Duration of adbominal pain during a (partial or complete) bowel obstruction

How long does the pain last during bowel obstruction?
half an hour or less - 7.1%
between 0.5 - 2 hours - 7.1%
between 2 - 5 hours - 0.0%
between 5 hours and 1 day - 42.9%
more than 1 day - 42.9%

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 307
   Posted 1/20/2011 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
When you have a bowel obstruction (partial or complete), how long did the abdominal pain last before it finally goes away? I am just trying to educate myself and learn from others with similar experiences. My pain usually lasted half an hour or less. I am not sure if my pain was due to bowel obstruction.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 1/21/2011 3:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Mine lasts as long as the obstruction lasts, which is usually 2 or more days. Eventually, it moves but in the interim, I projectile vomit and writhe in pain. After the first 24 hours, I'm severely dehydrated and have to go to the ER for fluids.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/21/2011 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
My bowel obstruction pain is usually hours until I can get to the ER for pain meds and some relief.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease
Crohn's Disease for over 35 years. Currently on Asacol, Protonix, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 392
   Posted 1/21/2011 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
My vomiting is lasting for 10 - 12 hours. I too projectile vomit and in the end, when there's nothing left to bring up, I am still vomitting for hours. The pain is colic like and is going on in waves untill the blockage is gone. I am trying to drink a lot while vomiting, always afraid of getting too dehydrated. The day after I am also trying to drink much more than usual. I have never been to the ER with this. My GI specialist says it not at all neccessary. I am not sure what to think and do.
Diagnosed 07. Started 06/07 with prednisone, continued in 09/07 with LDN, Low Dose Naltrexone.
Combines LDN with a Low Dose Prednisone (from 10 mg and down), just for some weeks if flaring. Krill Oil and Probiotics. Gluten free diet.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 304
   Posted 1/21/2011 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
When I start vomiting I will lay down and try to manage it at home....unless the vomit is green in colour...that is intestinal fluid not stomach bile...thats when I go in and get the IV hookups and pain relief. If it doesn't start getting better by the time the IV is done(3-5hours) then I am booked in the hospital to stay until it does clear up, then I get to leave with a purse full of scripts the inflammation and infection. The pain for me can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days...depending if its a partial or full blockage.
Official diagnosis of Crohns in the TI summer of 2006 via CT scan

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 1/21/2011 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I have blockages from adhesions. When they happen, it can be anywhere from 12 hours to 5 or 6 days. The pain is pretty bad, but as long as I keep to clear liquids I usually don't end up vomiting. My doctor is OK with me staying home as long as I am keeping fluids down and able to handle the pain. But sometimes I have to go to the ER because the pain is just too much. And sometimes I can tell it isn't my "usual" blockage pain and I know I need to get it checked out. I don't recommend this approach to anyone who hasn't been dealing with blockages for years. Blockages are SERIOUS, and they can be fatal. My doctor and I have discussed this at length and we are both clear on what I can and can not handle at home and when to head to the hospital.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 1/21/2011 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
As long as I'm obstructed which is usually until I get to A&E to get IV steroids and fluids. If yours goes away after an hour or so you're not obstructed...

CD since 2002. In the middle of a flare up.
Currently on LDN, Omeprazole, Pentasa and Domperidone (when needed).

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 307
   Posted 1/21/2011 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for all who have replied.  I hope this poll can shed light on bowel obstruction for people who would like to know more about the topic/issue.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 1/22/2011 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had several partial obstructions over the years. I call them partial since I did not end up having surgery. In each case, the pain would build over a period of hours until either I couldn't take it anymore, or I started vomiting.

Pain lasted from 6 to 18 hours, depending on how stoic I was and the timing (one time I prevailed on my neighbor to take me in the afternoon, since I had started vomiting! Even though I brought a plastic bag with me, I still ended up messing up his truck. He was so kind about the whole thing...)

In every case, as soon as I made it to the ER, got either pain meds, compasine (anit-nausea), or if they tried to catch it on an xray (when it would mysteriously disappear - lol!) I was always a miracle cure. Drugs usually did the trick. One time my GI wasn't available, so his partner took care of me and insisted on an NG tube (YUK!) and it took 3 days for me to get out of there.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 1/22/2011 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had both partial and total blockage. I found out that the more fluid the better it helps with the intistines and getting things moving so I end up at the ER for IV as soon as I can get there it has kept me out of surgery twice. As far as the pain a couple hours to days.
diagnosed w/ crohn's 1995 , hospitalized 1999 blood loss 8 units recieved, perferated illuim 2000 Illostomy as a result. May 2010 to June 2010 emergency surgery for 3 hernias 1 pinched and blocking. Then another blockage then infection yes 3 surgeries. From then hospitalized for 4 times for blockages, infections and kidney stones. been on many meds and waiting for another hernia surgery.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 1/23/2011 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Just got discharged from the hospital this morning from a partial obstruction. I went into the ER Tuesday night, and was admitted Weds morning. I have a high tolerance to meds, so I usually need IV pain meds to get through it. I'm usually pretty dehydrated as well, so my doctor usually admits me to the hospital. This time they insisted on putting an NG tube in, but sometimes I don't have one.

I'm still having just a bit of pain, though not enough for it to be unbearable. I'll probably take pain meds the next day or so, then be fine.

Crohn's since 1997
Surgeries: 2 Bowel resections and appendectomy
Pulmonary Emboli & Pneumonia 2009
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Prozac, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, Aspirin, B12 shots
Gallbladder FINALLY being removed 11/5/10!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 529
   Posted 1/23/2011 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Before having surgery, I had partial obstructions on a regular basis (pretty much once a week or so). The pain would last around 24 hours for it (or at least the really intense blockage pain.. then it would go back to the normal bad pain I used to have). I usually am extremely nauseous and vomit pretty much non-stop as well, including if I drink water and any bile. VERY unpleasant. Fortunately it has been almost a year since I had surgery and I haven't had any since. Not sure if I have ever had a complete obstruction or not, because I only went to the hospital for an obstruction one time (never took pain meds for it either, I refused them.. I am crazy lol). I know that I get dehydrated as well though, I was pretty much always dehydrated though, because I was throwing up about 15+ times a day every day before my surgery
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