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Paralytic ileus is a situation in which there is temporary loss of bowel movement, which occurs mainly after surgeries in the abdominal region that have involved the intestine, resulting in the development of some symptoms such as constipation, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, for example.
Although often associated with abdominal surgery, paralytic ileus can also occur due to the presence of inguinal hernias or the use of some medications, and it is important that the cause is identified so that the most appropriate treatment is initiated to prevent the development of complications.
Paralytic ileus is most often related to abdominal surgeries due to the formation of fibrous tissue, however other situations that may favor the development of paralytic ileus are:
- Intestinal cancer;
- Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease;
- Colon twist;
- Inguinal hernias;
- Parkinson's Disease.
In addition, paralytic ileus can occur as a result of the use of some drugs such as narcotics, such as hydromorphone, morphine or oxycodone, and/or tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and imipramine.
It is important that the paralytic ileus is identified and the treatment started soon afterwards, because this way it is possible to prevent complications such as sepsis, which corresponds to a generalized infection caused by intestinal bacteria that are not properly eliminated, or intestinal obstruction, which can have several he alth consequences.Check out the consequences of intestinal obstruction.
Symptoms of paralytic ileus
The symptoms of paralytic ileus are related to decreased bowel movements, and abdominal pain, loss of appetite, constipation, swelling of the abdomen, bloating, nausea and vomiting may be noted.
In more severe cases, complications such as intestinal cell necrosis due to decreased blood flow at the site or perforation of the intestine, in rarer cases, which can cause an infection called peritonitis, which occurs due to increased blood pressure. proliferation of intestinal bacteria and which can increase the risk of generalized infection.
How the treatment is done
The treatment of paralytic ileus aims to treat the cause of the alteration and promote symptom relief. In some cases, the situation can be resolved without the need for any treatment, being only necessary to stabilize the person by administering fluids through the vein, inserting a nasogastric tube to aspirate the air and the liquid, which will help to relieve the abdominal swelling.However, if there is no improvement, the doctor should choose another treatment in order to prevent intestinal obstruction from occurring.
If it is a medication that is causing the problem, the doctor can stop taking that medication, or prescribe a medication that stimulates intestinal transit, such as metoclopramide or domperidone.
In case the obstruction is partial, that is, if some food and fluids continue to be transported through the intestine, it is only necessary to stabilize the person and follow a low-fiber diet, and a drug may also be prescribed to accelerate the intestinal transit.
In cases of total obstruction, or if treatment for partial obstruction does not work, surgery may be required to relieve the obstruction, remove a portion of the bowel, or even remove the entire bowel. In cases where the entire intestine is removed, it is necessary to perform an ostomy, which consists of creating a channel that connects the intestine to a kind of bag, through an opening in the abdomen, through which the feces are eliminated.