It is very important to understand the symptoms of perforated bowel as one needs immediate medical treatment for this condition. This article provides information regarding the same.
When the walls of the intestine rupture, it causes all the contents of the intestine to spill out into the abdominal cavity. This leakage results in sepsis that may lead to death if not treated as soon as possible. This condition is called perforated bowel, or gastrointestinal perforation. One should be aware of the symptoms of this condition to be able to seek immediate medical help.
Gastrointestinal perforation can occur due to colonoscopy, where the doctor examines the colon by inserting a camera. This procedure helps the doctor to remove a few polyps in the walls of the colon to be tested for cancer. Colonoscopy procedure can lead to perforation of the large intestine. Other than this, medical negligence can also lead to perforated colon. The condition may also occur during an enema or due to puncturing of the intestines by a colon hydrotherapist.
Other causes include traumatic injury, Crohn’s disease, colitis, gastrointestinal cancer, appendicitis, diverticulitis, gallbladder diseases and infections, gallstones, stomach ulcer, and ulcerative colitis. Puncture of the colon caused by insertion of objects via anus or swallowing them through mouth may also lead to this condition. In extremely rare cases, a genetic connective-tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome of the vascular type (Type IV), may lead to gastrointestinal perforation.
There are many symptoms that are often associated with other mild or severe conditions as well as diseases. The most common of all the symptoms of perforated bowel is pain in the abdomen. One may experience severe abdominal pain that is not alleviated even by medications. In case of small perforations, one may feel a dull abdominal ache that one tends to ignore.
Abdominal distention is another symptom which can be observed. One may develop persistent swelling on the abdomen that looks abnormal. One may even have a feeling of fullness at all times due to the perforated colon. This leads to loss of appetite. One may even develop a fever of over 102 ºF and above, along with chills.
Other symptoms include nausea and intense vomiting. The feeling of nausea is very, and it leads to vomiting. Abnormal bowel movements also indicate the perforated colon. One may experience intermittent episodes of diarrhea followed by constipation. Few may even develop dark, tarry stools.
Once the symptoms are identified, the patient needs immediate medical help. This is because the toxins and waste substances from the body are spilled into the abdomen. This may lead to poisoning, infections, sepsis, and toxic shock syndrome. Surgery is the only option in most cases that helps treat the condition. In some cases a small part of the intestine is removed. In a few rare cases, small perforations have been treated using antibiotics.
The symptoms of gastrointestinal perforation may be similar to other gastrointestinal problems. However, if you experience a sharp, constant pain in the abdomen, seek medical help immediately. Those who are affected by pre-existing conditions like appendicitis, Crohn’s disease, etc., should be extra careful.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.