What is malabsorption syndrome in children
Permanent weight loss combined with digestive problems and abdominal pain can be a symptom of a serious disorder – malabsorption syndrome.
What does malabsorption syndrome mean?
Under this term, there are a number of signs that the small intestine can not cope with its main function – the absorption of nutrients from the food entering the body.
As you know, it is in the small intestine that the food slurry is broken down into individual components, which are absorbed into the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. This is the main digestion process. If for some reason this process is disrupted, then the body does not receive the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, micro and macro elements, vitamins necessary for life, that is, it is starving. And it responds to this with very definite symptoms, in general, and constituting malabsorption syndrome.
Manifestations of malabsorption syndrome
The most characteristic symptom for malabsorption syndrome is unjustified weight loss. A person eats as usual, does not limit himself, does not follow any diets, but gradually loses weight. But this is not the only manifestation of malabsorption syndrome. Other symptoms include:
Often, urges arise as soon as a person eats. At the same time, the frequency of going to the toilet can reach 15 times a day. Fecal masses are allocated in large volume. They are liquid or in the form of gruel, yellow or green, have an unpleasant odor, they may contain particles of undigested food, sometimes blood. If fat metabolism is impaired, then fat is released along with feces. The stool becomes shiny and sticky, it is difficult to wash it off the walls of the toilet.
With pathology, the stomach can hurt
It is localized in the navel, a little higher, gives to the lower back. It occurs, as a rule, after eating, intensifies in the evening. Pain is prickly or cramping in nature. She is not removed with antispasmodics.
Increased gas production
After eating, bloating, rumbling, sensation of transfused fluid occur.
Other signs of indigestion are belching, nausea, and vomiting.
Common signs of malabsorption syndrome
As already noted, this is weight loss for no apparent reason. In children, along with weight loss, a lag in physical development and puberty develops.
Muscle weakness, fatigue, lethargy, drowsiness.
Constant feeling of thirst.
Dry skin, brittle nails, hair loss.
Signs of anemia.
The manifestations of malabsorption syndrome depend on the cause that caused it, and on which absorption of substances is impaired. So, this pathology can occur with impaired absorption of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins. The most severe form when several components are not absorbed at once.
It should be noted that weight loss is characteristic of all those suffering from malabsorption syndrome.
Causes and types of malabsorption syndrome
Pathology can be congenital and acquired in nature.
In young children, the syndrome is hereditary
In the first case, it is revealed to the battle as soon as the baby was born. The syndrome is caused by gene mutations and is hereditary. As a rule, such children suffer from cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and other hereditary diseases. Fortunately, congenital pathology is rare.
Acquired malabsorption syndrome occurs due to various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, endocrine pathologies, etc. The development of the syndrome is also possible after intestinal surgery.
Doctors say that about 70 different diseases can become the causes of malabsorption syndrome. Here is some of them:
damage to the small intestine mucosa due to infectious and non-infectious diseases: enteritis and enterocolitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, etc.
diseases of the digestive system – gastritis, ulcerative colitis, pancreatitis, cirrhosis;
cancerous tumors, lymphomas;
diseases with impaired production of enzymes (for example, celiac disease);
diseases with metabolic disorders of amino acids, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates
long-term use of antibiotics, glucocorticoids, cytostatics and some other drugs.
How to cure malabsorption syndrome
Before starting treatment for the syndrome, you need to determine the cause that caused the malabsorption, and fight it.
As a fight against manifestations of malabsorption syndrome, it is recommended:
diet with the exception of all fatty, fried, smoked, sausages, semi-finished products, legumes, pastries and, of course, alcohol. Frequent (every 2-3 hours) meals in small portions are recommended;
drug therapy, including antimicrobial, choleretic drugs, enzymes, vitamin and mineral complexes, enterosorbents, pro- and prebiotics, antidiarrheal drugs;
if necessary, an operation.