Tropical Sprue

Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition 3(2+1)

Tropical Sprue

It is a rare digestive disease where the small intestine cannot absorb nutrients properly. It may be the sequela of an acute infectious diarrhoea, with subsequent contamination of the bowel by bacteria. The intestinal villi are shortened. The gastric mucosa may be atrophied and inflamed with diminished secretion of hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor.

Symptoms include diarrhoea, anorexia and abdominal distention as well as symptoms of nutritional deficiency.

Treatment involves restoration of fluids, electrolytes and nutrients. Tropical sprue often responds promptly to antibiotics and folate therapy. Along with other nutrients as needed, folate is given orally, 5 mg/ day, along with intramuscular vitamin B12 (1000 µg/month).

Last modified: Monday, 24 October 2011, 11:52 AM