Short Bowel Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

Short Bowel

What is Short Bowel Syndrome?

Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) is a condition where the small intestine is unable to absorb enough nutrients from digested foods due to a decreased amount of small intestine. The remaining small intestine isn’t able to absorb enough nutrients to maintain health. It’s a serious and sometimes fatal condition.

Symptoms of Short Bowel Syndrome

Common symptoms of SBS include chronic diarrhea, weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, fatigue, abdominal pain, and foul-smelling stools. Other symptoms may include vomiting, low-blood sugar, anemia, and poor appetite.

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Causes of Short Bowel Syndrome

The most common cause of SBS is a surgical problem, such as a radical resection of the small intestine. This surgery can be needed to treat certain conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, intestinal atresia, or intestinal volvulus. Other causes of SBS can include necrotizing enterocolitis, or a severe form of diarrhea known as short-gut syndrome.

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Treatment Options for Short Bowel Syndrome

Treatment options for SBS can include nutrition, medications, and/or surgery. Nutrition needs to be tailored to the individual depending on the remaining small intestine and diet options may include high-calorie snack options, small, frequent meals, and the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. Medications such as cholestyramine and loperamide can be prescribed if needed to help control diarrhea and reduce fluid loss. Surgery may be necessary to remove any damaged areas or in severe cases of SBS where large parts of the small intestine have been removed.

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Health Implications of Short Bowel Syndrome

SBS can be a life-threatening condition and can lead to digestive, liver, and kidney complications. Malnutrition is a major health concern with SBS and can lead to weakened bones, delayed growth and development, weakened immune systems, and other health problems. It’s important to seek treatment and maintain regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to help manage SBS and prevent complications.

Keywords: Short Bowel Syndrome, SBS, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Health, Nutrition, Medication, Surgery, Complications

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