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Taking Charge of Your Health


Hi! My name is Laura Cox and I am Shield HealthCare’s Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist. Today we’re going to be
talking about intestinal blockages. One of the questions I get most is what is
an intestinal blockage. An intestinal blockage, also known as a bowel
obstruction, is basically when either the intestine is twisted, it’s swollen or
there’s food lodged in the intestine that does not allow output to empty
outside of the body. The symptoms are abdominal pain, stoma swelling, bloating, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. Because, think about it, it’s food that is going through your intestines and is trying to get through, but cannot. Another symptom of intestinal blockage may be a lack of intestinal output, so I say sometimes
because there are partial intestinal obstructions and then there are also complete intestinal obstructions. So complete there is absolutely no
intestinal output, whereas a partial intestinal blockage you may have a little bit of gas, a little bit of stool coming out, but not a lot. So what do you do if you have an intestinal blockage? So, first and foremost, it’s important to note that if it seems like a severe intestinal blockage you should try to get a hold of your doctor. If you cannot then go straight to the emergency room and they’ll take care of you there. If it’s not-so-severe call your doctor and
while you’re waiting for them to get back to you there are a few steps that you can take. One of these steps is starting to move around – so walking
really helps move the digestion process along. Going and taking a warm bath or
putting a heating pad on your abdomen can sometimes allow the muscles to relax and then the stoma can kind of do its work or your intestines can do their
work. Another thing that you can do is drink a lot of water this is very, very
important because it helps that food that’s impacted – it helps to open up
the intestines, push the food through or unravel those intestines, which really helps clear that blockage. Some beverages that can be especially helpful to clear blockages are grape juice, carbonated beverages, and hot tea.
Another thing that might be helpful is trying different positions and moving
from position to position. Try lying on your side. I like to put my forehead on
my forearms and my butt up in the air. One thing that I find works exceptionally well for getting rid of an intestinal obstruction is gently massaging the area around the stoma and this just helps to manually move the food through the intestinal tract. Abdominal massage might also work for people who do not have stomas but what I find really helpful with my stoma is
manually massaging towards my stoma to try and encourage the food to come out of the stoma. So for people who have intestinal obstructions that do have a stoma, check to see if the stoma is swollen. If it is it’s very important to
take the wafer off and cut a larger hole in a new wafer and put that on, this
way we’re not strangulating the stoma. If you suspect that you have an
intestinal blockage and your symptoms escalate to vomiting, this is the time to
go to the emergency room. Another question I get is what will happen when I get to the ER? So my experience has been that they admit you into the
emergency room, they start an IV for fluids because being hydrated helps with
eliminating blockages. They’ll talk to you, ask you what you ate, what your symptoms are, and they’ll probably order a CT scan or an x-ray. I had a CT scan so that they could see where my blockage actually was. One thing you can do to
prevent intestinal blockages is to avoid hard to digest foods like uncooked
vegetables, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, and corn. When you are eating things that are harder to digest, don’t forget to chew well. Chewing well is the first step in
digestion and also it takes some of the burden off of the intestines. It’s really
easy to forget to chew very well, especially when conversation is really great, but it’s a really important step to avoid
intestinal blockages. And it’s always helpful to stay hydrated and drink
fluids after a meal. I was pleasantly surprised about recovery after an intestinal blockage, it was very fast and, sure the intestinal blockage was painful, but once it passed I felt pretty good. Always follow your doctor’s instructions
with diet, hydration, exercise, and follow-up appointments after
experiencing a blockage. Everyone’s experiences with intestinal blockages may differ, these were my experiences and I hope this video was helpful.

