Causes, symptoms and diagnostics of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency

The pancreas is just after the stomach. This body has the function of production of:

  1. Hormones. (Visit blog about testosterone )
  2. Digestive substances.

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are broken down in the upper part of the small intestine during the movement of enzymes there from the pancreas. Thus, they take forms that can be absorbed by the human body. This is the exocrine function of the pancreas.

If the pancreas ceases to cope with its function of producing enzymes, it leads to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. In this case, the body ceases to receive the amount of vitamins and nutrients in an amount sufficient for its normal functioning. This leads to:

  1. Flatulence.
  2. Bloating.
  3. Weight loss.
  4. Stomach pain.
  5. Diarrhea.

Be sure to consult your doctor if you observe EPI symptoms. This will help you avoid serious complications and improve the functioning of the digestive system.

Reasons of EPI

Any factors that have a negative impact on the functioning of the pancreas can cause disorders in the production of enzymes and lead to the development of EPI.

Among the main causes of EPI it is worth noting pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis, which a person does not treat or this treatment does not bring any results. Also, this disease can be:

  1. Inherited.
  2. Result various intestinal disorders.
  3. Consequence of operations.


EPI most often occurs in people who have various gastrointestinal diseases. For example, chronic pancreatitis almost always leads to the development of this disease. Unhealthy lifestyles and bad habits such as alcohol abuse and smoking increase the risk of EPI disease. However, there are cases when this disease affects people who do not have problems with the gastrointestinal tract and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Signs suggestive of EPI

Very often, EPI symptoms coincide with the symptoms of other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as:

  1. Irritable bowel syndrome.
  2. Ulcerative colitis.
  3. Crohn disease.
  4. Celiac disease.
  5. Pancreatic cancer.

Many people ignore EPI symptoms. This leads to disruption of the pancreas and deterioration of their condition. Symptoms that you should definitely pay attention to and consult a doctor:

  1. Weight loss due to malnutrition.
  2. Abnormally fat and bulky stools due to reduced absorption of fat in the gut.
  3. Abdominal pain.
  4. Diarrhea.
  5. Vitamin deficiency symptoms such as vision problems, muscle spasms and osteoporosis.

Methods of EPI diagnosis

Since EPI symptoms are common and typical for a number of other gastrointestinal diseases, none of them can certainly indicate the development of this particular disease. You should seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms occur. It is the doctor who will be able to diagnose EPI using various methods:

  1. Study of medical history and check of physical factors. Usually doctors diagnose EPI based on your medical history, which reflects all your previous diseases. It correlates the information with physiological changes such as fatty stools, weight loss and diarrhea.
  2. Visual inspection. Diagnostic methods such as x-rays, computed tomography or MRI allow seeing damage to the pancreas and accurately diagnosing EPI.
  3. The lab tests are based on the fat in your excrement. Thus, it can be understood that food and fats are not digested properly.
  4. Tests for the presence of other gastrointestinal diseases. Thus, determining the availability of you have other disorders digestive system doctor excludes the likelihood EPI.
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