The inability to digest or absorb nutrients is known as malabsorption syndrome. In many cases, the cause of malabsorption syndrome is a disease of the digestive system which makes it difficult for the digestive tract to function as it should. Diseases of the gall bladder, pancreas and liver as well as any structural defects or congenital problems with these organs can lead to malabsorption syndrome.
Macronutrients, which consist of protein, carbohydrates and fats, are the domain of the small intestine. The small bowel is also in charge of absorbing most of the fluid (eight to 10 liters) ingested on a daily basis. A number of various conditions can affect fluid and nutrient absorption by the intestine. A fault in the digestive process may result from failure of the body to produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion.
The alarming situation of the body not getting enough of the proper nutrients despite a reasonable diet is the most concerning aspect of malabsorption syndrome. As a result of the loss of nutrition, anemia, hair thinning and hair loss, weight loss, vision problems, difficulty concentrating are all possible.
The treatment of malabsorption syndrome will most likely focus on underlying causes. The over use of laxatives and excess alcohol consumption can contribute to this condition, as can diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis and others.
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Aimee Boyle is a writer and teacher and contributes regularly to EmpowHer.