94 thoughts on “How to Help Clear an Intestinal Blockage

  1. Hi Laura these informations are very useful. Im from Singapore and not many infos I can get from the healthcare here. My daughter had stoma since she was 2 days old with colostomy and we are still learning to care for her eventhough now shes 8 years old with an illestomy. Last year, we had to rush her to ER for intestinal obstruction followed by high fever and dehydration. I now understand the pattern she was in so we try to becareful in what she eat and observe. I would also do a stoma wash out using cathether with warm saline water if she complains of bad stomache. Immediately we can see the output stream out. It does help to relieve her pain after the wash out is done. We try not to send her to the ER as much we do in the past as there is only few pediatric doctors who are experience in handling her case. I hope you can share more in the future for me to understand my childs condition better. Thank you very much for sharing.

  2. surprised to see every method i use when i get obstructed…
    i dont have a stoma bag and i am trying to avoide it at all cost. its been almost a year i am on liquid diet and im trying to find a solutions for my adhesions (motor accidents/3 laparotomy etc).. its getting better but i keep losing weight and i am afraid everyday it is killing me slowly 🙁

  3. that is NOT TRUE!!!
    I WALK ALOT!!!!!!! & I still
    havs intestinal blockage
    ..the only thing that helps
    my bowel movements is
    LAXATIVE..& the things
    that come out of me are
    BigPileOfPoop..its a Mess..
    & i can't believe all those
    Shitt(POO)was inside of me
    ..😝💩Disgusting💩😝..

  4. Thank you so much.
    I was diagnosed of stage 3B colorectal cancer. Since, I do have permanent colostomy and this is so helpful.

  5. Idk if I have this or not. But I drank a bit of water so I wouldn't get dehydrated but I just threw it back up a few minutes later. I can lie down and my stomach slowly starts hurting, then I sit up and end up throwing up, even tho there's nothing left to throw up

  6. I just got out of the hospital today with a small bowel obstruction , it seems to have cleared up it self this time . ( I pray ) . I've had 3 intestinal adhesion surgeries so far , the last one being the worst . The surgeon accidentally cut into my intestines and that caused a very bad infection in my incision . They had to put me on a wound pump for 3 months and it took a year for that infection to finanally clear up and heal . I seriously don't think I can go through anoher adhesion surgery . I get scared every time I get a stomach ache .

  7. It would seem I cannot learn from my past mistakes, third time after eating peanuts and I am so careful to chew.

  8. I do exactly what you do about an obstruction and it does work. I avoid going to the hospital even though it is very painful, i would go through if it didn't clear it's self. Great videos very informative. Thank you.

  9. How to get rid of gastric problem
    My day normally starts as early as 6.00 am and class does go up to 10.00 am
    I come back home by 10.30am but suddenly I feel burning sensation I'm my stomach
    As I eat late how to overcome this

  10. thanks for this iv got crohns and this frequently happens …its hell thanks for the advice an tips

  11. Nice video, the best tip imo is massaging the area daily and meditation to reduce negative thinking, anxiety, and limiting beliefs. I used to get obstructions monthly (from ruptured appendix surgery I had 10 years ago) been to the er twice both times got an NG tube and waited it out. They suggested a Colostomy so that the damaged intestine could heal since it was so swollen from all the 40 plus episodes I've had since the first surgery. But I refused since I was only 20 years old.
    I do plan on seeing a doc soon for check up. But every since I've been doing mediation and massage, the episodes have gone down to two a year. Please stay positive, blessings to all.

  12. Having severe pain in abdomen after driving a semi all day. Been to my Dr. Got put on antibiotics. Seems to just flare up the worse after driving. Anyways thanks for the direct information.

  13. Ok, do this first and if it doesn't work then go see a Doctor… Buy a small bottle of Milk of Magnesium drink the 30cc the bottle recommends to take. Drink it at Bedtime on an empty stomach, which means that you wait 30 minutes after the last food you eat. It takes 30minutes for food to leave the stomach .  Next morning  it should kick in.

