If you hear the word, “angina,” you probably think of pain that is associated with your heart. However, angina can also be used in reference to intestinal pain.
Bowel angina is postprandial intestinal or abdominal pain that occurs when you are not getting the blood flow that your mesenteric visceral needs. Bowel angina is intermittent abdominal pain that often takes place at a fixed time after you finish eating.
Fortunately, bowel angina is extremely rare. Women are affected by bowel angina three times more often than men. Most of the time it occurs in people who are over the age of 60.
There are other names that are used for bowel angina. It is also referred to as intestinal angina and abdominal angina.
To be truly accurate, bowel angina is not a disease. Bowel angina is a condition that is a sign or symptom of an underlying disorder or disease that is causing this condition. In fact, bowel angina may be the primary or hallmark sign or symptom of the underlying disorder or disease that is responsible for it occurring.
The thing that most often results in bowel angina is when your stomach and intestines are temporarily deprived of the amount of blood that they have to have in order for these organs to function like they should. Hardening of the arteries is almost always what causes this poor circulation of blood. Arteriosclerosis is the medical term that is used for hardening of the arteries.
Although it is rare, there are other things that can lead to bowel angina. Some of these are:
- Aortic coarctation (narrowing of the aorta, the main artery that leaves your heart)
- Carcinoid tumor (slow-growing form of neuroendocrine tumor)
- Antiphospholipid syndrome (disorder that causes blood clots in both veins and arteries).
There is one main risk factor for bowel angina. It is smoking. Smokers represent anywhere from 75 to 80% of all the people who are experiencing bowel angina.
While bowel angina may very well be the primary sign or symptom of the underlying disease or disorder that is responsible for it, the hallmark sign or symptom of bowel angina is disabling central abdominal pain that usually begins 10 to 15 minutes after you have finished eating. This pain usually increases in intensity until it gets to a plateau. After this, it slowly eases up several hours after eating.
At the start of bowel angina, this pattern of pain usually occurs only after you have eaten a large meal. However, after you have had bowel angina for a period of time, you begin to experience pain even after small meals. You begin to associate the eating of a meal with pain and discomfort.
Another sign or symptom of bowel angina is weight loss that can be quite significant. This is unintended weight loss that is due to you eating less food in hopes of avoiding the pain and discomfort.
You may be suffering from bowel angina. Bowel angina may be the hallmark sign or symptom that you are experiencing as a result of the underlying disease or disorder that is causing this condition.
Because of this, you may be incapacitated, unable to work and in need of financial help. You may have filed a claim for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits with the Social Security Administration for the financial help that you need.
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