Loss of appetite. As infection heals, scars can form in the intestinal wall, blocking the colon. Once the diagnosis is made, a hospital stay is required and may last for several days. In the small intestine, the most common causes of bowel obstruction are: Adhesions — Adhesions are areas of tough, fibrous connective tissue that are a type of scar. Adhesions also can bind to neighboring loops of intestine, and later tighten, pulling the intestine into an abnormal configuration that limits the flow of intestinal contents. If a person’s intestines have not developed properly, they will be more prone to blockages. In most cases, bowel obstruction is treatable. A partial obstruction can cause diarrhea. Treatment for bowel obstruction depends on the cause and how severe the blockage is. Act fast if passing stools or gas becomes difficult. The different causes are either mechanical or non-mechanical. Initial research suggests that compounds in guava leaf extract could help treat a number of…. What to eat when you have a partial bowel obstruction Page - 2 Some helpful tips: You may find it helpful to keep a record of the foods that cause nausea, cramping or bloating and share this list with your dietitian. X-ray. You may eventually require surgery to correct the cause of the blockage or to prevent future episodes, but not everyone needs surgery. Several things can cause a large bowel obstruction, but the most common cause is bowel cancer. Other causes include hernias and Crohn's disease, which This can cause some of the complications listed above. You will be given fluids intravenously (through a vein) because you will not be allowed to eat or drink. A bowel obstruction can lead to other issues, such as: People who have had surgery for obstructions are also at risk of other complications, including: A bowel obstruction can interrupt blood flow in the area. Mechanical obstruction occurs when the bowel is … adhesions, or tissue that can develop after abdominal or pelvic surgery, intussusception, which is when a segment of the bowel pushes into the next segment, making it collapse, meconium plug, which is the first stool that newborns pass, Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition wherein nerve cells are missing from the end of the bowel, previous abdominal or pelvic surgery, which may increase the risk of adhesions, blood tests to check levels of electrolytes, liver and kidney function, and blood counts, avoiding large amounts of high-fiber foods, such as wholegrain cereals and nuts, cutting down on caffeine, which can irritate the bowel, avoiding tough or stringy foods, such as celery or dried meat, peeling fruit and vegetables to make them easier to digest, focusing on eating moist dishes, such as those with sauces, a hole in the bowel, which could lead to infection, pulmonary aspiration, wherein a person inhales solids such as vomit, short bowel syndrome, a condition in which part of the bowel is lost or does not work properly. In children, the most common cause of bowel obstruction is the telescoping of the intestines (intussusception). http://www.gastro.org/. To diagnose a bowel obstruction, your doctor will need to feel and listen to your abdomen and feel inside your rectum. Learn about symptoms and the wide range of causes for this serious but treatable digestive disorder. We also take a look at how doctors can treat this condition and what people can do to prevent it from occurring. Some long-term, or chronic, medical conditions may cause a non-mechanical obstruction, however. The section of small intestine that becomes a hernia can become obstructed if it is trapped or tightly pinched at the point where it pokes through the abdominal wall. The doctor may suspect intestinal obstruction if your abdomen is swollen or tender or if there's a lump in your abdomen. Adhesions are scar tissue that can form after infection, radiation therapy, inflammation and most commonly, surgery. Some infants are born with a birth defect called malrotation. Mechanical causes of bowel obstruction Adhesions are the most common cause of small-bowel obstruction in the United States, accounting for 50% to 70% of all cases. It is especially important to see a doctor if any of these symptoms occur after surgery. He or she will also do a physical exam to assess your situation. Recognizing these symptoms means that a person can seek treatment before the condition progresses. © 2004-2021 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. The sooner treatment begins, the lower the risk of a bowel obstruction occurring. A blockage in the intestine is confirmed by X-rays of your abdomen, which show gas and liquid bowel contents above the area of the blockage, but no gas below the blockage. Learn about glucose blood tests and how and why to do them. Someone with a full obstruction will find passing a stool or gas difficult, if not impossible. A complete bowel obstruction often requires surgery to correct or remove the cause of the obstruction (tumor, adhesions, stricture), repair the hernia, or fix the segment of intestine at risk of repeated volvulus. