This major symptom is often accompanied by dehydration, malnutrition, weight loss and fatigue. Reasons vary with the type of resection and the amount of functionality of the remaining bowel.
Short Bowel Syndrome?
Some patients with an ostomy may also have what is known as Short Bowel Syndrome. It is important to talk to your doctor is you think you have this condition.
Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) or often referred to and indicated as intestinal failure, is a potentially fatal gastrointestinal disorder in which patients are unable to absorb enough nutrients and fluids through the intestine from the foods and liquids they consume. SBS generally occurs when a large portion of the small intestine has been removed by surgery as a result of disease or injury. Though SBS can occur in people with a complete bowel, most cases will develop after the surgical resection of the small and/or large bowel (colon).
If you have SBS, you may experience symptoms related to difficulty in absorbing the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, electrolytes, and fluids. Adults with SBS often experience symptoms of malnutrition including, poor skin and nails, weight loss, and low energy. Infants and children fail to grow and develop. Symptoms vary according to the individual.
The following symptoms may occur at any time
but exacerbations indicate lack of adequate nutritional management:
Short Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of SBS is based on a combination of a physical exam, laboratory tests, and imaging exams and evaluation of operative reports.
Short Bowel Syndrome Treated and managed?
Management options for SBS are patient specific and complex. There are a lot of factors, like the location and parts of bowel remaining after surgery, that help determine the management plan. The initial management plan may change over time. The treating doctor, often with the help of a registered dietitian or certified nutrition support clinician, will develop a plan that is best for each patient.
If you are a patient with SBS, you typically cannot get the proper amount of nutrition and fluid from your diet. That’s why the primary treatment goal is to ensure that you get the nutrition and fluid that you need (including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and minerals). At the same time, doctors will focus on symptoms management using therapeutic medications.
Some patients that cannot maintain adequate nutrition and hydration by mouth may be given the alternative of intravenous nutrition and hydration. This is commonly known as Total Parenteral Nutrition, TPN. IV access needs to be established with a special IV that can remain in place for an extended period. TPN is often just administered at bedtime to allow patients normal activity during the daytime.
Are there complications of Short Bowel Syndrome?
If you have SBS, you may or may not experience these common complications:
Again, it is important to talk to your doctor if you think you may have this condition. For more information visit www.shortbowelsyndrome.com