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Q: Blocked Colon ( Answered 2 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Blocked Colon
Category: Health > Men's Health
Asked by: dealerearl-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 21 Nov 2004 10:28 PST
Expires: 21 Dec 2004 10:28 PST
Question ID: 431923
My 30 year old son went without a bowel movement for 16 days. Quite
concerned, he went to his general practitioner who prescribed
laxatives and enemas to no avail. He recently visited a
Gastroinerologist who prescribed a on gallon of a "strong liquid"
which induced cramps. He had one bowel movement on Friday, but none
since. He is still very concerned and feels that he is still blocked.

What should he do and how concerned should we be?
Subject: Re: Blocked Colon
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 21 Nov 2004 13:14 PST
Rated:2 out of 5 stars
Dear dealerearl-ga;

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting
question. As you probably already know, we cannot provide medical
advice in this forum (see our disclaimer below). What I can do however
is to point out what has been published on the issue, which is what I
have done below:

Constipation in itself is not usually a lone problem, but rather a
symptom of some other malady. It should be treated as an early warning
sign that something is medically amiss. An intestinal blockage can be
symptomatic of a very serious condition. In the time span you are
talking about, the situation could very well be considered a medical
emergency. Long term constipation can be indicative of colon cancer,
bacteria, parasites, yeast infections, poisonous toxins, stress, or
vitamin mineral absorption problems that ought to be addressed quickly
before they cause potentially life-threatening illnesses. When this
condition occurs, the waste tends to ferment or putrefy and often
times, if not treated promptly, toxins are produced that can be
absorbed into the blood stream basically causing a poisoning effect or
a very serious systemic infection. It has also been known to cause
cancer, colitis, diverticula disease, intestinal toxemia, obesity,
prolapsed colon and ulcerations that can result in internal bleeding
or infection, not to mention the stress it causes on the gall bladder,
liver, pancreas. Long-term obstruction of course places the patient in
danger of rupturing the colon (megacolon) -- this indeed is a surgical


One has to think about the reasons for such a ?blockage? and consider
how urgent that treatment for the condition might be. For instance,
there is a condition called ?fecal impaction? where stool has, for
whatever reason, become lodged in the sigmoid or descending part of
the large intestine (colon). In this instance a patient can, and
sometimes does, experience what can be mistaken for diarrhea or fecal
incontinence when fluids leak out around the impaction, yet the
impacted feces remains firmly in place. The result from this can range
from bloating and dehydration to fever and systemic infection.
Self-treating this illness with common methods such as laxatives can
actually result in serious injury. If treated properly and in a timely
manner, the prognosis for a fecal impaction is good provided that no
other problem exists.



A much more serious condition might involve a portion of the intestine
that has become obstructed by a large tumor, polyp, aneurysm or
internal hemorrhoid that is preventing the matter from descending
through and exiting the colon properly. These conditions would
certainly require the diagnosis and treatment of a specialist, but you
should not discount other potential problems where a blockage is not
really present, but merely ?seems? so. For example, there are some
conditions that can cause a portion of the intestine to malfunction or
even die (Intestinal necrosis; Ischemic bowel; Dead bowel; Dead gut).
A hernia can sometimes be at the root of this problem if the intestine
moves into the wrong place or becomes tangled. The blood supply is cut
off and as a result a portion of the intestine dies. Waste that
reaches this dead portion of bowel ceases to be processed and ?stalls?
in its downward travel to the rectum. Other causes include blood clots
from the heart or main blood vessels that have traveled through the
bloodstream and blocked one of the arteries supplying the intestine
causing a portion of it to die in the same manner and cease to process

These conditions can all be extremely serious and can, in some case,
prove fatal if left untreated. Once necrosis occurs, it is not
reversible and the dead disuse must be surgically removed to prevent
infection. Intestinal ischemia is a serious condition that can result
in death if not treated promptly. The outlook depends on the cause. A
good outcome may be achieved with prompt treatment.

?Intestinal ischemia and infarction?

There is a condition called ?Pseudo obstruction? (also known as PO,
Hirschsprung's disease, False Blockage, or Ogilvie's syndrome) in
which, by virtue of a variety of reasons such as bacterial overgrowth,
damage or symptomatic of some other disease, the intestine responds as
if a blockage is present which in fact there is not. This too is cause
for concern because it is usually an indicator of a sometimes more
serious underlying problem.


From what I gather in my research on the subject, I would certainly
seek another opinion and perhaps seek further diagnostic work up
including colonoscopy and bowel transit studies. If your son?s doctor
did not do any x-rays or other studies and merely made this diagnosis
solely on his medical ?experience? alone I would be a bit concerned,
especially in view of the fact that his condition does not seem to
have improved. Often times a physician can have a patient drink
special liquid a few hours before coming in for an examination and
then take an x-ray that might show any blockage that exists, because
the liquid reacts with the x-ray device and enhances the image of it.
This may be all that is necessary to determine if, in fact there is a
blockage, where it might be and how serious the condition is. At the
very least it could eliminate certain medical possibilities and
perhaps give you all a measure of comfort knowing that the problem is
not so urgent.

