Blind loop syndrome
A condition in which a superfluous area or dead end (blind loop) in the small intestine becomes colonized with bacteria. The bacteria then break down bile salts, which are necessary for the absorption of certain vitamins and fats. This then leads to poor absorption of fats and abnormal faeces. Blind loop syndrome can result from surgery stricture (narrowing) in the intestine as a result of a disorder such as Crohn’s disease. It is characterised by steatorrhoea (pale yellow, fatty, bulky, foul smelling faeces that are difficult to flush away), weight loss and tiredness. Antibiotic drug treatment is usually successful, but the condition can recur and worsen if the underlying abnormality cannot be corrected.