What Causes Twisted Bowel?

Tammra McCauley/CC-BY 2.0

Twisted bowel can be caused by a number of issues, including adhesions, tumor, hernia, colorectal cancer, volvulus and diverticular disease. When affected by twisted bowel, a person should visit a doctor immediately when he or she cannot pass stool or gas, keeps vomiting and has a swollen abdomen, according to the National Institutes of Health’s MedlinePlus.

One of the major causes of bowel obstruction is adhesions, which form as a result of a healing scar after surgery or due to infection. They normally develop right outside of the affected intestine or on an organ situated near the intestine and cause a pinching that ultimately blocks the intestine.

Another cause of twisted bowel is a weak spot in the walls of the abdomen. Part of the intestine may squeeze through the weak spot causing it to block. The part of the intestine squeezing through the soft spot is referred to as a hernia.

Tumors are basically cancerous swellings that either develop on the outside or inside of the intestine. As they increase in size, they keep squeezing the intestine and ultimately cause a blockage. Blockage or twisting in the large intestine is mostly caused by diverticular disease, volvulus and colorectal cancer.