The obstruction of a section of intestine causes ineffective bile salt mediated digestion of fats, causing fatty stools and poor absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur because the increased bacterial population can consume the vitamin.
A physical examination may reveal a mass or distention of the abdomen.
Tests which may be useful for diagnosis include:
The initial treatment generally involves antibiotics for the bacterial overgrowth, along with vitamin B12 supplementation. If antibiotics are not successful, surgical correction of the obstruction to allow better flow of food through the intestine may be considered.