The absorption of food nutrients through the small intestine is a condition known as celiac Sprue. The intestine is impaired because of an immune reaction to gluten which is a protein found in wheat or other grains that is in much food that people eat. Celiac sprue is generally reversible once certain grains are removed from the diet. The condition is seen in people from all over the world.
The small intestine is affected because
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known as refractory sprue. This rare condition will often require the use of medications in addition to diet. Medications that are used include cortisone preparations or a class of medications known as immunosuppressants. When cortisone and immunosuppressants are still ineffective, a condition known as collagenous sprue may have developed. In this condition scar tissue has formed in the lining of the small intestine causing malabsorption. This is a serious problem that can lead to death.