A twisted colon has kinked up in the abdomen and formed an obstruction, notes WebMD. Crohn's disease and hernias are two common causes of twisting in intestines, although obstructions can also happen as a result of cancer or intussusception, where the intestine folds in like a telescope.
Signs that a bowel obstruction, such as twisting, has take place include vomiting; bloating; a hard, large belly; intermittent abdominal pain near the belly button; constipation (if totally blocked); and diarrhea (if partially blocked). In cases involving constant and severe abdominal pain, immediate medical attention is necessary. This can be a sign that the blood supply to the intestine has been cut off or that a hole has formed in the intestine, and either condition is a medical emergency, according to WebMD.
For patients with a suspected bowel obstruction such as twisting, the doctor asks questions about other symptoms and digestive problems as well as any procedures or surgeries that have taken place in that part of the body. He is also likely to check the abdomen for bloating and tenderness. Additional tests may include a CT scan of the abdomen, which determines the degree of the blockage, and an abdominal X-ray, which looks for obstructions in both intestines, as stated by WebMD.