Tuberculous Enteritis

Tuberculous enteritis, also known as intestinal tuberculosis, is a form of tuberculosis that affects the intestines. It occurs when the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects the intestines, leading to various symptoms and complications. Understanding its types, causes, symptoms, diagnostic tests, treatments, surgeries, preventions, and when to seek medical attention is crucial for early detection and effective management.

Tuberculous Enteritis Types:

  1. Primary Tuberculous Enteritis: When the bacteria directly infect the intestines.
  2. Secondary Tuberculous Enteritis: Resulting from the spread of tuberculosis from other parts of the body to the intestines.


  1. Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis through contaminated food or water.
  2. Weakened immune system due to conditions like HIV/AIDS.
  3. Close contact with individuals infected with tuberculosis.
  4. Poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
  5. Malnutrition, which weakens the body’s ability to fight infections.
  6. Crowded living conditions, increasing the risk of transmission.
  7. Traveling to or residing in regions with high tuberculosis prevalence.
  8. Immunocompromising medications, such as corticosteroids.
  9. Substance abuse, particularly intravenous drug use.
  10. Chronic illnesses like diabetes or kidney disease.
  11. Overcrowded and poorly ventilated environments.
  12. Smoking, which weakens the immune system.
  13. Genetic predisposition to tuberculosis.
  14. Age, as older adults are more susceptible to infections.
  15. Previous history of tuberculosis infection.
  16. Unsanitary food handling practices.
  17. Occupational exposure to tuberculosis in healthcare settings.
  18. Poverty and inadequate access to healthcare.
  19. Immunosuppressive therapies for autoimmune diseases.
  20. Undergoing organ transplantation, which requires immune-suppressing drugs.


  1. Abdominal pain, especially in the lower abdomen.
  2. Persistent diarrhea or constipation.
  3. Rectal bleeding or blood in stools.
  4. Unexplained weight loss.
  5. Loss of appetite.
  6. Fatigue and weakness.
  7. Fever and night sweats.
  8. Nausea and vomiting.
  9. Bloating or abdominal distension.
  10. Malabsorption leading to nutrient deficiencies.
  11. Swollen abdomen due to fluid accumulation.
  12. Intestinal obstruction causing severe pain and vomiting.
  13. Formation of abscesses in the intestines.
  14. Fistulas (abnormal connections) between intestines and other organs.
  15. Peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal lining).
  16. Anemia due to chronic blood loss.
  17. Joint pain and stiffness.
  18. Skin rash or lesions.
  19. Enlarged lymph nodes, especially in the abdomen.
  20. Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) due to strictures.

Diagnostic Tests:

  1. Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) or Mantoux test to check for exposure to tuberculosis.
  2. Chest X-ray to detect abnormalities in the lungs and abdomen.
  3. Blood tests such as interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) to detect tuberculosis infection.
  4. Sputum culture to identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria in respiratory secretions.
  5. Stool examination for the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  6. Endoscopy to visualize the intestines and obtain tissue samples for biopsy.
  7. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to detect tuberculosis DNA in stool or tissue samples.
  8. Abdominal ultrasound to assess the extent of intestinal involvement.
  9. Computed tomography (CT) scan for detailed imaging of the abdomen.
  10. Colonoscopy to examine the large intestine for lesions or ulcers.
  11. Fine-needle aspiration to collect samples from abdominal lymph nodes.
  12. Ascitic fluid analysis if there is fluid accumulation in the abdomen.
  13. Barium contrast studies to visualize intestinal abnormalities.
  14. Laparoscopy for direct visualization and tissue sampling.
  15. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detailed imaging of soft tissues.
  16. Serological tests to detect antibodies against tuberculosis.
  17. Tuberculosis skin patch test for detecting delayed hypersensitivity reactions.
  18. Abdominal biopsy to confirm the presence of tuberculosis granulomas.
  19. Gastric aspirate analysis for tuberculosis detection in children unable to produce sputum.
  20. Immunohistochemistry staining of tissue samples for tuberculosis bacilli.

Non-Pharmacological Treatments:

  1. Dietary modifications to address malnutrition and optimize nutrition intake.
  2. Rest and adequate sleep to support the body’s healing process.
  3. Hydration to prevent dehydration, especially in cases of diarrhea.
  4. Isolation to prevent the spread of tuberculosis to others.
  5. Regular exercise to boost immune function and promote overall health.
  6. Stress management techniques to reduce anxiety and support mental well-being.
  7. Nutritional supplements, including vitamins and minerals, to address deficiencies.
  8. Smoking cessation programs to reduce respiratory complications.
  9. Education and counseling on tuberculosis prevention and treatment adherence.
  10. Use of personal protective equipment in healthcare settings.
  11. Wound care for skin lesions or ulcers associated with tuberculosis.
  12. Sanitation and hygiene practices to prevent contamination and transmission.
  13. Support groups for emotional support and sharing experiences.
  14. Avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs to support immune function.
  15. Occupational therapy to maintain independence and quality of life.
  16. Regular follow-up appointments for monitoring and management.
  17. Temperature regulation to prevent fever-related complications.
  18. Wound drainage and care for abscesses or fistulas.
  19. Dietary fiber supplements to manage constipation or diarrhea.
  20. Physiotherapy to address mobility issues and muscle weakness.
  21. Use of assistive devices for individuals with physical limitations.
  22. Proper disposal of infectious waste to prevent environmental contamination.
  23. Education on proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  24. Environmental modifications for infection control in shared living spaces.
  25. Supportive care for patients with advanced or terminal tuberculosis.
  26. Collaboration with social services for housing and financial assistance.
  27. Patient and family education on tuberculosis transmission and prevention.
  28. Regular monitoring of nutritional status and dietary adjustments as needed.
  29. Infection control measures in healthcare facilities and communities.
  30. Compliance with treatment regimens and follow-up appointments.


