Intestinal Pseudo obstruction
In intestinal pseudo-obstruction, foods and liquids are unable to pass through the intestine, causing a build-up of food, fluid, and gas in all or part of the colon. The symptoms of this condition act like a mechanical bowel obstruction, but no blockage is found when doctors examine the intestine.
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The following factors are thought to increase the risk of developing intestinal pseudo-obstruction:
- Abdominal hemorrhage
- Intestinal ischemia (insufficient blood supply to the digestive system)
- Metabolic problems
- Other medical illnesses associated with pain
- Certain medications
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
IV feeding may be necessary to help prevent malnutrition.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent bacterial infections due to your condition. In addition, medications can be used to treat muscle problems in the intestines. Changes in your medications may be made to eliminate some medications that can slow recovery from, or worsen, this condition.
In severe cases of intestinal pseudo-obstruction, surgery to remove part or your entire intestine may be necessary.
If the colon does not resume normal function after conservative management, the pressure build-up in the colon can be relieved by removing the trapped air with a colonoscope.
Many cases of intestinal pseudo-obstruction cannot be prevented. But certain measures can be taken after surgery to help avoid the complication of intestinal pseudo-obstruction. These measures include:
- Early oral feeding
- Gum chewing
- Fluid restriction
- Medications that inhibit opioid receptors
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Colonic Ileus; Ogilvie’s Syndrome; Acute Colonic Pseudo-obstruction; Acute Nontoxic Megacolon)
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders http://www.iffgd.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://www.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca
Canadian Society of Intestinal Research http://www.badgut.com
Acute intestinal pseudo-obstruction. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114336/Acute-intestinal-pseudo-obstruction . Updated July 12, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2016.
Intestinal pseudo-obstruction. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/intestinal-pseudo-obstruction/Pages/facts.aspx. Updated February 26, 2014. Accessed December 18, 2014.