Digestive and Gastrointestinal Conditions

Short Bowel Syndrome Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Short Bowel Syndrome

Children with short bowel syndrome (SBS) may have these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Failure to thrive (not growing as expected)
  • Poor absorption of nutrients

The less small bowel that the child has, the more severe symptoms tend to be.

Short Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis

If your child has had a condition or surgery that puts them at risk for SBS, your child's doctor will be closely watching their nutrition level and growth and development to measure how well the bowel is working.

As a general rule, SBS is diagnosed if a child has needed intravenous (IV) feeding (total parenteral nutrition, TPN) for more than 90 days.