He is one of the best gastroenterology doctors I have ever visited. Took my uncle for stomach pain, the doctor did endoscopy & colonoscopy, diagnosed the problem as large intestine cancer, the doctor asked a...
The doctor is extremely professional and polite. He explains the problem patiently and does not prescribe unnecessary medication. He gives priority to the patient's well-being over everything. I Will definitely recommend him
I have referred/recommended a couple of my relatives and friends to this Dr (Dr. Srujan Kumar Dasyam). I say that the diagnosis and treatment are good and also Dr listens patiently in understanding the patient's...
Apoorva Reddy Panyala
Table Of Contents
- What is Whipple’s Disease?
- What Causes Whipple’s Disease?
- What are the Symptoms of Whipple’s Disease?
- How to Diagnose Whipple’s Disease?
- What are the Complications of Whipple’s Disease?
- What is the Treatment for Whipple’s Disease?
What is Whipple’s Disease?
It is a rare bacterial infection that generally affects the digestive system, joints and sometimes nervous system. Whipple’s disease hampers normal digestion by impairing the breakdown of food and hampering the ability of the body to absorb nutrients, such as fats and carbohydrates.
What Causes Whipple’s Disease?
Whipple’s disease is caused by a bacterium, Tropheryma whipplei. The bacteria first attack the mucosal lining of the small intestine, causing small sores (lesions) on the gut wall. The bacteria also damage the fine hair-like projections that line the small intestine.
The bacteria are present almost everywhere in the surroundings. But not everyone gets infected by the bacteria. There is a specific antigen that is found in nearly everyone who gets infected. Immunocompromised people are also more likely to get the disease.
What are the Symptoms of Whipple’s Disease?
The most common signs and symptoms are:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
- Joint pain, particularly in the ankle, wrists and knees
In some cases, signs and symptoms may include:
- Enlargement of lymph nodes
- Skin darkening of sun exposed areas
- Chest pain
Neurological signs and symptoms may include:
- Difficulty walking
- Vision problems
- Memory loss or confusion
- Difficulty swallowing
- Speech problems
How to Diagnose Whipple’s Disease?
The diagnosis includes:
- Physical examination- To check for stomach pain and skin browning, especially on sun-exposed body areas.
- Biopsy-A tissue sample is generally taken from the lining of the small intestine with the help of an upper endoscopy. The technique involves passing a thin, flexible tube through the mouth, throat, windpipe, and stomach to the small intestine with a light and camera attached.
- Blood tests- Blood tests can indicate specific diseases linked to Whipple illness, such as anaemia (a decrease in the number of red blood cells) and low albumin levels (a protein in the blood).
What are the Complications of Whipple’s Disease?
- Villi damage
- Pleural damage
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Heart murmur
- Nutritional deficiency
- CNS infection can lead to coma and death
What is the Treatment for Whipple’s Disease?
- Antibiotics: Intravenous (IV) antibiotics are a good place to start. For up to a year, most individuals need to take multiple different types and dosages of antibiotics by mouth. Antibiotics and hydroxychloroquine may be taken orally.
- Fluid replacement: IV solutions may be given to avoid dehydration. Electrolyte drinks can also be provided to replace lost salt and water.
- Supplements to make up for vitamins and nutrients that the intestines can’t absorb.