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Children’s Poor Absorption, Slow Weight Gain - A Common Concern!

Malabsorption syndrome in children occurs when, despite normal eating habits, their digestive system cannot absorb nutrients from food. This leads to deficiencies in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins, significantly impacting the development and functioning of various organs in the body.

Children’s Poor Absorption, Slow Weight Gain - A Common Concern!

Many parents worry when their children do not gain weight or grow in height despite being given nutrient-rich foods for a long time. In some cases, children may even lose weight and become malnourished. This situation causes considerable anxiety for parents, who often struggle to find a suitable solution. 

Under normal circumstances, digestive enzymes on the surface of the intestinal wall help break down nutrients from food into smaller molecules. These molecules can then pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, nourishing cells, organs, and supporting bodily functions, growth, and development. Poor absorption occurs when a child's body cannot fully absorb nutrients from the digestive system into the bloodstream. 

Signs of Malabsorption Syndrome in Children 

Parents can identify malabsorption syndrome in children through the following symptoms: 

- Loose, foul-smelling stools: Children with malabsorption typically have loose, light-colored stools with a very unpleasant smell. In older children, parents may notice oily residue in the toilet bowl due to unabsorbed fats. 

- Slow growth in weight and height: Children may not gain weight or grow in height over a prolonged period and may even lose weight and become malnourished. 

- Abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion with vomiting or regurgitation: Frequent abdominal pain, a feeling of fullness, and difficulty digesting food. 

- Changes in stool characteristics: Stools may be pale, contain a lot of mucus, and sometimes undigested food particles. 

- Pale, weak appearance, slow weight gain, malnutrition, or stunted growth. 

- Weight loss, fatigue, lack of energy. 

- Reduced appetite, lack of interest in eating. 

- Muscle pain, cramps due to calcium deficiency, anemia due to iron deficiency, and muscle pain due to vitamin B1 deficiency. 

In prolonged cases of poor absorption, children may experience edema due to low blood protein levels, dry skin, etc. 

Serious Complications of Malabsorption Syndrome in Children 

Children with poor absorption and slow weight gain can face several issues: 

- Nutritional quality: Children need nutrient-rich foods with adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals. 

- Digestive disorders: Problems in digestion may lead to inefficient nutrient absorption. 

- Medical conditions: Diseases like colitis, food allergies, and celiac disease can cause poor absorption. 

- Endocrine disorders: Examples include growth hormone deficiency and thyroid hormone deficiency. 

- Growth disorders: Children may become malnourished and lack energy. 

Preventing Malabsorption Syndrome in Children 

When symptoms of malabsorption are detected, parents should follow the guidelines provided by nutrition experts: 

- Adjust the child's diet to be balanced and appropriate as directed by nutritionists. 

- Supplement micronutrients as prescribed. 

- Deworm the child regularly. 

- Increase physical activity: Encourage children to engage in physical activities to enhance bowel movements, improve appetite, and boost digestion and nutrient absorption. 

However, to accurately determine the cause and extent of poor absorption in children, they should be examined, and their nutritional status assessed by nutrition experts to develop an appropriate and effective treatment plan. 

At the CarePlus International Clinics System, we apply a scientific approach to examination, consultation, treatment, and nutritional care. This includes diagnostic tests, dietary planning, creating menus based on the child’s preferences and eating habits, and providing guidance on scientifically prepared meals to effectively treat malabsorption syndrome in children. 

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