EPI treatment and management

Although EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) can be chronic, it is usually a manageable condition. If you are diagnosed with EPI, your doctor will work with you to create a management plan that fits your needs. Management plans usually include pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT), vitamin supplements, and sometimes adjustments to your diet.

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P • E • R • T

Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy

PERTs are the standard of care for EPI treatment

In people with EPI, PERTs replace the 3 main digestive enzymes that the pancreas normally produces:

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breaks down fats

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breaks down carbohydrates (sugars)

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breaks down proteins

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Because PERTs help you digest food, they need to be taken every time you eat—with every meal and snack.

EPI treatment diet chart

Your EPI management plan may include diet and lifestyle changes

In addition to PERTs, your doctor may recommend taking vitamin supplements since EPI can make it hard to absorb vitamins from food—specifically fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). When it comes to EPI, eating a well-balanced diet is crucial. Consulting with a nutritionist is a good way to make sure all your dietary needs are being met.

It's also important to adopt healthy habits, which can include limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking.

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Answers to frequently asked questions

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Doctor Discussion Guide

Communicating your symptoms and medical history to your doctor can help you get one step closer to the right diagnosis and treatment.