The Menetrier disease, also known as hypoproteinemic hypertrophic gastropathy, is a rare disorder causing the ridges along the inside of the stomach wall to enrage forming gastric folds. The disease usually causes less significant symptoms that can be easily confused for symptoms from some other problem. Although, the name menetrier disease is commonly used as a synonym for giant hypertrophic gastritis (GHG), the menetrier disease is not a form of gastritis.
It involves overgrowth of mucous cells, which release protein containing mucus, in the mucous membrane in the stomach resulting in giant gastric folds in the stomach lining.
The enlarged stomach walls in menetrier disease cause the mucous cells to release too much mucous resulting in the protein from the blood to leak into the stomach. This leakage of protein causes shortage of protein in the blood leading to hypoprotienemia. Menetrier disease also reduces the number of acid-producing cells in the stomach, thereby decreasing the stomach acid.
The most significant symptom associated with Menetrier disease is mild to severe pain in the upper middle region of the stomach. Other common symptoms of Menetrier disease are diarrhea, nausea, frequent vomiting, loss of appetite and hypoprotienemia.
It is a rare disease however researches suggest that men are more at risk for developing menetrier disease than women. The disease is also more common in people who are in 50s with an average diagnosis age of 55.
Scientists are unsure about the actual causes of the menetrier disease however they believe that it is more common to acquire the disease than to inherit. On the other hand, siblings have developed the menetrier disease during childhood pointing towards the genetic factors.
Researchers have linked menetrier disease with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and cytomegalovirus (CMV). H. pylori is a bacterium that causes of peptic ulcers, or sores on the lining of the stomach or the duodenum while CMV is one of the herpes viruses. Some cases have been found where people with menetrier disease also had H pylori infection or CMV. However researchers are still not sure how H. pylori and CMV infections contribute to the development of the disease.
Menetrier disease is classified as a form of hyperplastic gastropathy and researchers believe that Menetrier disease and giant hypertrophic gastritis (GHG) may be variants of the same disorder or different parts of one disease spectrum.
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