Enteritis: Causes, Types And Symptoms


Let’s talk about something that can affect us all: enteritis. Millions of people worldwide suffer from this digesting issue. Enteritis means inflammation of our small intestine, which is also a very important component of our gastrointestinal tract. Life can become very unpleasant sometimes, until death. This article will focus on enteritis’ causes, different kinds of enteritis, and how these disorders manifest.

Causes Of Enteritis

So, why does enteritis happen? Well, there are several reasons, including:

  • Infections: These parasites, pathogens such as viruses, and bacteria are popular causes of intestinal disease referred to as enteritis in animals and humans. Have you ever suffered a case of food poisoning? This is usually caused by the small, troublesome ones, as with the notorious Salmonella. That’s usually through contaminated food and water, which is their preferred means of entering our bodies.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which fall under the category of IBD, can lead to enteritis. In these cases, the vulnerable system inaptly attacks the filling of the small intestine, causing inflammation.
  • Food Allergies: Enteritis is the result of some people not being compatible with various meals. Enteritis may occur as a result of an allergy to gluten or milk products.
  • Medications: Surprisingly, certain drugs meant for aid could be causing this illness. Enteritis occurs because NSAIDs cause inflammation in the lining of the small intestine.
  • Radiation Therapy: For those fighting cancer and undergoing radiation therapy in the belly area, a side effect can be radiation enteritis. This can cause inflammation and discomfort in the small intestine.

Types of Enteritis

Types of Enteritis

Now, let’s explore the different flavors of enteritis, each with its causes:

  • Infectious Enteritis: This type of enteritis is like an unwanted guest at your digestive party. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites are the life of this party. They crash the bash, and you end up with symptoms like diarrhea, belly aches, nausea, and maybe even a dash of vomiting. It’s often a result of consuming contaminated food or water, so wash your hands and food thoroughly!
  • Radiation Enteritis: Picture this: you’re battling cancer, and radiation therapy is your ally. But sometimes, it comes with a not-so-welcome plus-one called radiation enteritis. This party crasher can lead to a lot of belly discomfort, especially diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and weight loss. The best way to manage this gate-crasher is with dietary changes, medications, and plenty of supportive care.
  • Allergic Enteritis: Food allergies can be a tricky lot. For some, eating certain foods leads to enteritis. Gluten or dairy products are often the mischievous culprits here. To keep this party pooper at bay, folks with allergies often stick to special diets, like going gluten-free. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, bloating, and a dose of fatigue.
  • IBD-Associated Enteritis: Imagine dealing with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis that’s the life of someone with IBD. Sometimes, enteritis joins the party as part of the package. This kind can bring severe belly pain, chronic diarrhea, and weight loss to the celebration. Managing this crasher often involves medication to soothe inflammation and lifestyle adjustments.

Common Symptoms Of Enteritis

Symptoms Of Enteritis

So, what happens when enteritis gate-crashes your digestive gathering? You can expect some of these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea: This uninvited guest brings a frequent, watery, or loose stool to the party. It’s not fun, and it can lead to dehydration, so remember to keep sipping on those fluids to stay in good spirits.
  • Abdominal Pain: Picture a party where the music is a bit too loud, and everyone’s dancing too hard. Enteritis’s signature move is belly cramps and discomfort, often followed by a bloated feeling.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: No one wants these party crashers, but enteritis might invite nausea and vomiting. It’s like the party food isn’t agreeing with you, and you end up needing to step away for a moment.
  • Fever: When infectious enteritis gate-crashes the party, it brings a fever with it. Your body’s defenses are up, and it’s working hard to fight off the intruders.
  • Dehydration: Diarrhea and vomiting are known to dehydrate you. So, be sure to keep those fluids coming in. In severe cases, you might need IV fluids to get you back in the swing of things.
  • Fatigue: Picture this you’re trying to enjoy a party, but your guests (symptoms) just won’t leave you alone. That’s the kind of fatigue enteritis can bring, and it’s common in chronic conditions like IBD. The inflammation takes a lot out of you.


Understanding enteritis is vital for dealing with this unwelcome guest at your digestive party. If you think you’ve got enteritis or you’re dealing with persistent tummy issues, it’s time to call in the professionals. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can help you manage this party crasher, making life more enjoyable and comfortable.

Remember, it’s not all bad news. There are steps you can take to avoid these party crashers. For example, practicing good food safety and managing your food allergies can reduce your risk of inviting enteritis to the party. And for those dealing with chronic conditions, it’s all about a team effort you, your healthcare provider, and a game plan to ensure the best party possible.

By staying informed, and proactive, and taking the necessary steps, you can better navigate the challenges presented by enteritis and enjoy a healthier, more comfortable life. So, here’s to better digestion, and may your future parties be free of uninvited guests!

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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