Short bowel syndrome is a condition when the small intestine is shortened and is unable to function properly. This leads to mal-absorption of nutrients, since the digestive process takes place in the intestines. Short bowel syndrome prevents the body from absorbing the required amount of vitamins, nutrients and water, needed for good health and long life.
Short bowel syndrome mainly happens when parts of the small intestine are surgically removed in order to treat diseases of the intestine, injuries, or birth defects. These conditions are often seen in newborn babies who have to undergo surgery due to conditions like necrotizing enterocolitis, which is common in premature babies and results in the bowel tissue being killed, congenital bowel defects like midgut volvulus, omphalocele and gastroschisis,jejunoileal atresia, internal hernia, congenital short bowel, and meconium ileus, which is related to cystic fibrosis.
As far as adults and young children are concerned, short bowel syndrome may be noticed after surgical procedures done to treat intussusception, which happens when parts of the intestine fold into one another, the inflammatory bowel disease known as Crohn’s disease, injury to the bowel from trauma, loss of blood flow, or bowel cancer.
The chief symptom of short bowel syndrome is acute diarrhea, which in turn leads to dehydration and malnutrition, subsequently, severe weight loss. A few other symptoms of short bowel syndrome are fatigue, weakness, heartburn, bloating and cramps.
The primary treatment for short bowel syndrome is offered by way of nutritional support, like administering sugar and salt in liquid form to provide oral re-hydration.
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