Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction

In intestinal pseudo-obstruction, foods and liquids are unable to pass through the intestine, causing a build-up of food, fluid, and gas in all or part of the colon. The symptoms of this condition acts like a mechanical bowel obstruction , but no blockage is found when doctors examine the intestine.

  • Causes

    Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is caused by problems with the muscles and nerves of the intestine.

  • Definition


    In intestinal pseudo-obstruction, foods and liquids are unable to pass through the intestine, causing a build-up of food, fluid, and gas in all or part of the colon. The symptoms of this condition acts like
    a
    mechanical bowel obstruction
    , but no blockage is found when doctors examine the intestine.

    The Intestines
    IMAGE
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  • Diagnosis


    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Other tests may include:


    • Abdominal
      X-rays
      —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
    • Abdominal CT scan
      —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
    • Blood tests
    • Urine tests

  • Prevention


    Many cases of intestinal pseudo-obstruction cannot be prevented. But certain measures can be taken after surgery to help avoid the complication of intestinal pseudo-obstruction. These measures include:

    • Early oral feeding
    • Gum chewing
    • Fluid restriction
    • Medications that inhibit opioid receptors
    • Beta-blockers

  • Risk Factors


    A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. The following factors are thought to increase the risk of developing intestinal pseudo-obstruction:

    • Surgery
    • Abdominal hemorrhage
    • Intestinal ischemia (insufficient blood supply to the digestive system)
    • Inflammation (eg, infection)
    • Trauma
    • Stroke
    • Metabolic problems

    • Fluid overload (eg,
      congestive heart failure
      )
    • Other medical illnesses associated with pain
    • Some medications

  • Symptoms


    Symptoms of intestinal pseudo-obstruction may include:

    • Cramps
    • Stomach pain
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Bloating
    • Reduction in bowel movements
    • Loose stools
    • Bladder problems

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include: