What Does A Bowel Obstruction Feel Like?

What are the signs of a blocked bowel?

Intestinal obstruction causes a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • severe bloating.
  • abdominal pain.
  • decreased appetite.
  • nausea.
  • vomiting.
  • inability to pass gas or stool.
  • constipation.
  • diarrhea.

How do you clear a bowel obstruction?


  1. Placing an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your arm so that fluids can be given.
  2. Putting a nasogastric tube through your nose and into your stomach to suck out air and fluid and relieve abdominal swelling.
  3. Placing a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into your bladder to drain urine and collect it for testing.

How long can you live with a bowel obstruction?

Without any fluids (either as sips, ice chips or intravenously) people with a complete bowel obstruction most often survive a week or two. Sometimes it’s only a few days, sometimes as long as three weeks. With fluids, survival time may be extended by a few weeks or even a month or two.

What is the most common cause of small bowel obstruction?

Small-bowel obstruction (SBO) is caused by a variety of pathologic processes. The most common cause of SBO in developed countries is intra-abdominal adhesions, accounting for approximately 65% to 75% of cases, followed by hernias, Crohn disease, malignancy, and volvulus.