Mesenteric artery disease is an uncommon but potentially serious condition that affects the blood vessels that supply your bowels. There are three main arteries that supply your bowels: celiac artery, superior mesenteric artery, and inferior mesenteric artery. The bowels comprise the segment of the gut that extends from the diaphragm to the anus.
The blood supply to the gut and vital organs like liver, spleen, and other essential glands associated with the digestive system form the mesenteric arterial system. Like blood vessels anywhere else in your body, the mesenteric arterial system can get disease due to buildup of plaque initiated by conditions like uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and smoking.
How do you know if you have mesenteric arterial disease?
Fear of food, pain in your tummy while or shortly after eating, and massive weight loss are some of the hallmark features of this condition.
What should you do if you suspect you have this condition?
Call your doctor. A special kind of ultrasound study that evaluates the blood flow in the different arteries can rule out this condition. A vascular doctor can provide more information.
Treatment focuses on management of medical conditions and targeting factors that lead to the disease, including stopping smoking and medical treatment of blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, a vascular surgeon may be able to perform a bypass or place a stent to take care of the blockage in the blood vessel.