As with all nutritional disorders, a thorough nutritional assessment is needed to plan rational therapy of malabsorption. Important historical points to review include duration of symptoms, underlying etiology of malabsorption, ability to meet nutritional needs by mouth, the presence of food allergies, and concurrent medical and surgical problems. The patient's nutritional status (weight, height, body mass index, and their respective percentiles) should be determined. Tests of body composition such as arm anthropometrics, bioelectrical impedance, or DXA studies should be considered. If the underlying cause of malabsorption is not known, diagnostic gastrointestinal endoscopy, laboratory studies, and/ or imaging studies are indicated.
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