What Are Some Symptoms of a Blocked Colon?


Quick Answer

Some symptoms of a blocked colon are a distended stomach, nausea, vomiting, intermittent and painful abdominal cramps and constipation. Although an intestinal blockage can occur in either the small or large intestine, a blocked colon involves a blockage of the large bowel or intestine. When the large bowel is entirely blocked, it is a medical emergency, as noted by WebMD.

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Full Answer

A large bowel obstruction occurs when the colon become either partially or totally blocked. A main cause for a blocked large bowel is colon cancer, as noted by Cleveland Clinic. The bowel section above the blockage becomes distended as it fills with gas or liquid because the blockage does not allow their passage through the entire large intestine. This leads to the symptom of a hard and distended abdomen.

Additionally, in some cases, the blockage can cause insufficient blood flow to the affected part of the bowel, leading to its death. Some other symptoms can be the inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement. A perforation in the large bowel can also develop that may cause severe pain.

This condition requires prompt medical attention and hospitalization. There are various treatment options for a blocked colon, including nasogastric suction, IV fluids and surgery, notes Merck Manual. Nasogastric suction, which removes gas and fluids, may help to relieve the pressure and pain of a partially blocked colon. When the blockage is complete, a surgical procedure called a colostomy may be necessary, states WebMD.

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