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Ileitis is a condition characterized by irritation or inflammation of the ileum, the last part of the small intestine that joins the large intestine. Symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea, cramping or pain in the abdomen, or fistulas (abnormal channels that develop between parts of the intestine). Ileitis can be caused by many conditions, Crohn’s disease being the most common. Other causes include infections, effects of NSAIDs, ischemia and abnormal growths.
Diagnosis of the exact cause of ileitis is critical to timely treatment and the treatment plan decided by your doctor. Your doctor will review your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. A series of tests may also be ordered to confirm the diagnosis which may include stool analysis, X-rays, barium X-rays of the small intestine, CT scan, colonoscopy (narrow lighted tube is inserted into the anus for a close examination) and biopsy.
Based on the results of the diagnostic tests, ileitis may be treated with medications including antibiotics, corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories, antidiarrheal and immune-suppressing medications, as well as dietary supplements to reduce inflammation and manage associated symptoms. Surgery is indicated if symptoms are not controlled with medications or complications develop. Surgery is performed to remove the diseased part, correct blockages, intestinal bleeding and perforations in the intestine. You need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, eat well and avoid smoking.
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