Cells in our body need blood flow to maintain their function in a healthy way. Through the blood flow, oxygen and nutrients are transported into the tissues and the toxins are removed from the body. Ischemia means a decrease in blood flow. Ischemia is caused by a decrease in blood flow to any tissue or organ in our body. In blood vessels, there is not enough blood flow to maintain the function of the cells. Ischemia usually occurs in the heart and brain. All the tissues of the body need blood flow, ie oxygen, to function; therefore, ischemia can cause severe damage to the tissues, even stopping the functioning of an organ.
Ischemia can occur anywhere in the body. Heart attack and stroke can be caused by ischemia in both cases. Ischemia can also affect the intestines, resulting in abdominal pain, stool blood, and intestinal obstruction.
Why Is Ischemia?
Ischemia occurs because of insufficient blood flow to any tissue or organ in our body. Blood flow may be prevented by blood clots, or narrowing of blood vessels. Ischemia may be encountered due to the gradual thickening of the artery and narrowing of the artery, as in the arteriosclerosis. Trauma can also disrupt the blood flow. The most common causes of ischemia are;
- The presence of clots in the blood
- Inflammation of the blood vessels (Vasculitis)
- Arteriosclerosis (Atherosclerosis)
- Sickle cell anemia (a type of blood disease)
- Narrowing or obstruction of blood vessels carrying oxygen to the heart (Coronary artery disease)
- Narrowing or occlusion of blood vessels carrying oxygen from the heart (Peripheral artery disease)
- Ventricular tachycardia (some kind of heart rhythm disorder)
- Narrowing of vessels due to various reasons
- Very low blood pressure
- Congenital heart abnormalities
Ischemia Symptoms in the Heart
- Chest pain or pressure on the back, arms, shoulders, neck, chin or stomach
- Nausea without vomiting or vomiting
- Heart palpitations or heartbeat irregularities
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive sweating
- Excessive weakness
- Sweating in the palms
- Chest pain on the left side of the body
Symptoms of Ischemia in the Brain
- Visual problems (double vision, blur, loss of visual field, sudden blindness)
- Eyelid sagging
- Difficulty in memory, thinking, speaking, understanding, writing or reading
- Balance problems, walking difficulty and walking
- Mind blur
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Bladder control loss, as a result of urinary incontinence
- Difficulty in speaking, speech or inability to speak
- Loss of power in the arm or leg, difficulty in moving or inability to move
- Numbness in the arms, limbs, drowsiness
- Loss of muscle coordination
Symptoms of Intestinal Ischemia (Mesenteric Ischemia)
This condition, also known as visceral or mesenteric ischemia, occurs when there is not enough blood in the intestines. It can affect the small intestines, large intestines and in some cases both. Intestinal ischemia is a serious condition that causes severe pain and loss of intestinal function. Symptoms of intestinal ischemia include;
- Severe abdominal pain
- Finding blood in stool
- Abdominal swelling
- Pain in the abdomen after a meal
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Unintentional weight loss because the person does not want to eat to avoid pain
Mesenteric Ischemia Treatment
In case of intestinal ischemia, the patient may be prescribed medications and anticoagulants called thrombolytic agents to prevent the formation of blood clots, to dissolve them or to expand blood vessels.
Ischemia Symptoms in the Legs
- Coldness and weakness in the legs
- Foot, leg pain
- Bright, smooth skin on your legs and feet
- Living leg pain even while resting
- The presence of non-standing wounds on the leg
Ischemia Symptoms in Other Areas of the Body
- Signs of ischemia in other parts of the body may include:
- Bloody stool (may be red, black, or tissue in the blood)
- Abdominal discomfort during meals
- Pain in leg while walking or climbing stairs
- Nausea without vomiting or vomiting
- Wounds that do not heal on the skin
- Skin changes
The aim of ischemia treatment is to restore blood flow back to normal. Ischemia treatment varies depending on the cause of ischemia and the organ in which it occurs. For the treatment of ischemia in the heart, sudden subcutaneous heart ischemia may cause the drug sublingual glyceryl trinitrate drug. With the help of the defibrillator, the heart rate can be regulated. The doctor may recommend aspirin or other blood thinners to prevent the formation of blood clots. Beta blockers, cholesterol lowering drugs, nitroglycerin, calcium channel blockers, etc., depending on the severity of the condition may be included in the treatment by your doctor. If surgery is required, the doctor may find it suitable to wear a stent to the heart.
The treatment of brain ischemia depends on the cause of this condition. For example, if ischemia occurred in the brain due to a blood clot, then treatment is treated with anticoagulants such as warfarin or heparin, ie anticoagulants.
What Is Ischemic Stroke And Ischemia Attack?
Ischemic stroke is called the ischemic attack. The blood supply to the brain, which causes blood flow to the brain, is caused by narrowing or obstruction of the vein and blood flow.
Causes of Ischemic Stroke (Ischemic Attack)
Ischemic stroke occurs as a result of the development of blood clots in the blood vessels that provide blood to the brain or the progression of clots that occur in other parts of the body from the veins to the brain. These clots slow the blood flow in the brain, resulting in mental problems and paralysis. Generally, a pre-existing condition, such as arteriosclerosis, may lead to a desirable stroke of bad cholesterol accumulation in the blood.
What Causes Ischemic Stroke?
- Difficulty in swallowing and eating
- Urinary tract infection
- Heart attack
Ischemic Stroke Symptoms
- The weakness and numbness of the face, arm or leg occur especially on one side
- Mind blur, difficulty speaking, making meaningless sentences
- Difficulty in balance, walking and coordination
- Vision problems in one or two eyes and sudden dizziness
- Severe headache
Ischemic Stroke Diagnosis and Treatment
Ischemic stroke can be detected by MRI or CT scan and ECG. Because ischemic stroke is caused by blood clots, TPA is treated by means of drugs that rapidly break down clots called thrombolytic.