Autoimmune Enteropathy

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Autoimmune Enteropathy is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks itself and irritates the lining of the intestine, causing severe diarrhea. This condition can cause a severe lack of fluids, which may require an IV, and can affect the patient’s ability to absorb food and vitamins. Symptoms may include: diarrhea, poor weight gain and weight loss, decreased urine output, frequent infections, blood in the stool, and skin rashes. There are several different types of autoimmune enteropathy, some of which may be linked with other diseases like diabetes and kidney disease. This condition occurs most in infants and young children, although it can affect adults as well. Physicians can diagnose this condition by using blood tests or endoscopies (tests that look at the stomach and small intestines), or doctors can sometimes diagnose this condition by looking at the family’s medical history. Treatment typically involves medications to suppress the immune system (so that it will stop attacking itself), special diets, and very rarely surgery.

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