Ischemic colitis occurs when blood flow to part of the large intestine (colon) is reduced, usually due to narrowed or blocked blood vessels (arteries). The diminished blood flow doesn't provide enough oxygen for the cells in your digestive system.

Ischemic colitis can cause pain and may damage your colon. Any part of the colon can be affected, but ischemic colitis usually causes pain on the left side of the belly area (abdomen).

The condition can be misdiagnosed because it can easily be confused with other digestive problems. Ischemic colitis may heal on its own. But you may need medication to treat ischemic colitis or prevent infection, or you may need surgery if your colon has been damaged.

Oct. 13, 2015