Malabsorption syndrome is the poor absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream.
- Absence or low levels of digestive enzymes.
- Diseases of the Reference pancreas Opens New Window, such as Reference cystic fibrosis Opens New Window.
- Diseases caused by an intestinal parasite.
- Changes in the bacteria that normally live in the intestinal tract.
- Disease affecting the intestine itself, such as Reference sprue Opens New Window or Reference celiac disease Opens New Window.
- Surgery that alters or reduces the intestinal tract.
- Reference Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection Opens New Window.
Symptoms may include:
- Gas, bloating, and vague abdominal discomfort.
- Frequent diarrhea and foul-smelling stools.
- Weakness and weight loss.
Treatment depends on the cause and may include a special diet, medicine to replace intestinal enzymes or reduce spasms, and vitamin or mineral supplements, such as B12 and iron.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 9, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease