Malassimilation Syndrome

According to Ezhoushan, the malassimilation syndrome is understood to mean insufficient absorption and storage of nutrients, the causes of which are manifold. In most cases, combating symptoms is supplemented by individual therapy to treat causative factors.

Malassimilation Syndrome

What is Malassimilation Syndrome?

In those affected, the malassimilation syndrome is based on the fact that ingested nutrients cannot be utilized to a sufficient extent.

As a rule, the malassimilation syndrome is expressed by characteristic symptoms such as severe diarrhea and loss of body weight. The diarrhea typical of the malassimilation syndrome is also referred to in medicine as so-called fatty stool; this stool has a clay-like, shiny consistency and is usually characterized by its characteristically pungent odor.

Since those affected by the malassimilation syndrome usually excrete large amounts of stool several times a day, deficiency symptoms often occur as a result; for example, the organism lacks the required minerals, vitamins and/or proteins. Corresponding deficiency symptoms caused by a malassimilation syndrome lead in many cases to a drop in performance and fatigue in the affected patients.


An existing malassimilation syndrome can have various causes. For example, the person affected may lack digestive enzymes that are needed to digest the food that has been eaten; if only restricted digestion is possible as a result, this is also referred to in medicine as so-called maldigestion.

In this context, inflammation or removal of the pancreas can hide behind a restricted production of digestive juices. Finally, a lack of bile acid (needed for digestion) as a result of liver diseases or gallstones as well as diseases of the small intestine can also lead to malassimilation syndrome.

A malassimilation syndrome can also develop if the organism of an affected person can break down nutrients but cannot absorb them. This is possible, for example, due to infections or chronic inflammation of the intestine, malignant diseases of the small intestine, disturbed intestinal blood flow or food intolerance such as gluten intolerance.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

The symptoms of malassimilation syndrome are varied and non-specific. How it manifests itself depends primarily on the specific cause. Basically, the malassimilation syndrome usually manifests itself through disturbances in the area of ​​digestion. The chair often turns out to be particularly conspicuous. This can be foul smelling and bulky.

Some sufferers suffer from chronic diarrhea. In some cases, there is what is known as fatty stools, which are light-colored, greasy, and smelly. Bloating often occurs. Constipation occurs less frequently. A large number of diffuse digestive problems can occur, especially when the malassimilation syndrome begins.

These include, for example, abdominal pain, stomach pain, heartburn, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms can become noticeable either immediately after eating or later. In some cases, they only appear after eating certain foods. In the case of an advanced malassimilation syndrome, there are additional symptoms such as muscle weakness, exhaustion, tiredness or a general drop in performance.

Due to the digestive disorders, weight loss is usually noticeable. The disturbed food intake also leads to deficiency symptoms. Frequent symptoms are hair loss, wound healing disorders, anemia, atrophy of the corners of the mouth, muscle wasting, tetany (overexcitability of muscles and nerves), neurological disorders, edema, coagulation disorders, a tendency to bleed, night blindness and dry skin and mucous membranes.

Diagnosis & History

Due to the comparatively non-specific symptoms of a malassimilation syndrome and the diverse causes that can be hidden behind the syndrome, various examinations are usually required to make a corresponding diagnosis.

Possible examination methods include, for example, sonography (colloquially also referred to as ultrasound examination) or computer tomography to image areas of the abdominal cavity. Tests of the stool and blood of an affected person can also give indications of an existing malassimilation syndrome. Depending on the suspected cause of the disease, tissue removal can also provide more specific diagnostic statements.

The course of a malassimilation syndrome in the individual depends primarily on the causes of the disease and on the possibilities of treating a corresponding cause medically. If the causative factors of a malassimilation syndrome cannot be eliminated, the course of the syndrome depends, among other things, on the success of symptomatic treatment.


First and foremost, those affected by the malassimilation syndrome suffer from digestive disorders and thus from problems in the stomach and intestines. This leads to severe diarrhea and usually also to flatulence. Furthermore, the patients also suffer from severe weight loss, which generally has a very negative effect on the patient’s health.

The malassimilation syndrome also leads to exhaustion, which causes the patient to be constantly tired. The resilience of those affected is also significantly reduced by this disease, resulting in various restrictions in everyday life. Furthermore, the malassimilation syndrome also leads to a lack of vitamins and minerals. This can lead to various complications and complaints, which have a very negative effect on the patient’s health.

As a rule, there is always a causal treatment of the malassimilation syndrome. Furthermore, the lack of nutrients can also be compensated for by various solutions. Complications usually do not arise. However, this does not always lead to a positive course of the disease. Furthermore, the life expectancy of the patient can be limited by this complaint.

When should you go to the doctor?

People who are experiencing unexplained weight loss should consult a doctor. If there are problems with digestion, noise in the intestines or diarrhea, a doctor is needed to clarify the cause. A doctor should be consulted if you have fatty stools, constipation or pain when going to the toilet. Pain in the abdomen should also be examined and treated by a doctor. If the symptoms persist for several days, there is a health impairment that requires medical care. To prevent possible complications, pain medication should only be taken in consultation with a doctor.

