The human small intestine does most of the digesting of the foods we eat. In case of a malabsorption syndrome, the patient’s small intestine cannot absorb nutrients from foods. Causes of malabsorption syndromes include celiac disease, lactose intolerance, genetic diseases and certain medicines. Symptoms of different malabsorption syndromes can vary. They often include chronic diarrhoea, abnormal stool, weight loss and gas.