In most people, abdominal adhesions do not cause any symptoms. Adhesions that partially block the intestine from time to time can cause intermittent bouts of crampy abdominal pain.
More significant intestinal obstruction can cause the following symptoms:
Severe, crampy abdominal pain
Nausea and vomiting
Swelling of the abdomen (abdominal distension)
Inability to pass gas and absent or infrequent bowel movements
Signs of dehydration, including dry skin, dry mouth and tongue, severe thirst, infrequent urination, fast heart rate and low blood pressure
If the bowel becomes strangulated, people typically develop severe abdominal pain, which can be either crampy or constant. The abdomen is distended and tender when touched even lightly. People with a strangulated bowel usually also develop signs of systemic (body-wide) illness, such as fever, fast heart rate and low blood pressure.