Types of enteritis?

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Enteritis can be caused by bacterial infections from contaminated food or water, radiation from cancer treatment, Crohn’s disease, or certain medications. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, fever, and diarrhea.

Enteritis, a condition in which the small intestine becomes inflamed and typically causes abdominal pain and cramping, fever and diarrhea, can be the result of several problems. The most common type is bacterial enteritis, which usually occurs as a result of food poisoning from contaminated or improperly prepared food. Radiation enteritis can be the result of cancer treatment, which can damage the intestines. Crohn’s disease enteritis sometimes affects people with that disease due to the nature of their condition. It can also be the result of taking certain medications.

Most people with enteritis get it from eating foods or drinking water that contain viruses, toxins, or, more commonly, bacteria, which then attack the intestines and cause inflammation. Food and water can be contaminated by contact with waste materials during processing or shipping, or because they are stored improperly, not thoroughly cleaned, or cooked incorrectly. Often, people who travel and eat or drink in other countries become infected with the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni or E. coli, resulting in what is sometimes called traveller’s diarrhea. Other types of bacteria that are often to blame include Salmonella, Shigella or Staphylococcus, all of which are usually associated with unsanitary food handling and processing conditions.

Radiation enteritis is another type that occurs when the intestines are damaged by radiation used in cancer treatment. This is especially likely to occur when the patient has cancer in an organ in the abdomen or pelvic area, such as the pancreas, uterus or rectum, and therefore requires radiation near the intestines. Because the radiation kills cancer cells, it can also damage the cells lining the intestines. The condition is often acute, with symptoms resolving within a few weeks of the end of radiation treatment, but can become chronic in some cases.

Crohn’s disease, a condition in which a patient’s intestines and sometimes other parts of the gastrointestinal tract are chronically inflamed, can also cause enteritis. In these cases, the person’s immune system attacks the intestinal tissue, causing it to become chronically inflamed. Depending on the particular case of the person, the symptoms can range from mild to severe and can flare up with varying frequency.

Certain types of medications or drugs can also trigger enteritis attacks. Both ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can cause irritation in the intestines. People who use cocaine can also be prone to this condition.

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