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Mesenteric ischemia (Mez-un-TER-it is-KEE-me-uh) is a condition that occurs due to narrowing or blocking arteries. This restricts the blood flow into the small intestine. 

A decrease in blood flow can cause permanent damage to the small intestine.

acute mesenteric ischemia is a condition that develops due to sudden loss of blood supply due to the formation of a clot. immediate surgery is required in these cases. chronic Mesenteric ischemia is that which develops over time and is treated with angioplasty or open surgery. If left untreated, this chronic mesenteric ischemia can turn into acute ischemia. This can lead to weight loss and malnutrition.

Acute mesenteric ischemia

Following are the Signs and symptoms of the acute form of mesenteric ischemia :

  •  Severe and spontaneous abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • constipation
  • Nausea 
  • vomiting

Chronic mesenteric ischemia

Followings are the Signs and symptoms of the chronic form of mesenteric ischemia :

  • Pain in the abdomen starts about 30 minutes after eating
  • Pain worsens over one hour
  • The pain usually goes away within one to three hours

In case of sudden pain in the abdomen which is severe, medical attention is required. This kind of pain usually starts after eating. If you are experiencing any such symptoms, consult your doctor.

Both acute and chronic mesenteric ischemia is caused by a decrease in blood flow to the small intestine. Acute mesenteric ischemia is most commonly caused by a blood clot in the main mesenteric artery. The blood clot often originates in the heart. The chronic form is most commonly caused by a buildup of plaque that narrows the arteries.

 acute mesenteric ischemia can lead to various complications if not treated timely. Some of the complications are:

  • Sepsis. It is a life-threatening condition and is caused due to the chemicals released by the body into the bloodstream to fight infection. This condition is caused due to overreaction of the body to the chemicals. It leads to a series of changes that can cause multiple organ failures.
  • Irreversible bowel damage. Reduced blood flow to the bowel can cause permanent damage to some parts of the bowel.
  • Death. Both of the above complications are life-taking. 

Complications that can occur due to chronic mesenteric ischemia are:

  • Fear of eating: pain usually occurs after eating, some patients develop a fear of eating 
  • Unintentional weight loss. This occurs because of the fear of eating.
  • Acute-on-chronic mesenteric ischemia. If not treated on time Symptoms of chronic mesenteric ischemia can worsen leading to the acute form of the disease.
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