You have a small intestine and a large intestine. The small intestine is a long coiled tube that connects your stomach to your large intestine. The large intestine is shorter but wider and leads from the end of the small intestine to the rectum. Your intestines receive food and liquids from your stomach. They digest and absorb most of this material. What's left over leaves the body as stool (poop) through the rectum and anus.
The small and large intestines each can become blocked.
The most common causes of a blocked intestine in adults are scar tissue from surgery, hernias, and tumors
Food and fluids can't move through a blocked intestine
Your intestine swells as it fills with food, fluid, and gas
You get crampy belly pain, feel sick to your stomach, and may throw up
Doctors find the blockage with x-rays
You may need surgery to remove the blockage
If not treated, the intestine can break open and cause swelling and infection inside your belly
In babies, blocked intestines are caused by:
In adults, blocked intestines are caused by:
Symptoms of a blocked intestine usually include:
Sometimes blood flow to part of the blocked intestine is cut off. If this happens, some of the intestine will die, and you may have:
If doctors suspect a blocked intestine, they usually do:
X-rays Plain X-Rays A plain x-ray is an imaging test that takes a picture of the inside of your body. It uses a low dose of x-ray radiation. X-rays show body parts according to how dense (solid) they are. Doctors... read more and/or a CT scan Computed Tomography A CT scan uses a large machine shaped like a large donut to take x-rays from many angles. A computer then takes the x-rays and creates many detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Each... read more
Doctors will keep you in the hospital and:
Sometimes the blockage goes away with the suction tube. If it doesn't go away, you may need surgery to fix the blockage.