Malabsorption

Keywords: Steatorrhoea

Causes

Appropriate Tests

 

Full blood count, Blood film; Protein, Albumin, Calcium, Phosphate, Potassium; Prothrombin time. Carotene or Faecal fat if steatorrhoea suspected.

Post-gastrectomy syndromes;

If indicated: Ferritin, Vitamin B12.

Cholestasis

 

Pancreatic disorders, especially

 

  • Cystic fibrosis

 

  • Chronic pancreatitis

 

  • Schwachman syndrome

 

Small bowel disorders, especially

If indicated: Ferritin, Vitamin B12, Folate; Magnesium, Zinc; Immunoglobulins G, A, M; Small bowel biopsy.

  • Coeliac disease

 

  • Giardiasis

 

  • Crohn's disease

 

  • Intestinal lymphoma

 

  • Whipple's disease

 

  • Graft versus host disease (chronic)

 

  • Disaccharidase deficiency
    • Lactose intolerance
    • Sucrose intolerance

Small bowel biopsy with estimation of disaccharidases provides the definitive diagnosis.

Reducing substances faeces, pH faeces.

Lactose and sucrose tolerance tests may cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea and are rarely performed.

  • Enterokinase deficiency

Consult pathologist.