Malabsorption is caused by damage to or removal of part of the pancreas. This causes a change in the flow and amount of the pancreatic juice, containing digestive enzymes. This affects the body’s ability to absorb and digest nutrients such as fat, carbohydrate and protein.

Without digestive enzymes, food passes through the digestive system without being broken and absorbed. This is called malabsorption.

Different enzymes have the job of breaking down different types of food:

Some of the signs of malabsorption can include:

Controlling malabsorption

Malabsorption can be controlled and prevented using pancreatic enzyme replacement supplements. These are medications to replace the lost enzymes that are taken with meals, help you break down and start to absorb nutrients again.