A diagram of the pancreas
What conditions are associated with EPI?

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is associated with several medical conditions/surgical procedures that affect the pancreas. It can develop in some people who have the following conditions:

Chronic pancreatitis (CP)

The most common cause of EPI in adults, CP is a chronic inflammatory disease of the pancreas.

Cystic fibrosis (CF)

An inherited genetic condition that leads to chronic disease that mainly affects the lungs, digestive and other systems. In patients with CF, a thick, sticky mucus is produced in certain organs, including the pancreas. Many people living with CF are unable to properly digest food because this mucus clogs the pancreas and causes damage, making it difficult for digestive enzymes to reach the intestine.

Diabetes (type I and type IIIC)

People with diabetes have trouble producing or using insulin, a hormone that is produced by the pancreas that helps control blood sugar. Some people with diabetes (type I and type IIIC) may also have EPI.

Gastrointestinal surgery

Certain surgeries to the stomach or intestines may affect how pancreatic digestive enzymes break down food. This can lead to EPI.


An operation to remove all or part of the pancreas, a pancreatectomy could limit or stop pancreatic digestive enzyme production, leading to EPI.

Pancreatic cancer

Cancer of the pancreas may cause pancreatic damage, which can lead to EPI.

Other conditions

Other conditions such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease have been associated with EPI.

If you have one of these conditions, plus symptoms of EPI, answer some questions in the symptom checker and discuss your results with your doctor.

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