Ischemic colitis

Ischemic Colitis: 14 Causes, Symptoms, and When To Go To The Doctor

A bowel Stroke or Ischemic Colitis is a condition in which some of the colon becomes inflamed and ulcerated due to the lack of oxygen-rich blood deficiency. Basically, all body organs require oxygen and nutrients that are carried in the bloodstream. If the blood flow is interrupted more than a few minutes, the cells start to die and the damage will occur in the organ.

A typical example looks like a heart attack. Cardiac arrest occurs when blood clots cause blockages in the arteries in the heart. Part of the heart muscle dies and is replaced by scar tissue.

Another example for most people is stroke, or brain attack. Stroke occurs when blood clots cause blockages in the arteries in the brain. This causes part of the brain to die and paralysis can occur.

Read also: Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Risk Factors, Causes, and Symptoms

What causes Ischemic Colitis?

Inadequate blood supply

Ischemic colitis causes

The work of all organs, including the intestines, can function normally if supported by adequate blood flow. However, when there is a blockage in the arteries of the colon, it can result in reduced blood supply.

This makes the colon not getting oxygen and enough food to be able to perform its function. If left unchecked, the condition will cause an Ischemic Colitis disease.

The blockage that occurs in the arteries is not always the same in every person. Certain things can result in the flow of blood, such as the accumulation of fat or plaque inside the artery walls. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.

In addition, the presence of blood clotting blocking arteries can also result in reduced or even stop of blood flow to the intestines. Usually, this blood clotting often affects arrhythmia sufferers. Low blood pressure (hypotension) due to heart failure, major surgery, and trauma can also trigger a decrease in blood flow.

Read also: Blood Clots In Stool: The Causes and How to Treat It

6 Medical Conditions

Ischemic colitis can either be a result from or related to other medical conditions such as the following on certain people:

  1. Increased levels of sugar or glucose in the blood (diabetes mellitus)
  2. Colon cancer
  3. Radiation therapy for stomach
  4. Protrusion of an organ or tissue into the surrounding tissues, mixed with arteries and veins supply blood to the intestines (hernia)
  5. Inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis)
  6. Rapid blood clotting (hypercoagulable state).

7 Drugs role

Certain medications may also cause ischemic colitis, although this is rare. Include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Some heart and migraine medications that shrink blood vessels
  • Hormonal drugs, such as estrogen
  • Antibiotics
  • Pseudo ephedrine
  • Specific medications for irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chemotherapy drugs


Symptoms of Ischemic Colitis may differ in each sufferer, according to severity.

The following are signs and symptoms of ischemic colitis, among others:

  1. Low fever
  2. Diarrhea accompanied by blood or pus.
  3. Vomiting
  4. Abdominal pain, or cramps, often localized to the lower left side of the stomach, pain can be sudden or gradual
  5. The feeling of defecation immediately, but the stool is hard to get out.
  6. Red-colored feces
  7. Nausea.
  8. The body is easy to get tired.
  9. A**nal pain.
  10. Weight loss.

Read also: The Causes of Frequent Bowel Movements

Sometimes the above symptoms can be felt lighter or not even show up at all for a few weeks or months. This condition is called the remission period.

The remission period can then be followed by the re-emergence of symptoms, called the relapse period. In addition to the above symptoms, Ischemic Colitis patients who are relapse can also experience other symptoms, such as:

  • Sprue
  • Red-eye
  • Pain and swelling of the joints
  • In severe cases, sufferers can experience the heart palpitations to shortness of breath.

When should you go to the doctor?

Seek immediate medical treatment if you experience severe and sudden abdominal pain. Abdominal pain that makes you very uncomfortable, so you cannot sit still or find a comfortable position is a medical emergency.

Contact your doctor if you experience any signs of worrying and symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea. Early Diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious complications.

Last Updated on April 18, 2020 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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