Whipple’s Disease: Causes and Symptoms of Whipple’s Disease

Whipple’s Disease: Causes and Symptoms of Whipple’s Disease

Whipple’s disease is a rare bacterial infection that most often impacts your joints and digestive system. Whipple disease interferes with normal digestion by impairing the breakdown of foods, such as fats and carbohydrates, and restricting your body to absorb nutrients. According to doctors, Whipple’s disease will also affect your other vital organs such as brain, heart, and eyes. Without proper treatment for Whipple’s disease, this condition can be extremely fatal and dangerous. However, a course of antibiotics can treat Whipple’s disease. In this section, we are going to highlight the causes of Whipple’s disease and symptoms of Whipple’s disease. Let us start discussing every single aspect in detail.

Causes of Whipple’s disease

Whipple’s disease is caused by a type of bacterium called Tropheryma whipplei. The bacteria attack on the mucosal lining of small intestines first, forming small lesions within intestinal lines. The bacteria also damage the fine, hairlike projections that line the small intestine. Doctors are still unaware of where these bacteria come from. They exist in the environment but their source of living is still unknown. Some researchers believe that people with the disease may have a genetic defect in their immune system response that makes them prone to get affected by the bacteria which will make them sick. Whipple disease is highly uncommon, affecting 1 in a million people.

These are the causes of Whipple’s disease.

Symptoms of Whipple’s disease

Some of the signs and symptoms of Whipple’s disease include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping and pain which may worsen after meals
  • Weight loss, associated with the malabsorption of nutrients
  • Inflamed joints, particularly the ankles and knees
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Skin darkening (Hyperpigmentation) in areas exposed to the sun and in scars
  • Chest pain
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Difficulty walking
  • Visual impairment, including lack of control of eye movements
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss

Symptoms tend to develop slowly over many years in most people with this disease. In some cases, symptoms such as joint pain and weight loss develop over years before the digestive symptoms that lead to a diagnosis.

These are some of the symptoms of Whipple’s disease.

We have until now highlighted the causes of Whipple’s disease and symptoms of Whipple’s disease. For more health and beauty-related tips, follow this section closely.