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Malabsorption syndrome: treatment and prevention measures

Malabsorption syndrome

Malabsorption is a condition in which a disturbance of the absorption function in the small intestine is observed.In rare cases, the disease can be hereditary, most often malabsorption develops against the backdrop of pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract - for example, cirrhosis, gastritis, pancreatitis and others.

Contents: Types malabsorption Causes of malabsorption syndrome symptoms of malabsorption syndrome Diagnostics malabsorption syndrome Treatment of malabsorption Diet Drug Treatment Complications Prevention malabsorption

Types malabsorption

There are two main forms of consideration syndrome:

  1. malabsorption, which provoked disturbances processesDigestion.Moreover, with this form of the disease there can be a violation of digestion only of carbohydrates or exclusively proteins, if there are problems with the pancreas, full malabsorption may develop, when absolutely all useful substances are not digested, and therefore not absorbed.
  2. Malabsorption caused by a decrease in the intestinal intestinal surface.Such a form of the syndrome in question can arise against the background of blood circulation disorders, with mechanical damage to the intestinal wall or the negative influence of pathogenic bacteria.

Causes of malabsorption syndrome

Causes of malabsorption syndrome

Various factors may provoke the development of the disease in question. To those that were isolated and differentiated by scientists and physicians, are:

  • helminthic invasions - ascariasis, opisthorchiasis, enterobiasis, giardiasis;
  • vegetative neuropathy is a pathology of the nervous system, in which control over the functions of the digestive system is lost;
  • hyperthyroidism is a disease of the thyroid gland, in which there is an increased formation of hormones;
  • gastritis of atrophic nature - an inflammatory process in the stomach, characterized by damage to the mucosa;
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a pancreatic tumor that actively produces the hormone gastrin;
  • long-term use of certain drugs - antibacterial, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory;
  • violation of blood circulation - heart failure, portal hypertension( high arterial pressure in the portal vein), impaired blood circulation in the vessels of the intestine;
  • Whipple's disease, enteritis of infectious etiology, syndrome of increased bacterial growth;
  • Crohn's disease, radiation type enteritis, lymphoma - conditions that lead to damage to the intestinal wall;
  • deficiency of bile salts - a condition that occurs against the background of stagnation of bile in the ducts and bladder;
  • absence of beta-galactosidase enzyme;
  • absence of the enzyme alpha-glucosidase;
  • absence of enzyme enterokinase;
  • absence of some pancreatic enzymes.

Symptoms of malabsorption syndrome

Symptoms of malabsorption syndrome

In general, the disease in question is marked by pronounced symptoms - the doctor even at the first visit of the patient on his complaints can make a preliminary diagnosis.Physicians have identified a list of symptoms that are characteristic of malabsorption:

  1. Diarrhea( diarrhea).The chair becomes very frequent, 10-15 feces per day, feces - fetid, mushy, can be watery.
  2. Steatorrhea( fatty stools).The feces become oily, with an unaided glance can be seen a brilliant coating on it, patients note that it is difficult to wash the feces off the walls of the toilet bowl.
  3. Abdominal pain.They occur, usually after eating, are always accompanied by loud rumbling, do not disappear after taking medications with spasmolytic or analgesic effect.
  4. Weakness in the muscles, a constant sense of thirst.This symptom arises against a background of protracted diarrhea - the body loses too much fluid, which is manifested by these symptoms.
  5. Change the appearance.The person notes fragility and a tendency to lamination of the nail plates, the hair on the head is actively falling out, the skin becomes dull and acquires a gray tinge.
  6. Weight reduction.Losing weight occurs without any effort on the part of the patient.At the same time, he continues to eat fully, his lifestyle is hypodynamic.
  7. Increased fatigue.Is manifested by a decrease in working capacity, constant drowsiness( and, at night, the patient is disturbed by insomnia), a general weakness.
  8. Vitamin deficiency, increased brittle bones.This is due to the fact that the necessary vitamins and microelements do not enter the body.
  9. Intolerance to milk and dairy products.And, before this phenomenon could not be, but with the development of malabsorption syndrome, the use of milk / dairy products is accompanied by increased gas production, abdominal pain in a cramping manner.
  10. Anemia of iron deficiency.The blood reduces the level of hemoglobin due to violations of the intake of iron.

Diagnosis of malabsorption

Symptoms of the disease in question may also indicate the development of other pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract: if the digestion of a different kind is disturbed, the signs will be almost identical.Therefore, for diagnosis and differentiation, doctors conduct a complete examination of the patient.

