Dr. De Marta has been recognized by her peers and selected to be featured in Palm Beach Media Group’s Stuart 2024 list of Top Doctors through a vote
February 7, 2024
Dr. De Marta has been recognized by her peers and selected to be featured in Palm Beach Media Group’s Stuart 2024 list of Top Doctors through a vote
February 7, 2024

Functional medicine to help with intestinal failure

Functional medicine to help with intestinal failure

What is short bowel syndrome?

SBS occurs when parts of the intestine are surgically removed and the remaining intestine may not be able to absorb enough nutrients from the food and drinks you consume. As a result of this “malabsorption” creates a big risk on many patients for the following:
• Electrolyte disturbances
• Dehydration
• Malnutrition
• Diarrhea/increased outputs

What are the common signs and symptoms of short bowel syndrome?

A person with SBS has a difficult time absorbing all the nutrients and fluids needed to function normally. There are a series of unpleasant symptoms that come with this syndrome, such as:

• Signs of dehydration
• Difficulty maintaining weight
• Fatigue or sleep deprivation
• Heartburn
• Stomach pain and cramping
• Gas
• Diarrhea/high ostomy output
• Irregular stools or changes in bowel habits
• Vomiting
• Bloating
• Bacterial infections
• Malnutrition
• New food allergies and sensitivities

Sbs in adults often starts with other conditions

Numerous conditions could need surgical removal of intestines, this may increase the risk for Short Bowel Syndrome:

• Crohn’s disease: This chronic disease causes inflammation and injury to the intestines, if the disease is too severe the treatment can include surgery.
• Bariatric or gastric bypass surgery complications: Gastric bypass and bariatric surgery are designed to help people lose weight.
• TRAUMA: A traumatic injury to the intestine, such as from a car crash, may require bowel resection.
• Injury to blood vessels: also call as intestinal ischemia, vascular disease or injury is when the blood vessels in the intestines can’t deliver enough blood, affecting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the organ to allow it to function properly.
• Cancer surgery: During certain cancer treatments, it may be necessary to have tumors in the intestine removed or undergo radiation therapy.
• Volvulus: Volvulus is a twisting of the intestine that can cause a blockage and cut off blood flow. The damaged tissue may need to be removed via resection.



Helping to restore the body’s natural ability to absorb nutrients is a fundamental factor in improving and return people with SBS to a better lifestyle. Complementing the oral diet and hydration some SBS medications may address SBS symptoms or improve intestinal adaptation, having functions such as:

• Slowing food transit and reducing diarrhea
• Reducing gastric secretions
• Treating bacterial overgrowth
• Increasing bowel growth and absorption


There are multiple tests and techniques Dr. DeMarta may use to determine an SBS diagnosis, in addition to the length of the remaining bowel.

Intestinal failure after bowel resection may result due to the following conditions:

• Crohn’s disease
• Congenital defects
• Vascular catastrophes
• Radiation damage
• Small bowel fistula
• Abdominal trauma
• Total colectomy
• Intestinal volvulus
• Strangulated hernias
• And several other conditions

What is malabsorption and what can you do about it

Malabsorption is the result of an interruption in at least one part of a person’s digestion, causing a disorder where people are unable to absorb nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins, or vitamins from their diets.

There are many different malabsorption disorders each with a different primary cause, such as if someone doesn’t have enough digestive enzymes, or if some bacteria are present. Also, malabsorption can occur for faster movement in the small or large intestine than usual.


Some factors that may cause malabsorption syndrome are:

• Damage to the intestine from infection, inflammation, trauma, or surgery
• Prolonged use of antibiotics
• Conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, chronic pancreatitis, or cystic fibrosis
• Lactase deficiency, or lactose intolerance
• Certain defects that are congenital, or present at birth, such as biliary atresia, when the bile ducts don’t develop normally and prevent the flow of bile from the liver
• Diseases of the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas
• Parasitic diseases
• Radiation therapy, which may injure the lining of the intestine
• Some drugs that may injure the lining of the intestine, such as tetracycline, colchicine, or cholestyramine

When to see a doctor

If you observe blood in the stool (it may look like dried coffee grounds) or are coughing up blood it’s recommended to seek immediate medical attention. However, symptoms such as the following should require an appointment with the doctor:

• Continued abdominal bloating
• Fatigue
• Frequent diarrhea
• Sore tongue
• Weakness
• Weight loss

A doctor can help evaluate a person’s symptoms and start to make a diagnosis.

What treatment options are

According to the underlying cause, each malabsorption disorder has its treatment. For example, if the cause is some kind of food, the doctor may recommend the person to avoid the food that is causing the malabsorption. After, the doctor can evaluate the nutrients present in this food and make recommendations on supplementation to improve the nutritional intake.

A doctor will likely recommend frequent follow-up appointments to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and make new recommendations if necessary.


If you need help with any of the following?
Malnutrition, IV fluid dependence, TPN, malabsorption, SBS, parenteral nutrition.

Please contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. DeMarta

Colorectal Surgery & Care
Colon cancer, rectal cancer and colorectal cancer are being linked increasingly to microbial problems in the gut. Researchers have shown that the disease is linked with less variety in the gut bacteria, and with more harmful strains.
Preventive medicine
Preventive medicine is basically preventive healthcare, and it is given with the intention to avoid or reduce the patient’s risk of developing certain illnesses or ailments in the future that can affect their productivity and the way they live.

Ph: 772 539-9556 - Fax: 772 539-0175

218 SW Atlanta Ave., Stuart, Florida 34994

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