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National Health Observances

Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction

Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction (CIP) refers to a group of rare motility disorders characterized by persistent signs and symptoms of intestinal blockage in the absence of any physical blockage. In those with CIP, nerve or muscle problems cause the small and/or large intestine to lose the ability to contract and/or push food, fluid, stool, and air through the gastrointestinal tract.

CIP shares many symptoms with more common GI disorders which, combined with many physicians’ unfamiliarity with CIP and the complexity of diagnostic testing, results in what is often a difficult and delayed path to proper diagnosis.

CIP has a variety of different causes and ranges greatly in its severity. Treatment focuses on symptom management and meeting nutritional needs and can be immensely challenging. Despite utilization of the best available interventions, CIP can have a devastating impact on quality-of-life for patients as well as their families; in rareĀ instances complications related to CIP itself or necessary treatments can even be life- threatening.

CIP Symptoms

Symptoms of CIP include:

  • Abdominal Distention/ Bloating
  • Abdominal Obstructions/Blockages
  • Early Satiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Constipation
  • Weight Loss
  • Chest Pain/Esophageal Spasms (may feel like a heart attack)
  • Decreased or no Bowel Sounds
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Poor Appetite
  • Malabsorption
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea (less common)
  • Poor Growth and/or Development (children)

It is not unusual for those with CIP to have other portions of the GI tract also affected; this may include Dysmotility in the esophagus and/or stomach (Gastroparesis) and, for some, includes problems with bladder emptying as well.