When Frequent Bloating Becomes Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

The Role of the Pancreas

The pancreas is a narrow, flat, about six inches long, glandular organ that secretes juices vital to the proper functioning of the body. These juices contain a number of enzymes: proteins that act as accelerators of chemical reactions. Pancreatic enzymes enable the body to break down food. The blood sugar regulating hormones insulin and glucagon are also made in the pancreas.

Signs of Pancreatic Insufficiency

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) occurs when the pancreas does not produce a sufficient amount of enzymes. It is common in adults with removed gallbladders. Indigestion follows — leading to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency symptoms — an event which include one of more of the following signs:

  • Abdominal bloating / gas
  • Stomach pain or cramps (in the upper middle or upper left part of the abdomen)
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Frequent diarrhea or greasy stools that sometimes float
  • Some may experience unexplained weight loss

Due to hindered absorption, people with EPI may experience malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.

How Is It Diagnosed

Describe your symptoms to your gastroenterologist. The three tests used to determine Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) disorders are:

  1. Fecal elastase test, which measures the amount of elastase, an enzyme produced by the pancreas
  2. Fecal fat test
  3. Direct pancreatic function test

Where to Purchase Undiluted Pancreatin

Bloating and indigestion affect millions of Americans. It is often related to poor digestive enzyme activity, which can be exacerbated by illness, gall bladder removal, overuse of antacids, and aging.

This undiluted pancreatin contains lipase, protease, and amylase — the enzymes that help the digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This supplement provides solid support for occasional indigestion. It does not substitute physician-prescribed medications.

Resources:

  1. https://patient.info/news-and-features/what-does-the-pancreas-do
  2. https://muschealth.org/medical-services/ddc/patients/digestive-diseases/pancreas/pancreatic-insufficiency
  3. https://www.identifyepi.com/what-is-epi/exocrine-pancreatic-insufficiency-diagnosis

Legal Disclaimer
The statements on these pages are not evaluated by the FDA and are for informational purposes only. Nothing on this page intends to treat, diagnose or prevent disease. If you suspect that you have a disease or a condition of any type, please see your primary care physician without delay. Consult your physician before taking supplements or changing your diet.​

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Evelina Sodt, PhD

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