Pancreatic insufficiency is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough of the enzymes needed to breakdown food. This results in the inability to digest food properly and absorb the nutrients your body needs. There are a variety of possible causes, inlcuding but not limited to pancreatitis, pancreas surgery, pancreatic cancer (or other diseases that block pancreatic ducts), Crohn's disease, or celiacs disease.
Common symptoms include weight loss, pain in your belly or back, bloating, gas, or fatty stools.
How is pancreatic insufficiency diagnosed?
Pancreatic insufficiency is diagnosed using:
- blood and stool tests
- CT scans an MRIs
How is pancreatic insufficiency treated?
Treatment options for pancreatic insufficiency include:
- Lifestyle modifications (avoid fatty foods, limit alcohol intake, avoid smoking, and adopt a well-balanced diet)
- Vitamin supplementation (primarily the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K)
- Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) to normalize your gut's absorption of nutrients
- Treatment of diseases causing pancreatic insufficiency (when possible)
If you persistently have any of the symptoms listed above, call to schedule an exam with Dr. Bhatti.
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