Ischemic Colitis

Ischemic Colitis

This is the condition characterized by reduction in the blood flow towards the colon which is the part of small intestine mainly due to narrowing and obstruction of blood vessels. This leads to decrease oxygen supply to the cells of digestive tract.

  • Intense pain and tenderness on left side of abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Blood accompanied stool which could be bright red or marron red in colour. Blood sometimes come alone without stool
  • Urgency to defecate

Some risks increase the tendency of blood vessels to become blocked. Some of them are:

  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Hypotension associated with heart failure, some surgery, trauma or shock
  • Venous thrombosis
  • Hernia, scar tissues or tumor leading to bowel obstruction.
  • Colon cancer
  • Cocaine and methamphetamine usage

Some concerning complications are:

  • Gangrene
  • Perforation of intestine
  • Segmented ulcerating colitis
  • Ischemic structure

Diagnosis is done by detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of patient. Other tests and investigations include:

  • Ultrasound and CT scan of abdomen
  • Stool analysis
  • magnetic resonance angiography
  • Colonoscopy

Treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics are prescribed
  • To combat dehydration intravenous fluid is given
  • Avoiding medication that causes constriction of blood vessels.
  • Surgery is sometimes considered.
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