Malabsorption is the term physicians use to describe the inability to digest and absorb nutrients -- sugars, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals -- from your food. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that numerous factors may cause malabsorption, including parasites and certain autoimmune conditions. Natural remedies have often been used in treating this health problem, although you should avoid using natural remedies for treating your malabsorption until you have consulted with your primary care provider.
Malabsorption, notes Johns Hopkins Children's Center, can significantly affect your child's growth and development, or it can lead to certain illnesses. Possible causes of malabsorption include cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, celiac disease, Whipple disease and lactose intolerance. Common signs and symptoms associated with malabsorption include chronic diarrhea, bloating, gas, and failure to grow or develop. Johns Hopkins notes that the diagnosis and treatment of this condition largely depends on the underlying cause of the malabsorption.
Natural remedies may be helpful in treating malabsorption, although it is important to remember that not all remedies used for this health purpose have been studied in a laboratory setting using randomized controlled trials. Certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," states that aloe vera, peppermint, goldenseal, Irish moss, yellow dock, acidophilus, calcium, garlic, vitamin B complex, magnesium and vitamin C may be among the most helpful remedies in treating malabsorption syndrome.
Remedy in Focus
Garlic is an herbal remedy that helps improve digestion and encourages healing of the digestive tract. Garlic, notes naturopathic physician and master herbalist Michael T. Murray, author of "The Healing Power of Herbs," has also historically been used in treating diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and infections. Garlic possesses anti-helmenthic, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-viral actions. Garlic bulbs are the part of the plant incorporated into dietary supplements and remedies.
Malabsorption is a serious health problem that may lead to long-term health complications if it is not treated appropriately. Herbal and non-herbal remedies, though largely safe and often helpful in treating this problem, should only be used under the supervision and guidance of a licensed health care professional. A health care provider who has advanced training in clinical nutrition can suggest the most effective nutritional remedies to help you and your condition.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Malabsorption
- Johns Hopkins Children's Center: Malabsorption
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010
- "The Healing Power of Herbs"; Michael T. Murray, N.D.; 1995