Search Here

Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

Pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough specific enzyme that the body uses to digest food in the small intestine.


Receive all our future posts instantly in your inbox. Enter your email to enroll.

The pancreas is a glandular organ. That means that the pancreas secretes juices that maintain proper body function. The pancreas produces both enzymes and hormones.

Also Known As:  Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency,  EPI

Signs and Symptoms :

Symptoms may include:

  • abdominal pain and tenderness
  • loss of appetite
  • feelings of fullness
  • weight loss and diarrhea

Pancreatic insufficiency may also cause bone pain and muscle cramps.

What causes pancreatic insufficiency?

When the pancreas becomes damaged, pancreatic enzymes are not produced, and malabsorption results. Malabsorption is the result of food that is not properly converted into usable energy by the digestive system.

The pancreas may become damaged by:

  • recurring inflammation of the pancreas
  • previous pancreatic surgery
  • it is rarely caused by cancer

Additionally, there are genetic factors that may cause damage to the pancreas:

  • cystic fibrosis, a disease damages glandular organs by creating mucus that impairs their function
  • Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, a rare autosomal recessive disorder


Simple investigations used to diagnose chronic pancreatitis include:

  • an abdominal X-ray (which can show calcifications in the pancreas)
  • stools collected and analyzed for high fat content
  • Stool Elastase
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • endoscopic ultrasound

Treatment of pancreatic insufficiency

When chronic pancreatitis is discovered, attempts are made to remove causative factors.

  • reduce high blood fat (triglyceride) levels
  • reduce alcohol use or abuse
  • stimulate pancreatic duct drainage using dilation, or stents
  • surgery

There are reports of the use of antioxidants (selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E) to reduce ongoing inflammation.

Related Articles:

  • Morphology, peripheral blood smear, biochemical tests and preliminary investigations for the diagnosis of iron deficiency […]
  • Leukemia is a blood cancer caused by an increase in the number of white blood […]
  • Gestational Hypertension also referred to as Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension (PIH) is a condition characterized by high […]
  • From promoting your baby's development to paving the way for weight loss after pregnancy, this […]
  • Hepatitis B is an infection of your liver. It can cause scarring of the organ, […]
  • Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by many forms […]
  • The first trimester begins on the first day of your last period and lasts until […]
  • Sarcoidosis is a disease characterized by the growth of small collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) […]

Possible References Used

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Navigate: Home | Categories | About Us | Authors | Contact Us | Submit News Tips | Advertise | Write for Us
Find us on: Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | YouTube | Reddit | Pinterest | Instagram
More: RSS | Sitemap | Back to: Top
© 2018-2021 Lab Tests Guide