An ileus is either a complete or partial blockage of a portion of either the large intestine or the small intestine, or in some cases, both. This condition is not caused by a physical blockage. Instead, it occurs due to peristalsis, a condition in which the intestinal muscles cannot contract properly. Therefore, waste materials are not able to be pushed through the intestines for release by the body. Ileus treatment options include dietary changes as well as medical and alternative therapies.
Common causes of the development of an ileus include abdominal infections, such as appendicitis, as well as any abdominal surgery in which the intestines are handled by the surgical team. Kidney disease can also lead to this condition, especially when potassium levels have been decreased. Symptoms include abdominal pain and swelling as well as constipation or even diarrhea. The patient may also have difficulty when trying to pass gas or moderate to severe nausea or vomiting. A medical professional should be consulted when these symptoms develop so that proper ileus treatment can begin.
The most aggressive type of ileus treatment requires a stay in the hospital. The patient is not given anything by mouth and is placed on complete bed rest. A tube is placed either in a vein for intravenous feeding, or a nasogastric tube is used. This type of feeding tube is placed in the nose. It then extends down the esophagus and into the stomach where nutrients can be directly introduced to the body. This method is primarily used when extreme nausea and vomiting are present.
In cases where there are no real complications, ileus treatment can be done from home. Nutritional therapy is often very useful for this condition. It helps to have blood work done before this type of ileus treatment begins, as this will reveal any electrolyte imbalances, such as potassium deficiencies. Drinking plenty of fluids is extremely beneficial, as this can help the bowels begin to move properly as well as helping to ensure more comfortable bowel movements. Limiting the amount of food intake while imbibing fluids often helps immensely with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Prescription medications are sometimes prescribed in order to attempt to help the intestines regain proper muscle movement. As long as the ileus is not causing medical complications, some people have had success with advise given by homeopaths as well as practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine. It is important to always consult a doctor before employing any type of alternative therapy.