Abdominal adhesions :  Are you having Chronic Abdominal Pain?

Bands of scar tissue called abdominal adhesions develop between the tissues and organs of the abdomen. These tissue bands may cause organs to adhere to one another, which may result in a number of issues, such as discomfort, infertility, and intestinal obstruction.

The most frequent cause of abdominal adhesions is surgery. Any procedure that requires cutting through the abdominal wall increases the chance of adhesion formation.

Adhesion risk can be raised by abdominal inflammation, such as that brought on by Crohn’s disease or pelvic inflammatory disease. Receiving radiation to the abdomen may make adhesions more likely to form. Long-term conditions like diabetes and obesity can raise the chance of adhesion development.

Within the abdominal cavity, abdominal adhesions take the form of a beautiful tapestry. They arise when scar tissue between organs causes them to stay together, like fine threads. This elaborate weaving might happen as a result of operations, infections, or inflammation, resulting in a distinctive bodily landscape.

abdominal adhesions are a common problem. Up to 90% of people who have had abdominal surgery will develop abdominal adhesions. However, most people with abdominal adhesions will not experience any problems.

Causes of Abdominal adhesions

  • Inflammation: The lining of the abdomen can get damaged by inflammation, which can result in adhesions. Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and peritonitis are a few conditions that can irritate the abdomen.
  • Infection:  Additionally, infection may cause harm to the stomach lining, resulting in adhesions. Appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and peritonitis are among the illnesses that can infect the abdomen.
  • radiation treatment: Adhesions can form as a result of abdominal lining damage from radiation therapy. Abdominal cancers including ovarian and uterine cancer are frequently treated with radiation therapy.
  • dialysate intraperitoneal: The lining of the abdomen is used to filter the blood during peritoneal dialysis, a therapy for kidney failure. Adhesion risk may rise with peritoneal dialysis.
  • Congenital: Abdominal adhesions can occasionally be present at birth. This is typically brought on by a genetic condition or an issue with the abdomen’s growth in the womb.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a disorder where the lining of the uterus begins to protrude from the body. Adhesions may develop within the abdomen as a result of this aberrant tissue growth. The position and size of the endometrial implants may have an impact on the particular way that endometriosis-related adhesions form.
  • Abdominal adhesions can occasionally result after radiation therapy, which is used to treat malignancies of the abdomen or pelvic. Healthy tissues may be harmed by radiation, which can cause inflammation and subsequent scarring. The dosage, duration, and area targeted by radiation therapy may all have an impact on the particular manner adhesions form after radiation therapy.

Symptoms of abdominal adhesions

  • Abdominal adhesions can result in persistent or recurrent abdominal pain that might be subtle, cramp-like, or acute. It’s possible for the discomfort to be localized to one spot or more widespread throughout the abdomen. The organs or tissues affected, the size and location of the adhesions, and how the pain manifests itself differently can all affect how the pain feels.
  • Bowel blockage or obstruction: Adhesions can form bands of scar tissue that wrap around or constrict the intestines, causing either a partial or total bowel obstruction. Severe stomach cramps, bloating, constipation, vomiting, and the inability to pass gas or have bowel movements are just a few symptoms that may appear as a result of this. Depending on the location and severity of the obstruction, bowel obstructions can present itself in a variety of ways.
  • Adhesions that damage the gastrointestinal tract might result in episodes of vomiting or chronic nausea. Adhesions may prevent food and digestive fluids from passing through normally, which may cause a backup or reflux of stomach contents.
  • Infertility or reproductive problems: Abdominal adhesions that affect the reproductive organs, such as the ovaries or fallopian tubes, may be a factor in infertility, pelvic pain, or irregular menstruation. The particular structures impacted and the intensity of the adhesions may have an impact on how each reproductive symptom presents differently.
  • Pain: Abdominal adhesions can cause chronic pain in the abdomen, groyne, or pelvic area. The pain may be sharp or dull, and it may be constant or intermittent.
  • Bloating: Abdominal adhesions can cause bloating, which is a feeling of fullness or distension in the abdomen. Bloating may be worse after eating, and it may be accompanied by gas.
  • Constipation: Abdominal adhesions can cause constipation, which is a difficulty passing stool. Constipation may be accompanied by abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.
  • Inability to pass gas: Abdominal adhesions can cause an inability to pass gas. This can be a very uncomfortable and embarrassing symptom.
  • Vomiting and nausea: Abdominal adhesions can make you feel sick to your stomach. These symptoms could be brought on by an inflamed adhesion or a bowel blockage.
  • Fever : Abdominal adhesions might sporadically result in a fever. This typically indicates an infection or inflammatory condition.

It’s absolutely essential to note that some people with abdominal adhesions may not exhibit any symptoms at all, while others may endure severe and incapacitating symptoms. It’s crucial to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and management if you think you could have abdominal adhesions or are experiencing any unsettling symptoms.

