- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 09 2017
What are the Symptoms of Whipple's Disease?
It is a rare bacterial infection that most often affects your gastrointestinal system. Whipple disease interferes with normal digestion by impairing the breakdown of foods, such as fats and carbohydrates, and hampering your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. It can also infect organs, including brain, heart, joints and eyes.
It is caused by bacteria called Tropheryma whipplei. This bacteria affects the digestive system and can spread to the heart, lungs, brain, joints, skin, and eyes.
This disease prevents your body from properly absorbing nutrients.
It affects many different parts of the body and is associated with a variety of symptoms. In advanced stages of the disease, the infection may spread from the intestines to other organs such as the heart, lungs, brains, joints, and eyes.
The most common signs and symptoms of Whipple's disease include:
- Chronic joint pain
- Chronic diarrhoea that can be bloody
- Significant weight loss
- Stomach pain and bloating
- Decreased vision and eye pain
The following signs and symptoms do not occur as frequently but can indicate that the condition is getting worse:
- Skin discoloration
- Inflamed lymph nodes
- A chronic cough
- Pain in the chest
- Pericarditis, or swelling of the sac surrounding the heart
- Heart failure
- A heart murmur
- Poor vision
- Muscle weakness
- Trouble walking
- Poor memory
Diagnosis of this disease is complicated. An endoscopy is done to check for lesions. A biopsy is done. CBC Blood test is done.
The first step in treatment includes an aggressive course of antibiotics through an intravenous. Other treatments may include:
- Ingesting proper amounts of fluids
- Taking antimalarial medication for 12 to 18 months
- Maintaining a high-calorie diet to help with nutrient absorption
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