What Causes a Twisted Intestine?

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Intestinal malrotation usually causes a twisted intestine, according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Causes of intestinal malrotation include birth defects, a hernia and inflammatory bowel disease, notes KidsHealth.

Intestinal malrotation occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy, when the intestines do not turn properly after moving into the abdomen, explains KidsHealth. Because the condition prevents the body’s digestive system from working properly, it can contribute to many symptoms, including pain and cramping. Children born with intestinal malrotation often have other associated conditions, such as heart defects and organ abnormalities.

A hernia can occur when the intestines break through an area of the abdominal wall, according to Healthline. Hernias are typically not immediately life threatening but can lead to serious complications. Both strain and muscle weakness cause hernias, which can occur from chronic coughing and damage from surgery. The most common symptom of a hernia is a lump in the affected area, which is easier to feel when the patient stands.

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to a group of disorders that lead to inflammation of the digestive tract, notes Healthline. The most common conditions in this group are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which usually affect the small and large intestines, respectively. Genetic factors and the immune system are both factors that lead to the development of the disease. Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease vary depending on the specific type, but may include diarrhea, pain, cramping and bloating.