Tue, May 14, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Fifty-year-old man in Yunlin County suffers ‘gut stroke’

By Huang Shu-li and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A man in Yunlin County was last month hospitalized after suffering bowel ischemia, a rare condition also known as a “gut stroke.”

Shen Tsun-yen (沈尊嚴), medical director at Shen Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, who treated the man, surnamed Sun (孫), said that X-ray and computed tomography indicated that a blockage in Sun’s mesenteric artery had restricted two-thirds of his vascular volume.

Sun, 50, was enjoying an evening meal at a restaurant with friends when he experienced severe abdominal pain and cold sweats.

His friends called an ambulance after they realized that he was unable to stand up.

The trigger was probably some surge of emotion during the meal, Shen said.

The early detection of the partial vascular blockage had probably saved the man’s life, as insufficient blood supply could have led to fatal necrosis of the intestines, he said.

Doctors administered blood clotting agents and painkillers to treat Sun, which alleviated the pain by the next morning, but Sun’s blood pressure remained high, he said.

Sun was told to exercise, quit alcohol and adopt a more regular sleep cycle, as he had been previously working long, late-night shifts, Shen said.

Bowel ischemia is a rare clinical condition that occurs when intestinal vessels harden and restrict blood flow, Shen said.

The condition is commonly seen in the elderly or people with high blood pressure, pre-existing cardiovascular disease, diabetes or obesity.

Keeping blood sugar and blood pressure levels low is important in reducing the risks of vascular blockages, while helpful habits include eating regular meals, avoiding deep-fried food, exercise and eating regular portions of fruits, vegetables and water, he said.

People who experience abdominal pain for unknown reasons should immediately seek medical assistance, he added.

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