What are the symptoms of EPI?

Symptoms of EPI are similar to other conditions that affect your stomach and digestion

Many people do not realize that the pancreas plays an important role in digestion and that problems with the pancreas can result in digestive issues. When you have EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency), your body is missing the enzymes it needs to digest food, which causes important nutrients to pass through the body unabsorbed. Malabsorption can lead to a number of signs and symptoms that may vary from person to person. People with EPI may have one, some, or all of the symptoms listed below.

EPI symptoms may include:

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A symptom of fat malabsorption, diarrhea is commonly experienced by people with EPI.

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Gas and bloating

People with EPI cannot properly digest the food they eat, which can result in uncomfortable symptoms like gas and bloating.

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Stomach pain

Fat maldigestion due to EPI can lead to gas, bloating, and stomach pain.

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Unexplained weight loss

EPI affects protein and carbohydrate digestion, but the greatest impact comes from fat maldigestion, which is the primary cause of weight loss in people with EPI. While it may not seem serious, it’s important to tell your doctor if you’re losing weight and don’t know why. This can be a sign of EPI or another medical condition.

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Foul-smelling, oily stools (steatorrhea)

Steatorrhea is a type of bowel movement that is oily, floats, smells really bad, and is difficult to flush. People with EPI are not able to absorb all the fat that they eat, so undigested fat is excreted, resulting in stools that look oily or greasy. Not all people experience this symptom.

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Talk to your doctor if you have one or more symptoms

If you have been experiencing one, some, or all of the symptoms of EPI, make sure you let your doctor know as soon as possible.

to check your symptoms and share the results with your doctor. Please note that this quiz is not intended to provide a diagnosis or any treatment recommendations.

Answers to frequently asked questions

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Underlying conditions and procedures

There are several underlying conditions and procedures which may cause EPI.