Enteritis (en-tuh-RY-tus) is inflammation of the small intestine.
More to Know
The small intestine breaks down food so the body can absorb vitamins, minerals,
proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. When the small intestine becomes irritated and
swollen (inflamed), it's called enteritis. This sometimes happens along with inflammation
of the stomach (gastritis) and
large intestine (colitis).
There are many types of enteritis, including bacterial gastroenteritis, such as
Campylobacter enteritis, Salmonella enteritis, and Shigella
enteritis. Enteritis is usually caused by eating or drinking something infected with
a virus or bacteria. Other causes include radiation
therapy, certain medications and illegal drugs, and autoimmune conditions such
as Crohn's disease.
Enteritis can cause abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Treatment usually involves drinking fluids to prevent dehydration.
In rare cases, enteritis may be treated in a hospital with intravenous (IV) fluids.
Keep in Mind
Mild cases of enteritis may not need treatment, but always see a doctor about any
symptoms that concern you. In most cases, enteritis goes away on its own in a few
days. If symptoms go on for longer than that, seek medical care, as some bacterial
infections that cause enteritis can spread and lead to serious complications.
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