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What are Symptoms of Small Intestine Disease?

By Daphne Mallory
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Small intestine disease occurs when an individual can no longer absorb nutrients from foods in a proper way because the small intestine malfunctions. Many digestive disorders and immune system complications can result from intestinal diseases, and individuals experience a wide range of intestine symptoms. The most common symptoms include mild or severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and blood in the stool. Weight loss and fever may also occur. Medical professionals can perform tests to determine what, if any, condition is present, and can treat the disease with medications and, in rare cases, surgery.

One of the symptoms of small intestine disease is mild or severe abdominal pain, resulting from inflammation. Of all the intestine symptoms, abdominal pain is often experienced by most people. The intestines and nearby organs, such as the bowel, swell and get scarred. The swelling can also lead to inflammation of the liver and bile ducts. The pain is often located in the central area of the abdomen, which signifies that the symptom is of a small intestine disease.

Small intestine inflammation can cause individuals to lose their appetite. Eating less often leads to weight loss, and the individual will lack the nutrients necessary to remain healthy. Even if individuals retain their appetites, they may not be able to digest foods properly because of the small intestine disease. Failure to absorb foods will result in weight loss that can be a serious health concern for some individuals who are close to or below what their weight should be. Weight loss is often a more common symptom than abdominal pain.

When the intestines cramp and are inflamed, loose stools or diarrhea can occur. Chronic diarrhea is symptomatic of small intestine disease. Damaged cells in the small intestines can also secrete water and salt in large amounts, which leads to diarrhea and could be indicative of bacterial overgrowth. It’s important to treat diarrhea because of the risk of dehydration. Drinking lots of fluids and electrolytes is the key to remaining hydrated.

Blood in the stool can either appear red or black. Some blood in the stool is not detectable by the human eye, and this is known as fecal occult blood. Individuals may experience blood in their stool every once in a while, but when it happens two or more days in a row, then it’s a symptom of a possible small intestine disease. The best course of action is often to contact a medical professional and follow up with a visit to take blood tests. The bleeding occurs when food scars the intestinal tissues and causes them to bleed.

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Discussion Comments

By anon267175 — On May 09, 2012

Can damage in the small intestine (villi) be the cause of urticaria (hives) in an individual, and what would be the best medication or treatment for the Villi?

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