Short Bowel Syndrome & Malabsorption Causes


The small intestine and colon play crucial roles in digestion. The small intestine absorbs a majority of the nutrients your body needs to function, and the colon mainly absorbs water. Both are key for your child to grow. Loss of any part of the small bowel reduces the area available to absorb nutrients and fluids. Some infants are born with portions of the small intestine faulty or missing. Others have parts of the bowel removed surgically for various reasons. Either way, the result is SBS, or short bowel syndrome.


SBS can exist at birth or be caused by conditions that require surgical removal of sections of intestine.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Infection or inflammation of the intestinal system of newborn infants that results in necrosis (cell death) of part of the intestinal tract

Mid-Gut Volvulus

Twisting of the bowel upon itself, pinching off blood supply and causing necrosis

Intestinal Atresia

Malformation in which there is a narrowing or absence of a portion of the intestine


Situation in which part of the intestine collapses into itself like an inside-out sleeve or telescope, pinching off the blood supply and causing necrosis

Congenital Anomaly

Inherited or pregnancy-related condition in which a child is born with an incomplete or incorrectly formed gut

Total Colonic Aganglionosis (TCA)

Absence of nerve endings throughout the entire large intestine means it cannot move the gut contents along

Hirschsprung's Disease

Similar to TCA, absence or marked decrease in the number of nerve endings in part of the large bowel make it unable to move the gut contents along like normal

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