Distal Intestinal Obstruction Syndrome (DIOS)
What is distal intestinal obstruction syndrome?
Distal intestinal obstruction syndrome (DIOS) involves blockage of the intestines by thickened stool. DIOS is similar to constipation in that there is a back-up of stool in the digestive tract. However, it differs from constipation in that the back-up of stool is higher up in the intestines.
What causes DIOS?
In individuals with cystic fibrosis, mucus builds up along the intestinal tract, slowing down the emptying of food. This results in the build-up of stool behind the mucus-filled area, causing a blockage.
DIOS may also be triggered by:
- Frequently missed enzymes
- Not enough fluid intake, especially when exercising and in warmer weather
What are the symptoms of DIOS?
DIOS can cause painful abdominal cramping and stomach aches.
Other symptoms include:
- Fewer bowel movements
- Feeling of fullness accompanied by diarrhea
How is DIOS treated?
DIOS is usually treated by flushing the system with prescribed laxatives or by drinking a special liquid solution over an eight-hour period.
How can DIOS reoccurrence be prevented?
People with cystic fibrosis who experience DIOS may be able to prevent it from recurring by:
- Eating regularly
- Taking enzymes regularly
- Drinking plenty of fluids
Some individuals may benefit from taking prescribed medication to regulate bowel movements.
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