Our GIT or gastrointestinal tract is a very vital or essential portion of our body. This system is the one responsible in processing the foods that we eat and absorb its nutrients before it is excreted out of the body as waste products. Unfortunately, our GIT can also suffer from a number of diseases and health problems. Some of these conditions include ulcer formation, cancer growth and bowel obstruction. Nevertheless, it is the bowel obstruction that is considered as one of the most common problems that can cause instant reaction to the normal functioning of the GIT. But what is bowel obstruction and what are the partial bowel obstruction symptoms?
Definition of Bowel Obstruction
Bowel Obstruction or otherwise known as bowel blockage is a type of condition in which the intestines are obstructed or blocked, which prevents passage of the GI contents out of the body. Bowel obstruct can either be complete or partial. Basing on their description, complete bowel blockage indicates a total obstruction to the passage of GI contents in the intestines while partial only covers a portion of the passageway. Because of this obstruction, the passage of the fecal matter or bowel content through the intestines is impeded causing it to stop or slow down.
Chances on Partial Bowel Obstruction
What are the conditions that increase the chances of having partial bowel obstruction? There are actually a lot of things or factors that can provoke the occurrence of partial bowel obstruction. Certain pre existing diseases and conditions such as abdominal surgery, cancer, adhesions, diverticulitis or the use of large quantities of narcotic drugs can make us great candidates for partial bowel obstruction. However, once partial bowel obstruction occurs it is a must that proper and immediate intervention and management is given in order to prevent the situation from complicating to complete bowel blockage. Once this occurs, the situation is already considered life threatening and advance intervention is already required such as surgery. This is the reason why it is important to know what are the different signs and symptoms of partial bowel obstruction in order to provide immediate action on the health problem before it can make the situation severe.
Signs and Symptoms of Partial Bowel Obstruction
• Abdominal Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms of partial bowel obstruction is abdominal pain. However, abdominal pain is a very vague symptoms since this can be caused by a lot of diseases and health factors. Nevertheless, abdominal pain is present since it results from the backing up of intestinal contents causing the area to stretch thus producing pain, tenderness, abdominal cramping, distention and bloating. What is distention? Distention is defined as the irregular and uncomfortable swelling or inflammation of the abdomen, which can be noticed through tight clothing. Once this distention becomes rigid and firm in the absence of musculature then the blockage is already considered severe, which requires quick medical intervention.
• Positive for Nausea and Vomiting
Another possible symptom of partial bowel blockage is the presence of nausea and vomiting. As we know, appetite usually decreases once the passage of food is altered in the intestines. The feeling of fullness is also evident even after eating only a small amount of food. This condition could also increase the flatulence even with the absence of foods that can cause gas production. But where does the gas come from? Since the intestinal contents can pass through, it will accumulate in the area for quite some time, which will eventually produce gas as a byproduct, which can also cause nausea. In addition to this, vomiting can also be expected, which is a sign that the obstruction is getting severe. When the food is not able to pass down the intestines, the content can go back up to the digestive tract thus causing the gastric contents to be expelled from the mouth. However, vomiting depends on the location and severity of the blockage as well as the type of food intake.
• Presence of Constipation and Diarrhea
It may sound absurd to experience two different or opposite things such as constipation and diarrhea at the same time. However, with partial bowel obstruction, constipation and diarrhea is possible to occur in the situation. Constipation results from the blockage of contents in the intestines thus preventing the passage of food out of the body. However, diarrhea is also possible with partial bowel blockage since the small opening forces the contents pass through in small liquid amounts. This makes it possible to have constipation while experiencing diarrhea.
These are just some of the common and possible symptoms of partial bowel obstruction. This can be a very common health problem however this should not be taken for granted just like any other minor problems. It is important that a doctor’s assessment is done once these symptoms are observed in order to prevent the condition from worsening. Having a healthy diet that is high in fiber can also be useful in correcting the situation.