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Short Bowel Syndrome

Short bowel syndrome is a group of problems affecting people who have had half or more of their small intestine removed. The most common reason for removing part of the small intestine is to treat Crohn's disease.

Diarrhea is the main symptom of short bowel syndrome. Other symptoms include cramping, bloating, and heartburn. Many people with short bowel syndrome are malnourished because their remaining small intestine is unable to absorb enough water, vitamins, and other nutrients from food. They may also become dehydrated, which can be life threatening. Problems associated with dehydration and malnutrition include weakness, fatigue, depression, weight loss, bacterial infections, and food sensitivities.

Short bowel syndrome is treated through changes in diet, intravenous feeding, vitamin and mineral supplements, and medicine to relieve symptoms.

Additional Information

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse collects resource information on digestive diseases for National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Reference Collection. This database provides titles, abstracts, and availability information for health information and health education resources. The NIDDK Reference Collection is a service of the National Institutes of Health.

To provide you with the most up-to-date resources, information specialists at the clearinghouse created an automatic search of the NIDDK Reference Collection. To obtain this information, you may view the results of the automatic search on Short Bowel Syndrome.

If you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access and search the NIDDK Reference Collection database online.