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Malabsorption Syndromes

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Summary

Your small intestine does most of the digesting of the foods you eat. If you have a malabsorption syndrome, your small intestine cannot absorb nutrients from foods.

Causes of malabsorption syndromes include

  • Celiac disease
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Short bowel syndrome. This happens after surgery to remove half or more of the small intestine. You might need the surgery if you have a problem with the small intestine from a disease, injury, or birth defect.
  • Whipple disease, a rare bacterial infection
  • Genetic diseases
  • Certain medicines

Symptoms of different malabsorption syndromes can vary. They often include chronic diarrhea, abnormal stools, weight loss, and gas. Your doctor may use lab, imaging, or other tests to make a diagnosis.

Treatment of malabsorption syndromes depends on the cause.

Start Here

  • (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • (Merck & Co., Inc.)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
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Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (American Gastroenterological Association) - PDF Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Specifics

  • Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Merck & Co., Inc.)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • Tropical sprue (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition) - PDF Also in

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