Signs and symptoms of intestinal ischemia can develop suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic). Signs and symptoms may be different from one person to the next, but there are some generally recognized patterns that suggest intestinal ischemia.
Symptoms of acute intestinal ischemia
Signs and symptoms of acute intestinal ischemia typically include:
- Sudden abdominal pain that may be mild, moderate or severe
- An urgent need to have a bowel movement
- Frequent, forceful bowel movements
- Abdominal tenderness or distention
- Blood in your stool
- Mental confusion in older adults
Symptoms of chronic intestinal ischemia
Signs and symptoms of chronic intestinal ischemia can include:
- Abdominal cramps or fullness, usually within 30 minutes after eating, and lasting one to three hours
- Abdominal pain that gets progressively worse over weeks or months
- Fear of eating because of subsequent pain
- Unintended weight loss
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical care if you have sudden, severe abdominal pain. Pain that makes you so uncomfortable that you can't sit still or find a comfortable position is a medical emergency.
If you have other signs or symptoms that worry you, make an appointment with your doctor.