Whipple's disease is a rare multi system infectious disease that often affects any system in the body including the stomach, small intestines and central nervous system.
Whipple’s disease a bacterial disease that can result in neurological or intestinal damage, which depends on how serious or severe signs or symptoms are. If a person is diagnosed with Whipple’s disease many types of treatments may be used to cure the infection, but if left untreated or misdiagnosed it can result in death. Other complications may develop as well as recurrence after treatment. Scientists are yet to determine how this rare disease is transmitted to humans.
What is Whipple’s Disease?
Whipple’s disease discovered in 1907 by American Pathologist George Whipple (1878-1976) is a fatal rare bacterial infectious disease, that mainly affects the bowels. Whipple disease also known as intestinal lipodystrophy is found mainly in men over thirty (30) years; it can be digestive or bacterial and affects the intestines as well as other parts of the body. The Mayo Clinic.com article (2008) states “whipple’s disease interferes with normal digestion impairing the breakdown of foods such as fats and carbohydrates and hampering your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.”
This mal-absorption disease is a condition that prevents the intestines from absorbing nutrients. Since the intestine is unable to break down fatty foods other parts of the body like the heart, lungs, brain, joints, eyes and skin are later infected.
“There is no evidence that Whipple’s disease is passed from person to person. However, there is some evidence that the bacteria may be present in people who are healthy. This suggest that the few people who develop the disease may have an abnormal response to the bacteria” as is indicated in Baptist health systems. It is unclear how Whipple’s disease is transmitted from human to human the only evidence scientist have of its cause is by the bacterium known as Tropheryma whippleii that damages the walls of the small intestines. Research suggests that healthy persons can also develop this bacterium that causes weight loss, incomplete breakdown of carbohydrates or fats, resistance to insulin as well as malfunctions of the immune system.
Signs & Symptoms