Absorption Disorder Treatment

Treatment for absorption disorders depends on the underlying cause. In many cases, symptoms can be managed successfully. However, even with proper treatment, damage to the GI tract can take as many as 2 years to heal.

Treatment plans often include medications (e.g., broad-spectrum antibiotics, immunosuppressant drugs), supplements (e.g., pancreatic enzyme supplements, vitamin and mineral supplements), and dietary changes (e.g., removal of the malabsorbed nutrient from the diet). Absorption disorders that involve severe congenital or acquired intestinal abnormalities or significant damage to the intestines may require surgery.

Malabsorption syndromes usually cannot be prevented. Treatment measures that can help reduce symptoms include strict adherence to a treatment plan, regular exercise, stress reduction, and avoiding alcohol and smoking. If left untreated, some types of absorption disorders (e.g., pancreatitis, Whipple's disease) have a poor prognosis.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 13 Mar 2008

Last Modified: 23 Sep 2014