain, etc) which we’ll get into later.
The most common type of blockage is called fecal impaction, says WebMD. “This is when a large, hard mass of poop gets stuck in your digestive tract and can’t get pushed out of the usual way.” When the bowel is blocked by something other than hard stool, it’s referred to as a bowel obstruction.
Medical News Today warns that a bowel obstruction can lead to serious complications as it can result in a rupture or split intestine. Also, whatever is behind the blockage can move into the abdominal cavity and spread bacteria.