What is intestinal obstruction?

Also called: Bowel obstruction, Intestinal volvulus, Paralytic ileus

An intestinal obstruction occurs when food or stool cannot move through the intestines. The obstruction can be complete or partial. There are many causes. The most common are adhesions, hernias, cancers, and certain medicines.

Symptoms include

Severe abdominal pain or cramping
Loud bowel sounds
Swelling of the abdomen
Inability to pass gas

A complete intestinal obstruction is a medical emergency. It often requires surgery.