Protein Losing Enteropathy condition occurs due to excess loss of serum protein. This loss of serum protein is generally through the gastrointestinal tract which is caused due to several etiologies such as primary erosive disorder, non-erosive disorder, and lymphatic obstructions. To date, protein-losing enteropathy has been linked to more than 60 different conditions which are mostly gastrointestinal diseases and non-gut conditions.

There is excessive loss of serum protein due to which the level of albumin gets low along with several other proteins contained in the bloodstream. This low level of albumin can result in edema and ascites. Due to this, tissue and stomach retains the fluid. Lymph vessels play a very prominent role in carrying the lymph fluid right up to the veins. This then returns to the bloodstream playing a very prominent role in functioning of the immune system and transporting of fat and other proteins. When there is a problem caused to this normal flow, there are chances of the lymphatic fluid that is rich in content to cause a leak in intestine during the process of transport causing protein-losing enteropathy.

Causes of Protein Losing Enteropathy

There are various causes of protein-losing enteropathy. Some of the most common causes of PLE disease are mentioned below:

  • This disorder can be caused due to heart failure.
  • If the patient has had a surgical repair than there are chances of PLE disorder to occur.
  • This disorder can be caused due to cancer.
  • Also, infections carried by the patient can result in Protein losing enteropathy.
  • This disorder can also be caused due to bowel disease.
  • The causes can also be neoplasm which is excessive growth of tissues. This abnormal growth can further result in a fatal tumor.
  • Sarcoidosis is also a very prominent cause for PLE disorder which begins generally in the lungs, lymph nodes, and even on the skin.
  • Celiac disease is also a very important cause for PLE disease which is a long-term immune system disorder that gradually starts affecting the small intestine.

Protein Losing Enteropathy Symptoms

When a person suffers from protein losing enteropathy due to the excessive loss of serum protein there are certain symptoms undergone. Not all symptoms can result in this disorder, but the below-mentioned symptoms can result in a very good chance of the patient suffering from this disorder.

  • Diarrhea is a quite common symptom that most of the patients suffering from this disorder undergo.
  • One of the symptoms of such disorder is feeding intolerance which means the patient is no longer able to eat. The digestive system weakens slowly which makes the patient suffer while eating anything making it hard to digest.
  • Edema is also a quite common symptom.
  • Ascites is also a symptom of Protein losing enteropathy.

How to diagnose someone suffering from Protein Losing Enteropathy

To diagnose someone suffering from protein losing enteropathy it is necessary to undergo certain laboratory tests. This will help the doctors to ascertain protein losing enteropathy in patients. The diagnosis done can only be confirmed after having a test on the stool to check any protein is lost in the body or not. Patients can also undergo several other tests which are X-Ray, Computerized Tomography, MRI, and ultrasound. If there is a lymphatic leak, then the patient can undergo certain other tests to determine the source of the leak in the body.

Practical Approach to Protein Losing Enteropathy

As the cases of PLE diseases are exceedingly rare the treatment process can be confusing. One of the most trusted tests to be done is the A1AT clearance test as it is exceptionally reliable, not so expensive, and easily available everywhere. Once the diagnosis is done the below-mentioned approach is suggested to be taken.

  • The patient needs to undergo a high protein diet due to the loss of excessive protein in the body. The patient should take a diet which has very low fats and medium supplements of chain triglyceride are necessary. If there are cases of patients not being able to take oral intake, then various other methods should be implied such as enternal and parenteral support for food intake.
  • If the patient is suffering from cardiac disease than the diuretic regimen and spironolactone should be provided. Patients can also be introduced to other heart failure medications so that the cardiac output is optimized. This process is profitable for patients having cardiac etiologies of PLE.
  • The patient needs to undergo a trial of pharmacological agents which are corticosteroids, octreotide, and heparin if other methods have not provided any results.
  • The patient needs to undergo periodic tests to monitor the degree of PLE. There should be periodic monitoring of the serum albium level to keep a check on the developments of the treatment being done.

The benefits of taking Protein supplements for Protein Losing Enteropathy

Protein supplements have proved greatly beneficial for several patients undergoing PLE disorder. The nutritional status of patients starts to improve the intake of protein supplements. Patients that undergo PLE disorder suffer from ascites and edema and can consume food very less due to abdominal pain. This causes patients to lose weight rapidly. Despite various attempts of feeding orally the patients can receive only half of the protein and nutrients value. Such patients can undergo treatment by providing protein supplements along with caloric supplements so that the bodyweight is increased and the patient has improved hypoproteinemia.

In such cases, the patient should be given protein dosage initially starting low and then gradually increasing the dosage. Providing a regularized dosage of protein will enable patients suffering from PLE to increase in kidney load which slowly results in improved serum albumin and less abdominal discomfort. Slowly the patient starts to increase weight and feels no longer any discomfort in the abdominal region.

