Are Adhesions Making You Sick?

Most of us have better things to do than spend our time sitting in the doctor’s office. However, most of us are willing to give up a little precious time in exchange for knowing we “check out” just fine. While a yearly checkup is an inconvenience, it is one that often puts our mind at ease. Illness, on the contrary, can be more than an inconvenience, especially where adhesions are concerned.

Internal scarring—medically termed—adhesions, is a natural healing occurrence in the body. Adhesions are the body’s response to infection, inflammation, trauma  (injury), or radiation treatment. Scar tissue forms at the site of injury. While most adhesions do not cause problems, this natural healing process can become completely debilitating when adhesions begin to fuse internal organs together. Tissues that were not designed to be connected, can gradually become entangled in a web of scar tissue that

begins to compromise organs. When this happens, symptoms result: pain, nausea and vomiting being the most common complaints. Adhesion formation that becomes problematic will result in the victim seeking medical help—unaware that a seven-to-ten year search for an answer to the mysterious pain may lie ahead—the average statistic for the unfortunate victim of adhesion related disorder

While adhesions usually present very specific symptoms, doctor after doctor often dismiss sufferers of this disorder. The patient becomes frustrated, as he or she is repeatedly told they are likely suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn, or a bad case of depression. Yes, as hard as it may be to believe, many sufferers are told that pain, nausea, and vomiting (and perhaps other symptoms) are a result of depression or stress. Since adhesions elude the eye of standard medical tests (x-rays, scans, etc.), and lab work returns as “normal,” many physicians quickly conclude the illness is psychosomatic The sufferer—dismayed and devastated—knows something within the body has gone awry, but every effort to get help is futile. (Diagnostic laparoscopy is the only definitive means by which adhesions are diagnosed).

Many sufferers whose problems arise after a surgical procedure may return to the performing surgeon and insist that new problems have appeared since the operation. Again, in most cases, adhesion sufferers are met with resistance. Since surgery is the number one cause of adhesions and studies show that most patients were not informed of the risk of adhesions prior to a surgical procedure, the doctor may withhold his or her suspicion that adhesions have developed.

According to, a leading biotechnology company, adhesions develop in 93% of patients following abdominal or pelvic surgery.  Furthermore, post-surgical adhesions cause up to 74% of bowel obstructions and are responsible for 20-50% of chronic pelvic pain.

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