Most intestinal infarctions happen when an artery, which carries blood to the small or large intestine, becomes blocked by a clot and prevents the passage of blood with oxygen to the places that are after the clot, leading to the death of that part of the intestine. and generating symptoms such as intense stomach pain, vomiting and fever, for example.
In addition, intestinal infarction can also happen in a vein in the mesentery region, which is the membrane that holds the intestine. When this happens, the blood cannot leave the intestine to the liver and, therefore, the blood with oxygen cannot continue to circulate in the intestine, resulting in the same consequences as an artery infarction.
Intestinal infarction is curable, but it is an emergency situation and, therefore, if there is suspicion, it is very important to go quickly to the emergency room, to confirm the diagnosis and start the appropriate treatment, in order to prevent a large portion of the intestine from be affected.
The most common symptoms of bowel infarction include:
- Severe abdominal pain that gets worse over time
- Feeling of bloating in the belly;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Fever above 38ºC;
- Diarrhea with blood in the stool.
These symptoms may appear suddenly or develop slowly over several days, depending on the size of the region affected by the ischemia and the severity of the obstruction.
That way, if you experience severe abdominal pain or it doesn’t improve after 3 hours, it’s very important to go to the hospital to identify the problem and start the appropriate treatment, as it could be an intestinal infarction.
How to confirm the diagnosis
To make the diagnosis of intestinal infarction, the doctor may order various tests such as magnetic resonance angiography, angiography, abdominal computed tomography, ultrasound, X-ray, blood tests and even endoscopy or colonoscopy, to ensure that the symptoms are not being caused by others. digestive tract problems, such as ulcers or appendicitis, for example.
How is the treatment done?
Treatment for bowel infarction may begin with percutaneous arterial catheterization and hemodynamic stabilization or may be performed with surgery to remove the clot and restore blood circulation to the affected vessel, in addition to removing the entire portion of bowel that was affected.
Before surgery, your doctor may stop taking medications that may be constricting your blood vessels, such as migraine medication to treat heart disease, and even some types of hormones.
In some cases, antibiotics may still be needed before and after surgery to prevent infections from developing in the affected intestine.
Sequelae of intestinal infarction
One of the most common sequelae of bowel ischemia is the need to have an ostomy. This is because, depending on the amount of intestine removed, the surgeon may not be able to reconnect the intestine to the anus and, therefore, it is necessary to make a connection directly to the skin of the belly, allowing the stool to exit into a small pouch.
In addition, with bowel removal, the person also has short bowel syndrome which, depending on the part removed, causes difficulty in the absorption of some vitamins and minerals, and it is important to adjust the diet. See more about this syndrome and what the diet should be like.
Possible causes of intestinal infarction
Although intestinal infarction is a very rare condition, there is an increased risk in people:
- Over 60 years old;
- With high cholesterol levels;
- With ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis;
- With Neoplasms;
- Who have had abdominal surgery;
- With cancer in the digestive system.
In addition, women who use the contraceptive pill or who are pregnant are also at a higher risk of clot formation due to hormonal changes, so they may develop a case of a heart attack in the intestine.
Always consult a doctor.
Verified by RJ985 – Brazilian natural medicine CMIO.org