Certain research has proved the use of protein supplements very beneficial for PLE disorders and is suggested to be done under the supervision of expert professionals go get the best results. With regularized use of protein supplements, there is an improvement in adema and ascites which is beneficial and the initial process of development in the patient. To conclude, the hypoproteinemia and weight loss issues improve drastically by slowly increasing the protein intake.

What is Hypoproteinemia?

Hypoproteinemia is a disorder that results in extremely low levels of protein in the blood. Protein is very vital for our body to function as bones, skin, muscles and every vital organ and tissues require protein. There are several causes of this disorder and can happen to adults as well as children. Liver diseases are also very vital symptoms of hypoproteinemia. It can also cause dehydration which is caused due to less water intake in a body. This disorder results in low albumin and globulin which is very hazardous for the body.

There are several ways by which we can treat Hypoproteinemia which is mentioned below:

  • The patient suffering from such disorder should take antibiotics and ant parasitic drugs which will help cure the infection.
  • If there are any other nutritional deficiencies than the patient is suggested to take vitamin and mineral supplements. These supplements aid the body to produce protein and improve conditions of albumin and globulin.
  • The patient suffering from such a disorder should undergo a gluten-free diet so that the damage caused to the intestine is treated.

How to Increase the intake of Protein in Body

Protein is a very vital source of energy for the body. Nearly all the main organs, blood vessels, and veins contain a certain amount of protein to function smoothly. Deficiency of protein in the body can cause several diseases such as protein losing enteropathy, hypoproteinemia, and many more. To avoid such diseases, it is very necessary to provide the body with the necessary protein nutrients from an exceedingly early age. Below mentioned are some of the ways to increase your protein intake in the body.

  • Always assure to eat the protein first
    When you are taking a meal make sure to take the entire protein intake first. Protein helps to double the production of PYY which is a hormone in the gut that assures you are satisfied. Taking all protein nutrients first also decreases the level of hunger hormones which in return increases the metabolic rate which is good for the body.
  • Consume more Cheese
    Make sure to add cheese to your snack diet. There are various other snacks like chips and crackers which have extremely low protein and should be avoided especially for people suffering from PLE. Cheese is one of the richest sources of protein as cheese contains a high level of calcium almost four times more than of chips and crackers. Cheese also has the potential to improve heart diseases.
  • To increase protein intake, take more eggs
    Add eggs to your breakfast if you are looking for high protein content. Eggs are way better than cereals which are normal for breakfast at many homes. Eggs can be greatly beneficial for people looking to increase protein intake in their diet. Consuming eggs and other protein-rich food products can restrain your body from getting diseases like PLE and hypoproteinemia. Also, several studies have shown that consuming eggs keep you full for a longer period and help you cope up efficiently.
  • Consume Almonds
    Almonds are very vital food products to increase protein content in the body. Almonds have several nutrients that are good for the body and can increase the protein content if added to a meal. It is advisable to sprinkle certain chopped almonds on top of yogurt, cheese, and salads to increase the protein content of the snacks.
  • Add more protein to your salad
    Salad is a particularly good way to keep control of your diet and at the same time provide vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. All these help the body to combat diseases. Salad though it contains many vegetables has truly little protein content. By adding some protein to your salad like chicken, tuna, salmon, and cheese you can make your salad full of protein and restrain yourself from any diseases.
  • Have Protein Shake in the morning
    Protein shake if taken in the morning with breakfast enables you to be efficient throughout the day providing the body all required nutrients and energy. There are several types of protein powder with which you can prepare your protein shakes such as soy, whey, egg, and pea protein.
  • Add Peanut Butter to your fruits
    Fruits are extraordinarily rich sources of nutrients and antioxidants but at the same time are very low in protein content. Adding peanut butter to your fruits will increase the protein content of the diet. Also, peanut butter is overly sweet having a creamy texture allowing you to get the right protein content for your body.

Protein Takeway:
protein losing enteropathy

Protein intake in the body should be the major concern for people suffering from such disorder. Symptoms like diarrhea, edema, ascites, and hyperproteinemia are caused before PLE and the person suffering from such disorder should get examined as soon as possible. The intake of food decreases in such disorders due to increasing abdominal pain which is fatal as the body loses a lot of energy day after day. It is thus very necessary to keep all points mentioned above in mind to aid someone suffering from Protein Losing Enteropathy.

Disorders like Protein Losing Enteropathy are caused due to the loss of protein in the digestive tract. The body losses balance as protein is one of the most prominent factors to keep the body going. As the cases of PLE are exceedingly rare the cure for the same can take more time than usual. Taking all the corrective measures mentioned above will aid in recovering from such disorder gradually. PLE is a disease that is not to be taken lightly as the treatment process is overly complicated and requires a lot of patients to recover.

We come to know that protein is one of the most prominent requirements of the body as a deficiency can lead to several diseases. It is thus very necessary to increase the intake of protein in the body by consuming all food products mentioned above for the best results.


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