Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: enteritis from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Inflammation of the small intestine, usually resulting in diarrhoea. It may be caused by infection or by exposure to some form of radiation, including X-rays or radioactive isotopes.


Summary Article: enteritis
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(ĕn´´tərì'tĭs), inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Acute enteritis is not usually serious except in infants and older people, in whom the accompanying diarrhea can cause dehydration through the loss of fluids. The condition known as regional enteritis or Crohn's disease is a chronic disease that occurs most frequently in young adults, producing a segmented thickening of the bowel wall and narrowing of the bowel opening (lumen). The lower portion of the small intestine is usually affected, but the infection can extend up to the esophagus and down into the colon. Clinical symptoms include mild, intermittent diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fever. In prolonged cases there may be anemia and nutritional deficiency. The term enteritis is sometimes applied to the conditions of gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach commonly caused by food poisoning) and ulcerative colitis. Surgery may be necessary to treat severe complications such as abscesses and obstructions.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

Related Articles


Full text Article Enteritis
Illustrated Dictionary of Science, Andromeda

Inflammation of the small intestine (see Gastrointestinal tract ) causing abdominal Colic and Diarrhea . It may result from Virus ...

Full text Article enteritis
The Royal Society of Medicine Health Encyclopedia

Inflammation of any part of the intestine from any cause. Several different forms occur including Crohn’s disease , appendicitis , ...

Full text Article Crohn's Disease
The Gale Encyclopedia of Diets

Definition Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the digestive tract. It is characterized by cramping pains, diarrhea,

See more from Credo