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Children's Health

3 important things everyone MUST know about intestinal obstruction, a potentially dangerous condition




Mrs. Adamu is a mother to a seven year old boy. One day, her son came back from school complaining of stomach pain. Immediately she reached out for one of the local herbs she had purchased the other day at the market and gave some to her son.

According to the herb seller, the herb was perfect for troubles with the tummy, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and everything in between. Rest assured that her son would be fine once he takes the herb; Mrs. Adamu put him to sleep and went about her house chores.

To her surprise, few hours after her son woke up, he did not feel better, and in fact his belly was swollen, hard and very tender. When she tried to touch it, he had cried out in pain.  Mrs. Adamu was getting very worried and scared too, she had not seen such before.

She had prepared his favorite meal and thought that if only he could eat a little, he would get better. She made him eat a little which he almost immediately vomited. His vomit was with such great force and it also looked and smelled like feaces.

Mrs. Adamu could not bear it any longer; she knew something was seriously wrong. Immediately, she took her son to the hospital. After the doctor had examined him and ran some tests, Mrs. Adamu was told her son had intestinal obstruction.

The doctor had said her son’s condition was a very serious one and if she had delayed in bringing him to the hospital, he could have died. Of course, the boy was admitted immediately and treatment began right away.

Mrs. Adamu could only wonder where her son had gotten such a strange disease from. She thought to her herself it most certainly is the handiwork of that her evil neighbor.


What is intestinal obstruction?

Intestinal obstruction, also known as obstructed gut, is a serious and life-threatening condition where the small or large intestine is blocked, either partially or totally, preventing the passage of digested food and fluids.

When this obstruction occurs, food, fluids, gastric acids and gas build up behind the site of the blockage. If enough pressure builds up, the intestine can burst open, leaking harmful contents and bacteria into the abdominal cavity

What are the causes of intestinal obstruction?

Mrs. Adamu thinks her son’s diagnosis is a handiwork of an evil neighbor, but this may not necessarily be so. Intestinal obstruction has several causes which can be categorized as either mechanical obstructions or non-mechanical obstructions.

Mechanical obstructions are when something physically blocks the intestine. This could include swallowed objects, twisting of the intestines and hernias. Non-mechanical obstructions include certain medications and abdominal infections

How serious is the condition?

Intestinal obstruction is a medical emergency. If treatment is not immediately administered, it could lead to very serious complications or death.




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Mofeyintioluwa is a health enthusiast who has particular interests in nutrition and fitness. She also loves music and enjoys reading Christian biographies. She thinks social work and public health are noble professions. Ultimately, she's exclusively for Jesus.

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