Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction Causes, Symptoms,Diagnosis, Treatment

Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction Causes, Symptoms,Diagnosis, Treatment


Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction Definition


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 acts like a Mechanical Bowel Obstruction , but no blockage is found when doctors examine the intestine.

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Causes of Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction


In primary intestinal pseudo-obstruction, the small or large intestines lose their ability to contract and push food, stool, and air through the gastrointestinal tract.

The condition can occur suddenly (acute) or over time (chronic). It may occur at any age, but is most common in children and the elderly. Because the cause is unknown, it is also called idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (idiopathic means occurring without a known reason).

Risk factors include:
  • Cerebral palsy or other nervous system (neurologic) disorders
  • Chronic kidney, lung, or heart disease
  • Staying in bed for long periods of time (bedridden)
  • Taking narcotic (pain) medications or medications that slow intestinal movements (often called anticholinergic drugs)

Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction Risks Factor


A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. The following factors are thought to increase the risk of developing intestinal pseudo-obstruction:

  • Surgery
  • Abdominal hemorrhage
  • Intestinal ischemia (insufficient blood supply to the digestive system)
  • Inflammation (eg, infection)
  • Trauma
  • Stroke
  • Metabolic problems
  • Fluid overload (eg, Heart Failure )
  • Other medical illnesses associated with pain
  • Some medications

Symptoms of Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction


Symptoms of intestinal pseudo-obstruction may include:

  • Cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Reduction in bowel movements
  • Loose stools
  • Bladder problems
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation

How to Diagnose Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Other tests may include:

  • Abdominal X-rays -a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
  • Abdominal CT scan -a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests

How to Treat Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction


Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include

Colonoscopy may be used to remove air from the large intestine.

Fluids given through a vein (intravenous fluids) will replace fluids lost from vomiting or diarrhea.

Nasogastric suction -- a nasogastric (NG) tube is placed through the nose into the stomach to remove air from (decompress) the bowel.

Neostigmine may be used to treat intestinal pseudo-obstruction that is only in the large bowel (Ogilvie's syndrome)

Special diets usually do not work, although vitamin B12 and other vitamin supplements should be used for patients with vitamin deficiency.

Stopping any medication that may have caused the problem (such as narcotic drugs)

Intravenous (IV) feeding may be necessary to help prevent malnutrition.

In severe cases of intestinal pseudo-obstruction, surgery to remove part or your entire intestine may be necessary.

How to Prevent Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction


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
  • Beta-blockers

Possible Complications of Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction


  • Diarrhea
  • Rupture (perforation) of the intestine
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Weight loss