Malabsorption syndrome is the inability to absorb nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream.
Causes may include:
- Diseases affecting the intestine itself, such as Reference celiac disease Opens New Window.
- Absence or low levels of certain digestive enzymes.
- Diseases of the pancreas, such as Reference chronic pancreatitis Opens New Window or Reference cystic fibrosis Opens New Window.
- Diseases caused by parasites, such as Reference giardiasis Opens New Window or worms.
- Changes in the bacteria normally found in the intestinal tract.
- Surgery, such as removal of the Reference gallbladder Opens New Window, that alters or reduces the length of the intestinal tract.
- Reference Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Opens New Window.
Symptoms may include:
- Gas, bloating, and vague abdominal discomfort.
- Frequent diarrhea and foul-smelling stools.
- Weight loss.
Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms to determine the cause and recommend treatment. Treatment 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 February 21, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine