A person with tropical sprue has a
condition that causes malabsorption. A
person with malabsorption is unable to
absorb nutrients, such as sugar, fat,
protein, or vitamins from food. The
cause of tropical sprue is unknown, but
it may be caused by an intestinal
infection that damages the wall of the
Diarrhea is the most common symptom of
tropical sprue. Additional symptoms of
tropical sprue include loss of appetite,
abdominal cramps, weight loss, fatigue,
fever, and excessive gas.
Treatment for tropical sprue may include
antibiotics, vitamin B supplements, and
NUTRITIONAL MANAGEMENT OF TROPICAL
Tropical sprue causes malabsorption, a
condition that can prevent the body from
taking in important nutrients. Foods
known to cause symptoms should be
avoided. Otherwise, a generally healthy
diet should be followed.
Strategies for a healthy diet
• Limit your intake of fat to 30% of
your total calories.
• 10% to 15% of your total calories
should be in the form of monounsaturated
fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and
• Consume only unsaturated fats that are
low in cholesterol.
• Consume less than 300 milligrams of
cholesterol a day.
• Eat dietary fiber: whole grains are
• Avoid fad diets.
• Check with your doctor about B vitamin
supplements. Some people may benefit
from B vitamins.
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