Jejunoileitis is a rare type of Crohn’s disease in the small intestine of the gastrointestinal tract. Common symptoms include inflammation, diarrhea, and cramps.

Jejunoileitis causes inflammation in two areas of the intestine: the jejunum and the ileum.

Like all types of Crohn’s disease, jejunoileitis is named after the part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract affected by the inflammation.

There are five types of Crohn’s disease, including jejunoileitis. The other four are:

  • Crohn’s colitis
  • gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease
  • ileitis
  • ileocolitis

Many of the symptoms and treatment measures are similar to those seen in other forms of Crohn’s disease, with some variations.

The small bowel, measuring about 2.5 meters (or 8 feet) long, consists of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum and is essential in helping your body digest food. It is primarily responsible for absorbing fatty acids, amino acids, and sugars.

With jejunoileitis, you may experience diarrhea and abdominal cramps or pain, which may worsen after eating. The cramping and discomfort can be mild or severe.

The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are abdominal cramps or pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. Symptoms, however, can vary and depend on the type of Crohn’s you have.

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease and subtypes like jejunoileitis is unknown.

Jejunoileitis is a type of Crohn’s disease that affects your jejunum and ileum. With this condition, the jejunum has patches that are inflamed. This inflammation can lead to stricturing, or narrowing, in part of your intestines. You may also have fistulas or openings in the small intestine caused by severe or long-term inflammation.

Crohn’s disease may have an autoimmune component. With jejunoileitis, your immune system may attack healthy cells and tissues of the jejunum. Bacteria in the small intestine may also play a role in this overreaction.

Other factors that may contribute to Crohn’s subtypes like jejunoileitis include:

  • family history of Crohn’s disease
  • smoking
  • a high fat diet
  • long-term use of some medications, including birth control pills, antibiotics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Crohn’s disease is usually diagnosed between adolescents and adults up to age 30. Due to the complexities of Crohn’s disease, you won’t be able to tell you have jejunoileitis based on symptoms only.

But a doctor can identify this type of Crohn’s disease based on your symptoms, health history, and imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.

An endoscopy can help your doctor see signs of inflammation and damage in the small intestine. Other imaging tests can rule out other types of Crohn’s disease. A colonoscopy can evaluate the large intestine, but jejunoileitis is rarely reachable with a colonoscopy or endoscopy.

To reach tissue to obtain a biopsy, your doctor may recommend a push enteroscopy or double-balloon enteroscopy.

A doctor may also order a combination of the following:

As with other types of Crohn’s disease, there’s no cure for jejunoileitis. A doctor will base your treatment plan on your symptoms and the severity of inflammation and damage in your jejunum and ileum.

Medication may help reduce the inflammation caused by jejunoileitis. These include oral drugs such as short-term corticosteroids, immunomodulators, or aminosalicylates. Injectable biologics may be considered if you do not respond to other medications.

A doctor may recommend surgery or antibiotics if you have fistulas in the jejunum.

Though diet may not directly cause Crohn’s disease, a doctor may recommend dietary changes or short-term bowel rest to help improve symptoms of jejunoileitis.

The following are some of the most common questions and answers about jejunoileitis.

What causes inflammation of the jejunum?

Like other types of Crohn’s disease, medical experts aren’t sure of the exact cause of inflammation of the jejunum.

It’s thought that there may be a genetic or autoimmune component. Some lifestyle factors, such as high fat diets and smoking, may also contribute.

Is ileocolitis the same as Crohn’s disease?

Like jejunoileitis, ileocolitis is another type of Crohn’s disease. But unlike jejunoileitis, ileocolitis is the most common type.

Ileocolitis causes inflammation in your ileum and colon, the area between your small and large intestines. Diarrhea and weight loss are common, as well as pain on the right side of your abdomen.

What is the inflammation of the jejunum and ileum?

Jejunoileitis is inflammation of the ileum and jejunum.

Inflammation of only the jejunum is jejunitis. When you have inflammation of only the ileum, you may have a type of Crohn’s disease called ileitis. This also causes the same symptoms as ileocolitis.

Jejunoileitis is a rare type of Crohn’s disease that causes inflammation in your jejunum and ileum. This part of your GI tract is in the central part of your small intestine.

Though not as common as other types of Crohn’s disease, jejunoileitis is still an inflammatory condition that can progress without treatment.

Because only a doctor can determine the type of Crohn’s you may have, seeking an evaluation if you think you’re experiencing symptoms is essential.