If you have ever felt extremely constipated that you were unsure of how to describe that horrible and painful feeling? Extreme cases of constipation are called obstipation. This form of constipation is otherwise known as obstructive constipation, hence the name obstipation.

This type of medical issue usually occurs when the body’s intestinal organs do not perform their duties to get rid of stool. This type of issue will present itself with various signs and symptoms that can easily be treated by a medical professional. It is important not to ignore the symptoms of obstipation as that they can increase into a more serious problem.


Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut winner to what causes obstipation from occurring. When you combine some of the causes from constipation such as lack of exercise, medicine use, low-fiber diet and irritable bowel syndrome with the causes of obstipation then you are in for a messy time. Some of the causes of obstipation are listed below:

  • Change in travel: This can mean changes in altitude or jet-lag from flying across different time zones.
  • Tumor: An unwanted mass on an organ.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: This occurs when the small intestines and colon become inflamed at the same time.
  • Blocked colon: An unfortunate strangulation of the colon can lead to obstipation.
  • Adhesion: This is when scar tissue is formed around the abdomen, not allowing organs to function properly.
  • Gallstones: The presence of cholesterol gall stones and pigment stones can cause obstipation.
  • Blocked sections of the small intestine such as hernias
  • Volvulus: This is an unfortunate bowel obstruction that causes ischemia.
  • Hirschsprung’s disease: This disease is when part or most of your colon does not function properly.
  • Not enough water intake

Signs and Symptoms

While it may not be fun to be constipated, a further look into your symptoms may be a way to help distinguish constipation from obstipation. Below is a list of symptoms that are common with obstipation.

  • Painful crampsObstipation
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Bowel sounds
  • Constipation
  • Hard stools
  • Bloody stool
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Sepsis


While it can be possible to self-diagnosis, it is better for a doctor to confirm results of obstipation. Some of the tests doctors can perform are:

  • Blood TestsObstipation
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Colonoscopy
  • Bowel Test
  • Ultrasound
  • Barium Enema


If you prefer the old-fashioned remedies, then look no further than the homemade remedies listed here. Increase your intake of foods with lots of fiber. Some of the high fiber foods that are available in supermarkets are oranges, beans, almonds, wheats, broccoli, green vegetables and fiber cereals. Just remember not to overdo it with the increased fiber because you may be back to where you started with obstipation. Increase your fluid intake to more than 3 liters a day. Fluids do not only have to be water, but prune, apple and plum juices are sure to help naturally regulate your colon. Increase your exercises. Don’t skip out on a morning walk in the park because you are too tired. By moving around and exercising, you are increasing the blood flow to your heart and other organs.

If you prefer the new age of medicine, then refer to a doctor’s opinion on things to take to improve or “cure” obstipation. Sometimes obstipation does not go away on its own and doctors need to “surgical” intervene. Treatments such as nasogastric suctioning can be an option for doctor to increase a tube through the nose suction out any unwanted materials. If nothing helps relieve the pain or remove the stool, then it will have to be manually removed. A colonoscopy can be performed to relieve pain and take a better look at the situation down under. Medications for the relief of pain and reduce the symptoms of obstipation are sorbitol, laxatives and narcotics.

Obstipation Prevention

The best way to prevent obstipation from occurring or reoccurring is by eating a healthy diet that is full of fiber, do not skip out on bowel movements and drink fluids often. Stick to the prevention methods mentioned in this article and your body will be well on its way to a healthy and happy life.