It is possible to loosen a bowel blockage at home in two ways. Intestinal obstruction, also known as bowel blockage, prevents gas, fluids, or solids from moving freely through the intestines. It can cause constipation and, rarely, diarrhea.
A lot of the time, complete blockages need a stay in the hospital and possibly surgery. You should also remember that if you have a partially blocked bowel, your doctor may suggest that you hold off until it clears on its own. This also depends on when you are able to pass gas and feces out of your body. Then there are a few things that you can do at home to help you feel better if this is the case.
If you’ve had surgery for a bowel obstruction, there are things you can do at home to ensure a speedy recovery. To prevent your bowels from becoming blocked again, you can also make some changes.
Your treatment and safety depend heavily on follow-up care. Keep all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse if you have any issues. Keep a record of your test results and medicines you take, as well.
How is bowel blockage treated?
It is imperative to determine the cause of your intestinal blockage before treating it.
In the case of complete obstruction of the bowel, you will probably need to be hospitalized for treatment. This typically includes surgery or a procedure to remove the obstruction.
When you are healthy enough for surgery, the area causing the blockage may be removed. Any tissue within your bowel that has died due to lack of blood flow can also be removed by your surgeon.
If you are too sick to undergo emergency surgery, a stent is a safer option. In order to open the bowel, a wire mesh stent is placed in the bowel near the blockage. This will allow the matter to move forward again. A stent may be enough for some people. Others may need surgery after they become stable.
How can you care for yourself at home?
The doctor may have told you to wait at home for a blockage to clear on its own; try these steps:
In order to avoid a complete blockage, your doctor may recommend a liquid diet.
If you think that you are having a problem with your medicine, you can call your doctor or nurse line.
To relieve mild cramps and pain, place a heating pad on your belly.
To prevent another blockage
Eat smaller portions more often. Rather than eating two or three large meals a day, have five or six small ones.
Chew your food thoroughly. Try chewing each bite about 20 times or until it is liquid.
Whenever possible, avoid high-fiber foods and raw fruit and veggies with skins, husks, strings, or seeds; these can form a ball of undigested material that could lead to a blockage if your bowel is scarred or narrowed.
Before eating whole grains or taking fiber supplements like Benefiber or Metamucil, consult your physician.
In order to have regular bowel movements, you should eat at regular times and not strain when you poop. In addition, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. You should consult your doctor before increasing your fluid intake, particularly if you have kidney, heart, or liver disease.
If your doctor recommends it, drink high-calorie liquid formulas. Severe symptoms may make it difficult for your body to absorb vitamins and minerals.
Get consistent exercise. It helps you digest food better. Have at least two hours of exercise per week. Walking can be a wise choice.
What are the causes of intestinal blockage?
Your bowel can become blocked in several ways:
You may have a twisted part of your bowel that closes off and prevents anything from passing through.
It is possible for the bowel to become inflamed and swollen.
Your bowel can become too narrow due to scar tissue or a hernia.
It is possible that a tumour or other growth inside your bowel could obstruct the passage.
Some bowel tissue may also die if the blood vessels leading to the bowel are damaged.
Most often, bowel obstruction is caused by inflammation, prior surgeries, or cancer.
Small intestine obstructions are more likely to occur than large intestine obstructions. Some common causes are:
Cancer of the stomach
Cancer of the ovary
The Crohn’s disease
Inflammatory bowel disease
Cancer of the colon
Surgery scar tissue
An advanced form of lung cancer, breast cancer, or melanoma that has spread to the bowel
What are the symptoms of an intestinal blockage?
Some symptoms of intestinal blockage are:
You are experiencing severe abdominal pain
Feelings of severe cramping in your stomach
Your belly feels full or swollen
Your belly is making loud noises
Gassy, but unable to pass it
Constipation is the inability to pass stool
What is the diagnosis of an intestinal blockage?
How is an intestinal blockage diagnosed?
To diagnose your condition, your healthcare provider will consider:
- Your overall health and health history
- The location and intensity of any pain
- If there are changes in your bowel movements or appetite
- Whether there are any other unusual symptoms, such as digestive sounds or feelings of being bloated
- A physical exam
- The outcome of imaging tests, such as abdominal X-ray, barium contrast study, or CT.
What may be the possible complications of an intestinal blockage?
The complications of intestinal blockage can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to keep food or fluids down
- Death (but rare)
Living with an intestinal blockage?
Follow the advice of your doctor or nurse. As part of your treatment, if he or she has told you to change what you eat, do so. Your diet should make your digestive system’s job easier while still giving you the nutrients you need.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
If you have symptoms associated with intestinal blockages, such as severe belly pain, vomiting, and inability to pass stool, get medical care right away.
Other times you can call your surgeon if you have:
- Vomiting or nausea
- Diarrhea that does not go away
- Pain that does not go away or is getting worse
- A swollen or tender belly
- Little or no gas or stools to pass
- Fever or chills
- Blood in your stool
Key points about intestinal blockage
Complications Bowel Blockage