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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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What is bowel obstruction i have been throwin days only have

Customer Question

what is bowel obstruction i have been throwin for 4 days only have pain in the stomach
just before i upchuck no pain anywhere else and no fever been 16 hrs since last episode bile in vomit did not have feces odor
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

A bowel obstruction is not a single disease, but a complication of many different diseases. Any condition that causes such a tight area in the intestine that the contents cannot pass will be referred to as a bowel obstruction. There actually can be either a complete obstruction, in which nothing is getting through the tight spot, or a partial obstruction, in which there is a small amount of passage.

When there is a complete obstruction, there is severe nausea and vomiting. Even if you do not eat, there are liquids released by the stomach and other organs in the upper GI tract. Since nothing is getting through the area of obstruction, there is only one other way that these liquids can leave the body, and that is by nausea and vomiting. As I said, this is quite severe and you would not go 16 hours between episodes of vomiting. There also typically is severe pain, as the gut is contracting hard to try to push the contents through the area of obstruction. With a partial obstruction, the symptoms may be slightly less, but it is usually still significant nausea vomiting, and pain.

Since you are not having pain and you can go up to 16 hours between vomiting, this is not the typical presentation for a bowel obstruction.

The symptoms that you describe is most often due to a viral infection of the gut, called a viral gastroenteritis, which is the most common cause of nausea and vomiting that has been lasting a short time, with or without abdominal pain. There are many other possible causes of nausea and vomiting, such as liver or gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, gastritis, but it would require further evaluation to determine whether these other conditions are present. Since a virus is most common, it is reasonable to manage this as a viral infection initially and see if the symptoms improve spontaneously. The usual approach would be to limit oral intake to clear liquids and to take a medicine to ease the nausea and vomiting. The better medicines for nausea and vomiting are only available by prescription, but the best medicines that are available over the counter for vomiting are the medicines that are marketed for motion sickness, such as meclizine and dimenhydrinate. If the symptoms persist despite these home interventions, then it would be appropriate to be seen.

So, your symptoms are not worrisome for a bowel obstruction, but would most likely be from a viral infection, and using the home interventions noted above would be reasonable.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance.

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