A bezoar is a tightly packed accumulation of somewhat digested, or indigestible, material that’s having trouble passing through your intestinal maze. And these bezoars can sometimes cause an obstruction to your digestive process.
One notable obstruction site is where consumed hardball producers attempt to exit the stomach and dump into the small intestines through your pylorus. And if they do, then intestinal obstruction is a possibility
Bezoars may consist of foreign or edible substances, such as:
- hardened drugs ~ antacids
- fruit & vegetable fibers ~ cellulose
If a bezoar is composed of hair, it is referred to as a trichobezoar. If made up of vegetable matter it’s a phytobezoar. And trichophytobezoar contains both food and hair.
Causes of bezoars is chewing on hair or fuzzy materials. Or eating indigestible materials, a behavior known as pica.
Symptoms of stomach or intestinal bezoars involve:
- bloody stools
- gastric ulcers
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- bowel obstruction
- nausea & vomiting
And incessant vomiting can lead to dehydration symptoms as well.
A sharp swallowed object can perforate your stomach or intestines and any consequential leakage can cause symptoms of:
- severe abdominal pain
Such a leakage requires emergency medical attention because it can cause peritonitis.
Bezoar treatment may require surgical removal, especially trichobezoars because they tend to be large. Small bezoars may be treated by removing them with a scope placed through your mouth and into the stomach.
To help break down a bezoar, you may be instructed to treat it with cellulase or meat tenderizer. They are consumed as a liquid for several days.
The best treatment for intestinal obstructing bezoars is prevention. In other words, stop dieting on stuff that’s not edible nor digestible.