Enteritis is defined as inflammation of the small intestines. There are cases where the inflammation involves the stomach and large intestine.
What are the signs?
The indications of enteritis can arise a few hours up to days after being infected. The usual signs include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Pain, bleeding or mucus-like drainage from the rectum
- Abdominal pain and cramping
What are the types?
- Infectious – this is the most prevalent form brought about by food poisoning. It can be acquired by ingesting water or food contaminated by bacteria.
- Radiation – this can occur after radiation therapy. The condition develops if the normal intestinal cells are damaged by radiation and end up inflamed.
Management of enteritis
In mild cases of enteritis, it typically subsides in just a few days and does not require medical care. Those with diarrhea should restore the fluids lost.
If the fluids could not be restored, rehydration with electrolyte solutions is generally suggested by the doctor. These solutions are mainly comprised of water and essential electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. In severe cases, intravenous fluids, medications or even hospitalization is required.
When it comes to radiation enteritis, there are changes done to the radiation therapy. The treatment is stopped right away. In some instances, surgery is needed to slice out the region of the bowel that is damaged.
What is the outlook?
In most cases, the symptoms settle within a few days. An individual can recover in 2-3 weeks in severe cases depending on the root cause.
Full recovery might take up 6-18 months after radiation has been completed among those diagnosed with radiation enteritis.