Symptoms of abdominal adhesions

Natural remedies for Abdominal adhesions 

Natural treatments can help control symptoms and improve overall abdominal health, but they cannot dissolve or completely remove abdominal adhesions. It is important to remember that natural therapies should not be taken in place of professional care, but rather in addition to it. 

  • Dietary changes: Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats, which is anti-inflammatory, may help lessen inflammation in the body. Trans fats, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods should all be avoided. For some people, symptoms might be reduced by avoiding trigger foods, such as those that induce bloating or gastrointestinal distress.
  • Walking, swimming, or yoga are examples of low-impact activities that may assist to increase belly circulation and support a healthy digestive system. Additionally, regular exercise helps lower stress and improve general well being. Prior to beginning any fitness programme, you should get medical advice, especially if you have severe symptoms or a history of intestinal obstruction.
  • Bromelain: Research has revealed that the enzyme bromelain, which is present in pineapples, helps to dissolve scar tissue. It can be used topically as a cream or gel or ingested as a supplement.
  • Ginger: A natural anti-inflammatory, ginger can aid in reducing the discomfort and inflammation brought on by abdominal adhesions. It is available as a tea, in capsule form, or shredded for dietary addition.
  • Turmeric: Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of turmeric, another natural anti-inflammatory, in reducing discomfort and inflammation brought on by abdominal adhesions. It may be consumed as a supplement or included in meals.
  • Live bacteria known as probiotics are helpful for gut health. They may aid in preventing the development of abdominal adhesions by reducing inflammation and enhancing intestinal motility. Probiotics are available as supplements and in foods like yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut that have undergone fermentation.
  • Massage: Massage can help with pain management and circulation improvement, which may aid in the dissolution of scar tissue and adhesions.
  • Yoga: Stretching postures for the spine and abdomen may help to ease pain and increase flexibility.
Natural remedies for Abdominal adhesions

Treatment for Abdominal adhesions 

  • Non-surgical treatments: In some situations, non-surgical treatments may be used to treat abdominal adhesion-related symptoms. Physical therapy is one of these; it may include manual treatments, stretches, and exercises to help with mobility and pain reduction. In addition, some treatments, such anti-inflammatory ones or painkillers, may be administered to treat symptoms.
  • Abdominal adhesions can be removed or released using a minimally invasive surgical procedure called laparoscopic adhesiolysis. Small abdominal incisions are made, and specialized tools and a camera are used to view and carefully remove the attached tissues. Compared to open surgery, laparoscopic surgery often has shorter recovery times and less postoperative pain.
  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) : are a type of cell that may transform into numerous different types of cells, including cells that can heal damaged tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells are used in mesenchymal stem cell treatment. Clinical trials are being conducted to determine the safety and effectiveness of MSC therapy in people after it was demonstrated in animal models that MSCs can reduce the production of adhesions.
  • Therapy with platelet-rich plasma (PRP): PRP is a blood product with a high platelet content. Growth factors included in platelets can aid in tissue repair. In animal models, PRP therapy has been demonstrated to reduce the formation of adhesions, and clinical trials are currently being conducted to determine the therapy’s safety and effectiveness in people.
  • The application of hydrogels to the surface of organs and tissues is known as hydrogel treatment. By acting as a barrier between the tissues and organs and the surrounding tissue, hydrogels can aid in the prevention of adhesion formation. In animal models, hydrogel therapy has been demonstrated to reduce the formation of adhesions, and clinical trials are currently being conducted to determine the therapy’s safety and effectiveness in people.
  • Animal models have demonstrated the effectiveness of laser therapy in removing adhesions. Clinical trials are being conducted to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of laser treatment in people because it is still in the early stages of development.
  • Robotic surgery: In some instances, abdominal adhesions can be treated by robotic surgery, such as robotic-assisted laparoscopy. With this surgical technique, the surgeon uses robotic arms to carry out accurate and less invasive surgeries. Enhancing dexterity and vision during surgery with a robot enables careful dissection and adhesion removal.
  • Complication management: Complications from abdominal adhesions might occasionally include intestinal blockage or infertility. Such situations call for the right interventions. For intestinal obstruction, surgery may be required to remove the obstruction. Depending on the specifics of each case, assisted reproductive methods or specialized fertility therapies may be necessary for infertility caused by adhesions.
  • Surgery avoidance: If you can avoid surgery, your risk of developing abdominal adhesions will be lower.
  • Reducing tissue damage during surgery: If you do require surgery, your doctor can take precautions to do so in order to lessen the chance of adhesion formation.
  • It’s critical to take care of your incisions to help prevent infection. The likelihood of adhesion development can be increased by infection.

*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. Please consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation of your symptoms and appropriate treatment.

Author Information

Author Contribution: Reviewed by Dr. Ram Reddy, MD – General Physician, and Rajeshwar Rao, Pharm D.

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