  14. Hello Laura, this information is fantastic and has kept me out of the emergency room. Keep up the great work with these videos. 🙂

  15. Hey, to whoever made this video, this might sound weird, but I've been constantly getting stopped up, for about 3-5 days I stop pooping, I do poop finnaly, then I get stopped up again, it keeps repeating, I had been for about what I think is a month, my parents will take me to the doctor soon though, please pray for me!

  16. I ended up hurting in my lower stomach so badly, after I sat down on my mom and dad's couch in our living room, I kept jumping right back up, the worst part is… I'm not even 13 yet 🙁 it hurt so baaad!

  17. And since then, it still keeps repeating it's process, : hurting, getting stopped up, I finnaly poop, I start hurting, I get stopped up, I poop, and so on 🙁 once again, if ur reading this, plssss pray for me, I'm just a kid! 🙁

  18. Blockages after 5 surgeries as a 2 year old. Severe adhesions. Surgery once 30 years ago. I bought an inversion table and invert daily–if it hurts, I massage my abdomen at the same time. Works great.

  19. An intestinal blockage, also known as a bowl obstruction, is what occurs when the intestine is twisted, swollen or there's food lodged in the intestine that does not allow ouput to empty from the body. In this video, Shield HealthCare's Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist discusses the symptoms of an intestinal blockage, what you should do if you have an intestinal blockage, when you should go to the emergency room and what will happen when you get there. Laura also discusses how to prevent intestinal blockages, and recovery from them.

  20. This is very informative 🤗
    I've had bowel obstruction years ago and when the ER physician checked the x-rays the amount of cheese pizza was blocking me from relieving my bowels. I now chew my food very thoroughly. Great video!

  21. My problem is that I feel like I have 40lbs of dump inside me, but I can't get it out. I shit like 6 times a day, but even then, I can't get it out. I'm drinking water, Metamucil, eating more fiber, eating more protein! Nothing helps! Now my asshole is all torn up and bleeding, and I feel like I have branch of Napa valley grapes hanging out, and I have to wipe like 500 times……

  22. Hiii… I swallowed a chicken bone.. Couple of days ago.. Feeling little bit pain, it seems its passing through the intestine.. Should i wait for few days when it completely comes out or is it dangerous..

  23. EVERYONE READ THIS COMMENT—— Do not drink any carbonated drinks, because the gas from them will cause severe pain

  24. Hi lura l amn I am suffering from vomatting loops blockage since last 3 year .even I cannot push back the food to the mouth due to blockage .sometime when I want to vomit food stuck in half of the way in pipe nd feel pain please can you suggest me some remedies or instructions how I can get rid from the diseases .

  25. Well i tried hot tea with sugar and drank some see if it going to workout but i doubt it milk works pretty good but i an't got none so i'm trying hot tea instead to see IF!!!!? That'll work if not? Then i'll go to the doctor

  26. I had a bowel blockage and it hurt to clear it out because I had to get medicines in my anus please don’t laugh it’s serous 🙁 I also had to go through lots of x rays but I could go through anymore due to the radiation I had to drank nasty juice and medicine but guys of you have this it’s worth the pain getting it cleared because that blockage can hurt your intestents and now I feel good and I take laxatives everyday to help me not go get constipated badly again 🙂 good luck if your going through this and be safe and eat good! Love ya guys ! ❣️❣️

  27. Can a regular doctor check for n detect this type of issue. I have constipation, occasional bloating wether from eating or not having a bowel movement after 2 or 3 days. However, I have had some normal bowel movements. More often than not, I have urge to poop but am unable to.

  28. I saw the doctor cause I was having stomach pain and bloating for like a week or so I only went too the bathroom about 2 times a just not what I usually do and it wasn’t a lot so I went and they said there’s alot of stool but didn’t say there’s an obstruction which is good they gave me stuff too take I hope it helps

  29. hi I have a friend he never drink Water only coffee,,he eat everything is on the table,nuts,corn..pizzas,,all the bad staff he is 95 years old and fit and 100% on the brain HOW IS THAT;;;;nothing happen to him;;;

  30. if you live in london DO NOT go to the UCLH hospital they just send you home with pills ! my partner is seriously blocked sick with nausea and pain and tummy swollen.

