Symptoms and Prevalence of SBS

What are the common symptoms of SBS?

SBS symptoms vary in patients, and the severity of symptoms is dependent on the extent and type of intestinal loss. The following are common symptoms associated with the inability to properly absorb fluids and nutrients:1,2

 common symptoms of SBS

Prevalence* of SBS-IF (SBS with intestinal failure)

  • While the prevalence of SBS in adults is unknown, estimates of patients with SBS-IF have been made based on numbers of patients receiving long-term parenteral nutrition support1–3
  • In Europe, the prevalence is estimated to be between 0.4 and 6.0 per million1–3
    • However, SBS-IF prevalence varies by country within Europe, likely due to differences in support systems (for example, intestinal rehabilitation centres and home parenteral nutrition programmes)2,3
*Prevalence is the proportion of a population who have (or had) a specific characteristic (e.g. an illness) in a given time period.4



  1. Hofstetter S, Stern L, Willet J. Key issues in addressing the clinical and humanistic burden of short bowel syndrome in the US. Curr Med Res Opin 2013;29(5):495–504.
  2. Jeppesen PB. Spectrum of short bowel syndrome in adults: intestinal insufficiency to intestinal failure. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 2014;38(1 Suppl):8S–13S.
  3. Kelly DG, Tappenden KA, Winkler MF. Short bowel syndrome: highlights of patient management, quality of life, and survival. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 2014;38(4):427–437.
  4. National Institute of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. What is prevalence?



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