The main role of your small intestine is to absorb nutrients from the food you eat into your bloodstream. Malabsorption syndrome refers to a number of disorders in which the small intestine can’t absorb enough of certain nutrients and fluids.
Nutrients that the small intestine often has trouble absorbing can be macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), or both.
Factors that may cause malabsorption syndrome include:
damage to the intestine from infection, inflammation, trauma, or surgery
prolonged use of antibiotics
other conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, chronic pancreatitis, or cystic fibrosis
lactase deficiency, or lactose intolerance
certain defects that are congenital, or present at birth, such as biliary atresia, when the bile ducts don’t develop normally and prevent the flow of bile from the liver
diseases of the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas
radiation therapy, which may injure the lining of the intestine
certain drugs that may injure the lining of the intestine, such as tetracycline, colchicine, orcholestyramine