(psilosis) n. deficient absorption of food due to disease of the small intestine. Tropical sprue is seen in people from temperate regions who stay in tropical climates for weeks or months. It is characterized by diarrhoea (usually steatorrhoea), an inflamed tongue (glossitis), anaemia, and weight loss; the lining of the small intestine is inflamed and atrophied, probably because of infection, but the cause of this condition is not clearly known. Treatment with antibiotics and folic acid is usually effective, but the condition often improves spontaneously on return to a temperate climate. See also coeliac disease (nontropical sprue), malabsorption.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.