This disease is characterized by the inflammation of the intestines that occurs after radiation therapy. This ininflammation leads to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps in patients receiving radiation aimed at the abdomen, pelvis or rectum.
Major symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps
- Anemia can occur in long standing cases which causes fatigue, pallor and shortness of breath.
- Constipation in chronic cases
Diagnosis of radiation enteritis is done after detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of the patient. Other tests include:
- Endoscopy to assess the inside condition of small intestine
- Imaging tests like CT and MRI.
Treatment options include:
- Alteration in diet to ease symptoms during radiation therapy
- Medications for diarrhea and painkillers are prescribed
- Antibiotics to combat bacterial infections
- Surgical treatment is sometimes necessary