Several underlying medical conditions and surgical procedures affect the pancreas and may cause Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI). That’s why it’s important to be open with your doctor about your complete medical history. What may feel like “stomach issues” may be EPI if you have or have had one or more of the following:
Underlying conditions or procedures which cause EPI
An inherited genetic condition that leads to chronic disease, CF causes a thick, sticky mucus to be produced in certain organs. If this mucus clogs the pancreas and causes damage, making it difficult for digestive enzymes to reach the small intestine, this can lead to EPI.
A chronic inflammatory disease of the pancreas, CP is the most common cause of EPI in adults.
An operation to remove all or part of the pancreas, a pancreatectomy could disrupt pancreatic digestive enzyme production or delivery leading to EPI.
Obstruction of the pancreatic duct by tumors, destruction of the pancreas by tumor growth, and loss of pancreatic tissue from surgery—all potential results of pancreatic cancer—can lead to EPI.
Other underlying conditions or procedures which may cause EPI
A condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed, AP can lead to temporary or permanent EPI.
By making your immune system attack your own pancreas, by damaging your pancreatic duct, and by scarring or inflaming your pancreas, Crohn’s disease can affect the ability of your pancreas to produce the enzymes you need to digest food. This can lead to EPI.
Though it is generally temporary and will likely improve with a gluten-free diet, untreated celiac disease can lead to EPI.
The inability to produce insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps control blood sugar, type I diabetes may also be an underlying condition that causes EPI.
Potentially affecting how pancreatic digestive enzymes are delivered to break down food, certain surgeries to the stomach or intestines can lead to EPI.
1 IN 4 PATIENTS
had their diagnosis changed to EPI after initially being diagnosed with another gastrointestinal condition, which is why sharing your complete medical history and being specific about your symptoms is so important.
If you have one of these conditions or procedures in your medical history, plus symptoms of EPI, answer the questions in the Symptom Checker and discuss your results with your doctor.
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