What is malabsorption?
A person with malabsorption is unable to absorb nutrients from food, such as sugar, fat, protein or vitamins. About 5 percent of people in the US have some form of malabsorption. Most cases of malabsorption resolve with treatment.
What are the symptoms of malabsorption?
Diarrhea is the most common symptom of malabsorption. Additional symptoms of malabsorption include cramping abdominal pain, bloating, blood in the stool, fatigue, floating stool, greasy stools, excessive gas, anorexia, and weight loss.
How does the doctor treat malabsorption?
Treatment for malabsorption includes treatment of the underlying cause. Treatment for malabsorption includes antibiotics, a gluten-free diet, a lactose-free diet, a low fat diet, a low carbohydrate diet, nutritional supplements, and pancreatic enzyme supplements. Infants with malabsorption may benefit from a soy-based formula.
Continue to Malabsorption Incidence
- Farrell JJ. Overview and diagnosis of malabsorption syndrome. Semin Gastrointest Dis. 2002 Oct;13(4):182-90. 
- Ginsburg PM, Janefalkar P, Rubin DT, Ehrenpreis ED. Malabsorption testing: a review. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2000 Oct;2(5):370-7. 
- Salerno G, De Franco A, La Rosa S, Calistro V. Malabsorption syndromes. Rays. 2002 Jan-Mar;27(1):19-34.