If the usual muscle strength begins to deteriorate, if there is a lack of performance or if the person concerned suffers from exhaustion, a doctor should be consulted. Tiredness, nausea and vomiting are signs of an irregularity. If symptoms such as heartburn, wound healing disorders or diffuse deficiency symptoms also occur, a doctor’s visit is required. Loss of hair, changes in vision or the appearance of the skin must be examined by a doctor. With tears in the corners of the mouth, the development of edema, as well as a tendency to profuse bleeding with minor injuries, a doctor is needed. Symptoms such as malaise, feeling ill and feeling restless should be reported to a doctor if they persist for several days or weeks.

Treatment & Therapy

Therapeutic measures to counteract a malassimilation syndrome must first be differentiated between interventions that combat the cause of the syndrome and measures that serve to alleviate the symptoms that occur.

As part of combating the symptoms of a malassimilation syndrome, for example, there is often a regulation of the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance ( electrolytes are substances required by the organism, such as salts and minerals); The aim of this therapy module is to counteract losses that occur in the affected person due to the severe diarrhea that is typical of the disease. Supplementary nutrients such as vitamins are also used to compensate for symptomatic deficiencies in those affected by malassimilation syndrome.

A symptomatic fight against the syndrome is usually accompanied by accompanying, causal treatment steps; The subsequent therapy steps are based on the individual symptoms that have led to a malassimilation syndrome. For example, if a syndrome is caused by gallstones, these can be removed in various ways. Depending on the individual case and medical assessment, inflammatory bowel diseases or circulatory disorders in the intestine must be checked medically.

Outlook & Forecast

The prognosis of malassimilation syndrome depends on the causative disorder. If this is curable, there is also a regression of the symptoms of the syndrome. In some cases, changing your diet can bring about significant relief from the symptoms. A lack of nutrients can be compensated and thus already contribute to an improvement in health. Cooperation with a doctor should take place so that the causal irregularities can be found and treated. Otherwise, they often remain unexplained. In addition, there can be an increase in symptoms and thus a reduced quality of life.

If the cause of the disorder is the presence of foreign bodies in the organism, they must be completely removed. In a surgical procedure, gallstones or similar foreign bodies are removed from the body. The treatment method is associated with risks, but is usually completed without any problems. Once the wound has healed, you should be free of symptoms. Nevertheless, it must be taken into account that at any time in the course of life foreign bodies can develop again and thus the symptoms can recede. If there are inflammatory developments in the body, then in order for malassimilation syndrome to have a good prognosis, they must be completely cured. In the case of intestinal inflammation, the healing process is often lengthy.


Factors such as food intolerance or chronic intestinal diseases, which can lead to malassimilation syndrome, can usually only be prevented to a limited extent. However, if the affected person has underlying diseases, in many cases early and expert treatment or intervention steps can help to prevent malassimilation syndrome from occurring; if malassimilation syndrome is already present, appropriate treatment steps can counteract a worsening of symptoms.


Since self-healing cannot occur with malassimilation syndrome, aftercare focuses on dealing with the disease safely. Those affected should try to focus on a positive healing process despite the adversity. To establish the appropriate attitude, relaxation exercises and meditation can help to calm the mind and mentally focus.

Those affected suffer from malassimilation syndrome primarily from a disturbed digestive system. This can be counteracted with an appropriate diet that avoids fatty and acidic foods. Stomach complaints and abdominal pain restrict the quality of life of those affected, so that mental upsets often occur. The malassimilation syndrome also has a negative effect on the wound healing of the affected person. This should be monitored in close follow-up care in order to prevent any complications. The further course depends strongly on the cause and also on the exact time of diagnosis of the disease, so that no universal prediction can be made.

You can do that yourself

Patients with the malassimilation syndrome suffer from the diffuse symptoms of the disease and the associated reduced quality of life. Self-help measures are not sufficient, since the disease urgently requires professional medical therapy. Therefore, patients turn to a doctor in their own health interest. The diagnosis is often lengthy, since the symptoms are relatively unspecific and the disease also follows a certain underlying disease. It is therefore important that patients exercise patience and have further examinations carried out until an accurate diagnosis has been made.

Depending on the individual case, the doctor prescribes different nutrients, medications or electrolytes to be taken. The patient follows the medical instructions in order to carry out the therapy successfully. In general, a healthy lifestyle supports the physical condition and well-being of those affected. This includes, in particular, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, since these stimulants deprive the organism of further nutrients.

In order to improve the patient’s performance, he consults a professional nutritionist. Based on the individual diagnosis, he develops a diet plan for the patient. The aim of this plan is the best possible supply of relevant nutrients through daily nutrition. Light sporting activities support the physical well-being and mental stability of the patient.