Intussusception Symptoms | Causes | Treatments

Intussusception is basically a bowel obstruction. It typically happens in children between the ages of 1 year and 5 months. Male children are twice as likely to have Intussusception when compared to female children but it is not unheard of happening in older children and even adults.

Intussusception has many causes and most cases are actually diagnosed as idiopathic which means that the actual cause is unknown. Other cases show there are bacteria or a virus present that is causing the obstruction in the bowels to occur.

When present in children older than one year old and adults, Intussusception is more likely blamed on tiny tumors, otherwise known as polyps, instead of anything else. The traditional scenario of Intussusception in a child under one year old can be quite devastating to the body and to the longevity of the child suffering from it.

Serious complications are known to rise from untreated Intussusception because of the trauma the intestines have gone through. If left untreated, the infected intestine could die and that means it has turned gangrenous which is very serious. However, that is not the worst part because the intestine could rupture which would spill waste into the body causing infection, shock, sepsis and other serious possibly fatal conditions.

Symptoms of Intussusception

There are specific symptoms within infants that are suffering from Intussusception:

  • Constant crying that is instantly loud because of pain
  • While crying, the infant brings the knees up to the chest
  • Vomiting (typically unrelated to eating anything; it’s most likely bodily fluids
  • Those who miss the early signs will end up seeing something called a currant jelly stool, which is fecal matter with mucous and blood throughout it. This is a sign that the intestine may be on the verge or already has turned necrotic (dead, non-useable).
  • Fever

Treatment for Intussusception

The actual treatment is dependent upon the stage of Intussusception, severity and the amount of damaged caused. The easy treatment involves an enema but if perforation, or rupture, has occurred an enema would cause further damage. Surgery is the only other option at this point and with the right surgeon, all should be corrected quite simply.

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