Whipple's disease is a rare illness caused by a bacterial infection
that affects the intestines, preventing absorption of the nutrients in food and
sometimes causing malnutrition and anemia. Symptoms of Whipple's disease
include weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low fever, and pain in the
If not treated, Whipple's disease may affect organs and systems of
the body, including the heart, nervous system, and eyes.
Treatment for Whipple's disease is antibiotic medicine. Although
the illness usually improves within a few weeks once antibiotic therapy starts,
the person may have to take antibiotics for a full year to help avoid having a
relapse, which is common. If it is not treated, Whipple's disease leads to
April 8, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
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