A variety of diseases can interfere with food getting properly absorbed into the bloodstream. The worst syndromes are when a person has large, smelly, greasy, pale stools, and loses weight. Many other people have milder symptoms, like bloating, gas, and some diarrhea.
The danger is that a person doesn’t get the nutrition out of the food they eat. They may develop various kinds of anemia, or other deficiencies, depending on the condition causing their malabsorption.
The diagnosis may be made by testing how much fat is present in a stool sample. However, if this is normal, but we still wonder about the possibility, we’d refer to a Gastroenterologist. Actually, it’s best to let them decide if it’s worth doing the best test — measuring fat in 5 days’ worth of stools. They can also help diagnose other types of chronic diarrhea.