10 Signs and Symptoms of Bowel Blockage


Bowel obstruction or bowel blockage refers to the mechanical or functional obstruction of the intestines, which then inhibits the movement of the digestive system. Some of the most common causes of bowel obstruction are inflammatory bowel disease, adhesions, endometriosis, hernias, tumors, and intussusception. However, the most common causes are tumors and volvulus.

When doctors diagnose bowel obstruction, they will usually conduct a physical examination and will consider the patient’s history. The treatment is either surgical or conservative. Here are the 10 common signs and symptoms of bowel obstruction.

1. Abdominal Pain and Cramps

Stomachache or abdominal pain is the most common symptom of bowel obstruction. This system can also happen when the patient suffers from certain conditions like IBS, gastroenteritis, appendicitis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, diverticulitis, ectopic pregnancy, and more.

The abdomen has 9 regions – right hypochondriac, left hypochondriac, epigastric, umbilical, right iliac, left iliac, right lumbar, left lumbar, and suprapubic. Doctors will determine the underlying condition of the patient according to the region in the abdomen where the pain is felt. For bowel obstruction, the pain is felt when the bowels would contract, as it tries to push past the obstruction.