Autoimmune enteropathy (aw-toh-i-myoon en-tuh-rop-uh-thee) is a rare condition that causes children to have a lot of diarrhea, often to the point of needing intravenous  (IV) fluids. It can also affect a child’s ability to absorb food and vitamins.  

Autoimmune enteropathy occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks itself, and irritates or inflames the lining of the intestine. Sometimes this is a problem only with the bowel or intestines; sometimes the body attacks itself in other places such as the thyroid or other glands in the body. 

There are many different kinds of autoimmune enteropathy.  Several different tests are needed to figure out which kind of autoimmune enteropathy your child may have. 

This is a very rare condition in children in the United States.  

Autoimmune enteropathy may be linked with other disorders like diabetes and kidney disease.