We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Mesenteric Ischemia?

By Nat Robinson
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The intestines are greatly supplied with blood from three major arteries known as the mesenteric arteries. When there is a blockage in one or more of these arteries, intestinal blood flow will lessen considerably or completely stop. Mesenteric ischemia is the name of the condition that occurs when this happens. The loss of intestinal blood circulation can lead to a life-threatening situation. As a result, individuals suspected to have mesenteric ischemia should get immediate medical help.

Mesenteric ischemia most commonly affects the small intestines. One cause of this condition can be atherosclerosis. With atherosclerosis, deposits of fats build up in one or more of the intestinal mesenteric arteries. This can cause the arteries to become narrow, which can greatly restrict sufficient blood flow. The deposits can eventually lead to a complete mesenteric artery blockage.

Sometimes a person can develop mesenteric ischemia due to a reason unrelated to the intestinal arteries. For instance, low blood pressure can be another cause of this condition. There are many reasons why a person may have low blood pressure. In many cases, heart disease can cause an abnormally low pressure. Individuals who go into shock and suffer from chronic illness such as kidney disease may also be more prone to a lower than average blood pressure.

The blood supply to the intestines may also be interrupted due to blood clots. It is possible for a blood clot from any part of the body to break away and journey through the blood. If the clot ends up in any of the mesenteric arteries, the blood flow of the entire artery could become compromised. As a result of the clots, mesenteric ischemia can develop.

One mesenteric ischemia symptom can be intense abdominal pain that may appear very suddenly. The pain may be followed by diarrhea. Some people with this condition may have bloody stools, vomit, develop a fever and have a swollen abdomen which may be very tender. There may also be a fever and a loss of appetite. Commonly, eating can cause many of these symptoms to occur, which may further lead to a disinterest in food.

A computerized tomography (CT) scan, an X-ray or a more invasive test such as an arteriogram may be performed to diagnose mesenteric ischemia. An anteriogram involves administering dye into the bloodstream to accurately identify an artery abnormality such as a blockage. To treat this potentially fatal condition, doctors may perform surgery to bypass a blockage or to remove a blood clot from the mesenteric artery. Some patients may have a stent placed in the artery to keep it open once the blockage is cleared. In addition, anticoagulants may be used to prevent further clots.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.