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Ischemic Colitis

  My wife was diagnosed with ischemic colitis. No cause was determined. Since IC is associated with reduced blood flow to the colon, can any or all the below possibly help prevent reoccurrence of the problem?
  1) Aerobic exercise
  2) Ginko biloba
  3) Elevating the head during sleeping
  4) increased intake of fluids
  5) increased oxygen levels
Dear Jack Barnett,
In most patients with ischemic colitis, the precise cause of colonic ischemia cannot be established. Some contributing factors include: colonic obstruction (diverticulitis, stricture, cancer), interruption of the blood supply to the colon during surgery (most common), low blood pressure, dehydration, congestive heart failure, volvulus (twisting of the colon), abnormal heart rhythm, radiation and polycythemia. Medications such as cocaine, ergotamine, estrogen, amphetamine, digitalis, methysergide, vasopressin and oral contraceptives may also cause ischemic colitis. Some patients with ischemic colitis have enterohemorrhagic E. coli infectious colitis. Recurrent episodes of colonic ischemia occur in <10% of patients. If possible, attempts should be made to correct or remove the underlying conditions described above that can predispose to the development of ischemic colitis.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
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