Terms You Should Know
Absorption : The process of nutrients passing from the intestines into the blood stream. Anus : Opening at the end of the rectum that allows solid waste to be eliminated. Anaemia : A decrease in the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream, characterized by pallor, loss of energy, and weakness. Atrophy : Wasting away of a tissue or organ, often because of insufficient nutrition. Cystic fibrosis : : A hereditary genetic disorder. Thick, sticky secretions from mucus-producing glands cause blockages in the pancreatic ducts and the airways. Colon : The large intestine. Digestion : The process of breaking down food into its simplest chemical compounds so that it can be absorbed. Duodenum : The first portion of the small intestine. It connects the stomach to the small intestine. Edema : From the Greek word meaning swelling, an excessive accumulation of fluid in the tissue spaces. Excessive generalized edema may also be referred to as ascites. Glutan enteropathy : A hereditary malabsorption disorder caused by sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Also called non-tropical sprue or celiac disease. Ileum:The last portion of the small intestine that connects to the large intestine. Immune system : The body's natural defense system that fights against disease. Inflammation : A response to tissue injury that causes redness, swelling and pain. Jejunum : The middle portion of the small intestine. Large intestine : Also known as the colon. Rectum : Lowest portion of the colon. Small intestine : Connects to the stomach and large intestine . It also absorbs nutrients. Short bowel syndrome : A condition in which the bowel is not as long as normal, either because of surgery or because of a congenital defect. Because the bowel has less surface area to absorb nutrients, it can result in malabsorption syndrome. Steatorrhea: An excessive amount of fat in the stool.
Malabsorption refers to a clinical condition in which a number of nutrients are not normally absorbed from the intestines. Lipids absorption is almost always affected. At times absorption of single nutrients is selectively affected.