Malnutrition and malabsorption can occur if a child is not having enough, or the right type, of nutrients, which can lead to a reduced rate of growth and weight. In addition, certain conditions such as Crohn’s disease can impact whether they are able to absorb the nutrients from the food they are eating.
Malnutrition directly affects the release of growth hormones, lowering the amount in the body. Unfortunately, children that are malnourished will have reduced growth. In Crohn’s disease, the level of growth failure is directly related to the severity of the disease.
Signs of a growth condition due to malnutrition or malabsorption is reduced growth or short stature. The symptoms will range depending on the cause of the malnutrition and or malabsorption.
The cause of the malnutrition and or malabsorption will influence how the growth condition is diagnosed. For example, one to two thirds or more of children with Crohn’s disease have impaired growth at diagnosis. In some children, the growth issues come before the clinical symptoms of bowel disease by a few years. Which is why it is vital to regularly measure the growth of your child.