Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tropical Sprue Overview

What is tropical sprue?
A person with tropical sprue has a condition that causes malabsorption. A person with malabsorption is unable to absorb nutrients, such as sugar, fat, protein, or vitamins from food. The cause of tropical sprue is unknown, but it may be caused by an intestinal infection that damages the wall of the intestine.

What are the symptoms of tropical sprue?
Diarrhea is the most common symptom of tropical sprue. Additional symptoms of tropical sprue include loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, weight loss, fatigue, fever, and excessive gas.

How does the doctor treat tropical sprue?
Treatment for tropical sprue may include antibiotics, vitamin B supplements, and iron supplements.

Continue to Tropical Sprue Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tropical Sprue References
  1. Farrell JJ. Overview and diagnosis of malabsorption syndrome. Semin Gastrointest Dis. 2002 Oct;13(4):182-90. [12462704]
  2. Ginsburg PM, Janefalkar P, Rubin DT, Ehrenpreis ED. Malabsorption testing: a review. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2000 Oct;2(5):370-7. [10998664]
  3. Salerno G, De Franco A, La Rosa S, Calistro V. Malabsorption syndromes. Rays. 2002 Jan-Mar;27(1):19-34. [12696272]
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