Last updated: Thursday, 20, January, 2011
CausesAppropriate Tests

FBC, blood film; protein (total), albumin, calcium, phosphate, potassium; PT. Carotene or faecal fat if steatorrhoea suspected.

Post-gastrectomy syndromes 

If indicated: ferritin, Vitamin B12.


Pancreatic disorders, especially

  • Schwachman syndrome

Small bowel disorders, especially 

If indicated: ferritin, vitamin B12, folate; magnesium, zinc; immunoglobulins G, A, M; small bowel biopsy.

  • Whipple's disease

Small bowel biopsy with EM.

  • Disaccharidase deficiency 
    • Lactose intolerance
    • Sucrose intolerance

Small bowel biopsy with estimation of disaccharidases provides the definitive diagnosis.

Reducing substances, pH - faeces.

Lactose and sucrose tolerance tests may cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea and are rarely performed.

  • Enterokinase deficiency

Consult pathologist.