Short Bowel Syndrome

Overview

What is short bowel syndrome?

Short bowel syndrome is a complex disease that occurs due to the physical loss or the loss of function of a portion of the small and/or large intestine. Consequently, individuals with short bowel syndrome often have a reduced ability to absorb nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates (sugars), vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fluids (malabsorption).

However, in some cases, short bowel syndrome can lead to severe, debilitating and life-threatening complications. Short bowel syndrome is most commonly associated with the surgical removal (resection) of half or more of the small intestine. Such surgery is performed to treat intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, injury or trauma to the small bowel, or congenital birth defects. The presence or absence of the large intestine (colon) also plays an important role in the genesis and/or treatment of the short bowel syndrome.

How common is short bowel syndrome?

Short bowel syndrome is rare and affects an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people in the United States, including both children and adults.


Questions regarding your short bowel syndrome therapy?

You can reach the Accredo Short Bowel Syndrome care team anytime, day or night, seven days a week by phone or online.

24-hour Customer Service Center

Call 1-844-492-4942

1, 2

  • 1<a href="https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/short-bowel-syndrome/#disease-overview-main" target="_blank">rarediseases.org</a>
  • 2my.clevelandclinic.org <a href="https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14725-short-bowel-syndrome-in-children" target="_blank">my.clevelandclinic.org</a>

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of short bowel syndrome?

Signs and symptoms of short bowel syndrome include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Excessive gas
  • Foul-smelling stool
  • Fatigue
  • Poor growth

Loose, watery stool or diarrhea are the most common symptoms of short bowel syndrome in infants and children.

How is it diagnosed?

A healthcare provider will diagnose short bowel syndrome in your child after a complete medical and family history, an exam and testing to learn more about their symptoms and what’s causing them.

Tests that diagnose short bowel syndrome include:

  • Blood tests (complete blood count, blood chemistry, vitamin and mineral levels)
  • A fecal fat test
  • An X-ray, including barium tests
  • A CT (computed tomography) scan

Medications

The following specialty medications are available at Accredo, a specialty pharmacy for short bowel syndrome

Medication Manufacturer
Gattex® (teduglutide [rDNA origin]) Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Financing Your Care

Financial assistance may be available to help with your medication costs, including manufacturer and community programs. Accredo specialists are available to help find a program that may work for you.

Financial Guidance

Life-saving specialty medication can be expensive. Learn how the Accredo teams help individuals find ways to afford the medication they need to survive in this video.

Find Support

There are many organizations that support research and advocacy for Short Bowel Syndrome. See below for a few of those organizations.

Support Organizations

Meet the Team

Accredo’s Short Bowel Syndrome care team is dedicated to serving you and we understand the complexity of your condition. Our expert clinicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions.

Why We Do It

Accredo supports patients with chronic and complex conditions and helps them live their best life. Watch our video to learn why we do what we do for our patients.

Why We Do It video transcript

24-hour Customer Service Center

Call 1-844-492-4942