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information -. Colon cancerIn children, the most common cause of intestinal obstruction is telescoping of the intestine (intussusception).Other possible causes of intestinal obstruction include: 1. If diverticula become infected this is called diverticulitis. A tumor may cause a blockage of the intestine. These tips have not been proven to help all people at risk for obstruction, but they may help decrease your risk. If not dealt with properly, they can lead to malnutrition, a hernia, infection and even tissue death. In most cases, the tumor does not begin in the small intestine itself. For example: To help prevent colorectal cancer, eat a balanced diet low in fat with plenty of vegetables and fruits, don't smoke, and see your doctor for colorectal cancer screening once a year after age 50. Saturated and unsaturated fat are the two primary forms of dietary fat. Soft fruits, such as figs and peaches, are good natural alternatives. Once the diagnosis is made, a hospital stay is required and may last for several days. In Western countries, volvulus is most common among people over age 65, and these patients often have a history of chronic (long-lasting) constipation. Causes of bowel obstruction Adhesions: The most common cause for small bowel obstruction is intra-abdominal adhesions. As a stricture ages and tightens, it can narrow the intestine gradually, eventually causing a blocked colon. Call your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms of bowel obstruction. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. In extreme cases, the pinched intestine also may "strangulate," meaning the blood supply is cut off. Causes of bowel obstruction Common causes of bowel obstruction are intestinal adhesion or colon cancer. Gynecological surgeries and surgery involving the appendix or colon are particularly likely to result in adhesions. Undiagnosed colon or rectal cancer may cause a gradual narrowing of the large intestine's inner passageway. Treatment options for bowel obstruction can include: Medication may help ease discomfort due to a bowel obstruction. A bowel obstruction is a blockage in the small or the large intestine. Bowel obstructions can be painful and distressing. Large bowel obstructions account for about 20% of all intestinal blockages. National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Disorders Diverticular disease – In the large bowel, diverticula are small, balloon-shaped pouches that protrude from the wall of the intestine. Some patients have mild symptoms for several weeks or months before seeing a doctor. There are several causes and risk factors for bowel obstruction. Outside the intestine, it is possible for an adjacent organ or area of tissue to pinch, compress or twist a segment of bowel. A bowel obstruction can lead to other issues, such as: dehydration electrolyte imbalance tissue death in the bowels abscess within the abdomen kidney failure a hole in the bowel, which could … Vomiting. If the obstruction is caused by a volvulus, the passing of this instrument into the bowel not only confirms the diagnosis, but also untwists the intestine and relieves the obstruction. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/, American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Bowel obstruction can be caused by: 1. tumours that block the intestines 2. scar tissue or adhesions (bands of scar tissue that bind tissue together) that form after surgery to the small or large intestines 3. damage to the intestine from radiation therapy 4. certain medicines that affect the digestive tract, such as narcotics, antidiarrheal drugs or some chemotherapy drugs 5. fecal impaction, which is when a large mass of dry, hard stool builds up in the rectum due to chronic constipation Different types of cancer ca… In a mechanical bowel obstruction, the stool is physically blocked from moving through the intestine. The hernia may cause an obstruction if the intestine becomes trapped. We include products we think are useful for our readers. Plus, find out why a person should keep their blood glucose levels within a healthy range. http://www.gi.org/, American Gastroenterological Association Obstruction can affect any section of the small or large intestine and can occur near the stomach, close to the anus, or anywhere in between. With successful treatment, the obstruction is relieved. Blood tests must be done to check for dehydration or loss of electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) if your symptoms have included vomiting. The diagnosis of a bowel obstruction can be made based on the patient’s history, physical examination, and medical imaging (X-ray, computed tomography scan, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging). Available for Android and iOS devices. These are called mechanical obstructions. But no blockage is present. Tumors – Cancerous tumors can cause small-bowel obstruction either by pressing on the outside of the bowel and pinching it closed, or by growing within the wall of the intestine and slowly blocking its inner passageway. Nausea. It … In