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tropical sprue n.
Sprue occurring in the tropics, associated with enteric infection and nutritional deficiency, and often complicated by anemia due to folic acid deficiency. Also called tropical diarrhea.
an acquired disease characterized by the small intestine's impaired absorption of fats, vitamins, and minerals. Its cause is unknown; infection, parasite infestation, vitamin deficiency, and food toxins have been suggested as possible causes. It is found primarily in the Caribbean, southeast Asia, India, and areas in which polished rice is a staple food. Sprue often attacks middle-aged adults and is commonly caused by bacterial contamination of the small intestine, which in turn is responsible for inadequate fat digestion and absorption