• Definition

    Enteritis is inflammation of the small intestine.

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Enteritis is usually caused by eating or drinking substances that are contaminated with bacteria or viruses. The germs settle in the small intestine and cause inflammation and swelling, which may lead to abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration.

    Enteritis may also be caused by:

    • An autoimmune condition such as Crohn's disease
    • Certain drugs, including ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and cocaine
    • Damage from radiation therapy

    The inflammation can also involve the stomach (gastritis) and large intestine (colitis).

    Risk factors include recent family illness with intestinal symptoms, recent travel, or exposure to untreated or contaminated water.

    Types of enteritis include:

    • Bacterial gastroenteritis
    • Campylobacter enteritis
    • E. coli enteritis
    • Food poisoning
    • Radiation enteritis
    • Salmonella enteritis
    • Shigella enteritis
    • Staph aureus food poisoning