→ Start healthfully with our BMI Weight Loss Calculator

Can You Die From a Bowel Blockage?

By Jules Stark ; Updated July 27, 2017

Intestinal obstruction occurs when a blockage in the bowels prevents the contents of the small or large intestine from passing through. The condition can become serious and may result in life-threatening complications, so prompt treatment is necessary.

Symptoms

If you have an intestinal obstruction, you may experience symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal distension or fullness, constipation or breath odor.

Mechanical Obstruction

Bowel obstruction is generally caused by mechanical problems, which means that something like hernias, tumors, impacted feces, gallstones, foreign materials or abnormal tissue growth is blocking the way.

Ileus

Paralytic ileus, caused by lung or kidney disease, infection, problems with blood supply, certain medications or chemical, mineral or electrolyte imbalances, is one of the primary causes of obstruction in children. When ileus occurs, the intestine is not physically blocked but does not function correctly.

Complications

According to the Mayo Clinic, decreased absorption of fluids and nutrients due to obstruction can cause dehydration and shock, which may lead to kidney failure. Additionally, tissue death because of limited blood supply can cause peritonitis, an abdominal infection that needs urgent medical attention. Both of these conditions can be fatal if not properly treated.

Treatment

Treatment for bowel blockage requires hospitalization, where a nasogastric tube is threaded through the nose and into the stomach to decompress the intestine. Surgery may be necessary in cases of obstruction with tissue death.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by LIVESTRONG
Brought to you by LIVESTRONG

More Related Articles

Related Articles