I don't think I ever had a blockage before except that one time after the colectomy. I'm dealing with a lot of gas pains and I'm on beano and gas x for this. I've been managing well but sometimes I try new foods and I get in pain. Today I feel gas pain but I'm not bloated at all. My belly is super flat and I'm worried about a blockage. How can I tell if it's gas or a blockage? What are the signs of a blockage? 

Original Post

NO, you are not on your own...

So, if it is gas pain, it generally goes away quickly, depending on what and how you eat, but if it is a blockage, occlusion, twist etc... (and depending on whether it is total or partial) you could have diminished output or no output at all, cramping like labor pains (in waves), nausea, vomiting (I always vomited up anything that I put into my mouth with a total occlusion...it would set off the peristaltic rhyme and just push everything back up (including pills)...partials are not quite so bad, you feel as if nothing is going down or through your system but you get some output and things do not come back up immediately (just occasionally)...Blockage can cause fevers, dehydration is one of the main dangers (along with necrosis if it goes on for too long) and you should go to ER if it lasts beyond 24hrs...or at least contact your doctor...

Gas is more variable, less dangerous and it does not stop the peristaltic rhyme nor does it prevent things from going through you. It can hurt like a knife, cramp or twist but does not prevent digestion of food or fluids...it can be caused by what you eat or what is eating you (bacteria) or something like pouchitis...it is not a reason to head for ER...but for both cases, walking, gentle rocking, heating pads and massage can help...

If it is pouchitis you may require a run of antibiotics but only your doctor can decide that.

I generally go onto a liquid diet for both bad gas and partial obstructions...full-blown obstructions get my attention quickly and can require the dreaded NG tube to get it to pass.

I hope that this helps a bit


I have only had  true blocks with the ostomy but I too thought I was experiencing a blockage with the j pouch twice when the gas became horrific and there was no output for hours. Both eventually passed and I think it was indeed gas. My go-to for all intestinal woes these days is chewable ginger which are indicated for nausea but I find they help me a great deal. Sometimes I wonder if it's a bit of a placebo, but really, do I care? There was no question with the ostomy blockages. They would always start with upper stomach gas but then the vomiting would begin. 

I hope you find relief. I often find pain scary.

Is it the candy, chewable ginger? I love those. I also take ginger from a tube and eat it by the spoon when I'm nauseous. Better than Zofran. 

Yes, either the chewable ginger lozenges (Gravol) or, my preferred, chewable by Rexall. They seem to  work for more than just nausea.

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