Intestinal obstruction intestinal obstruction is the partial or complete blockage of the lumen in the small or large bowel. Small bowel obstruction is far more common and usually more serious. Complete obstruction in any part of the small or large bowel, if untreated, can cause death within hours due to shock and vascular collapse.
Intestinal obstruction is most likely to occur after abdominal surgery in persons with congenital bowel deformities.
Obstruction in the small intestine results in metabolic alkalosis from dehydration and loss of gastric hydrochloric acid; lower bowel obstruction causes slower dehydration and loss of intestinal alkaline fluids, resulting in metabolic acidosis.
Ultimately, intestinal obstruction may lead to ischemia, necrosis, and death.
Intestinal obstruction occurs in three forms
Simple- blockage prevents intestinal contents from passing, with no other complications.
Strangulated – in addition to blockage of the lumen, blood supply to part or all of the obstructed section is cut off.
Close looped – both ends of a bowel are occluded, isolating it from the rest of the intestine.
How it happens?
The physiologic effects are similar in all three forms of obstruction, when intestinal obstruction occurs; fluid, air, and gas collect near the obstruction. Peristalsis increases temporarily as the bowel tries to force its contents through the obstruction, injuring intestinal mucosa and causing distension at and above the site of the obstruction.
Distension blocks the flow of venous blood and halts normal absorptive processes; as a result, the bowel wall becomes edematous and begins to secrete water, sodium, and potassium in to the fluid pooled in the lumen.
Cause of intestinal obstruction
Mechanical obstruction can result from:
- Adhesions and strangulated hernias( usually small bowel obstruction).
- Carcinomas (usually large-bowels obstruction)
- Foreign bodies (fruits pits, gallstones, worms)
- Volvulus of the sigmoid or cecum
Non mechanical obstruction can result from:
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Neurogenic abnormalities
- Thrombosis or embolism
- Paralytic ilius.
Sign and symptoms of intestinal obstruction
Abdominal pain: diffuse, poorly localized abdominal cramping at intervals of 5-15 minutes.
Emesis: usually occurs immediately after obstruction of bowel. More frequent in proximal obstruction. Unusual in colon obstruction until small bowel distension occurs.
Obstipation: common symptom may pass contents distal to obstruction especially in high intestinal obstruction. Pain followed by explosive diarrhea often seen in partial obstruction.
Diagnosis of intestinal obstruction
Progressive, colicky, abdominal pain and distension, with or without nausea and vomiting, suggest intestinal obstruction.
Tests that show obstruction include barium enema, abdominal CT, upper Gastrointestinal and small bowl series, and the abdominal films.
Supporting laboratory results
Decreased sodium, chloride, and diagnosis include:
- Decreased sodium, chloride, and potassium levels (due to vomiting).
- A slightly elevated white blood cell count (with necrosis, peritonitis, or strangulation.)
- An increased serum amylase level(possibly from irritation of the pancreas by bowel loop).
Homeopathic treatment for intestinal obstruction
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat intestinal obstruction but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat intestinal obstruction that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of intestinal obstruction:
Arsenic Album, Colocynth, Opium, Plumbum Met, Veratrum Album, Aconite, Arnica, Belladonna, Bryonia, Colchicum, Cuprum Met, Causticum, Alumina, Gelsemium, Gelsemium Kali Bi, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Mercurius, Nux Vomica, Phosphorous, Rhus Tox, Sulphur, Thuja, and many other medicines.