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Malabsorption can lead to failing of general health


Our body is a wonderful machine. The ingested food in various forms is broken down and absorbed and the nutrients are channelled to requisite areas to keep our physical activity at its kinetic best and mental activities at peak coherence.

The foods we eat consist of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, mineral and vitamins. Carbohydrates are broken down by our body to give us the `insta-energy' for our day-to-day functions. Proteins are body building in nature, apart from giving our immunity the vital impetus. Fats are stored on which our body banks on in times of long haul of insufficiency of nutrients. Minerals like Sodium and Potassium rev up our metabolism even as calcium maintains the bone health. Vitamins help catalyse various chemical reactions in the system.

All this sounds fine if our liver produces bile juice to break down fats, pancreas maintains the sugar levels as the stomach breaks down the proteins and leaves it to the small intestine to absorb and assimilate all the nutrients where 80 per cent of it usually takes place. Any disturbance in mechanism of vital organs leaves undigested food particles into the small intestines and remain unabsorbed. Chronic infection with bacteria and worms in children can also lead to malabsorption. The intestine is flush with symbiotic bacterial floras that help in digestion and the lack of them can cause this problem. Reduced length or surface area of the intestine due to surgical removal can lead to this condition.

Persons affected have weakness, fatigue and breathlessness on slightest exertion, listless and lethargic to attend to daily duties as anaemia sets in.

Impaired water and carbohydrate absorption, apart from irritation due to fatty acids, can cause diarrhoea or more number of stools that are foul smelling. Gas, bloating, vague abdominal discomfort are common.

Protein being unabsorbed leads to fluid retention in tissues and muscle wasting, atrophy, and thereby, weight loss. Cramps in the muscles are evidence of mineral deficiency.

Fluid, electrolyte and nutrients should be replaced, which is primary. Eating small quantities at regular intervals is helpful. Homoeopathic medicine has good remedies to improve absorption and assimilation even as necessary supplements are being given. Weakness of digestion and assimilation due to long standing illnesses is improved to a certain extent by Cinchona. When the liver is affected and fluid retention is apparent, Lycopodium improves. Infection and excessive alcohol intake leading to malabsorption are remedied by Nux vomica, Ars alb and Baptisia fit the picture. Homoeopathy helps the patient to stand in a good stead to improve assimilation.


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