As part of the diagnostic activities, the following:

  1. Patient survey.It turns out all about the appearance of the first signs of malabsorption, with what intensity the symptoms are manifested, at what time of the day do they bother most often, are they related somehow to the ingestion of food.They also collect data on previously diagnosed diseases, about which pathologies the nearest relatives had.
  2. Patient examination.The doctor can palpate the abdominal wall and reveal its tension, and the patient with such manipulations will make complaints of pain.
  3. Laboratory testing:
  • clinical blood test;
  • biochemical blood test;
  • feces analysis for the presence of blood in it;
  • coprogram - in stool can be found the remains of undigested food;
  • revealing of helminthic invasions;
  • ultrasound examination of abdominal organs;
  • esophagogastroduodenoscopy;
  • measuring the level of acidity of gastric juice;
  • radiography of bones;
  • Colonoscopy - examination of the large intestine;
  • X-ray examination of the large intestine;
  • computed tomography of the large intestine;
  • magnetic resonance imaging of abdominal organs.

Treatment of malabsorption syndrome

In order to get rid of the symptoms of the disease in question and restore the normal activity of the entire gastrointestinal tract, doctors perform complex therapy.



First of all, when diagnosing malabsorption syndrome, you need to adjust your diet. Patient must follow diet No. 5:

  1. It is forbidden to eat baked pastries, fatty fish, all seasonings and sauces( mayonnaise), fatty meat, black coffee, lard, sorrel and spinach, fried meat, any preserves and any semi-finished products.
  2. It is allowed to enter compotes and fruit and berries jelly in the menu, soft tea, curd cottage cheese, wheat bread slightly dried, any cereal crumbly, fresh fruit and berries are non-fat, lean beef / rabbit / chicken.
  3. It is necessary to eat often and in batches.Between meals should not take more than 2 hours, but portions should be small - a maximum of 250 grams.
  4. It is necessary to increase the intake of vitamins in the body - there are foods that are rich in folic acid, vitamins B and C.


Drugs are prescribed only by a doctor and only after receiving the results of the survey.To get rid of the symptoms of malabsorption syndrome, you need to get rid of the cause provoking such a condition.In the framework of such treatment, antibacterial drugs, and means for liquefaction and withdrawal of bile, and enzymatic agents can be prescribed.

If a patient complains of an intense pain syndrome, then an anesthetic may be prescribed - usually, these are the most common antispasmodics( for example, No-shpa).

Note: during the period of medical treatment and in general, when diagnosing malabsorption syndrome, physical activities are contraindicated to the patient.But this does not mean that you need to be in a hypodynamic state - to make walks and do the simplest exercises in the morning exercises are absolutely necessary.

Possible complications of

Treatment of malabsorption syndrome must be conducted necessarily!It is noteworthy that at the very beginning of the development of the disease, the patient notes simply a decrease in appetite and weight loss, which is even pleasing to many!But in fact, you need to carefully "listen" to your body - for example, heartburn and active eructation, regular rumbling in the abdomen and periodic pain in the intestines may appear.This should all be the reason for the visit to specialists. Otherwise, malabsorption can lead to severe consequences:

  • anemia;
  • deformation of the skeleton;
  • hypovitaminosis;
  • catastrophic weight loss, up to cachexia;
  • in men - development of impotence;
  • in women - serious violations in the hormonal background, the cessation of menstruation, inability to conceive, endure and give birth to a child, lack of sexual desire.

Prevention of malabsorption

Many patients believe that it is simply impossible to prevent the development of the considered disease.And doctors say that there are a number of preventive measures that really "work".

First, it is necessary to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in a timely manner.If such diagnoses are in history, then the patient should periodically undergo preventive / control examinations from the attending physician.

Secondly, you need to adhere to the correct diet - you can not overeat, it's better to limit the consumption of fatty, spicy and spicy foods, take food in small portions and at about the same time.Thirdly, if digestive disorders occur( for example, the problem of a "heavy" stomach, the sensation of stones in the stomach after eating), it is necessary to get a consultation from a gastroenterologist and take enzyme medicines....

.Do not forget about seasonal consumption of vitamin-mineral complexes.

It is compulsory for a person to lead an active lifestyle, if there are no contraindications, then it is necessary to engage in physical education, monitor your weight and prevent obesity and hypodynamia.

Malabsorption syndrome is a disease often diagnosed, but it is completely controlled by both physicians and the patient.It is necessary to react quickly to small changes in the digestive system, not to self-medicate and then the prognosis will be exceptionally favorable.

Tsygankova Yana Aleksandrovna, medical reviewer, therapeutist of the highest qualification category.

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