Adaptation In Short Bowel Syndrome

Adaptation In Short Bowel Syndrome

Short bowel syndrome is a condition that stems from the poor absorption of nutrients, usually occurring in those who have part of their small intestine removed, either because of a surgery or due to a birth defect.

The small intestine and large intestines together are called the colon. Since food digestion and absorption of nutrients take place in the small intestine, those with short bowel syndrome are naturally unable to absorb the required amounts of vitamins, water and other nutrients from foods.

Short bowel syndrome is commonly found in those suffering from Crohn's disease and necrotising enterocolitis. A person needs to lose over half of his small intestine before his body will show any sign of the short bowel syndrome, which is typically malnutrition. Because of this, the medical world has great regard for the small intestine and its incredible ability to self recover and continue functioning in a normal way, even after a serious disease or a complicated surgical procedure. This ability of the small intestine is medically termed as 'intestinal adaptation' and is most commonly seen in cases of child patients.

Once parts of the small intestine have been removed through surgery and remaining healthy parts are put back together, the small intestine goes through a process of dilation and enlarges, so that absorbing an increased amount of food nutrients become possible. Though the exact mechanisms at work behind this adaptation are yet to be determined, scientists feel that it has got something to do with the patient’s genes.

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Adaptation In Short Bowel Syndrome