Children with intestinal pseudo-obstruction experience bowel blockage symptoms without physical evidence of a blockage.
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract moves food from the mouth all the way to the rectum, absorbing nutrients along the way. This process relies on the coordinated effort between all the GI tract muscles and nerves to move the food through with contractions. When these contractions become altered and abnormal, the child’s body reacts as if there is a bowel blockage or obstruction. Even though the child experiences similar symptoms, there is no physical evidence of a blockage or obstruction.
Intestinal pseudo-obstruction can be present at birth (congenital) or appear following an illness.