Home Digestive systemColon diseases Ischemic colitis: causes, symptoms and treatment

Ischemic colitis: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Ischemic colitis is a pathology of the digestive system in which a part of the large intestine is affected, more precisely the colon, since it becomes inflamed or injured due to temporarily receiving a lower blood flow, although in some cases, this blood shortage may be permanent.

This disorder is the most common type of intestinal ischemia, and its severity is variable which will depend on the caliber of the affected blood vessel. In its most important manifestation, ischemic colitis can cause necrosis of the colon with perforation of the organ and, in extreme cases, secondary peritonitis that can be fatal; however, sometimes, the disorder is so mild that it causes minimal symptoms, and the patient does not consult a doctor.

If you don’t know much about this disorder, at FastlyHealwe offer you all the information on ischemic colitis: causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Leading causes of ischemic colitis

Colon ischemia arises when the existing blood flow in the body decreases in the colon. Generally, this disorder is classified according to the underlying cause; for example, non-occlusive ischemia is caused by a decrease in blood pressure or the constriction of the vessels that supply the colon. At the same time, occlusive ischemia results from a blood clot or some other obstruction having cut off the flow of blood to the colon.

On the other hand, colitis can be caused by different disorders such as infections caused by viruses, parasites, or food poisoning by bacteria. In addition, this disorder may be due to necrotizing enterocolitis or pseudomembranous colitis; however, ischemic colitis will always be related to a lack of blood flow.

Ischemic colitis symptoms

The main symptoms of ischemic colitis vary depending on the severity of the pathology; however, the most common are the following:

  • Abdominal pain, usually on the left side
  • Mild or moderate rectal bleeding.
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever.

In colitis, there may also be chills, external blood pressure, dehydration, tachycardia, the urge to have constant bowel movements, abdominal distension, and discomfort in the area, which can be continuous or intermittent.

Risk factors for ischemic colitis

In most cases, the cause of decreased blood flow cannot be identified. However, some risk factors can facilitate the appearance of colon ischemia. Among them, it stands out that there is low blood pressure, a blood clot in an artery that supplies the colon, or an obstruction of the intestine.

On the other hand, abdominal surgery can also be a risk factor, as well as radiation treatments in the abdomen, use of cocaine or methamphetamine, the consumption of certain medications, or suffering from other pathologies, for example, sickle cell anemia, lupus or vasculitis, that is, an inflammation of the blood vessels.

Treatment for ischemic colitis

Ischemic colitis usually does not need treatment. It tends to heal over time; however, it is essential that underlying conditions are treated, such as fever or diarrhea that can cause dehydration, making it necessary to see a doctor and follow the guidelines indicated by him.

The specialist may recommend medications to help eliminate or prevent infections, intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration, and a diet based on the liquid, soft, or easily digestible foods.

On the other hand, he will probably advise eliminating drugs that constrict blood vessels, such as migraine pills, hormonal drugs, and some aimed at the heart.

If the colon is already damaged, the doctor will recommend surgical intervention. In this way, the dead tissue will be removed. Blood flow will resume, restoring intestinal function and thus preventing complications such as gangrene or intestinal perforation, conditions that become fatal if not treated in time.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Ischemic Colitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

You may also like

Leave a Comment