Short bowel syndrome can result from certain medical circumstances
Whether it is a result of disease or removal of part or all of your intestines, SBS is a serious medical condition that can greatly affect your health and life.
What is SBS?
Short Bowel Syndrome, also known as SBS, is a rare, serious and chronic malabsorption condition where patients are unable to absorb enough nutrients and fluids from the food they eat due to the surgical removal of a large part of their intestines. Characterized by diarrhea, dehydration and electrolyte disturbances, SBS is typically the result of chronic malabsorption following the removal of a large part of the intestines (a bowel resection).
The remaining intestine must then absorb all the important fluids and nutrients — like protein and carbohydrates — that the body needs to function normally. However, the shortened GI tract is not always up for the task. Therefore, SBS patients often require intravenous nutrition and/or fluids (parenteral support) to achieve adequate nutrition.
What can cause SBS?
There are many diseases and conditions that can require surgical removal of intestines, which may increase the risk for SBS:
These intestinal birth defects may result in removal of all or part of the bowel, as well:
“My doctor diagnosed me with Crohn's Disease when I was 26, and for a very long time I was able to manage it with diet and medication. But then it just kinda got out of hand. It got a lot worse, and they decided to go in and take out the diseased portion of my intestines. Unfortunately, there was a lot more diseased portion than they thought, so my doctor told me I had short bowel syndrome.”
- Norma, SBS Patient