Short Bowel Syndrome
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Short Bowel Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Synonyms Back to top
Disorder Subdivisions Back to top
General Discussion Back to top
Short bowel syndrome is a complex disease that occurs due to the physical loss or the loss of function of a portion of the small and/or large intestine. Consequently, individuals with short bowel syndrome often have a reduced ability to absorb nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates (sugars) vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fluids (malabsorption). The specific symptoms and severity of short bowel syndrome vary from one person to another. Diarrhea is common, often severe and can cause dehydration, which can even be life threatening. Short bowel syndrome can lead to malnutrition, unintended weight loss and additional symptoms may be due to the loss of essential vitamins and minerals. There is no cure, but the disorder usually can be treated effectively. However, in severe cases, short bowel syndrome can lead to severe, disabling and life-threatening complications. Short bowel syndrome is most commonly associated with the surgical removal (resection) of half or more of the small intestine. Such surgery is performed to treat intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease, injury or trauma to the small bowel, or congenital birth defects. The presence or absence of the large intestine (colon) also plays an important role in the genesis and/or treatment of the short bowel syndrome.
Through the years, the definition of short bowel syndrome in the medical literature has varied. This has led to confusion. Although some medical sources seem to reserve the name short bowel syndrome for cases caused by surgical resection of a portion of the small intestine, other sources have noted that the disorder can result from any disease, injury or condition that hinders or prevents the proper function of the small intestine even if the length of the bowel is unaffected. Short bowel syndrome may be classified as a cause or subcategory of intestinal failure. In rare cases, infants are born with a short bowel (congenital short bowel syndrome). Although these congenital cases are often associated with malrotation of the small intestine, the exact cause of congenital short bowel syndrome is unknown.
Resources Back to top
Association of Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders, Inc.
12 Roberts Drive
Bedford, MA 01730
Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America
386 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-7374
American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
8630 Fenton Street
Silver Springs, MD 20910
Digestive Disease National Coalition
507 Capitol Court, NE
Washington, DC 20002
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
P.O. Box 17864
Milwaukee, WI 53217
214 Hun Memorial MC-28
Albany Medical Center
Albany, NY 12208-3478
Short Bowel Syndrome Foundation, Inc.
285 South 68th Street Place
Lincoln, NE 68510
For a Complete Report Back to top
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 9/10/2011
Copyright 2011 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.