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.
- 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.