Blockage of the intestines; causes and treatment

Everyone suffers from intestinal blockage at some point. Often as a result of stress, too little exercise, during holidays or poor nutrition (a lot of junk food). You will often be fine if you eat regularly and consume plenty of fiber and fluid. Occasionally a laxative can provide a solution, but do not use it for too long in a row.

Blockage of the intestines, when do we speak of this?

Every person has their own regularity when it comes to bowel movements. One person goes to the toilet every day to defecate, while another only has the urge three times a week. This is all very normal. Constipation is only considered constipated if your bowel habits change significantly and symptoms such as abdominal bloating, painful, difficult bowel movements or abdominal pain occur.

Possible causes of long-term blockage, also called constipation

A blockage of several days can occur if you have to rest in bed, due to an illness or, for example, a stay abroad, where different food is eaten than usual. The complaints usually go away on their own once the body has adapted. However, if constipation persists for a long time, there may be other causes;

  • Too little exercise
  • Drinking too little
  • Eating too little fiber
  • Retention of stools
  • Not wanting to defecate because it hurts due to hemorrhoids or fissures in the anus
  • As a result of diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disease or colon cancer
  • Due to medication use
  • Pregnancy


Constipation due to medication use

Medicines can have all kinds of side effects, one of which can be blockage in the intestines. Medicines that can have this side effect include iron tablets, codeine, morphine, some blood pressure lowering drugs, antacids and medicines for depression. But using the laxative bisacodyl for too long can also result in constipation.

Constipation due to pregnancy

Women who are pregnant can suffer from constipation. There may be several causes such as;

  • The pregnancy hormone progesterone
  • Having to take iron tablets
  • The intestines are pressed closed by the expanding uterus


Treating or preventing constipation

  • Drink enough (at least 1.5 liters per day)
  • High fiber food
  • Chew well
  • Eating regularly
  • Sufficient exercise
  • Do not hold back the urge to pass stool


What else can you do?

  • If bowel movements are still not smooth after sufficient exercise and healthy eating, extra bran and dried tropical fruits can be taken. However, make sure to drink extra.
  • Using a laxative; However, do not do this too often and not for too long, the body can get too used to it and it will no longer work without it. Examples of laxatives are bisacodyl, lactulose and microlax. Do not simply give laxatives to children, but always discuss this with your doctor first.


read more

  • Constipation in children
  • Healthy digestion: tips