What are the symptoms of paralytic ileus?

Symptoms of paralytic ileus primarily affect the gastrointestinal system and include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal fullness and distension (bloating), stomach pain and spasms, and constipation.

Common symptoms of paralytic ileus

Symptoms of paralytic ileus primarily affect the gastrointestinal tract and include:

  • Abdominal swelling, distension or bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Gas
  • Lack of bowel sounds
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Stomach pain and spasms

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

Paralytic ileus can be a serious condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, the following symptoms including:

  • Inability to eliminate feces or pass gas
  • Severe abdominal pain, spasms and swelling

What is paralytic ileus?

The bowel, or intestine, is the part of the digestive tract that absorbs nutrients from foods we eat. The residue of digested food passes through the bowel and is excreted during elimination, the final stage of digestion. This process can be interrupted or halted by the presence of a bowel obstruction, a blockage that prevents the passage of intestinal contents, such as feces and fluid.
Read more about paralytic ileusintroduction


What causes paralytic ileus?

A bowel obstruction occurs when there is a blockage that prevents the passage of intestinal contents. Paralytic ileus is the occurrence of an intestinal blockage in the absence of an actual obstruction. Paralytic ileus is caused by malfunction of the nerves and muscles in the intestines that impairs movement and digestion.

Causes of paralytic ileus include electrolyte imbalances, ... Read more about paralytic ileuscauses


How is paralytic ileus treated?

Treatment of paralytic ileus begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider, who will likely admit you to the hospital for treatment. Treatment usually involves placing a tube through the nose or stomach to alleviate the symptoms.

Treatment to relieve the swelling or distension

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 7, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System

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