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My son is three years old and has had diaherria since he was just a few months old. He was recently diagnosed with malabsorption through a stool culture and his primary care doctor tested him for a number of conditions such a ciliac, cystic fibrosis, and many other things through blood work. She then decided to repeat the stool culture and this time it came back normal but, the blood work showed his alkaline phosphate was abnormally high and his carotene was abnormally low. She then called the gastro doctor who in turn scheduled him an appointment and ordered some test of her own. She did some more blood work and another stool culture and told us it will take five weeks for the results. The doctors aren't telling us much, just that the alkaline phosphate could mean something with the bones or liver but, I am clueless as to what any of this means. I was wondering if you could tell me some possible causes for all of this?


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replied July 28th, 2008
Digestive and Bowel Disorders Answer A4457
Chronic diarrhea can be due to malabsorption syndrome. Malabsorption can be due to many reasons including certain liver disorders. It is true that increased levels of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase can be due either to a liver disorder or bone disorder. That’s why your son needs several more tests (AST, ALT, gamma-GT, bilirubin…) to check his liver condition. If everything is okay with the liver, tests can be focused on the bone metabolism. Malabsorption can’t cause a liver disorder but can cause a disturbance in the bone development by providing insufficient calcium, phosphates, and Vitamin D. This means that the serum levels of calcium, phosphates, parathormone, calcitonin and Vitamin D should also be checked.


This means that all 3 possibilities (malabsorption, liver disorder, and bone disorder) can be present at the same time and even be connected.


You may want to consult a pediatric gastroenterologist about this.



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