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 joints.
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 death.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology|
|Last Revised||March 8, 2013|
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise