Ischemic bowel disease is caused due to restricted blood supply in the intestinal portion. This article provides some information on about this disease, its causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Ischemic bowel disease is a chronic malfunctioning of the intestines, which is due to insufficient blood supply. In medical terms, this digestive system disease is referred to as ischemic colitis and is characterized by inflammation of the bowel, particularly the large intestine. As per the hospital data, one out of every 1000 people are diagnosed with this progressive bowel problem. Many people who have this condition are not aware about what it is.
This disease is listed as the most prevailing form of ischemia of the intestine. An individual diagnosed with this disease shows presence of constricted arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the intestinal portion. However, until date, no specific reason has been identified for its cause.
Any medical problem that restricts blood supply to the bowel can lead to this disease. Some of the possible risk factors for this bowel disorder are hypotension (low blood pressure), hypertension (high blood pressure), atherosclerosis, colon cancer, prolonged smoking, obesity, and side effects of medicines. Elderly people, who are above 50 years old, are at a higher risk of developing this problem, as compared to others. Thus, this medical condition is very uncommon in the general population, as a whole.
As this medical condition results from injury and damage of the intestines, it is apparent to experience unusual bowel symptoms. Majority of the affected people have reported inconsistent abdominal pain in the early stages. Further, these painful cramps worsen after having a large meal. According to some, pain and tenderness is severe in the lower left side of the abdomen.
Other symptoms are rectal bleeding, bloody stools, black stools, and abnormal bowel movements (constipation and diarrhea). As the disease progresses, abdominal cramps become frequent and more painful. In severe and advanced cases, this disease would cause life-threatening symptoms like organ damage, especially because of lack of oxygen and blood for an extant period. Thus, in case of any possible signs for this bowel disorder, it is best to undergo diagnostic methods as soon as possible.
Early diagnosis is difficult, as the symptoms are often confused with other medical conditions. For detection of this disorder, the doctor may examine the symptoms and medical history of the affected person. If necessary, stool analysis is done to check for presence of blood cells. The treatment for a mild occurrence would include bowel rest (for a specific period), diet management, smoking cessation, controlling weight and regular exercising.
If diagnosed in the early stages, it can be treated by advocating anticoagulant drugs and pain relieving medication. However, with this method, there are risks for recurrent onset of the discomfort and painful symptoms. A more effectual treatment involves angioplasty to repair the damaged blood vessels. For severe cases, the doctor may perform surgical procedures to remove the severely affected bowel portion. Though a good prognosis is rare with this medical condition, their symptoms can be combated with prompt treatment approaches.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.