Person

GI symptoms associated with fat malabsorption1:

  • Steatorrhea
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
People

Among patients with cystic fibrosis, fat malabsorption is associated with a low BMI and poor outcomes, which can have an impact on2:

  • Digestive
    symptoms
  • Physical
    functioning
  • Body image
  • Treatment burden
  • Nutritional status
  • Pain
Bed

In critically ill patients in the ICU, inability to hydrolyze fats led to3:

  • More days
    on mechanical
    ventilation
  • Longer
    ICU stays
  • Greater mortality
  • New organ failures

Overall short- and long-term health impacts are multisystemic and varied4-6

  • Weight Loss
    Weight loss
  • Respiratory issues
    Respiratory
    issues
  • Intestinal Obstructions
    Intestinal
    obstructions
  • Infections
    Infections
  • Diabetes
    Diabetes
  • Impaired bone health (vitamin K deficiency)
    Impaired bone health
    (vitamin K deficiency)
  • Death
    Death

GI=gastrointestinal.
BMI=body mass index.
ICU=intensive care unit.

REFERENCES
1. Blaauw R. Malabsorption: causes, consequences, diagnosis and treatment. S Afr J Clin Nutr. 2011;24(3):125-127.
2. Bodnar R, Kadar L, Holics K, et al. Factors influencing quality of life and disease severity in Hungarian children and young adults with cystic fibrosis. J Pediatr. 2014;2:40-50.
3. Martin JM, Stapleton RD. Omega-3 fatty acids in critical illness. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(9):531-541.
4. Mayo Clinic Website. Cystic fibrosis: symptoms and causes. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cystic-fibrosis/symptoms-causes/dxc-20211893. Accessed October 16, 2017.
5. Kalnins D, Wilschanski M. Maintenance of nutritional status in patients with cystic fibrosis: new and emerging therapies. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2012;6:151-161.
6. Dominguez-Munoz JE. Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency: diagnosis and treatment. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011;26(2):12-16

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