Factors that may increase your risk of intestinal ischemia include:

  • Buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries (atherosclerosis). If you've had other conditions caused by atherosclerosis, such as decreased blood flow to your heart (coronary artery disease), legs (peripheral vascular disease) or the arteries serving your brain (carotid artery disease), you have an increased risk of intestinal ischemia. Being older than 50, smoking, and having high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol increases your risk of atherosclerosis.
  • Blood pressure problems. Having blood pressure that is too high or too low increases your risk of intestinal ischemia.
  • Heart problems. Your risk of intestinal ischemia is increased if you have congestive heart failure or an irregular heartbeat such as atrial fibrillation.
  • Medications. Certain medications may increase your risk of intestinal ischemia, including birth control pills and medications that cause your blood vessels to expand or contract, such as certain allergy medications and migraine medications.
  • Blood-clotting problems. Diseases and conditions that increase your risk of blood clots may increase your risk of intestinal ischemia. Examples include sickle cell anemia and anti-phospholipid syndrome.
  • Illegal drug use. Cocaine and methamphetamine use have been linked to intestinal ischemia.
Aug. 15, 2015