  31. Should you go to the emergency room if you start to vomit but it’s only a partial blockage? I vomited and it made it feel a little better but it’s still blocked a bit. The pain goes away for a minute and then comes back for about 20 seconds and it keeps repeating like that.

  32. Thanks for posting this, I was suffering for 4days until you mentioned what liquids to take and I feel so much better. You are an Angel on YouTube hehe

  33. This world never ceases to amaze me. Why is this beautiful intelligent woman talking about BOWEL blockages???

  34. Oh lord… after three months from my stoma removal surgery, I’m possibly back to square one. I’m so young too. Wasn’t cutting off one meter of my small intestine enough?

  35. Hi,
    I have a question. How do we tell when we are ready to have a bowel movement?, also is some straining normal for a bowel movement even in the absence of dry stool and blood?. What are the normal signs of having a bowel movement(cause I don’t know or can’t figure them out)?. been facing constipation with slow digestion. Also I may have been ignoring my urge to bowel movements unknowingly or out of fear of having to strain to expel them which has led to me dealing with bloating, colon blockage towards colon, and pain n blood in stool just excepting extra effort to remove it. But I think my constipation seems to be getting better.

  36. With an ileostomy you're not supposed to eat celery or whole kernal corn (including popcorn). I made the mistake of eating homestyle chicken soup. Even though the celery was soft, it caused a blockage. Yikes.

  37. Ok I have this issue where I have pain in my lower back close to what feels like my rectum, I am irregular and when I do go to the toilet it is either pastey or diarrhea. I am always bloated, have a distended tummy and even when I do have a bowel movement I do not feel total relief, there is a constant pressure in my stomach and lower back. I am just taking an osmotic laxative but I get partial relief. I also feel nausea sometimes and I do not have much of an appetite. I am lead to believe I have an impaction, what can I do? Doctors just gave me osmotic laxative and told me to schedule a colonoscopy. Please Respond !

  38. What kinda of stoma are you talking about ? My bladder was removed and my urine goes in a bag. Every time I look up info on YouTube they seem to be talking about something else ?

  39. I can almost guarantee THE E.R. DID NOTHING FOR YOU…..THE E.R. MADE MINES WORST…DAMN ELECTROMAGNETIC WATER DESTROYED ME IN E R.

  40. Hi.
    Again. It’s me again, I have discovered that my constipation with slow digestion was due to some kind of potassium deficiency. I knew this from looking at my diet. It seems that taking in more potassium has done job. I did go to doctor but it seems as if the doctor missed this. potassium is important for digestion, bowel function, etc. potassium in the right amount is a natural laxative but one that you need as well. It directly or Indirectly pulls water into the colon to help soften stools. Thats one of the ways potassium helps you relieve yourself in the bathroom. I still get bloated but not severe in the absence of constipation.

  41. I had an intestinal blockage but it was more toward or very close to the anus. This is one of the symptoms of ongoing constipation. That can you get bloated as well as a food intolerance or some other cause. I had to strain to poop to which led to blood in stool. I disagree that water or fluids relieve any sort of intestinal blockage. As the body only uses a portion of water to soften stool unless your using a powerful conventional laxative. Sodium alongside potassium does this. sufficent amounts that is. When your dehydrated it means that you have lost electrolytes such as sodium or potassium or other vitamins or nutrients and that you need to replace them.
    Foods hydrate you . . . not only fruits and vegetables or plant foods. Water doesn’t hydrate you since it mainly helps flush out excessive amounts of sodium or other nutrients through sweat or urine. Gently massaging the abdomen could help as break down stool or whatever into pieces but will not fully eliminate the need to strain to poop but will make straining to poop a little easier which could reduce the severity of pain in your colon/intestinal or colon/intestinal walls when you strain to poop.

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