Diarrhoea due to small bowel diseases

Joseph A. Murray, Alberto Rubio-Tapia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Small intestinal diseases are a common, though often overlooked cause of diarrhoeal illness. Fully 1% of the Caucasian population are affected by coeliac disease and a substantial portion of children living in poverty in the developing world are affected by environmental enteropathy. These are but two examples of the many diseases that cause mucosal injury to the primary digestive and absorptive organ in our body. While diarrhoea may be a common, though not universally seen symptom of small bowel mucosal disease, the consequent malabsorption can lead to substantial malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies. The small intestine, unlike the colon, has been relatively inaccessible, and systematic evaluation is often necessary to identify and treat small intestinal mucosal diseases that lead to diarrhoea. Immunodeficiency states, including HIV enteropathy, adult autoimmune enteropathy, drug-associated enteropathy, and tropical sprue continue to occur and require specific therapy. All patients with severe diarrhoea or diarrhoea associated with features suggestive of malabsorption may have a disease of the small intestinal mucosa that requires careful evaluation and targeted management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-600
Number of pages20
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Autoimmune enteropathy
  • Coeliac disease
  • HIV enteropathy
  • Malabsorption
  • Tropical sprue steatorrhoea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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