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What Is Eosinophilic Enteritis?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Eosinophilic enteritis is a relatively rare medical condition that causes an elevated number of eosinophils, a specific type of white blood cell, to accumulate in the stomach or small intestine. Some of the most common symptoms of eosinophilic enteritis include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Weight loss, diarrhea, and abdominal bloating may also occur. This condition often occurs along with other illnesses, such as gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disturbances, or certain kidney diseases. Any questions or concerns about eosinophilic enteritis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

An eosinophil is a specific type of white blood cell that becomes active when the body is exposed to infections, allergens, or other disease processes. When these blood cells collect in the small intestine or sometimes the stomach, eosinophilic enteritis occurs. This symptom usually develops as a result of the presence of an inflammatory illness, although a direct cause is not always found. A blood test, accompanied by a physical examination, is usually all that is needed to accurately diagnose this condition, although a stool sample may sometimes be taken.

Symptoms of eosinophilic enteritis may vary from patient to patient and may depend on the severity of the condition as well as any underlying medical conditions. Abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea are among the most commonly reported symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss may also occur as a result of this medical condition.

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Certain gastrointestinal disorders are prone to leading to the development of eosinophilic enteritis. Inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis often lead to an abnormal collection of white blood cells in the small intestine. Certain infections, tumors, and food allergies may also contribute to the development of this problem.

Neurological issues, particularly infections involving the central nervous system, may cause eosinophilic enteritis to develop. In some cases, the white blood cells may collect in the blood and travel to various parts of the body. This may be the case in some brain surgery situations, especially if a drainage device known as a shunt is used.

Some kidney diseases may contribute to the development of eosinophilic enteritis. Infections, cystitis, and nephritis are particularly common contributing factors. Cystitis is a medical term used to describe the irritation and inflammation of the bladder, often caused by bacterial infections. Nephritis occurs when the spaces in the small tubules of the kidney become inflamed. This frequently occurs due to long-term medication use, especially in the case of antibiotic therapy.

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