Regional Enteritis

What is Regional Enteritis?

Regional enteritis is a type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is also referred to as Crohn’s disease. Regional enteritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the digestive tract, causing inflammation and damage to its lining.

Regional enteritis can affect anyone, but it is most common in young adults between the ages of 15 and 35, and in people of Jewish heritage. It is estimated to affect more than 500,000 Americans, with about 20,000 new cases reported each year.

Signs and Symptoms of Regional Enteritis

The signs and symptoms of regional enteritis can vary depending on where the inflammation occurs in the digestive tract. Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramps and pains
  • Diarrhea (which may contain blood or pus)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Anemia (a low red blood cell count)

Treatments for Regional Enteritis

The goal of treatment for regional enteritis is to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms. Treatment options can include one or more of the following:

  • Medications to reduce inflammation, including corticosteroids, such as prednisone, and immunosuppressants, such as azathioprine.
  • Nutritional supplements and vitamins.
  • Surgery to remove a diseased or damaged part of the intestine.
  • Eating a balanced diet that includes foods that are easy to digest.
  • Avoiding foods that cause flare-ups.

Preventing Regional Enteritis Flare-Ups

There is no cure for regional enteritis, but there are ways to reduce the risk of flare-ups and manage the condition. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions, and the following tips may help:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of fiber-rich foods and avoiding foods that are high in fat and sugar.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Quitting smoking.
  • Managing stress and getting adequate rest.
  • Using probiotics, such as yogurt or dietary supplements, to help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines.