Minor bowel obstruction symptoms include cramping and pain around the belly button, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. Severe stomach pain is a major symptom of a bowel obstruction, according to WebMD.
Only a doctor can determine if a bowel obstruction is partial or full by taking a CT scan of the patient's abdominal area, reports WebMD. A doctor may also use an abdominal X-ray to confirm the obstruction.
Bowel obstructions are usually caused by mechanical obstructions. This term refers to intestinal blockages caused by the narrowing of intestines due to scar tissue or cancer. In extreme cases, constipation can also cause a bowel obstruction, notes WebMD.
Some bowel obstructions are caused by Crohn's disease, which is an inflammatory disease of the intestines, explains WebMD. The disease causes the intestine to twist around itself, contributing to bowel obstruction. Crohn's disease can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and a healthy diet.
Any patient experiencing severe, ongoing abdominal pain should immediately contact his doctor and seek a medical evaluation. Severe abdominal pain can be a sign of a torn, perforated bowel or a warning that the bowel's blood supply has somehow been cut off. Both are serious medical emergencies requiring immediate care, according to WebMD.