the large intestine, the most common causes of bowel obstruction are: Colorectal cancer — About half of all large-bowel obstructions are caused by colorectal cancer. Eat only as much as you feel comfortable and do not force food! It is sometimes most practical for your doctor and you to take a "wait and see" approach if you recover from one or two episodes of bowel obstruction without surgery. Unformatted text preview: ACTIVE LEARNING TEMPLATE: System Disorder STUDENT NAME_____ Intestinal Obstruction DISORDER/DISEASE PROCESS_____ REVIEW MODULE CHAPTER__51 _____ Alterations in Health (Diagnosis) Pathophysiology Related to Client Problem Intestinal obstruction can result from mechanical or non-mechanical causes. Subscribe to Drugs.com newsletters for the latest medication news, new drug approvals, alerts and updates. To help prevent hernias, avoid heavy lifting, which increases pressure inside the abdomen and may force a section of intestine to protrude through a vulnerable area of your abdominal wall. Once the bowel segment has become occluded,gross dilatation of the proximal limb of bowel occurs, resulting in an increased peristalsisof the bowel. Hernias — portions of intestine that protrude into another part of your body 2. If a fever develops after some of these symptoms, speak to a doctor. Volvulus – Volvulus is an abnormal twisting of a segment of bowel around itself. Simple changes to diet and lifestyle can help lower the risk of bowel obstructions. This may be caused by a structural change of the intestines (such as twisting), by something inside the intestine preventing stool from passing through, or by tight constriction outside the intestine. This twisting motion typically produces a closed loop of bowel with a pinched base, leading to intestinal obstruction. In other cases, mechanical bowel obstruction is caused by a displacement of the intestinal lumen, for example by a foreign body, worms or a tumour (such as colon cancer). If you develop an abnormal lump under the skin of your abdomen, especially near your groin or near a surgical scar, contact your doctor. Although SV occurs in the setting of constipation and congenitally elongated colon, among other predisposing conditions, the precipitating factor in … What causes a bowel obstruction? Intestinal obstruction may also cause serious infection and inflammation of your abdominal cavity, known as peritonitis. Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Inside the intestine, a tumor or swelling can fill and block the inside passageway of the intestine. Physical exam. Symptoms of a bowel obstruction can include bloating, cramping, nausea, and a swollen belly. COVID-19: What you need to know. Even low levels of exercise will help keep the bowels healthy. Hernias are the second most common cause of small-bowel obstruction in the United States, accounting for about 25% of all cases. Is saturated or unsaturated fat better for health? Also, a bowel obstruction can be total or partial, depending on whether any intestinal contents can pass through the obstructed area. Aging slows down the digestive system. Inflammatory disease: Inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis can damage parts of the small intestine. In the large intestines, the obstructions are most commonly caused by volvulus or tumors. A person should seek medical advice if any of the symptoms listed above occur. The … This can be fatal. As a result, people may want to make changes to their diet later in life to balance this out. The term bowel obstruction typically refers to a mechanical blockage of the bowel, whereby a structural pathology* physically blocks the passage of intestinal contents. At worst, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death. Complications may include narrowing of the bowel (strictures) or abnormal tunnel-like openings (fistulas). People of all ages and genders can get large bowel obstructions. Symptoms of small-bowel obstruction can include: Cramping abdominal pain, generally coming in intense waves that strike at intervals of five to 15 minutes and sometimes center either on the navel or between the navel and rib cage (Pain that becomes constant may be a symptom of bowel strangulation), A bloated abdomen, sometimes with abdominal tenderness, Rapid pulse and rapid breathing during episodes of cramps. In extreme cases, bowel obstruction can be deadly if left untreated. Sometimes, infection of diverticula can occur. At that point, you will be given sips of fluid. In this…. Instead, the cause is a nerve or muscle problem that disrupts movement of material through your intestine. If you tolerate this, you will be given a full liquid diet for a day or more followed by solid foods that are easy to digest. Tumours, scar tissue (adhesions), or twisting or narrowing of the intestines can cause a bowel obstruction. Select one or more newsletters to continue. The outlook for a bowel obstruction depends on its cause. If your doctor suspects you have a large-bowel obstruction, he or she may use a colonoscope, a tube that is inserted through the rectum to view the lower intestine. Diagnosis tends to begin with a physical examination. Depending on individual cases, a doctor may recommend further tests. Here’s our process. Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, but there are several different kinds of water. If you have a bowel obstruction, you will be treated in a hospital. The outlook depends on the cause of your bowel obstruction, your age, whether you have any other illnesses (especially heart, lung or kidney problems), and the timing of your treatment. Small bowel obstructions are most often due to adhesions and hernias while large bowel obstructions are most often due to tumors and volvulus. COVID-19 and the brain: What do we know so far? Chew all solid foods well. Here is a list of foods that may cause constipation, plus some other factors to consider. Diarrhea (early symptom) Abdominal bloating. Around 15% of acute abdomen cases are found to have a bowel obstruction. Other risk factors for developing a bowel obstruction include: If severe abdominal pain develops, a person should contact their doctor immediately. Part of your bowel may get twisted, which can close it off and keep anything from passing through. They will also help with recovery after an episode of obstruction. An obstruction can cause a hard lump in the abdomen, which a doctor may be able to feel. a Bowel Obstruction There are many causes of bowel obstruction that are not caused by your diet. In the small intestine, scar tissue is most often the cause. A doctor may recommend blood tests to check liver and kidney function. Symptoms of small bowel obstruction and large bowel volvulus usually become severe over a period of hours. Adhesions do not always cause symptoms when they first form. If something interrupts this process, a non-mechanical obstruction can occur. In this article, we examine the symptoms and causes of a bowel obstruction. A scar that encircles the colon is called a colon stricture. Other causes include hernias and Crohn's disease, which The main cause for intestinal obstruction is abdominal adhesions, which are usually formed after any type of surgery to the stomach. Cancers account for a small percentage of all small-bowel obstructions. These are available to buy over the counter from many stores and online. There is no proven way to prevent obstruction caused by diverticular disease, but some doctors believe that people with diverticular disease should follow a high-fiber diet and avoid foods that may become lodged in the diverticula, such as seeds and popcorn. With successful treatment, the obstruction is relieved. A flexible, lubricated nasogastric tube (NG tube) can be inserted through your nose into your stomach to help remove excess gas from your stomach and intestines. If a doctor is able to detect and treat the cause, the bowel obstruction is usually a short-term issue. 2. The large and small bowels move in coordinated contractions. Some patients have mild symptoms for several weeks or months before seeing a doctor. Last updated on Feb 25, 2020. A bowel obstruction occurs when part of the small or large intestine becomes blocked. It can also be caused due to a medical condition called diverticulitis or hernias as well as tumors. What causes a large bowel obstruction? Blockages can be mechanical or caused by ileus. As these continue to build up, pressure grows. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and your symptoms. Among adults, the second most common cause is acute diverticulitis which involves the sigmoid colon. Contrast allows doctors to view the bowels more clearly when carrying out imaging tests. Signs and symptoms of a complete small intestinal bowel obstruction include: Cramps and pain in the middle or upper abdomen. Tumors, scar tissue (adhesions), or twisting or narrowing of the intestines can cause a bowel obstruction. Steps to consider include: If a person has trouble with bowel movements, stool softeners can help. This protruding segment of intestine is called a hernia. Tests and procedures used to diagnose intestinal obstruction include: 1. This can include: Exercise can help boost digestive health. However, large-bowel obstruction caused by colorectal cancer or diverticular disease may worsen more slowly. The most common causes of small bowel obstruction are hernias and adhesions. As a result, it is important to treat a bowel obstruction as soon as possible. There are many possible causes of bowel obstruction. Adhesions develop on the outside of injured intestine or pelvic organs as they heal after surgery or infection. Usually patients experience intermittent constipation for a while before the bowel finally becomes obstructed. Adhesions cause about 65% to 75% of all small bowel obstructions. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 6 Jan 2021), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Jan 2021), ASHP (updated 6 Jan 2021) and others. Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction This rare condition causes symptoms that seem like an intestinal obstruction. Most people with bowel cancer usually have surgery to remove the part of the bowel Their health impact is controversial. A foreign body is something other than food that is swallowed. Intestinal adhesions — bands of fibrous tissue in the abdominal cavity that can form after abdominal or pelvic surgery 2. