Sclerosing mesenteritis is a rare non-neoplastic disease that affects the small bowel mesentery with chronic fibrosing inflammation. There are only few data on the natural history and therapeutic options for this condition according to which Sclerosing mesenteritis occurs when the tissue (mesentery) that holds the small intestines in place becomes inflamed and, hence, forms a scar tissue. Since this condition is rare, it is not clear what causes it.
Nonetheless, it is without doubt that Sclerosing mesenteritis can cause abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea. However, some people experience no signs and symptoms whatsoever and may never even need a medical treatment. Only in rare cases, scar tissue formed by Sclerosing mesenteritis can block food from moving through the digestive tract. In this kind of situations, the only option may be surgery.
The most common symptom is abdominal pain. Apart from that, the patient may also experience:
- A distended abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight loss
Due to the fact that this disease is very rare, finding the cause has been extremely difficult. So, it is thought that patients who develop Sclerosing mesenteritis have had abdominal surgery or trauma to the abdomen. Another thing that they have in common are autoimmune diseases in which the body produces an inappropriate immune response to its own tissues and substances. Some patients with Sclerosing mesenteritis may have even had cancer. Another possible cause for Sclerosing mesenteritis is an infection, as some patients have had typhoid fever, dysentery, malaria, and rheumatic fever, among others.