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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 pancreas, such as cystic fibrosis.
- Diseases caused by an intestinal parasite.
- Changes in the bacteria that normally live in the intestinal tract.
- Disease affecting the intestine itself, such as sprue or celiac disease.
- Surgery that alters or reduces the intestinal tract.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
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.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease|
|Last Revised||September 9, 2011|
|By:||Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: September 9, 2011|
|Medical Review:||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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