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Pediatric Malabsorption



Malabsorption is a condition in which a child's body has trouble absorbing nutrients from food. If a child's small intestine can't process certain sugars, fats, proteins or vitamins, it can lead to malnutrition.


Malabsorption can be caused by disease; intolerance to milk proteins; lactose intolerance; intestinal parasites; or weight loss, stomach, intestinal, or bowel surgeries. Diseases that can lead to malabsorption include:


Symptoms of malabsorption vary depending on the cause, but most often include:

Tests and Diagnosis

There are several tests to diagnose malabsorption in children. A doctor will go over your child's medical history and perform a physical exam. Your healthcare provider may also perform one or more of the following tests:


The cause of your child's malabsorption will determine the treatment. Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Medications to treat diarrhea, inflammation, and infection
  • Treatments for contributing medical conditions
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements


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