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Mesenteric ischemia
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Mesenteric ischemia

Diseases & Conditions A-Z

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DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Diseases & Conditions  
  • Anal itch
  • Appendicitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Colon polyps
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Diverticulitis
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Gallstones
  • Gas and gas pains
  • Gastritis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Heartburn/GERD
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Mesenteric ischemia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Jaundice in newborns
  • Nonulcer dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Reye's syndrome
  • Traveler's diarrhea
  • Wilson's disease
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Mesenteric ischemia is caused by an interruption in blood flow to all or part of the small intestine or the right colon. You're losing weight, but not because you want to. Lately you've avoided eating regular meals. That's because a short time after eating a meal, you end up with belly pain that lasts for an hour or two. And as the pain has become worse, the thought of eating is not at all appealing.

    It's possible you have a condition called chronic mesenteric ischemia - reduced flow of oxygen-rich blood to your gut.

    The cause could be accumulation of fatty deposits in some of your arteries (atherosclerosis), which narrows those arteries and restricts the amount of blood moving through them. When atherosclerosis affects the arteries supplying blood to your intestinal tract, it causes pain and makes it more difficult for your intestines to do their job.

  • atherosclerosis
  • Undetected, chronic mesenteric ischemia could lead to a life-threatening blockage of the blood supply to your gut. Fortunately, once chronic mesenteric ischemia is recognized, it can often be successfully treated.

    Risk factors

    Many of the risk factors for intestinal ischemia are those associated with atherosclerosis and clogging of the mesenteric arteries. These factors include:

    • Age (older than 50)

    • High blood pressure (hypertension)

    • Elevated levels of blood lipids or fats, including cholesterol, triglycerides or both

    • Smoking

    Your risk is also higher if you have a history of atherosclerosis that affects blood flow in other areas of your body, such as your heart (coronary artery disease), legs (peripheral vascular disease) or the arteries serving your brain (cerebrovascular disease).

  • atherosclerosis
  • coronary artery disease
  • high blood pressure
  • Other factors that can increase your risk of intestinal ischemia are low blood pressure, congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeats, hernia and previous abdominal surgery.

    Risk factors for ischemia due to mesenteric venous thrombosis are similar to those for deep vein thrombosis and can include long periods of inactivity — such as after surgery — obesity, certain types of cancer, birth control pills, smoking, and a history of high blood pressure or heart disease.

    When to seek medical advice

    Seek immediate medical care any time you have sudden, persistent abdominal pain. A delay in treatment may make successful treatment more difficult. Also, see your doctor if you have blood in your stool, or if you have chronic abdominal pain after eating, especially if you're also losing weight unexpectedly. There may be other more common causes of these signs and symptoms, but it's a good idea to seek prompt evaluation.

  • Abdominal pain

  • high blood pressure

  • Mesenteric ischemia > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 >

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    Related Site:

  • Anal itch
  • Appendicitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Colon polyps
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Diverticulitis
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Gallstones
  • Gas and gas pains
  • Gastritis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Heartburn/GERD
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Mesenteric ischemia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Jaundice in newborns
  • Nonulcer dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Reye's syndrome
  • Traveler's diarrhea
  • Wilson's disease
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
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    This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
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    Last Modified : 10/01/06 04:31 AM