  1. Isoniazid (INH) – an antibiotic used for tuberculosis treatment.
  2. Rifampin (RIF) – a broad-spectrum antibiotic effective against tuberculosis.
  3. Pyrazinamide (PZA) – used in combination therapy for tuberculosis.
  4. Ethambutol (EMB) – another antibiotic commonly used in tuberculosis treatment.
  5. Streptomycin – an injectable antibiotic for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
  6. Levofloxacin – a fluoroquinolone antibiotic used in tuberculosis treatment.
  7. Bedaquiline – a newer medication for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
  8. Delamanid – another medication for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
  9. Capreomycin – an injectable antibiotic for tuberculosis.
  10. Linezolid – used for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.
  11. Clofazimine – used in multidrug therapy for leprosy and tuberculosis.
  12. Ethionamide – an antibiotic used in multidrug therapy for tuberculosis.
  13. Amikacin – an injectable antibiotic for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
  14. Kanamycin – used in combination therapy for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
  15. Moxifloxacin – a fluoroquinolone antibiotic used in tuberculosis treatment.
  16. Cycloserine – used in multidrug therapy for tuberculosis.
  17. Thioacetazone – used in combination therapy for tuberculosis.
  18. Para-aminosalicylic acid (PAS) – used in multidrug therapy for tuberculosis.
  19. Rifabutin – an alternative to rifampin in tuberculosis treatment.
  20. Rifapentine – a long-acting rifamycin used in tuberculosis treatment.


  1. Bowel resection to remove diseased portions of the intestines.
  2. Abscess drainage to remove pus buildup in the abdominal cavity.
  3. Fistulotomy to repair abnormal connections between intestines and other organs.
  4. Strictureplasty to widen narrowed segments of the intestines.
  5. Enterotomy to remove obstructions or foreign bodies from the intestines.
  6. Peritoneal lavage to clean the abdominal cavity during surgery.
  7. Laparotomy for exploratory surgery and tissue sampling.
  8. Colectomy to remove a portion or the entire colon affected by tuberculosis.
  9. Small bowel resection to remove infected segments of the small intestine.
  10. Ileostomy or colostomy to divert stool away from affected intestinal segments.


  1. Tuberculosis vaccination (BCG) for high-risk individuals.
  2. Screening for tuberculosis infection in high-risk populations.
  3. Treatment of latent tuberculosis infection to prevent progression to active disease.
  4. Isolation of individuals with active tuberculosis to prevent transmission.
  5. Education on tuberculosis prevention and transmission in communities.
  6. Proper ventilation in indoor environments to reduce tuberculosis transmission.
  7. Promotion of good hygiene practices, including handwashing and respiratory etiquette.
  8. Use of personal protective equipment in healthcare settings.
  9. Quarantine measures during tuberculosis outbreaks or epidemics.
  10. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis cases to prevent further spread.

When to See Doctors:

Seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Persistent abdominal pain or discomfort.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Changes in bowel habits lasting more than a few days.
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in stools.
  • Fever, especially if accompanied by night sweats.
  • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Swelling or tenderness in the abdomen.
  • Weakness, fatigue, or loss of appetite.
  • Difficulty swallowing or persistent nausea.
  • Any other concerning symptoms that do not resolve on their own.


Tuberculous enteritis is a serious condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. By understanding its types, causes, symptoms, diagnostic tests, treatments, surgeries, preventions, and when to seek medical attention, individuals can take proactive steps towards managing the disease effectively. With proper care and adherence to treatment regimens, the prognosis for tuberculous enteritis can be improved, reducing the risk of complications and long-term health consequences.


Disclaimer: Each person’s journey is unique, treatment plan, life style, food habit, hormonal condition, immune system, chronic disease condition, previous medical  history is also unique. So always seek the best advice from a qualified medical professional or health care provider before trying any treatments to ensure to find out the best plan for you. This guide is for general information and educational purposes only. If you or someone are suffering from this disease condition bookmark this website or share with someone who might find it useful! Boost your knowledge and stay ahead in your health journey. Thank you for giving your valuable time to read the article.