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Also called: Bowel obstruction, Intestinal volvulus, Paralytic ileus
An intestinal obstruction occurs when food or stool cannot move through the intestines. The obstruction can be complete or partial. There are many causes. The most common are adhesions, hernias, cancers, and certain medicines.
A complete intestinal obstruction is a medical emergency. It often requires surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is a condition characterized by impairment of the muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract. The condition may arise from abnormalities of the gastrointestinal muscles themselves (myogenic) or from problems with the nerves that control the muscle contractions (neurogenic).When intestinal pseudo-obstruction occurs by itself, it is called primary or idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction. The disorder can also develop as a complication of another medical condition; in these cases, it is called secondary intestinal pseudo-obstruction.Intestinal pseudo-obstruction leads to a buildup of partially digested food in the intestines. This buildup can cause abdominal swelling (distention) and pain, nausea, vomiting, and constipation or diarrhea. Affected individuals experience loss of appetite and impaired ability to absorb nutrients, which may lead to malnutrition. These symptoms resemble those of an intestinal blockage (obstruction), but in intestinal pseudo-obstruction no blockage is found.Some people with intestinal pseudo-obstruction have bladder dysfunction such as an inability to pass urine. Other features of this condition may include decreased muscle tone (hypotonia) or stiffness (spasticity), weakness in the muscles that control eye movement (ophthalmoplegia), intellectual disability, seizures, unusual facial features, or recurrent infections.Intestinal pseudo-obstruction can occur at any time of life. Its symptoms may range from mild to severe. Some affected individuals may require nutritional support. Depending on the severity of the condition, such support may include nutritional supplements, a feeding tube, or intravenous feedings (parenteral nutrition).