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  • 579 Intestinal malabsorption
  • 579.0 Celiac disease
  • 579.1 Tropical sprue
  • 579.2 Blind loop syndrome
  • 579.3 Other and unspecified postsurgical nonabsorption
  • 579.4 Pancreatic steatorrhea
  • 579.8 Other specified intestinal malabsorption
  • 579.9 Unspecified intestinal malabsorption

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  • 315.4 Developmental coordination disorder
  • 718.45 Contracture of joint, pelvic region and thigh
  • 719.70 Difficulty in walking
  • 728.2 Muscular wasting and disuse atrophy
  • 728.89 Disorders of muscle, ligament and fascia
  • 729.9 Other and unspecified disorders of soft tissue
  • 780.7 Malaise and fatigue
  • 781.2 Abnormality of gait
  • 782.3 Edema
  • 786.0 Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities
  • 786.05 Shortness of breath

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  • K90.1 Tropical sprue
  • K90.2 Blind loop syndrome, not elsewhere classified
  • K90.3 Pancreatic steatorrhea
  • K90.4 Malabsorption due to intolerance, not elsewhere classified
  • K90.89 Other intestinal malabsorption
  • K90.9 Intestinal malabsorption, unspecified
  • K91.2 Postsurgical malabsorption, not elsewhere classified

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As of February 2013, the APTA Guide to Physical Therapist Practice does not include practice patterns for organ system pathology. Therefore, the associated or secondary musculoskeletal, cardiovascular/pulmonary, or potential neuromuscular patterns would be indicated.

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Description

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  • Malabsorption: decreased absorption of fat and other nutrients caused by liver, biliary, pancreatic, or intestinal disease1
  • Impaired absorption of nutrients in gastrointestinal tract
  • Symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea resulting from malabsorption
  • May be acute, post-operative, chronic, viral, bacterial, congenital/hereditary
  • Complaints of change in bowel habits (constipation, urgency, incontinence, cramping)
  • Referred pain in low back
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD): chronic or recurring immune response, inflammation of GI tract
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Crohn’s disease

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Essentials of Diagnosis

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  • Intraluminal abnormalities1
  • Mucosal abnormalities1
  • Vascular abnormalities1
  • Metabolic genetic disease1
  • Abdominal pain (constant or intermittent)
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting1
  • Changes in bowel habits: diarrhea, constipation
  • Bloating
  • Possible rectal bleeding
  • Rectal irritation
  • Acute drop in blood pressure, may result in decreased blood flow to intestines
  • Inability to swallow
  • Lack of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain upon ingesting food
  • Possible joint pain
  • Dark stool or bright red blood in stool
  • Malaise, fatigue

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General Considerations

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  • Broad array of GI disorders may be encountered by physical therapists
  • While PT may not manage GI disorders specifically, clients may receive care for secondary problems: weakness, gait abnormalities, limited aerobic endurance, musculoskeletal problems, neuromuscular problems, weight loss or weight gain
  • Diagnosis for occult problems may take time and require intensive diagnostic testing
  • GI disorders frequently refer pain to other body areas; individuals may be inappropriately referred to PT
  • GI problems commonly related to stress or constipation
  • More serious problems include autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s
  • Acute pain indicative of appendicitis
  • GI complaints in females may indicate cancer/tumors in reproductive organs, or gynecological problems: endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ectopic pregnancies
  • May indicate inguinal or umbilical hernia
  • History of heartburn/indigestion may indicate GI or cardiac problems
  • Chronic diarrhea, episodic diarrhea, loss of bowel control, blood in stool may indicate inflammatory disease, pre-cancerous condition, cancer

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Demographics

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  • GI disorders occur throughout lifespan ...

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