Ischemic colitis, which is inflammation of the large intestines, is caused when limited blood flows to the large intestines due to blocked arteries or narrowed blood vessels, causing pain, colon damage, and insufficient oxygenation for digestive cells. Ischemic colitis, most common in adults older than 60 years of age, is often confused with other digestive issues. Unfortunately, a correct diagnosis can be critical, especially if you have an infection or your colon has been damaged.
There are two types of ischemic colitis. The first is an acute condition caused suddenly by a blood clot requiring immediate medical attention. The second is chronic caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Long-term ischemic colitis may resolve itself with proper changes to your diet and medications.
Patients with the following conditions have an increased risk of developing ischemic colitis:
Congestive heart failure
Low blood pressure
Damage to the aortic artery
Taking medications that have constipation as a side effect
Common symptoms of Ischemic Colitis
Ischemic colitis can cause a variety of painful conditions. Almost all patients report they have mild abdominal cramping and pain, stomach cramps, minimal blood in the stool, pain after eating, diarrhea, vomiting, an urgent need to defecate, and belly tenderness. Because these symptoms can be common with other conditions it is important to seek medical attention and get an accurate diagnosis.
Medical tests to diagnosis ischemic colitis include a Doppler ultrasound or CT to view the intestines and the corresponding blood vessels, a mesenteric angiogram which captures images of the arteries to determine if there is a blockage, and a blood test to count the white blood cell levels and the blood acid level.
Winning SSDI benefits for Ischemic Colitis
The Social Security Administration awards SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to claimants who have a severe condition which is expected to last for 12 continuous months and does not allow the claimant to perform substantial gainful activity. Claimants must also have sufficient work credits to be considered insured for SSDI.
The first step if you have ischemic colitis is to get proper medical care. The SSA will review your medical records to determine the severity of your condition and whether they believe you cannot work.
Is my condition on the SSA Listing of Impairments?
Assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI benefits, the SSA will first gather your medical records and determine if your condition is listed on the SSA listing of Impairments. Digesting conditions are evaluated under 5.00 Digestive System.
Although ischemic colitis is not specifically listed it may be possible to prove the severity of your symptoms and conditions meets a listing. If not, the SSA will determine through a medical vocational allowance if you should receive SSDI. Specifically, the SSA will review your age, work history, transferrable work skills, and educational background and determine if they believe you could continue to perform your current job or retrain for new work. Older claimants will have an easier time winning benefits through this process.
Talk to a lawyer if you have questions about your ischemic colitis and whether it is severe enough to win SSDI.