Factors that may increase your risk of intestinal ischemia include:

  • Fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis) that reduce blood flow to the heart (coronary artery disease), legs (peripheral vascular disease) or the arteries serving your brain (carotid artery disease) can also reduce blood flow to the bowels. You have an increased risk of atherosclerosis if you are older than 50, if you smoke, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.
  • Blood pressure that is too high or too low.
  • Heart problems, such as congestive heart failure or an irregular heartbeat.
  • Medications, such as birth control pills and therapies that cause your blood vessels to expand or contract, including certain treatments for allergies and migraines.
  • Blood-clotting problems, including those associated with sickle cell anemia and anti-phospholipid syndrome.
  • Illegal drug use, including cocaine and methamphetamine use.
Aug. 17, 2012