Obstruction or Blockage in the Digestive Tract

How to recognise the symptoms of a partial or full obstruction, and what to do in the event you suspect you may have either

In reply to a question on the message board :

Partial blockage

If anyone thinks they have a blockage I would advise them to get in contact with their doctor or hospital without delay. Although a partial blockage can have the same signs as a full blown you can sometimes still have slight D or 'pencil like poops', bearable pain in a localised area, (sometimes with a lump) , bowel sounds ( either top or bottom not usually both), nausea but not sickness and be unaware of this serious complication. You will first notice an increase in pain , and a slowing down of BM's/gas often with nausea. You may think you are constipated but :

If you suspect you may be suffering from a partial blockage:

* NEVER TAKE LAXATIVES as this can cause the bowel to obstruct fully, laxatives affect the mobility of the intestines which can be dangerous when obstructed.
* Do not take constipating pain medication
* It may be safe to use a stool softener such as LACTULOSE or a GLYCERINE SUPPOSITORY but only when you are fully informed and experienced with obstructions and after you have been checked over by your doctor..
* Stop eating , go onto liquids or soups but keep hydrated with water.
* Dehydration can make it worse.
* Keep an eye on your temperature, pulse and bowel sounds.
* Examine the stomach to see if it's hard , swollen and whether you have
spring back pain when you push and release.
* Phone the Doctor or ER (even if you have been seen that day) if your bowel sounds stop , the stomach swells, the pain increases or you have projectile vomitting.

(I've had peritonitis twice from leaving it too long. You can't mess around ---
self medicate or leave it especially if you haven't had one before and unaware of the signs/symptoms or how your body reacts)..

A partial blockage can very quickly turn into a full blown obstruction

ANY ONE WHO THINKS THEY HAVE PARTIAL BLOCKAGE SHOULD GO TO 'E.R.' OR DOCS, A.S.A.P.

It can change to full blown within mins or stay the same for days so you can't take a chance as obstructions are dangerous.

The Tell Tale Signs Of A Full Blown Obstructon Are :

You May experience some but not all !!!!!

* Hard swollen tum

* No bowel sounds - top or bottom - this is a real warning sign

* Sickness, unable to keep even water down (You can even throw up poop) Although if the obstruction is low down and you haven't been eating, sickness does not always occur.

* Rapid pulse

* High or Elavated temperature

* Terrible Pain with contractions
* The pain is not in one area but starts under the breast area and across the whole abdomen
* A Hard lump appearing usually where the blockage is although at times the stomach is too swollen to see.

Again as someone who has suffered from these & gone from partial to full blown without warning I can't stress strongly enough, that a person must get checked over, as soon as possible.

The hospital will perform a physical examination, listen for bowel sounds , check you pulse and heart , take bloods and perform an x-ray to detect a build up of gas in the bowel behind a stricture or obstruction. site.

A partial with the proper medical care can be monitored and often treated with bowel rest, fluids , (sometimes IV steroids) and pain medication - whilst a full blown obstruction nearly always requires surgery