What Are the Symptoms of a Bowel Blockage?

Symptoms of a bowel blockage include vomiting, gas, diarrhea, constipation and foul-smelling breath, states MedlinePlus. Bloating and stomach spasms may indicate that a person has a bowel blockage, according to Healthgrades. Bowel obstruction symptoms usually suppress the gastrointestinal tract.

Other bowel blockage symptoms include abdominal swelling, also known as distension, abdominal pain and cramping, notes MedlinePlus. Nausea that may come along with or without vomiting, fever, difficulty passing stools and absent bowel sounds may indicate that a person has a serious condition, explains Healthgrades. A person with these symptoms in addition to abdominal swelling, bloating, inability to pass gas, and stomach pain or spasms should seek immediate medical attention.

Causes of bowel blockage include hernia, tumor of the intestines, volvulus, adhesions and foreign objects in the intestines, states MedlinePlus. Ileus and paralytic ileus may cause bowel blockage as well. Paralytic ileus may occur as a result of taking of certain medications, kidney disease, liver disease and intestinal infections.

Inserting a tube via the nose into the intestine may help treat the problem, explains MedlinePlus. Treatment of a blockage of the large intestines involves placing a tube in the rectum. Surgery may be necessary if the tubes fail to reverse the condition or upon tissue death. However, treatments may lead to jaundice, infection, imbalances of electrolytes and intestinal holes.