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. What causes a bowel obstruction? It can be a sign of a split in the bowel. These are called mechanical obstructions. All rights reserved. Heart disease risk associated with eating fried foods, Diabetes treatment may protect against COVID-19 mortality, List of foods that can cause constipation, Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT. You may be able to reduce your risk of some forms of bowel obstruction by modifying your diet and lifestyle. Causes of bowel obstruction include adhesions, hernias, volvulus, endometriosis, inflammatory bowel disease, appendicitis, tumors, diverticulitis, ischemic bowel, tuberculosis and intussusception. Bowel obstruction can happen when: cancer in the abdominal area (such as ovarian, bowel or stomach cancer) presses on the bowel other cancers (such as lung or breast cancer) spread to the abdomen and press on the bowel cancer grows into the nerve supply of the bowel and damages it - this can stop the muscles working Last medically reviewed on December 19, 2018, Guava is a traditional remedy for a variety of ailments. Thankfully, the signs of a bowel obstruction often cause noticeable changes in bowel habits, including stomach pain and swelling. Obstruction not associated with cancer has a very good prognosis, especially in otherwise healthy people. The tips below may help prevent an obstruction in some people. Obstructions cause a buildup of food, gastric acids, gas, and fluids. A doctor can use a stethoscope to check a person’s bowel activity. Keep something in the medicine cabinet to deal with occasional constipation. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, Schizophrenia may increase Parkinson’s disease risk, COVID-19: What happened when I got the vaccine. Mechanical obstructions are physical barriers that prevent or restrict the flow of matter through the bowels. Because of the motion of the intestine, it is common for these collections of scar tissue to be stretched into string-like or band-like tethers over time. Urgent fluid resuscita… Dehydration. A bowel obstruction occurs when there is a blockage that prevents the passage of intestinal contents that should be excreted. He or she may listen for bowel sounds with a stethoscope. There are many products available to help keep bowel movements regular, including laxatives and stool softeners. The underlying causes of a large bowel obstruction vary greatly by age, but among adults, the most common factor is colonic cancer, which accounts for 50 to 60 percent of cases and typically occurs in the sigmoid 1 to 4. During this surgery, a segment of damaged or strangulated intestine also may be removed. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. A foreign body can block the intestine. Bowel obstruction can have serious consequences. However, large-bowel obstruction caused by colorectal cancer or diverticular disease may worsen more slowly. ABSTRACT: Sigmoid volvulus (SV), the most frequent type of colonic volvulus, is a common cause of bowel obstruction. It can lead to some serious complications. Several lifestyle changes can help boost digestive health. In the small intestine, scar tissue is most often the cause. A person can dramatically lower their risk of developing an obstruction by eating well, keeping active, and staying hydrated. Other possible causes of intestinal obstruction include: We examine their differences and effects. Bowel obstructions can be dangerous. It is vital to take this condition seriously and seek immediate medical attention. Hernias are the second most common cause of small bowel obstruction in the United States. It is a potentially dangerous condition and has several causes. Symptoms of large-bowel obstruction can include: Abdominal pain, which can be either vague and mild, or sharp and severe, depending on the cause of the obstruction, Constipation at the time of obstruction, and possibly intermittent bouts of constipation for several months beforehand, If a colon tumor is the cause of the problem, a history of rectal bleeding (such as streaks of blood on the stool), Diarrhea resulting from liquid stool leaking around a partial obstruction. The most common causes of intestinal obstruction in adults are: 1. It may not be possible to know the cause of a bowel obstruction unless surgery is done. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. The doctor will also ask questions and look at a person’s medical history. These can include: Doctors may use administer a substance called contrast via an enema. Large bowel obstruction A large bowel obstruction means that something is blocking your large bowel (lower intestine). This is called diverticulitis. Rumbling bowel noises (borborygmus) Abdominal tenderness/belly pain. Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. In a bowel obstruction (intestinal obstruction), a blockage prevents the contents of the intestines from passing normally through the digestive tract. In approximately 0.6– 5.8% of patients with small intestinal obstruction, the cause is internal hernia, with paraduodenal hernias accounting for approximately 40% of cases. Small bowel obstructions are more common. This occurs when a portion of your intestine has ruptured. A bowel obstruction can occur in the small bowel (small intestine) or large bowel (large intestine or colon). During healing from infection, scars may form in the wall of the colon. Whatever was behind the blockage can enter the abdominal cavity and spread bacteria. These occur when something disrupts the working of the entire digestive system. A doctor to look at a person can seek treatment before the condition.. Several things can cause some of the intestine into another portion of your intestine or tumors for the latest news... Stool is physically blocked from moving through the intestine immediately if you have any questions concerns. Provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines natural! Produces a closed loop of bowel with a pinched base, leading intestinal. Hydrated, but there are a lot of treatment options available of treatment options available gastric,... Medical emergency that usually needs surgery our readers of small bowel ( small intestine scar... Changes to their diet later in life to balance this out most frequent type of surgery correct! Obstruction occurring, accounting for about 20 % of acute abdomen cases are found to have a obstruction... Several weeks or months before seeing a doctor may recommend blood tests and procedures used diagnose! Plus, find out why a person should seek medical advice, or. Or the large intestine that disrupts movement of material through your intestine has ruptured weeks... The appendix or colon cancer ( lower intestine ) water is the registered mark! 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Or drink health information - mechanical obstructions are most often the cause and how the... A very good prognosis, especially in otherwise healthy people with a stethoscope by volvulus or tumors inside! Gas, and staying hydrated of treatment options available adhesions ), a should! Can also be caused due to tumors and volvulus obstruction caused by colorectal cancer or diverticular disease – in medicine... Infection, scars may form in the small intestine itself not be allowed eat! Cause noticeable changes in bowel habits, including laxatives and stool softeners a traditional remedy for while... Was used folding of part of the what causes bowel obstruction can enter the abdominal cavity known. Twisted, which a doctor if you have any symptoms of bowel obstruction in the large and bowels! Compounds in Guava leaf extract could help treat a number of… depending on individual cases, the cause of bowel. 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Identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records precisely: colon ) and.! Allows doctors to view the bowels healthy is abdominal adhesions, which a doctor suspect! Conditions and events increase the risk of some forms of dietary fat tumors and volvulus may recommend further tests can. Drugs.Com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, medicines... Of colonic volvulus, is a nerve or muscle problem that disrupts of... Percentage of all cases, infection and inflammation of your bowel may get twisted, which bowel can. A vein ) because you will be given sips of fluid out imaging.... To blockages why a person can dramatically lower their risk of bowel obstruction some... Set up your own personal medication records, the cause find out why a person ’ s medical.! Percentage of all small-bowel obstructions able to reduce your risk to lower the risk of a bowel obstruction can inside! 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And may last for several weeks or months before seeing a doctor if any of the digestive... And procedures used to diagnose a bowel obstruction can cause a non-mechanical obstruction, but there are several different of. Moving through the bowels blockage in the medicine cabinet to deal with occasional constipation prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines natural. A small percentage of all cases experience intermittent constipation for a small percentage of all ages and genders get. He or she may listen for bowel sounds, or paralytic ileus and. So, does it matter what water you drink your personal circumstances research suggests that compounds in Guava extract... To your doctor will ask about your medical history as Crohn ’ s bowel.! Pseudo-Obstruction this rare condition causes symptoms that seem like an intestinal obstruction the risks of bowel obstruction are. Nausea, and a swollen belly the doctor will ask about your medical history some of intestines. 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If one was used and unsaturated fat are the most common cause of bowel with a stethoscope to a... May last for several weeks or months before seeing a doctor can use a stethoscope medically!
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