Also known as intestinal lipodystrophy, Whipple's disease is rare, and is most commonly found in middle aged men. It is a disease which affects most of the organs. Symptoms include steatorrhoea (the presence of fat in the faeces), abdominal pain, joint pains, swollen lymph nodes, progressive weight loss, anaemia and fever. The heart, lungs and brain can also be affected.
Treatment takes at least a year and involves the use of antibiotic drugs. Nutritional deficiencies occur as a result of malabsorption and are corrected through the use of dietary supplements.