Video: How to Help Clear an Intestinal Blockage

Laura Cox
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
03/02/17  12:20 PM PST

An intestinal blockage, also known as a bowel obstruction, is what occurs when the intestine is twisted, swollen, there is a lot of scar tissue present in an individual’s abdomen, or there’s food lodged in the intestine that does not allow output to empty from the body.  In this video, Shield HealthCare’s Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist discusses tips to help clear an intestinal blockage. In this video, she talks specifically about:

  1. The symptoms of an intestinal blockage
  2. What you should do if you have an intestinal blockage
  3. When you should go to the emergency room, and
  4. What will happen when you get there

Laura also discusses how to prevent intestinal blockages, as well as the process of recovering from them.

Note: When unsure of whether or not you should go to the emergency room, always make the safe choice and go. They can asses you there.

You can find a written article about intestinal blockages, written by Laura, here.

For more information, see related articles and ostomy resources here:

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I had emergency ostomy surgery last march. I have a peristomal hernia the size of a breast. Is that normal?
Unfortunately, hernias can often occur following ostomy surgery.
We definitely recommend speaking to your surgeon about the issue, but additionally ...

Recent OstomyLife


  1. Posted March 9, 2017 at 10:11 pm PDT

    Hi Laura!
    I’ve enjoyed your videos and articles. I’m so glad you have this position with Shields.
    I have an ileostomy due to UC, like you. I’ve had many obstructions.
    I just watched your video on intestinal blockages. Good job! I just want to mention one thing, which may relieve anxiety about the ER for some.
    I experience agonizing pain. When I get to the ER they set up an IV for the saline solution. BUT VERY IMPORTANTLY they also put morphine into the IV. The pain relief is immediate.
    They do this before the scan or X-rays.
    Thank you,

  2. Posted March 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm PDT

    I’ve had my ileostomy for almost 39 years and thankfully the blockages have been few and far between. Many years ago a surgeon recommended mineral oil to help if I encountered a blockage. It’s a tasteless, colorless and odorless intestinal lubricant and I always keep a bottle of it at home. At the first inkling of a possible blockage I’ll take a few swigs and it seems to work. Also, ans this is not for the squeamish, I’ve squirted a little water into the stoma using a baby enema. Just a few tips that come with experience.

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