This painless procedure is called an upper gastrointestinal (GI)
series that allows the physician to look at the small intestine. For
this test, the patient drinks barium, a chalky solution that coats the
lining of the small intestine, before x-rays are taken. The barium
shows up white on x-ray film, revealing inflammation or other
abnormalities in the intestine. It may be that your son has something
far less serious, or perhaps something such as Crohn's disease, an
affliction that commonly blocks the intestines, or Diverticulitis, an
inflammation of the inner intestinal tissue. Neither of the diseases
are fun things to have, but both of them are manageable and, generally
speaking, they aren?t fatal either unless they go untreated.

?Crohn?s Disease?


I?m sure you can imagine that I am about to suggest that you SEEK THE
it without further delay. Constipation is one of the most common
afflictions in the world. Millions of people suffer from a variety of
illnesses, diseases and conditions that lead to constipation ranging
from simple problematic bowl movements to profound, life-threatening
blockages. The fact remains that constipation can, and sometimes does,
provide an early warning that something much more serious is taking
place and warrants immediate medical attention. I have read where some
people (having a variety of diseases and conditions) sometimes go as
long as one or two weeks without FEELING THE NEED to have a bowel
movement, but 16 days without a bowel movement (especially if a person
has the URGENCY to have a bowel movement but cannot) is far too long,
even if the consumption of a gallon of ?strong liquid? forced a single
bowel movement on one occasion. From that I have learned researching
your question, it isn?t likely that a gallon of liquid would flush a
lodged blockage out the colon, (particularly is the blockage is not
related to an impaction but is one of the other conditions I mentioned
above) and in fact, this method sounds quite dangerous if nothing more
is known about the origin and cause of the blockage itself.

How concerned should you be? Well, rather than risk a tear in the
intestinal tissues, it would behoove you and your son to see a
specialist and have this problem properly diagnosed, understood and
treated in a way that is safe and effective. If it were me (or my
child) I'd be considerably concerned to the point that I'd be seeking
someone who could not only find out what is causing this problem for
certain, but would also know how it should be treated. After this long
of a period I would not settle with a "try this and see if it works
for you" type approach - I'd want to KNOW FOR SURE, lest there be some
underlying problem that is much more threatening. We're costantly
hearing stories about people who survived their illnesses because it
was "caught early", and this COULD be one of those situations. Keep in
mind that the result of your consultation with a specialist may, as I
mentioned, mean nothing more than one trip to his or her office and
from what I have learned in doing this research, it may be a trip well
worth taking under the circumstances.

I wish you both the best of luck.

Below you will find that I have carefully defined my search strategy
for you in the event that you need to search for more information. By
following the same type of searches that I did you may be able to
enhance the research I have provided even further. I hope you find
that my research exceeds your expectations. If you have any questions
about my research please post a clarification request prior to rating
the answer. Otherwise, I welcome your rating and your final comments
and I look forward to working with you again in the near future. Thank
you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad ? Google Answers Researcher





?Crohn?s Disease?




Google ://






Crohn?s disease


Hirschsprung's disease

Ogilvie's syndrome

Intestinal ischemia 

Intestinal infarction

Pseudo obstruction

Intestinal necrosis

Ischemic bowel

Clarification of Answer by tutuzdad-ga on 21 Nov 2004 15:37 PST
I'm sorry you missed the disclaimer appears on every page of this forum:

"Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers
are general information, and are not intended to substitute for
informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal,
investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not
endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product,
manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or
any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully
the Google Answers Terms of Service."

In addition, I acknowledged the fact that your son has seen a family
physician and Gastroenterologist, and in my answer I "suggested" he
consider seeing another one for a second opinion. I indicated that if
I were in your shoes that's what "I" would do. You, however must do
what you feel is best and I do hope you consider my research when you
make your decision.

I felt that my answer was indeed a worthy one that took a significant
amount of research and effort, which unfortunatley is all I can, by
policy, provide you with (in keeping with the disclaimer that appears
on every page of this forum).

dealerearl-ga rated this answer:2 out of 5 stars
You said that you were not allowed to offer medical advice. This
puzzles me since you do offer categories involving health problems in
your catgegories. I was not aware of that when I posed my question
and, in view of that fact, that that I am asking for medical advice,
it appears that I have contacted the wrong source.
Your bottom line suggestion is that my son see a specialist and as I
stated in my question, he has already seen a specialist in

Subject: Re: Blocked Colon
From: timespacette-ga on 21 Nov 2004 10:53 PST
I work as a nurses aid, and I can tell you your son needs to see
another specialist immediately.  Get the opinion of at least three
doctors. Is he eating normally?  It seems physically impossible to
keep eating normally for 16 days and not eliminate or buildup fecal
matter ... ?  He may need a colonoscopy to find out what's going on in
there.  Tell him it's not as bad as it sounds.

Subject: Re: Blocked Colon
From: frde-ga on 22 Nov 2004 05:41 PST
If you read through the stuff Tutu dug up for you then you will get the point.

He is only allowed to open the book and point to the paragraph
- this is down to our litigious society

I am not bound by Googles rules (but sensibly they should delete this)
My first thought was: 'Colic' - a twisted intestine - it kills horses.

Your so called specialist is, in my opinion, a moron.
Your GP is an idiot

Unless there are other things that you did not state (perhaps Heroin),
your son is in a seriously bad state - definitely life threatening -
and needs competent medical treatment rapidly.

Get him to a hospital - NOW !

My opinions are nothing to do with Google

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

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